Restaurant * Bar * Nightclub * Lounge
Well. I am going to do my best to summarize two lawsuits that spanned nearly a year into a couple of paragraphs. So, First of all I signed a five year lease with two five year options back in May of 2007. So, In May of 2012 it would have been the end of my first five years. Prior to May of 2012, a few months before, the Landlord and myself had been arguing about the rent. I signed my deal prior to the recession and was asking the Landlord for a 10-15% discount in the rent for the upcoming years. What I had agreed to pay in 2007 was not reflective of the current state of the market. I was paying roughly 3.75 per sq ft, and at the present time premises were available for 2.25 per sq ft -2.5 per sq ft. The landlord refused to compromise. I had agreed to pay 3.75 in 2007 so that was what I had to pay. I had bounced one check over 5 years, because of the Martin Luther King holiday on a monday and my money from my credit card sales didnt go through until the next day. This bounced check pissed off the landlord and was the trigger that set off these two year long lawsuits.
I didn't have any options so I continued to pay my rent. There was a one sentence clause in my lease addendum.... a clause added by the landlord back in 2007, that stated "in order to exercise my lease options I need to give written notice sent by certified mail 6 months prior to the expiration of the initial lease" Well, in the process of running the business, and being 5 years since I reviewed the lease, I slipped up. By the time I remembered about the clause it was 5 months and one week before the expiration of the initial lease. My landlord has a business 75 feet away from Smiles. I would always hand deliver to his office the rent payments. I hand delivered my intent to exercise my lease option. I did not send it by certified mail, and like I said it was not 6 months prior to the lease expiration it was 5 months and a week.
In order to gain leverage in negotiating with me the Landlord refused to sign off on my lease option. He offered to put me on a month to month basis for a year and so long as I paid my rent on time for the year he would extend my lease option. I agreed because I had no choice, but I said put it in writing. I can not conduct a business like this where at any whim he can kick me out. He already had pulled the same scheme on the previous business owners. So he refused to put his terms in writing.
During this arguing going back and forth, he filed an unlawful detainer lawsuit against me. What this means is he claimed I didn't pay rent for a certain period. I believe it was for Mar 11-April 11. My lease expired in July. Bottom line after an 8 month lawsuit, in which we told him, and answered his complaint, that we did pay him for that month.... (legal jargon) the judge dismissed his case. I did pay the rent and there was no basis for the lawsuit.
Pending the lawsuit, and upon the completion of my initial lease I stopped paying rent because he refused to put his terms in writing. So, in January of this year 2013 he filed a second unlawful detainer lawsuit for all the rent that was unpaid during the first lawsuit and after the time of the expiration of the first lease. I got hit with a 3- day notice to come up with in excess of $100,000. I couldn't come up with that money that quickly nor did I feel like it was justified. That figure included late charges for that period, and I had received no compensation for the unjust 8 month lawsuit the Landlord had just put me through. My business was at a high point just prior to the initial lawsuit and my business suffered greatly from his malicious lawsuit. I could not plan for things more than a couple of weeks in advance, I had hefty attorney fees, etc. These unlawful detainer lawsuits provide no compensation even if the defendant wins. In order to receive compensation you need to file a civil complaint against the plaintiff for damages. I am doing so. The problem is my case won't be decided for probably a year or so. There are pretty much only two types of cases that get prioritized in the court system... cases involving child endangerment issues and unlawful detainer cases. Unlawful detainer cases are cases involving failure to pay rent. The courts figure there is so much money at stake that they need to prioritize them.
So.... In January of this year the second unlawful detainer case started. In march of 2013, I lost this case. The judge awarded possession only. I was not required to pay any back rent for those months that he put me through an unwarranted lawsuit, but because of my failure to send written notice by certified mail 6 months prior to the expiration of the initial lease I did not have the right to my lease options.
So there you have it. I was given roughly ten days to get out. So that's what I did. I am still in the process of countersuing him for the 8 month long unjustified lawsuit he put me through.... I don't know what is going to happen with that. Obviously my world has taken a rocky path as of late. I miss my business. I miss my staff. I miss my friends. I miss my customers. I miss the constant influx of new faces. I miss the music. I miss putting my energy into something I'm passionate about. I put all my energy into that business and it's hard for me to put my energy into something less positive like fighting my dickhead ex landlord in a lawsuit. I like to build, create, and try and do something positive for the community. Some may not look at opening a nightclub as something positive for the community, but to my customers and to my staff it was. I really do believe that it is essential for the happiness of all to have a place within a community to dance and have fun. It's important to have a place where people can come together, talk, meet up, and have fun. In the San Fernando Valley, with its size and the number of people living in the valley there really havn't been many top notch, credible places that brought a good party for any extended period of time. Maybe a few, but in my biased opinion, none that did it to Smiles standard.
I have not given up on my dream. Smiles had been a dream of mine for 20 years, and it was always my intention to open multiple Smiles. I am going to have to regroup, get my shit together and then get back at it. I will need to be patient like I was before, and make sure I find the right situation.
I'd love for any fans of Smiles to send me an email or add me on facebook. The links are at the bottom of the home page. The cell number is my personal cell phone # listed as well. I still have people calling to book parties, and that hurts me the most. One greedy asshole can put so many people out of work, take people's fun hang out away, take taxes away from the city...
If you add me on facebook or send me an email I will let you know when I reopen. For those that came out to support and for all the past employees and to my family thanks again for all the wonderful memories.
So, I'm closing. For now. All good. Can't nobody hold me down. We gonna rock it no matter what. Thank you to everyone that brought it. Every true mofo. Everybody that bought in. Everyone that saw the big picture. Everyone that helped. Everyone that expressed their thanks... Everyone that rocked it.... Thank you! Thank you! Wow. What an unforgettable experience. I have no regrets. Not one. I am happy. The earth, universe, God, whatever this life energy is.... it's telling me time to move on.... so I'm moving on.... It's gonna be bigger and more bad ass. More professional. More bad ass.... and more hot girls. :) Hey, I appreciate a woman who keeps herself in tip top rock shape. Mad respect. It takes a lot of talent to pull it off. Much love to everyone, except my landlord right now. He can lick nuts. Much Love.
P.S. Stay tuned.... Imma rock this world or at least my little universe... kept my mouth shut about a lot of stuff until now. Anywho. Until next time... still smilin. Love you all. Lets do it bigger and better next time. Please add me on Facebook so we can communicate... Home page...bottom....
Wow, long stretch.... So, just a quick hello... Finally after close to four years I got the uniforms dialed in again... Stoked about that... there's just something about having your staff in uniform.... can't quite put it in words, but it brings a higher level of professionalism and that's what i want. You have to overcome all the individual employees resistance and complaints and bullshit excuses of why they're not in uniform, and deal with the cost of supplying all the clothes but in the end it symbolizes conformity, professionalism, submission, preparation, attention to detail and the likes. It hasn't been easy. If you ever open a restaurant / bar don't take that aspect of the business for granted. Had to go through a couple staff members to get it so. So I'm really stoked about that and we're coming off one of our best three consecutive days ever and possibly one of our biggest nights ever just this past week... maybe its cuz of the uniforms. I actually believe so, at least in some part. So, things are moving in the right direction. We're going to be kicking off a live music night not to far down the road on Tuesdays and I can promise you it will definitely be the best live music in the valley of any nights if not of all of LA. I will share details later, but the guys we have come playing are nothing short of a miracle.
Been a little while.... been dealing with a lot of stuff...... Just feel like it's time to share a bit. Things are moving forward.... I'm in the process of implementing some ideas that have been in the making for a couple of years now.... People always tell me their ideas.... and I appreciate them... but implementing ideas is another story. Ideas are easy. Ideas are 5% of the story. Implementing is the remaining 95%. I am very happy to tell you that big ideas are in the process of getting implemented. I really couldn't concentrate on these ideas until I got the basics stabilized. Now we are focusing on implementing strategic ideas. Some of these things I am going to share have already started. We now have a comprehensive "Real Deal Bartender School" in place. We are on the verge of graduating our first student. We are also set to kick off a food sampling station in front of Smiles, where people walking by can try some of our appetizers, pizzas, sandwiches, tacos, etc.
We have been doing comedy shows for approximately 4 years, and now we are going to significantly improve it. In the past our shows have been produced by one producer. From now on our Wed shows are going to be a joint collaboration between 3 of the best comedy show producers in town. Just last week we had a comedian flown in from New York, another flown in from some state in the middle of nowhere, and next week we have a comedian being flown in from England. We just did a sort of test show this Tuesday and it went very, very well. I was busting up laughing like I never have during our show. Our comedy shows are going to go to the next level, I guarantee it. This was a plan 2 years in the making and we are going to produce one of the best comedy shows in LA period, if not the best.... at the very minimum it will rival places dedicated solely to comedy (Comedy store, Laugh Factory, Improv, etc) I couldn't have asked for a better group of Producers, and am really excited about our kick off date of Wed, Nov 28th.
We are implementing new promotional strategies that are going to get this place packed like never before. Initially on Fridays and Saturdays with the other nights following. We have had strong weekends for a while now, but I am talking about having a consistent line out front. It is going to happen. Our weekend crowds are now more diverse than ever. If you are interested in teaming up and helping with promotions and looking to put some dollars in your pocket, or if you know someone that may be interested, send me an email and I will fill you in on the details (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The upstairs VIP Room is going to be consistently open on the weekends, and is going to add another dimension to the club.
In the very near future we are going to make a concerted effort to market and feature the Lakers games (free shot when Lakers win...must be present at start of game) but also start showing the UFC fights again. We have as nice of a venue as anywhere else to see live sporting events and we are going to capitalize on that. We are going to watch the Lakers win their 17th championship and overtake the Celtics as the most winningest basketball franchise ever! Ya Ya!
Well, that's what's up.
Hey Mom, If you happen to pop up here...... Just want you to know I Love You! It's late at night, so I don't want to wake you, but I just want to let you know that I'm thankful for you.... Way more than these words can show.... but thank you for you being you. Thank you for being an example to me and Denise and Janine... and the little ones.... thank you for figuring what's truly important in this world... thank you for never changing your principles or character regardless of the situation or the surroundings... Thank you for setting the example so we can follow.... Dad, I love you too of course..... I just feel like Mom hasn't received enough credit..... We're always talking business and Mom is just kind of there in the background supervising everything....
Mom, I love you..... With all my heart.... Over the years, I haven't been the best with birthdays and presents and mothers days and fathers day and kids days and valentines day and new years and halloween and labor day and ...... bla bla blabla bla.... It's like " Yes we will do our best to buy your cards every two weeks Hallmark or CVS or whomever" but please.... shit is kinda retarded.....
The reason I actually went on here late at night.....lying in bed..... is I was just thinking how cool it would be to actually acknowledge everyone that has touched my life and that I'm grateful for.... I think most people would like to do the same.... I think the problem comes about in peoples mind..... it's like oh, if I forget someone then they're going to be really hurt..... well yes, but they will probably get over it.... if they were more in the persons forefront than they probably wouldn't have been forgotten in the first place.... Second thing is the time...... if you are going to take on something like this.... and I hope that this little blog inspires some.... it takes a lot of time.....
Bottom line is I want to do it.... Hopefully not in the too distant far off future..... I think for the most part most of us 99% of us are good spirits (97% correction)... and we're all just trying to do our best.... I wanted to set out and acknowledge all of those I am thankful for..... that's not going to happen tonight.... but let's remember at the very least to thank our mothers.... without them we are nothing..... no mama, no existence.... be grateful your mama carried you around for 9 months, instead of poked you with a hanger..... thanks Momma for carrying me.... You got a big scar for me. :) I still think you are beautiful! You're family does to. Happy Pre birthday Momma.... Usually I'm late.... looking forward to the two weekend in Carlsbad.....
So... did a lot of reflecting today.... I don't even know where to
start.... This is going to be one of my longer posts... I've
been going through some tough times lately... This business has always had
it's shares of struggles. I am not complaining. I am grateful for
the opportunity that I've been given. It's just difficult. I also
want to apologize to any customers that have been disappointed. I'm sorry.
Things don't always go as you would like. I read all my yelp reviews and
some piss me the fuck off. I've put my heart and soul into this business
and for some
I've been going through a lot. I've had lawsuits....still dealing with some.... I setup this business, signed papers pre-recession... so we've been open 4 plus years and I've had the business for a little more than 5 years... I am fighting with my landlord to adjust our rent. He wants high I want low...bla bla bla... My initial 5 year lease has finished, and now I'm trying to renegotiate the options, and basically we're butting heads....
All I want to say is... I do the business primarily for the love. I love this business, and I love hosting. The money for me of course is important, but really it is secondary. I really set out a long time ago to try and do something worthwhile, fun, and good for the community. Some may say " you're running a bar, how is that good for the community?" Well, I think it is of critical importance to shake your ass. I mean that; and I'm not using these words lightly. I think it is imperative that people dance and have a good time. I think it promotes health, reduces stress, forms relationships and on and on and on... I grew up here in the Valley, and throughout all my years here in the Valley there has hardly been any places that was worth a damn, where you could blow off some steam and really let loose in a responsible way with a cool crowd.... Well that's what I have set out to contribute....amongst other things...
I have tried to do this in a responsible way, because there is alcohol involved. I would only consider locations with a full restaurant. I wanted a place that could serve dinner/ food so as to keep people from getting too wasted. Financially its much more difficult, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I can't see myself opening a nightclub without food. I can't justify being socially responsible that way. It just makes things very difficult. People associate Smiles with Nightclub, and rightfully so. But this business will not work, nor survive if I don't get the restaurant aspect of the business dialed in. I open early, I buy high quality food, bring in staff, but if people don't come in here to enjoy the happy hour or dinner, then the business is pulling dead weight.
I will be the first to admit, that the kitchen operations are not 100% dialed in. It has and is consistently improving however. I am not making any excuses, and things are what they are.... I just simply want to be open, and explain a little. There's this catch 22 thingie going on, that makes things particularly difficult.... You can improve things all you want, but at the end of the day if you don't have the people coming in for dinner for whatever reason, it makes it all that much more difficult, to really get things dialed in.... No customers, unhappy waitresses...unhappy waitresses....gone waitresses... customers that do come in, but then come in to a slow restaurant, they're still unhappy because its not that busy.... food doesn't turn over as quickly....etc...etc.... I do want to emphasize that our food quality is top notch. I have been candid and honest in the past with our shortcomings, but I never short cut on the quality of food. I personally pick up all our produce, meats, everything from the store every week.... I haven't used deliveries since day one. I inspect everything myself. I don't have any food items just delivered here. I sort through the cilantro bags, find the freshest ones.... and so on... I was even doing my best to grow sustainable fresh herbs on site, but some fuck face kept stealing all my plants.... all of them as in like 75 plants..... anyways I'm trying to regrow them again.... I pick up and watch the butchers prepare and season my meat personally.... if not me my father that lends a hand when free.... The kitchen has made the most profound improvements in the past couple of months.... And yes, it is because I have personally dedicated myself to the running of it.... It's like anything else.... if you want it done right get in there and get your hands dirty.... I'm really happy to know how to run my kitchen now.... I need to update my pictures, so you can see just what I'm talking about... By the way, remember we have had nothing but straight A's from the Health inspector since we've opened.
Anyways, I just want to say I'm trying. I'm doing the best I can. I don't know the future. One day we can be here, next day who knows.... I know that what is important in life is the experiences we share. Life is about the people we meet and the connections we make. I'm happy to be in a business where I can share in that. I hate disappointed guests. Inevitably though, it's going to happen. Just know, that I clock in hard core to bring the best.
Going back to what I was talking about before..... I really believe in the purpose or soul of this business. First thing people assume when they hear bar is that it's something bad.... drunks...drunk drivers... obnoxious idiots, noise... crime... Do those things happen? Yes, on occasion. But, there's also a lot of good things that can come about too. I can't tell you how many bonds have been made. I can't tell you how many relationships have been formed. I know we've had a couple of people that have met here and gotten married. And, what about just providing an environment where people can just have some fun and forget about their everyday BS for a couple of hours? That's a positive thing. Without fun and enjoyment in your life bad things happen. Going back to what I said before... I feel like it is critical for the sanctity of the human spirit to let loose. One needs to let loose and shake it, rock out.... You are not living as intended without this component in your life. Life is meant to be celebrated and enjoyed. You need to party, throughout all times in your life. It keeps you young at heart, and just flat out young. To me, without song, dance, and camaraderie, what is there? Nothing. Slave to your work. It is your obligation to sing and dance. I actually read that in the Bible somewhere. Don't ask me where, but it's in there.
For me, good music takes me out of the doldrums and gets me floating in the clouds. I'm only a 2.5 out of 10 DJ, but I try and bring the best guys that are going to rock it... and when they're not doing their thing, as far as I'm concerned I've got the greatest compilation of music period. All I want is you guys and girls to enter Smiles but float away on the way out.
I try and eliminate any negativity from my thought process. I really believe in manifestation. The universe will bring you what it is you spend time thinking about..... so I try to always think positively. That's why, sometimes this blog dries up. I don't want to rap about my problems.... but at the same time I want to share... I'm also an analytical realist.
I don't know.... I'm tired... its 8 in the morning and I need to get some sleep.... most people getting ready for work or already at work and I'm getting ready to crash out.
I just want to express thanks again to our regulars.... I want to say thank you to my staff... I want to say thank you to all that have taken the time to provide reviews... a few exceptions aside :)
Other than that, I hope to still be here for another five years... we will see what happens. Take care.... and remember to party.... Its your duty. :)
I went to a bar down the street ... and above the entrance it said "no politics and no religion".... It just struck me, because my views are the exact opposite.... I have mentioned it before, but for the sake of what I have been talking about I am going to bring it up again...
When I was doing all my thinking about what I wanted to do with my life... I knew a couple of things,,, I knew I wanted to have fun.. I wanted something where I could make a difference... I wanted pretty girls around... I wanted my bros around... but really what I wanted was the opportunity to do something good and profound with my life. I feel blessed from growing up with two of the best parents on the planet, and I wanted to take the situation I was afforded and do my best to try and give back... My way of trying to give back is to try and make this world a little better place in whatever way I can. I'm a big dreamer, so I'm not going to go into the details of my dreams, but the bottom line is I felt, and still feel this way that through the use of a successful Smiles restaurant / bar / nightclub chain, it would allow me to do some big cool positive things.....
Anywho, during the business planning stages I was looking for justifications that opening a bar could be a socially positive thing.... Well, Mr. Albert Einstein, yes that Mr. Albert Einstein, the really smart one... 50 yrs or so ago... nuclear stuff.... Well Mr. Einstein has a book published called Ideas and Opinions. This book is a collection of articles that Mr. Einstein sent to publishers on a bunch of different topics.... One of his articles happened to be on bars and taverns.... I'm going to paraphrase him a bit...because I don't remember the actual words, however basically he said that "bars and taverns play a very important role in society, because its pretty much the only place people gather to talk about the current issues of the day" So, this, along with the fact that dancing is good, and I'm serving dinner, amongst other things made me feel good about what I'm doing. I just bring this up because it's in stark contrast with the bar I went to earlier. I want my bar to house intelligent people, intelligent discussion, and to talk about current issues of the day. I was expressely forbidden to not talk politics with my business, but just now that in the heart of Smiles it still lies.... What do you think the Smiles VIP page is for? Discussions about politics and religion are welcome at Smiles.... Any intelligent conversation about shit that matters is welcome.
One last note.... This is a competitive business.... but for any of my competing businesses, I just want to say... I love you all... as far as I'm concerned there's room for all.. I personally love the proliferation of bars, restaurants, nightclubs.... Why? Cuz, we have to party that's why.
P.S.S. After 4 years of being open we now have a manager finally.... Say hi to Ian Powers when you come in... He's helping.
So, I'm starting to DJ this Thursday..... Jams & more Jams... and then some more.
So, Looking forward to starting to DJ.... Any day now.... I'm excited. Also, Finally getting a manger on board.... Also looks like we're going to start competing with the sports bars out there... Should be opening up for football on Sundays....Monday Night football, Lakers games etc.... Should be interesting.
Hey, two months since my last post.... So, first of all, for anyone that has followed my blog for some time you might remember me bitching about someone stealing all the plants/ herbs that I planted in the parking lot to use in our kitchen. I built all these large flower pots, watered the herbs every day bla bla bla, and then someone kept coming along and kept stealing my plants... not taking part of the plants but stole all of them... approximately 60 plants... I was pissed. So, I stopped watering the plants and basically neglected the remaining plants until everything was dead. I wasn't going to take care of the plants to have someone keep stealing them.... Anyways a year later, I wake up to find my parking lot cleaned up... I have to admit it was in bad shape. I neglected it, because I no longer felt like taking care of it.... So, anyways I wake up one morning and someone came cut all my weeds cleaned up all the dead weeds from the flower pots and replanted a hole bunch of plants in my flower pots. It was pretty cool. Definitely made my day. That kind of stuff just happen often! How cool is that for someone to come along clean your parking lot and plant all these plants for you, without even asking and without any compensation. It really made me feel good about people in general.
So, besides that.... well, I haven't been writing much, because I've been going through a tough time. I really believe in staying positive and always thinking forward. So, when I encounter difficulties, I tend to just shut up. I don't want to give any attention to anything negative in my life.... Things have been tough since I acquired this place, and yet I'm still here, so I'm just going to keep on and do my best to fix things and get things dialed in.
I have spent a lot of time in the kitchen over the past couple of months, and am happy with the progress. I can hold my own in my kitchen. I'm very happy about that. There's is still more to learn, but I have come a long way in a short amount of time. Very soon, I am going to start DJing.
To me, there are 6 departments in this business (front door/hostees, food service, kitchen operations, bar, management & entertainment. I feel like I know 5 out of those 6 to a high level. So, lastly I want to get my DJing skills dialed in so I have a little more control over the music.
On a non business note, took a friend to the beach for her birthday.... haven't had a chance to go to the beach in a few years.....used to go all the time....anywho, fell asleep, and didn't properly cover up with sunscreen.... OUCH! Can hardly move. Not used to me being so white. Spent all day in bed today cuz I seriously couldn't stand up for more than a couple of minutes. Put your sunscreen on white boys and girls!
So, my head chef of four years and I have parted ways. I was a little nervous at first, but now I couldn't be happier. It's a blessing in disguise. For a long time now, I've been talking about getting in the kitchen and really getting that aspect of the business dialed in. When we first opened, I really had to concentrate on the bar / nightclub aspect of the business just simply to keep the business afloat. There's much more profitability in liquor sales than food. But now, four years later I've been forced to run the kitchen and it's paying off. I love learning a new and important aspect of my business. The cooking and running the kitchen is coming to me much easier than I expected. I've made numerous improvements in only a couple of days.
The bottom line is nobody is going to care as much as I am about the quality of the food. In the past, I would have to ask for something to get done. Now, I am in a position to tell someone how to do it. There's a big difference. I am not hiring a replacement chef just yet. First, I want to master running my kitchen myself. Once I am an expert at my kitchen than I will hire someone.
My previous chef wouldn't really teach me how to run the kitchen. He would rather just do something instead of showing me how to do it. I want to get my hands dirty, so I really understand what's going on and how to do things.
To me there's a couple of aspects to running the kitchen. A lot of these skills I already possess. You need to be willing to clean. You need to be extremely organized. Check & check. You need to be efficient... You need to know "OK, this takes that long to make, this other thing takes this long.....so I will stop working on this and concentrate on that...bla bla bla, so everything comes out when it's supposed to. You need to know how to prep your food, you need to know how to cook your food. You need to know how to do inventory ordering correctly.... and more...
Like I said most of these things I already know how to do. I know how to keep a clean kitchen. I know how to make things more efficient (already made huge improvements in only three days), I know how to do the inventory and ordering, because I'm the one who buys the produce. I am an anal retentive organizational master. As far as I'm concerned everything should have a home.
There are some definite similarities to bartending. The main difference is when bartending you don't need to prioritize orders. Someone orders something and you make it. Cooking it's not quite like that. Things that take a long time you start first. Other than that I see similarities.
So, anyways all I really needed to learn was how to cook the food, and how to prep the food. Well, it's coming very quickly and easily for me. The big advantage I have is the menu is mine. I know what I'm looking for. I know what things are supposed to taste like. I know how things should look. So, it's simple. It doesn't go out unless it's correct.
I'm just stoked, because I'm already seeing noticeable improvements. I really have always felt that for this business to be successful, it would require mastery over all departments of the business. I categorize the business into 6 departments 1)door/host 2)food service 3)bar 4)kitchen 5) management and 6)entertainment. My weaknesses have been in the kitchen and lack of knowing how to DJ. I have killer music, but never really DJd. Those days will soon be coming to an end as well. I feel like if I can do every job within Smiles, the business will forever succeed. Well, lately I have come one step closer, because food was never my passion, but it is now. I love getting back there and cooking this stuff. I hope you enjoy it, and come see if you notice a difference.
In celebration of our new menu, and new head chef we are going to offer a new special for a limited time only.... We are going to offer half off all entrees with the exception of the filet mignon and shellfish sampler from 6-7 PM on the patio only. We give you a great killer deal, and you help promote our new and improved dinner service.
P.S. Must mention the special to the server.
How y'all doing? I'm bueno.... May 15th will be five years since I got the keys to this place and started getting this location dialed in. Anyhow, don't really have much to share right now except..... I am starting to cook... Putting on the chef coat and taking dinner service to the next level. If you want something done right do it yourself, at least know how to do it yourself. So that's what's going on. I'm excited about that. I feel I have two weeknesses when it comes to running a restaurant / bar / nightclub... and before I get into those weaknesses let me also tell you that I have about 25 super strengths.... I'm no chump when it comes to this business. I am a one man bar, restaurant, nightclub owner extraordinaire... :), but I know my weaknesses... Don't have much experience in the kitchen and don't have DJ experience.... Both of those things are going to change real soon. And of course, I'm gonna rock em both. If you're going to do it, do it right. So expect nothing but the best. Two more jobs I need to learn, and then I can pretty much do every job when it comes to running a restaurant / bar / nightclub....
Let me take a minute to be a little bragadocious... Doorman... check, host...check...busboy...check, barback..check, dishwasher... check, food server check, bartender check, medium level electrician check, plumbing check, carpentry check, manager check, graphic designer check, websites check, accountant check, promoter check, valet parker.... hellz no!, that shit is way too complicated....
Anywho... I don't want some newbies reading this and thinking I don't know what's up with this business. I am the best at what I do, and am bringing the best. But.... still have to get better. Once I learn Djing, and to be a head chef, I will know how to do all aspects of this business. I feel once I get that under my belt it will take Smiles to a new level. So, I'm excited... I'm on it. I hate it when I ask staff for something and don't get the answer I want. "Yes Chris whatever you want, you know best...you've been working on these things much longer than I have, and spent countless more hours than I have thinking about these things... I'll do whatever you ask of me even if I have to work a lot harder.... I derive just so much joy working for you that it would be a joy to accomodate your demands, I'll do whatever I can to make it happen".
Once I know all aspects, no one can tell me no. Do it this way. "No, I can't its too much work", "we need extrahelp".... Imma b... Step back junior, take a seat and watch how it's done..... This is how you do it, it can be done.... so either do it or I will find and train someone who will. So that's it. Give me a couple of weeks and you can call me ChefboyareChris.
Wow.... just reread my last post.... I was pretty grumpy... well guess what? We've got karaoke at least one more time! This thursday is your night to come kill my eardrums one last time! We have a party of 30 coming in that prepaid for dinner and specifically asked for karaoke... so how am i going to turn that down? I can't... so it's back. we'll see what happens.
So... finally after a year or so of waiting and bla bla bla... finally got my new dinner menus out. I'm stoked about that. This is the menu I wanted four years ago, but was unable to do it at the time. We've got killer pizza now. No joke. Some of the best I've ever had. Top 5 for sure. It's better than places that specialize in pizza. We've got all kinds of fresh fruit.... For you that may not be too exciting...for me I'm stoked... I get to eat fresh fruit everyday! Watermelon, raspberries, bananas, strawberries, grapes, apples.... I've never been around so much fruit in my life... I hear its supposed to be better for you than sour life saver gummies.... We'll see. I'm looking to see how it will transform my life. Maybe I'll get all ripped without having to do any exercise. That would be nice.
Things are improving.... This month on May 15th will be Smiles four year anniversary of being open, and five years of having Smiles.
That's something. I'm proud of that. The business still isn't dialed in to my satisfaction, but then again, we're doing what no one else attempts. I'm happy. I'm grateful. I appreciate my staff, old, new, fired and not fired. Today, I pretty much love everyone. Life is beautiful, and life flies by, so enjoy it while you have it. time has never gone by so quickly for me. It's fucking cinco de Mayo! It was cinco de mayo yesterday!
Anyways, It's 9 in the morning and I still haven't gone to sleep... I should probably try.... Come try our new menu.... Crepes coming very soon.... real crepes.... French crepes from a half French owner... I don't know what else to say except thank you for keeping Smiles in business.... Amandas back.... welcome Courtney.... mwaa mwaa.
Wow, been busy.... Constantly improving things.... I'm seeing progress on some key fronts... First the VIP Room has been significantly improved... Live acoustic music from Plastic Rhino is drawing people (Sat 6-10p), and the implementation of the Sudden Death Comedy Nights on Wednesdays is drawing crowds... Little by little, day by day, we keep fine tuning everything and improving the business. I'm proud to say that come this May 15th it will be 5 years since we went to work to bring Smiles to Sherman Oaks and 4 years of being open. We have been able to steadily improve since we've opened despite opening up right at the start of the recession. I'm grateful to our friends, fans, customers, and coworkers for keeping the business going. I'm looking forward to the next 5 years and to constantly pushing the boundaries on a truly unique entertainment experience.
What's up y'all? First post of the new year.... Short post... I'm tired.... Game night starting Tuesday Jan 10th, please come help support the kick off night. I'm excited to bring a whole new event to Smiles. Its gonna be new and its gonna be fun... Crazy drink specials and loads of games...
Also, after a year in waiting we're putting the finishing touches on our newest revision of the menu. We're keeping most of the old stuff but adding some new stuff.... Pizza, Apple Pie, Cupcakes, Crepes, Taquitos... Fruit Salad, Sandwiches, Soup.... & Anytime breakfast... I love me some late night pancakes, French toast or waffles... Yummy yummy....
Overall, we had a great weekend.... I'm a little disappointed and feel like I let down some new Smiles customers that came by for new years for the first time... All my TVs went down right before we opened. I wasn't able to figure out the problem until we closed later that night. It was my intent to have content on some of the TVs and to have the countdown going on in the background also... We also somehow forgot to put out some of our New Years decor.... Didn't notice that either til we closed.... So, my apologies... Anyways, I'm looking forward to this new year... We've got some major improvements lined up very soon... If you haven't been in a while come check it out. Everything has been enhanced. Things are starting to really tighten up. Thank you guys for supporting Smiles and keeping it going!
Hey! Just want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas! Wow, its probably the first Christmas I haven't been with my family... Not that I don't enjoy visiting my family during the holidays... seeing my little nephew and nice... It's just kind of relaxing not dealing with all the holiday hoopla... It's too much... Kinda sounding like the Grinch hunh.... Anywho.... Merry Christmas! I'm happy, hope you're having a wonderful day... This probably isn't the best day to talk politics but whatever.... its on my mind.... So, I don't consider myself a republican nor a democrat. I'm a libertarian, which is basically keep government off my back... In the past I've either voted Libertarian or democratic, but my views are kind of half Republican and half Democratic... That all doesn't mean much anyways cuz the whole system is whacked and everyone's hands are tied and there's so much bullshit out there its ridiculous....sickening... But, four years ago I took this survey to see who actually matched up with my views and surprisingly Ron Paul matched up best... Barack was second, and I think Hillary was third... I think Barack tried to do his best, but simply had his hands tied behind his back this whole time, and he inherited a monster pile of shit. Anyways... I want to give my support out to Ron Paul... I think he's a bad ass. I've never voted Republican.. And really there s a part of the republican Agenda or whatever that irks me to the core... I hate the attitude of.. well basically everything I hear about the Republican party.... To me, we should be helping the less fortunate period. I don't even want to get into the top 1% not paying taxes, bank bailouts, all this ridiculous shit... I just want to say get Ron Paul in office. He's a part of the Republican party, but he is way more independant than any others. He's been fighting for years to really address the true problems with our government. Many of our problems stem from the Federal Reserve. He wants to change that. I don't think he'll succeed, I just love the balls to try and that he's relentless and hasn't given up. The media, and powers that be just want to discredit him as a viable candidate, disregard him, but his popularity has been growing and growing. This country needs a bad ass willing to take on these corporate interests and I think he's just the man to do it. This next election will be the first time I vote Republican. That takes some swallowing for me. They aren't going to get any other votes form me. But, I just want to reemphasize Ron Paul is good. I wish he was part of a different party, my Libertarians.... but politicians need to get elected and the ones that get elected are Dems and Republicans.... Ron Paul is like this loner dude, not really fitting into any political branch, even his Republicans don't really dig him... He's not so controlled... Last election big things happened. Had a Black president that I voted for and still dig, even though I don't approve of the bank bailouts... and would have been happy if a lady became President as well.... But now I want a badass that's gonna ruffle some feathers. Ron Paul I want to help. Shit has been too fucked up for too long.
Had a good solid week.... Things are progressing... Feel like I'm getting back on top of things... Had a rough past two months, but got some major improvements going on now, and some more coming in the near future. Digging the new DJ booth... dubbed the Sky booth. Its sick. Opens the door to some new possibilities. Play Tuesdays coming soon... gonna be ridiculoso. Can't wait. Crazy drink specials all night..... More fun and games than you can handle.... Beer Pong... Shuffleboard... Darts... Mario Kart.... New Rock Band 3 with the new dope instruments and some outrageous amount of songs.... Thanks to Nick... and much much more....
Wednesdays are at an all time best.... Lady V & Dj Uniq rockin it.... Our longest running promotion Comedy Wednesdays 6-10pm is set to take off. We have pretty much worked it out to bring two of the best comedy show producers we've ever had here and combined forces plus added another new producer to the mix.... so soon we are going to have 3 producers... TK, Janet & Daryl all combining efforts to produce one amazing show.... More celebrities.... better comedians, tighter run show... more audience.... It's gonna be good. Each one of these guys is capable of running a show independently and now to combine forces is going to be something special. Expect the new and improved comedy nights as well as the new Play Tuesdays at the beginning of the new year. I'm excited.
Iz out. Peace.
What's up y'all? Just a quick post.... Been working late into the night.... It's now 740 am so I got to get to sleep real soon.... Just want you guys to know that I'm working hard to bring you the best possible entertainment around. Since I acquired this business I have been working relentlessly on improving this place. I work on every aspect of the business.... and we have definitely made progress, but it's not easy and it doesn't happen over night...
I had this girl randomly come by tonight and tell me that she talked to lots of people and she told them she wanted to work here and apparently these random people said why.... the owner is a dick....
I didn't know what to make of it. I know I don't live in a world where everyone likes me. I wish everyone did, but I realize that in order to run a successful business, especially this type, that isn't going to happen.... I have to fire people some times. I have to refuse entry to people some times.... Some people may not like me cuz maybe they feel they should be treated better or they deserve discounts... All kind of reasons... Frankly, I don't care about all that. I know in my heart, I try to treat people nicely and fairly. I think sometimes people aren't privy to all the background information that is getting factored into decisions.... They just see how things affect them, but not how their situation relates to the whole operation of running a bar. Some situations put me and the bar in jeopardy, and I just can't put myself nor the business in that position....
I know I'm being very vague... and I'm not even referring to any one situation in particular. Just know that I'm trying. Most of my time is spent working on this business...
Ending this post a little short, cuz I got stuck on the phone for the past hour, and now its 915. I have to go to sleep. I long for the days when I used to go to sleep at 4.... Esta no es bueno. Ok. Adios.
Play Tuesdays coming soon!!!
Yo Yo! So.... Things have still been tough... Things are just constantly breaking.... Two weeks ago I bought a new air conditioner for the ktchen and the mini-vip room and then just days later I had my prep refrigerator go out on me, and then both my other main AC units for the main room. This pattern has been going on since I've opened Smiles. It's very frustrating. I also had some jackass raise a ruckus on my patio a couple of weeks ago, and that didn't help things.... Anyways, I don't want to be all negative...
Things are getting back on track. I just want to apologize, because things have been a little off. Things are moving forward. We're bringing the game night back on Tuesdays. New and improved. This Friday and Saturday we're having Halloween costume contests, so roll thru. Its gonna be fun.
What's up, what's up? Man, I find myself not rapping on here too much anymore.... Things have been tough... Still hanging in there, it's just a fight. I feel like I can't even talk on here. It sucks I just feel like there are so many people, well maybe not so many, but some, and they're just out to get you.... Society is tough now days. I think this economy is fucking with people's heads. I want to share good news, but don't even feel comfortable doing so. I just feel like if you've got something good going on or something to be happy about, well that's just more motivation for someone to come along and try and knock you down. It's unfortunate, but really I feel that way. Some people if they can't find happiness then they don't want people to be happy around them. So.... it's forced me just to shut the fuck up and do my thing. I've dealt with lawsuits lately, police issues, neighbor complaints, ups and downs in business.... and don't want to share any of it cuz there's meanies out there. :) But you know what Imma keep rockin it. My commitment is to make this business better every day. Every day, every day. Every day, till its big like Disney Land, and the Hard Rock....
Smiles isn't an easy business to formulate, nor is it an easy business to copy. It takes a lot of work. Were trying to go above and beyond. I'm trying to bring something that I have yet to see offered anywhere. My goal is to provide the best in entertainment. I want to have top notch karaoke, I want to rival the main places in comedy, I want the sickest music, and the most jamming dance floor motherfuckers out there. I want an elite crowd. I want cool ass mother fuckers on top of their games. I want people who know how to behave, know how to have fun responsibly, are polite, respect my neighbors, well dressed, hot sexy ladies of course.... I want mouth watering food... I want my staff to impress you, my guests, with their attentiveness and politness....
I believe in what I'm doing. I see the opportunity to do some positive things with this business if I can accomplish my goals... I'm not there yet, and frankly I don't think I ever will be there... It's all about taking things to the next level for me. I just love to improve things. I like to get things dialed in. I can not rest until everything is working like clock work.
Anyways, to those that read this blog for the first time.... welcome.... to the faces that I've met and had the pleasure of remembering names that go along with the faces.... it makes me happy... You go into this business, cuz u dig people and you want to show them a good time. That's what life is about, and that's what I'm gonna continue doing 100% until I can't do it's no mo.
We've got some major improvements that have been getting worked on over the last 8 or so months, and I'm really excited cuz I think it's gonna help take Smiles to the next level. I've got and heard so many good ideas from people and have been blessed to work alongside some awesome individuals.... it's just implementing all those ideas that's the tricky part. One by one it's happening.
We have fun here at Smiles. My customers have fun here. I see it in their faces. Fun like you don't find anywhere else. I'm almost envious. It's been years since I've been able to just let loose. Got too much to take care of when I'm here now. I live vicariocousellily (something like that :)) through my customers.... Once I get all this shit dialed in the way I want it, and I have someone holding the fort down, Imma be out on that dance floor breakin it down. Ya ya.
I'm really grateful to the familiar faces. Much love and thanks for the support. 3 plus years! To my staff, I am nothing with out you. You rock. I love you guys. I just feel so overwhelmingly grateful right now. Life is beautiful, and I can't complain. I have trouble falling asleep cuz all I'm thinking about is what I want to fix tomorrow... I wake up and get rights on it. Except Sunday.... wheres my Sunday party people? That's my day.... Everyone is always passed out, asleep all day, and I want to go out! Hey were open this Sunday by the way.... I want hit up one of those Sunday pool parties one of these days.... K I guess I gotta go... if not Imma start rambling.....
Whats up yall? Hey if u have any pics from Smiles email them in... if theyre dope and I like em I'll post em to the Smiles slideshow. Poetry and Jazz Saturdays 6-10p. Jazz sounded really good this past week, unfortunately didnt get to hear any of the poetry, had to run to home depot to go fix something, but come checks it!
Getting shit dialed in.... Improving, improving, improving.
Yo Yo.... So, finally got my monitor in the kitchen, so now I can stay back there and get things dialed in and still keep an eye on the rest of the business.... Gogo staff just keeps getting better and better. After a long run with Janet doing the comedy nights we've switched things up for the better. We've got TK doing the comedy shows every Wednesdays. Janet just didn't fit in during the time slot that we wanted to do the show. It will work out better. We're moving karaoke back to Wednesdays... Devo from the Little Rock will be hosting it.... Amanda Darling one of our beautiful gogos is throwing a party Tuesday June 14th so come check that out! Other than that, all is bueno! Late.
Yo Yo! Happy Memorial Day! My ass should be in Havasu! Instead I've been stuck on the computer for the past four hours... Oh Well. Dude, the gogos just keep getting hotter and hotter. Im so proud of my girls they rock it. We've got some incredible girls coming out for an audition this Thursday. Checks it. & . DOW! And of course we have our regular super duper ladies as well..... Gonna be sick....
Other big news... It looks as if we've landed the hottest & biggest karaoke hostess for Thursday nights. I've never met the lady but people tell me she's the bomb and brings mad crowds and that everybody loves her! So, thats good. Karaoke is gonna revert back to Thursdays. TK is producing the best comedy shows we've seen at Smiles.... I've been working on adding additional surveillance cameras and monitoring stations so I can keep my ass back in the kitchen and yet still have an eye on the business at the same time. I really want to get my dinner service and food dialed in. It's good, but I want one of those Michelin three star thingies. Watch out Gordan Ramsey.
I'm stoked. I hope your stoked. I love my work. I love improving anything. Always getting better. Julio, I got those bigger TVs for you too. Late.
Wow, feel like I've been gone a while. I don't know where to begin.... Three months and no update. I know where to begin... I miss my angel. Where are you girl? Anyways that's all I care about right now. Same old shit... Still rockin it every day. Trying to improve every day.... and we are. Three years checked off..... I didn't throw a big party for the anniversary... Just wanted to treat it as another day, but it is a milestone. Three years is the time frame I've always heard thrown around from people in reference to this type of business. They say " if you can make it three years then you'll be okay." So, hey Smiles has had it's doors open 3 years. I feel pretty cool about that. Things still aren't dialed in 100%, but the business is still growing.
Anyways, I got to get back into my updates little by little. I promise it won't be months again til I repost. Hey I need a karaoke host for Fridays.. Gonna have auditions this Friday so come sing your heart out and get a jobby job snoop doggy dog.
Karaoke coming to Tuesdays from 10 til 2, hosted by the talented and sexy Taryn Watts. Karaoke has been slowly improving ever since we brought it out a couple of Fridays ago. More and more people are coming in for dinner now, which is much appreciated. We really do strive to bring you excellent cuisine at an affordable price.
We will be introducing a new updated and enhanced dinner menu featuring some new main courses, sandwiches, appetizers and desserts.... Gonna be good!
Just feeling really happy now, and very grateful to all, but especially those who have come out to try our dinner. Thank you thank you!
Oh by the way.... if u read this between now and tmrw day.... we will be open Valentine's day Monday after 10P. The beautiful Lauren will be behind the bar and we have a televised tv series going on as well.... So come have fun and find that special someone for the night!
So, I'm really excited.... For the past couple months I've really been trying to concentrate on Wednesdays to get the night productive... Well, it's gonna start happening now pretty soon, within the next month or two... We've added a critical piece to the puzzle, that will take the night to the next level. Comedy during Wednesday evenings is going to take a leap forward. My original first choice to host and produce a comedy show was TK.... back like two and a half years ago... but because of scheduling problems we were never able to make things happen. But now, starting next month, we're going to incorporate a bi-monthly comedy show produced by TK. Janet, who does an amazing job with her own comedy show Wild & Out Wednesdays will still be doing her show, but instead of every week it will be every other week. Janet wasn't too excited about going to a bi-monthly format, but in the long term it will be better for everyone. From a production stand point the shows are going to get significantly better. After the comedy show, we'll have DJs and gogos.... The nights are already picking up. We're bringing in some new DJs and experimenting until we find the right fit.
P.S. Gonna get pancakes, waffles and french toast on a consistent basis soon.... YAY so excited! Where else are u going to find a menu like Smiles. Nowhere. One style of cuisine to me is boring and easy. I'm all about bringing something to the table that hasn't been done before.
Had another good night last night.... It was DJ Frank's Birthday! Not quite as busy as the Friday before, but busy nonetheless. Tonight should be good too. My buddy Todd's birthday... Plus a couple other bdays... and we got Michaelis in the house! Gonna be fun.
So I got all my wisdom teeth pulled out the other day. I'm talking weird. My mouth is all jacked. Anyways.... All good. I just hope I talk normally soon. I can't yell very well right now... :) I'm sure my staff is grateful for that.
Anyways its almost my weekend... After tonight I'm free for two days. Yes!!!!
I'm not sure exactly why.... I've just been feeling very grateful as of late. Maybe it was getting away for a couple of days to be with family over the holidays...maybe its because the business is improving... maybe its because I've had to lose my temper recently with a couple of people and yet the ties aren't broken.... I really appreciate the kind words from Smiles guests... Most, if not practically everyone I talk to really likes this place, and for that I'm happy and truelly blessed.
I'm also really grateful for my staff. This is my first business so I probably didn't realize how important your staff is. It's pretty much the most important piece to the puzzle. I'm really grateful to be working with the people that we have here.... both past employees and present. This business grows little baby steps by little baby steps.. and as it grows we add a little piece here and there. Now, we have a valet company on the weekends, when we didn't used to before etc... Working with these people is a pleasure. So much of this business, is just about getting things dialed in. Matching performance with expectations.... And when you get that business improves. When you don't, business declines. Simple concept, but implementing it, isn't the easiest of things.
Whow! More of those crazy ones... 1/11/11 next coming up yo..... 11/11/11 Holy Mackeral! What are we going to do then! I'm about to shit my pants already! LOL. OH OH and wait what about 11/11/11 & 11:11 eleven seconds. Dude that's just too much. I can't handle the truth.
So, ya. Same ol shit different day.. Not. It's the day of ones. Ima go celebrate.
Check out that date! Pretty cool hunh? Happy New Year everyone! Its only been a few hours but what a wonderful new year it already is. I'm seriously really happy to put this one behind me.... not that it was a bad year... it wasn't. The recession sucks, but nonetheless I had a wonderful year. This year is going to be better though. Im excited. So last night was cool. We had a really good vibe going. It wasn't packed, but full and good energy. That's the most important part.
We're going to be busy this Thurs, Fri, and Sat! Come early. Costume contests!!!
Pancakes, French Toast & Waffles coming soon.... Smiles anytime breakfast. Got a few new modifications on the dinner menu. Cant accuse me of not being unique with regards to Smiles menu. All different foods, from all over with the only thing in common is that it tastes good! Pancakes for dinner!
So, we had the 2 Year Anniversary.... First, I'd like to thank everyone that came out. Your presence made my day. It sucks I wasn't able to spend more time with you guys. Really sucks, and I apologize for that. But, realize that I was and am aware of your presence and am truly thankful and appreciative of you coming out. One of the main reasons, if not the main reason, why I got into this business was because I wanted to be able to spend my days in the presence of my friends and people I like. So, it was just really nice to see old friends, new friends and everyone all together. I can't express enough how thankful I am to have my friends come out. It made my year. It's almost everything to me, and I'm just really glad that you guys came out. I feel really badly that I only had a couple of moments to talk with people that I really care about, so I apologize about that.
For the most part the night went really well, we had a few glitches that most people were unaware of. I received a lot of positive feedback which is a good thing even factoring the friendly biases in. From the behind the scenes perspective we had a couple of things that we need to improve upon. I was really shooting for a 100% evening and I feel like it came in at a 85%, which isn't good enough for me, but nonetheless I am just happy to have had my friends close by.
We had a busy night, and I kind of viewed this night as a relaunch... We've had two years to get the ball rolling. When we first opened things were what they were. I think it's unrealistic to get into this type of business, when it's your first business, and expect things to be glitch free or to be operating at an elite level. With that being said we're onto year 3 now, and we've made significant strides from the times the door have opened. I really feel like this year is the year that is going to determine the fate of Smiles. I've always heard that it takes these types of businesses 3 years to really establish themselves. They say if you can stay open 3 years that you'll make it. We'll I'm two thirds the way there!
I've been working on this business for years, and I still feel like I have a long way to go. There is not a day that goes by, that I don't have something Smiles related that I need to take care of. More and more I find the comparisons to a child appropriate. Smiles is a two year toddler that requires my undivided attention. And he is constantly trying to put things in his mouth that will choke him....
Anyways. Got to go fix a leak..... If its not one thing its another... Without my staff and without my customers Smiles does not exist. So, thank you guys. I have such a nice mental picture of Saturday just walking around in my mind and seeing my homies. I love it. We've got to do it again, and one of these days in the not too distant future I'm going to have everything completely dialed in where I can completely relax and not worry about things being taken care of appropriately.
Help make this year 3 the best one yet! I, we at Smiles, need your continued support. Thanks,
Post some reviews on Yelp, so I can get your feedback. I read all of them, and usually respond too.
Well, it's been a while since I've been on here. Things are improving. We started being open Thursday through Saturday, then we added Wednesday, then Tuesday, and now we're going to be open on Mondays. At least we're going to give it a shot. For those that frequent the bar, you'll be seeing less of me behind the bar. I'm going to spend more time in a chef's uniform working in the kitchen on the weekdays, and then in a suit helping to run the door on the weekends.
Now that I feel comfortable with my bar staff. I'm going to concentrate on other areas of the business. I'm going to learn what I need to know in the kitchen and get the restaurant aspect of the business dialed in. With regards to the door, at least on the weekends, expect a tighter run door. The dress-code is going to be more strictly enforced and we're going to get more selective at the door. Smiles is a classy place and we're going to make an enhanced effort to make our guests feel welcome, safe, special and comfortable among our clientele.
One of Smiles main themes is diversity. Diversity is achieved through: our entertainment offerings, (salsa, comedy, rockaoke, djs, dancing, sporting events etc.); our mixed cuisine menu, (currently we feature some traditional American dishes, as well as Mexican, some Asian, some Italian, some vegetarian, and some shellfish, we will strive to continually bring new dishes from different cultures into the Smiles menu); our music selection spanning many different eras and many different genres; our venue with different areas for different vibes, (smoking patio, mini-vip room, VIP room, & our main bar area); and our staff from different backgrounds (I'm proud to say that even with our limited staff since the time we've opened we've employed or worked with African Americans, Mexicans, Russians, Ukrainians, Peruvians, Koreans, Phillipinos, Indians (no not Native Americans), Columbians, Italians, and more...
Wow, I've had a day with out some major component to my business breaking down! Incredible! It's a good feeling. I spend so much time fixing things it's ridiculous. It doesn't leave me too much time to pursue other things. Nonetheless, things are definitely improved. The nights are more consistent. Lots of behind the scenes improvements with regards to efficiency, cost control, entertainment, promotions, advertising. We are starting a new phase. Got a real good group of guys and gal bringing quality events and nights. I want to introduce you guys to an old buddy of mine that I used to work with back in the days at Sky Sushi. He's a kick-ass DJ. Michaelis, Wednesday nights. Anyone that was here last Wednesday knows he rocked the house. Come check it out. You won't be disappointed. He's got another old schooler from back in the days spinning with him DJ Backdraft (used to spin @ the Fenix @ the Argyle when I worked there too).
Anyways, I'm just going to let the nights speak for themselves.
Superbowl & Valentines Day parties on upcoming Sundays!!!
Hey VIPs check your VIP login page for access to Tuesday's private party!
Hey Guys, I don't know about you, but I'm looking forward to a New Year! I just want to share a little info about myself and the business....
First, it's really hard for me to plan events/evenings for big nights (New Years, Halloween, Cinco de Mayo, 4th of July, etc.). I'm presently at capacity in terms of being able to handle my regular day to day events. Presently, I just simply can't handle putting the time, energy and money into a one night gig. So, that's why some big nights might be a little mellow. I'm all about building for the long-term and creating a business that is built to last. So, that means I put my time, energy and money into the everyday things. Having one big night here and there isn't going to get me to repay my debt. I need years and years of decent evenings, so that's what I strive for. I can honestly say we are leaps and bounds better off now than when we first opened the doors. I can also say that we will be considerably better off a year from now than where we are now. Everything about this business has been done with the long term in mind. I spent 15 years working on this business, and I have no intention of seeing it dissipate after only a couple of years. Smiles will survive.
I realize Smiles doesn't follow the same curve as other businesses similar to mine. That should be looked at as a good thing, because the norm for these types of businesses is to not survive more than a couple of years. With that being said, if you want to make it you need to do things differently. Smiles does things differently. Sometimes we should be open, but we're not. We should probably have more staff on occasion, but we don't. Our kitchen should be open until midnight consistently but it's not. These are problems that need to be worked out. It takes time however, when you are on a tight budget. I can't afford to throw money away. Every improvement since opening has to be earned.
Even after being open for a year and a half the infrastructure of the business is still getting dialed in. When you're coming from scratch, which basically I was, it's amazing how many tasks have to be completed just to get ready to go. You can do things half ass and ignore problems, speed through things or you can do things correctly so that you don't have to deal with those problems down the road. I choose to do it right. In doing so, things take a little more time.
I guess what I'm getting at is I'm just asking for a little patience. If you came by a year ago, check things out now, and see if you feel the same way. I got a negative review on Yelp the other day, and it just got me thinking. I think some people just don't understand the journey that it takes to get a business like this dialed in. It's tough. Anyways, I'm not complaining. I'm happy for the opportunity that I have. Opening this business is a dream come true for me. Well, part of the dream. The dream is to create a successful business. But, Smiles is on it's way.
I'm really looking forward to the next year and writing a blog this time of year at the end of 2010 and talking about how much improved we've become since last year. Anyways, I want to wish all of you a Happy New Year. I hope 2010 brings you much prosperity and good health! So, with all I've said tonight is going to be a night without much fanfare. Sure we're going to celebrate, but there's not going to be balloons, nor special packages, no guestlists and no exorbitant cover charges. Actually no cover charge, no increase in prices... Just regular business. You, me and the other cool people that come to Smiles. It's still going to be fun. Late.
I heard on the down low my favorite DJ Ruforia is coming out to LA real soon for a couple of months til he goes back to Ibiza and I'm going to get him hopefully to be Smiles first resident DJ. His shit is wicked, so be prepared. Ibiza house music that takes you to another planet. Hey, also I want to bump my buddies Old Man Markley. They've got some new tour dates posted on their Myspace, you have to check these guys out. Somehow Smiles got left out of their itinerary, but they'll be back. These guys are going global already! They're playing Russia real soon. Got to make a trip to catch em. Born and bred in the Valley and some of the sickest tunes I've ever heard. Bunch of kick ass dudes and chicks too. I'm calling their manager to see how I can get them back here. Kind of bummed I was left out of the shows but oh well. Business. They jam, check em out. It's worth a trip to San Diego, San louis Obispo, San Fran, Long Beach, wherever. I'm taking a day off and going.
Yo. Happy Birthday to me! Merry Christmas to you all. So lunch is on standby. 2010 is gonna be big. New Years Eve No Cover. Only chill cool people welcome.
My Sister is helping me manage. Huge.
We're going to be open for lunch very soon! Haven't picked a date just yet, but it's going to happen in the very near future. Maybe beginning of December, maybe the 1st of the New Year, not sure exactly yet, but it's coming, and I'm excited. We've got a hot new classic rock cover band that has been playing regularly in the Valley for years and they're (Rocket Ride) gonna be playing through November and December every other Wednesdays so come check em out. We've also got Bobby & the Angels coming back playing a few gigs, filling out every other Wednesdays. I really think we're going to stick with live music on Wednesdays, and that it will be a good fit. Things are getting more & more dialed in and i dig that. More efficiency, better & better food, more repeat customers, physical improvements...
We just recently are putting our effort into marketing and advertising. I think the combination of that and opening for lunch are going to turn the corner for Smiles. I'm looking for big things from the New Year. I didn't want, (and pretty much haven't done) any advertising or marketing up to this point. I didn't want to advertise something that was not complete. I now feel we're pretty close to complete. I don't think we'll ever be complete, because I view this business as constantly evolving and improving. But... I'm now comfortable getting the word out there about Smiles. It wouldn't do my business any good advertising something that wasn't completely dialed in. Now, it's dialed in enough.
These past two months have been a little inconsistent in terms of schedule and hours of operation, so I want to apologize for that. I know we had some patrons coming by on nights we are normally open to find Smiles closed, but it's just what needed to be done to take Smiles to the next level. You can expect a much more consistent schedule in the very near future.
The future hours of operation are probably going to look something like this:
Monday - Thursday: 12-3p & 7-2a
Friday: 12-3p & 6-2a
Sunday: closed, available for private parties
Anyways, smiles has some new improvements come check it out.
Yo, Yo... What's it B? Happy Halloween! Boo. Anyways. Well.... Life is good. New shiny bar top... Everything is just dope. Too much excitement in my world right now, I don't even know what to say... Just love getting things dialed in, and they're getting dialed in.
I've been closed for the past couple of weeks on the slow nights. I'm trying to fix some things to take Smiles to the next level. I've recently just redone all our menus (bar menus, dinner menus and the cocktail menu). Lowered all our call, premium and super premium liquor prices. Revised the dinner menu.... The food has improved and I feel comfortable recommending anything on the menu. The filet mignon and shellfish dish are the latest improvements and they are both really good.
Had to redo the finish on the bar, the previous finish was coming off, so we put a new coat of super glaze on there. We'll see how long this one lasts. Thanks Tony & Todd for the help.
I removed the past updates. Maybe I'll bring em back. I just feel exposed. Can't really get any feedback and I don't like just anyone being able to read up on all that has been going on. So, I'm gonna try this out for a bit. I've moved all the past history into the VIP section.
Anyways, I guess that's about it. Things have been tough lately.
Hey!!! So for the one or two people that so far have access to these pages What's UP? I have waited for 4 or so years to get a login page on my website. I'm excited. the content is lacking presently, but now that the login page is working, I can concentrate on fixing this part of the site up. Stay tuned....
Not going to be writing a huge dissertation this time around. Just a little post. I'm in the process of going through and revising practically all the bar prices across the board. All the calls, premiums, and super premium liquors are being reduced. The liquor pricing at Smiles is really going to be competitive now. I am not decreasing the quality whatsoever. Still using all top notch spirits just lowering the prices on all the mid to high level stuff. Grey Goose is coming down to $10, same goes for Patron Silver. The well stuff is staying the same. I don't want to destroy my brand, I just want to do what I can to address consumers concerns and give them what they want. Check out the menu page after you read this. The Bar menu prices that are up there are from a long time ago, and actually haven't been accurate for awhile. Our prices have actually been lower for quite some time now. But, I'm going to leave the old prices up for a while, so you can see the reductions in price we've made.
I'd like to apologize or rather explain to those that come by on the off nights and find we're closed. We operate with a very small staff @ Smiles. This is the primary reason that we have been able to stay open for about 14 months now. I / We need to stay productive with our time. I'm a hands on dude. Anyone that has been to Smiles, and that knows me, probably has seen me behind the bar, or picking things up off the floor, or handing cards out to passersby. I do whatever is necessary for the business. Overall, we have been doing better and better. We are just coming off our best period. However, I don't know what it is but the last week or two was pretty bad. We've had some setbacks (happy hour flier, getting treated as a Spammer form Constant Contact, running into unforeseen difficulties with regards to mailing out our direct mail flyers to the neighboring businesses. Some of our promotions are working well, others have faltered. I guess it's all just part of the game. But the problem boils down to, I have to use my time productively. Today for example, I wasn't expecting a busy night, so I decided to close so that I could concentrate on some other things such as reducing my drink prices, updating my computer system with the new prices, getting my email management / distribution system up and going, updating the website with current events, running my payroll report, etc...
So, anyways, to those that do come out when I should be open, we had a couple today I apologize. I realize the importance of consistency. For the greater good of Smiles from time to time I have to close early or all together.
For those out there that really do enjoy Smiles, and want to see it succeed, you can help. What is most beneficial to me is feedback. Normally, I have to just sit back and read the winds to find out what people like or what they don't like. I have to guess as to what the whole would like implemented. I happen to be very good at this skill. For whatever reason I have incredible intuition. I always have. However, even with great intuition, it can only provide you with so much. Feedback and statistics really serve a purpose. We're on Yelp, and that helps a lot. I personally read all the reviews, and I care about what is written whether it is good or bad. So, please keep writing comments. It's my way of knowing what you like and what you don't, what events are missed and what events you guys would like to see. Obviously, I'm not going to be jumping all over the place just based on what one person says, but if enough people express similar concerns I will address them. People have mentioned the pricing. I already went through once and reduced the prices, and still people have asked for lower prices, so I'm going through again, and reducing the prices across the board once more.
The other way to help is to sign up for our weekly email blast. I'm not into over blasting anything. Actually, I'm pretty much on the down low. I rarely call anyone to invite them to any nights. I rarely send out invites, so you don't need to worry about me blowing up your inbox. The email delivery service allows me first and foremost to get the word out with regards to what is going on this week at Smiles. I'll be the first to admit that our marketing and advertising over the first year has not been a top priority. I didn't want to advertise a business that still had kinks in it. What good is it, to spend all that money on telling people to come out and check your place or food out, if when they come it's not up to par. So first priority was to get the business up to speed. Now, I feel comfortable with the package. So, now, we're making a more concerted effort to get the word out. We have 10000 flyers on stand by, we're getting the Constant Contact thing up and going. After that, hopefully we'll take more advantage of sites like Facebook and Twitter, in conjunction with working with the right promoters, and giving the consumers something that they are excited about and want to go tell their friends about. As far as I'm concerned, there is no advertising like word of mouth. As with any business, it is so important to know what works well, for the money you spend. By keeping my advertising and marketing to a minimum I'm able to see that. If you put to many advertising or marketing schemes all at the same time, it makes it very difficult to see which ones really work, and which ones are just a waste.
Anyways, by signing up for the email blast, it lets me know first how many people read it, and second it lets me develop a little closer relationship with my customer. As a benefit to you, I let you in on special deals. Very soon, I'm going to be advertising Open Bar nights only to those people on our email list. We are doing an Open bar this Friday, that I posted on the events page, but after that one, the open bars, which will be occurring weekly will only be advertised through the email blast. You can let your friends know, "hey, lets go party at Smiles for free!!!" Everyone likes free shit. I used to throw phat house parties with free full bars and complimentary food, and I want to bring a touch of that back to Smiles.
So much for not writing a long dissertation....
Anyways, write a review on Yelp, good or bad, preferably good, and sign up for the email blast. Your email will remain private, and it's very easy to opt out at any time, if you like Smiles, you'll be happy you did.
Take Care, and come drink for free this Friday 9-10 p. If you sign up for the email mailing list, you might find out about another one, right around the corner...
This is an update I am writing specifically for my neighbors. I want everyone from 91423 to know that I have no intention of devaluing your neighborhood. I grew up wishing I could have said I lived in Sherman Oaks. No offense Mom or Dad. I had it great. I had it the best. But, when I was younger and was out in either Westwood or Hollywood and would meet some cool people (OK, who am I kidding, I really wasn't that interested in meeting cool dudes, on occasion yes, but when I would meet some nice ladies, and would try and get them to come back to my killer pad in Van Nuys, it just didn't have the same ring to it as if I had an address in Sherman Oaks. So, I appreciate what you guys have here. I think everyone or most appreciate their neighborhood. Ventura Blvd. is awesome. There is no other street I'd rather have my first business on.
I want this place to cater to you 91423. Sure it's nice to have people travel from around the Valley. But really, I want you guys up there in the hills, my neighbors in the apartments and homes behind me, and you other guys of to the side to have somewhere where you can feel at home. I think that I have very good intuition and I sense out there that some in the neighborhood are worried about riff raff coming into the neighborhood. I think that is what was really behind this incident i had with my banner. That is not going to happen. And to show y'all I'm committed to backing up my words. I'm implementing some changes as soon as this update is posted.
In my business plan I had a dress code. A pretty detailed one actually. Some would probably read it, and say I was damn cocky. But it's done for a reason. Actually maybe I will even cut and paste the section I wrote from my original biz plan. But I always wanted to open a classy place. I like places like Crustacean in Bev. Hills that I used to work at, or SkyBar on the strip, or Firefly on Ventura, and for that matter Senor Fred. There is a varying degree of class there, but they are all nice places you can take a date and have a nice bite to eat. While I'm giving props to these businesses I first want to give a big prop out to Antonio's Pizzeria right next door to me. We share walls. Not the same type of business. But anyways, while I'm giving respect to these other places, Antonio's definitely deserves and gets my respect. I haven't had too many of their dishes (I'm not one to jump around the menu. I find the one thing I would like and stick with it till eternity) With that being said, the pizza that I've had, and garlic bread (some garlic breads are better than others) is as good as any I've ever had, or very close to it. Anyways, it's a great spot, they've been around 50 years or so, you've probably had it already, but if you haven't give it a try. You won't be disappointed.
Where was I? I envision Smiles as a classy place. Never wanted to be a dive bar. Nope. I want people to get dressed up nice, and put some effort themselves into what they wear, and in their appearance when they come out. I've put a lot of effort into this business, and I want my customers to reciprocate a little of that effort, by coming pimped out. What does that mean. Well, don't look like you just finished playing basketball and now your just going to pop in to Smiles. Since all this is getting implemented as I share, I'm going to be more flexible before ten. But after ten, No, don't show up, looking like you made no effort to come here. This is not your place then. It's a really tricky thing here to pull off. It's kind of ballsy, (and I guess it's why I haven't done it to this point). I open a business and of course I'm desperate for customers, and then at the same time I'm going to turn away those that aren't dressed to par. That's tuff. But yes, that is going to be the future of Smiles. I just want to give my proper respect to the homeowners, and to the renters who have been here for years, of this neighborhood.
You really are the ones I want to cater to. The reality is that Sherman Oaks is a nice classy affluent neighborhood. It's not super uppity Beverly Hills. But, in my book if you've managed to land yourself a crib in this neighborhood, especially up there in the hills, you are very fortunate.
As I write this I'm almost tempted to leave my cell phone number on here as a way to reach out and connect with the neighborhood, and then two seconds later, I just realized, ah yeah that's not going to work. I'm going to have people calling me for directions, and asking me "hey what's going on tonight", or "hey I need a job man!" or damn you make a killer mojito bro" I could go on and on. "Hey did you find my keys?" "Hey Chris, we want to Afterhour party bro open up" So, I guess, I'm not going to be leaving my cell number on here. But, we do have the business number. I do check it. Not as frequently as the cell, especially if the calls are during non business hours. And, no I don't return all calls. I just can't right now. I'm too busy. That's why I have this website. And that's why I say "check the web on the voice mail" Most answers can be found from here. The other questions, nobody is going to die if I don't get back with you immediately. I look at it this way. hey poke your head in, and give it a try.
I do want to mention something though. And it's kind of one of the main reasons I'm writing.... I can't believe it's already 7 again. This is ridiculous. This is how I keep going to bed at like 12 in the afternoon. At least I just figured it out. This absolutely sucks though, because I'm not tired. I probably couldn't fall asleep for another hour or so, even if I tried. I only slept two and a half hours last day 1230-3p today and have been working all day / night till right now. Somethings weird.
This is my point: I need your help people from the 91423. I can't at the same time maintain a classy restaurant, and then not have all you rich guys and homeowners, and people that are worried about me bringing down your neighborhood, not come out and support me. I can't tell you how many times I've tried to hand a VIP card to some people, or said hey wanna come in for a free drink, or whatever and it's very rare that someone gives you the time of day. So, when your broke. As I am. Well hold on, let me rephrase that. I am rich in spirit & life, just heavily in debt at the present. Back to my conundrum... I have to pay my rent. Just like everyone else. I would like to provide a top notch dining experience in a classy restaurant, but if these husbands and wives, boyfriends and girlfriends, in all these homes around here aren't coming in here to have dinner, than I have to find a way to pay my rent. That means I have to cater more towards persons just wanting to come in and drink. Like I said, this is not what I really want to cater to. I have a nice kitchen, I want to use it. It's very hard though to purchase fancy/classy shellfish dishes and filet mignons, and keep them fresh and then not have any one try them. See. when you're strapped it's hard to say ok, I'm going to do this form of advertising or that form of marketing. There's no guarantees. I'd love to have a full time hostess. I'd love to have a full time door man. I'd love to have a resident DJ. I'd love to have extra staff in general. But, when everyone is pinching their pennies, it makes it very difficult to provide that level of service that I would like to provide. I guess, we all do, what we can. I really believe in visualizing, and setting up goals. We will get the dinner service the way I would like, it's just going to take a little time. Back in the day I would put bar owner on my business cards, cuz I built this little portable bar thingie out of wood, for my back yard, and now here years later, I actually do have my bar! Pretty cool. I think you really have to take on the persona, or really feel what it is you are trying to become. Like in that movie The Secret. For me, that's a reality.
Anyways, I know I have a conclusion, or some kind of tie up with all this rambling and typing. 730 Now. Wow. I told myself I was going to bed early tonight at 430!!! There is a tie in with what I wrote last night, and my long banner story below, but you know what? It's gonna have to wait for another night, because I need to get to sleep, and thankfully I'm tired.
Hey come out during Happy Hour, and try our appetizers. You can't go wrong. All our prices are tax included. You never have to fumble with change. You can come in during Happy Hour have some of the best Fried Shrimp, or Calamari I've ever had and have yourself a soda and walk out the door after tipping for right around ten bucks. You really can't beat that anywhere. You're talking McDonalds prices for food, service, ambiance, venue and entertainment that is of top quality. Neighbors please come give our food a try. If you don't like it, it's on me. Lookout for a flyer with a free appetizer coming to you guys in the near future. Just need to stamp and address 8800 flyers. A little marketing never hurts.
Till next time.
Oh, Oh, Oh!!! Please neighbors, when you have a problem with something, whether it's my banner, or noise, or I don't know what. You don't like the people or whatever. People can have problems with anything. For example "Some don't like salsa, some are mad it's now gone" It seems you can never make everyone happy. But what I can say, "without leaving my cell phone number on here", is: I am very receptive to the concerns of my neighbors. I can't say I will always agree with you, nor will I acquiesce to your desires, but I will hear you out. And, I do put my neighbors concerns at the very top of my priorities. So, yeah, instead of calling up the Board of Safety and Zoning over my Happy Hour banner, how bout you call me up on the Smiles Biz number first, and see if we cant resolve something together. I knew I had a point in all of this somewhere. Granted it certainly doesn't feel like a very sharp point. But, hopefully it will make me fall asleep a little easier. Now 8 o'clock. I feel like I should get more out of my two hours.
Wow, damn, that is a long update though. I love I don't have to proofread any of this. I must have been a writer in a past life.
Remember that dress code. Gonna be bringing that class.
What's up? Can't really answer me hunh? You can write on Yelp. I read it. Anyhow. So... Hey this is cool. Got this little interactive plug in that can add you to my email list. Lucky you!! Let me tell you why this is so cool and why you are so lucky. First of all, all the cool people are doing it. So you'll automatically be associated with all the cool people. What can be better than that? If you even needed more of a reason than that, well then you can get a weekly update of what is going on at Smiles, (different themed evenings, sporting events, competitions)... But most of all you can get lots of free stuff, special invites, and the inside scoop to open bars, complimentary buffets. We just recently sent out discounts for free appetizers. We are going to have open bar and also complimentary buffet on certain nights that will be advertised primarily through our emails. Anyways, it's our way of keeping you up to date on what's going on. Anyways. Things are progressing. I'm excited. The weekends and Thursdays too are rockin.
I'm still really diggin the lemonade. I drink like four glasses a day. It's so delicious. It peps me right up.
We now have fresh squeezed lemonade. Not that chemical stuff, not that 10% fruit juice garbage. Real lemonade with pulp. Water, lemons & sugar. It's so delicious! I love it. Reminds me of summer growing up in the valley. Hot Dog on a Stick quality lemonade! Yum Yum. I have to go grab some right now!! I'll be back...
Umm, that was good. I feel so refreshed. Really. Naked juice does the same for me. I know I'm on a tangent here.... but, I grew up with a bunch of citrus trees in the backyard, and to this day brand new OJ and lemonade is treated like gold. You can't even finish making the juice before someone is already trying to drink it all. That's why I'm stoked. I hopefully should have an endless supply of lemonade now!!!!
I don't think there is anything much more important than that to discuss right now. Karaoke might be coming back to Thursday nights....
Well, Tiff and I have parted ways. I guess we just didn't see eye to eye on some things. I love the girl and wish her the best. IF any of you have some hook ups for her let me know and I'll forward them to her. She's looking for a place where she doesn't have to wear a uniform. My saturday night promotions have ended. I'm not exactly sure why. Keep getting bad reviews on Yelp. Do get the good ones too though. Regardless, as far as I'm concerned the future is beautiful. I just feel grateful that I'm able to do the business I love. Just wrapped up another Friday. It was a good night. Cool crowd. I don't know, I'm so excited for the near future. Things are going to start coming around the corner soon. I hope life is enjoyable for you all, and wish you much happiness. Open bar next Sat 8th I think, 9:30-10:30. No strings attached. Only at Smiles.
So I got my VIP page working!!! I'm super stoked. Gave the website a facelift. I think it looks super sick professional now. Got new professional pictures of the place, I think they came out really nice. Check em out. Fridays are popping off. Definitely the best spot to be on a Friday night in the valley.
I'd like to take a minute and address some of the negative reviewers that have reviewed my business on yelp. First I'm doing my best. Those that know me, know I have spent the past 17 years working on opening my own nightclub. I have a business management degree. I have 17 years of experience working in this industry. I try to treat everyone I encounter politely and with respect. If someone goes and writes something negative about my business, (it was slow/dead, service sucked, music was horrible, food was salty) I'm comfortable with that, and think that's fair. When someone calls me names (idiot, buffoon, chimpanzee, moron) prepare for the same in return.
It's not fair that they can say those words about me, and not receive some harsh words as well. Anyways, it is what it is, and that's that. To the patrons that were kind enough to write some nice reviews thank you very much. With all the criticism I have taken on a personal level, it really is nice to hear positive comments from y'all. Thank you, thank you. If you enjoy Smiles wash away those negative comments with some positive ones of your own. If you don't dig something, that's cool too. Like I said, I have no problem with that. I don't like getting into confrontations with people. I have better things to do with my time. I just don't believe in sitting passively by when someone attacks or is hurtful to you. To those that visit this site for the first time, don't expect vulgarity too often or judge myself or this business too much just based on these words. I have a special affinity to bad words anyway. I will just say that I don't feel the same way as most people do about bad words. I think they are essential.
So what else?... We're starting an industry night Monday nights!!! If you work in the hospitality industry, restaurants, bars, nightclubs, hotels come check it out. DJs, promoters, hostesses, food-servers, bartenders, busboys, barbacks, doormen, managers, food runners, come checks it. Bring proof of your employment in this industry and you will receive big discounts all night. I forgot off the top of my head what are the deals, but stay tuned or check the flyer on the events page once it's posted. It's going to be a great night to meet people that do what you do. It's great for networking and possible job opportunities. Who doesn't need that during these times? People in this business are the most fun anyways right?
Gotta run. Peace.
So, I haven't updated my web in a while. Sorry. The events page hasn't been updated in a while.... There is a reason however! I have been trying over the past couple of years to get a VIP login page on my website. And, we are almost there. 90% as I write this. It's not easy to get a login page incorporated, for not a lot of money, and more importantly, installed where I can still update and modify the site without being reliant on anyone. Tony (Sat. night promoter) has been a big help, so thank you Tony. I'm really excited about getting that login page up. It will allow me to advertise events only to VIPs. The VIP page will help advertise and make aware a whole range of services, privileges and events available to Smiles' special guests.
The website has really been the focus lately I haven't been able to update or make changes to the site too often, because I didn't want to risk screwing things up, while we were trying to get the login page working. Once we get the login page working, we are going to give the site a facelift, and we will make a concerted effort to stay on top of the weekly events.
We are starting a new Tuesday promotion that I've been wanting to do for a very long time now....
We are starting Smiles VS. this Tuesday. This night is the night to show off what you got! Every Tuesday we will provide the games you bring the competition. Once a month we will hold tournaments for different events based on the popularity of those events. For example, if during the next three Tuesdays a lot of people are interested in Ping Pong, then we will schedule the first tournament for ping pong. The next month we will hold a different tournament (maybe Guitar Hero). We will setup a playoff tournament and there will be prizes consisting of complimentary drinks, meals, tabs, Smiles shirts, gift certificates and cash!!!
I've got a lot more to share, just too busy right now. Till next time!
Just a quick note. I haven't really been able to update the website for the past month, so I apologize to those that use the website to see what's going on. We, myself and Tony, are trying to take the website to the next level, and in the process the website has been left stagnant. We're trying to give the site a facelift and more importantly implement a Smiles VIP log-in page. Anyways, hopefully in the next few days we'll have it up and running and then I'll write a longer blog and let you all know what's been going down.
In general, Smiles, is still and will always be a work in progress. Smiles is committed to continuously noticeably improving. Hopefully, in the next month or so, we're going to add a trained chef from the Cordon Blue Academy and up the ante with regards to dinner service. Our food is good, but there is room for improvement. In terms of entertainment we are introducing new promotions, that cater to a mixed, diverse crowd, featuring hot DJs (DJ Lenny & DJ Flashfade are sick), we are also bringing in sexy go-go dancers. We've added some more video game systems, drink specials.... The staff is getting better and better. Want to but a fuse ball table too.
Even though we've just celebrated Smiles 1 Year anniversary, I still feel like a fresh fish. I feel like we have hardly even gotten started. Year one, for me, was just learning how to float. Year two, we're going learn how to swim, and year 3 watch out Phelps.
Still, not doing any advertising. Didn't want to hype Smiles anniversary party, (open bar was mellow, and not taken advantage of), the nighttime was good though. Saturdays are hot. I don't want to advertise something, that I don't feel is 100% yet. We're at like 93%. We're taking little baby steps on sure footed ground. We're building a strong foundation. I don't see the point in advertising something if your product still needs work. The reality is we need work, and we are getting there.
I make this commitment to my guests: You will see improvement from one time to the next. There may be a slow night here or there, but from month to month, you will see things moving in the right direction. I'm excited, and feel like we're just getting warmed up. To my neighbors: I respect you guys. To Justin, Doug: thx for the effort. To the regulars: thanks for the support.
Old Man Markley was so dope. For those that knew about it, and didn't have anything real to do, You missed out. They're sick ridiculous. They're the only band I will let play here. Them and their friends. I'm not going to offend anyone again by calling you misser-outers close to retarded, but you missed out. These guys are going to be so big one day in the not too distant future. I'm just lucky our paths crossed. Check out their myspace.. It's oldmanmarkley. All one word. Peace out. Much Love.
Yo. What happened. Old Man Markley. Serious. Seriously. Somebody give these guys like 14 Million. I think they deserve fancy cars. I had all this other stuff I wanted to share, but Old Man Markley just overwhelms my noggin. Next time.
Well. Lets get right down to the important stuff. I defended my World Heavyweight Championship Crown in Mario Kart 64! It was a close battle but after going extra races for the tiebreaker I came out victorious. It's good to be the champ. I was a little nervous. I think I was down 8 to 6 and it was to 9, but I came through in the clutch. Are there any wannabe champs out there? I'm so fast. Anywho.
Gogo platform!!! Aww snap!! Little girlies dancing around in there litlle underwear type thingies. Enough said. Pretty ridiculous. Still working on putting a Rockband / Guitar Hero/ Mario Kart 64 & Wii & original Mario Bros night together. I'm the champ in the OG Mario Bros too. Not the Super Mario Bros, the OG plain Mario Bros. The first game released for the NES (old school). Think I'm gonna get one of those foosball things soon too.
Hey, the TV's are up and improved. After dealing with retarded electrical issues got all the screens dialed in with the HDMI cables. It makes a difference, it looks dope. So.... for all the Lakers playoff games we are going to be doing $5 mixed drink specials, on top of our regular Happy Hours.
Oh, I was planning on throwing and personally inviting all my close friends for Smiles one year anniversary party, but I don't feel like it. So, I'm inviting you here. No guestlists, just open bar from 8-9 for those that come out to Smiles and support. Thanks for your patronage. That's a big word for me. I think it means you drink a lot of Patron or something like that.
P.S . Saturdays are dope. Check out the video thing Tony put together on the Gallery page.
What a crazy, beautiful world. God Bless.
Well, lets see here.... I think Alex Van Halen was here with Eddie and I was so dumbfounded with Eddie I didn't even realize Alex was right next to him. Kinda feel like a schmuck for not noticing or for neglecting him, considering they're one of my favorite bands, if not my favorite, but oh well. Van Halens you drink and eat here free forever. Reminds me of a story about meeting Dre and Bobby Brown. Both times, one day after the next, I was like "damn that looks like Dr. Dre's brother" and "damn that dude kinda looks like Bobby Brown" only to find out, (after asking them for their names), it was actually them. And then just recently I asked Shia Le Beauf or Le Beau (Transformers) if he knew where Shia Le Beau was. I'm pretty retarded. Wanted to say thank you to him for hooking up some of my staff. He hooked Tiffany up and donated to a real good cause. One of our waitresses lost her fiance recently and Shia (hope I'm spelling your name right) contributed big time. Thanks Shia.
What else? Got a new 52 inch Sony to help kick off the upcoming Guitar Hero / Rock Band Nights at Smiles. We'll do Rock Band on stage and Guitar Hero in the VIP Room. I'm thinking we'll do it on Mondays or maybe Wednesdays after the Comedy. Want to master that Mario Kart WII game too. I'm the champ at Mario Kart 64! Upgrading the cables to all the TVs too for better resolution. Those damn HDMI cables make a big difference but they're expensive. A little more painting as well. As soon as I can find someone to come take some professional pictures of the place with the new decor I'll post em.
Dig the new Saturdays.... Greg throws done some sick tunes. Gonna throw an anniversary party May 16th. Open Bar from 8-9p. Check back for details. A new 80s night starting up as well, live cover band, Thursdays.
It's kinda cool. There's a lot of cycles in this business. Some daily, like cleaning, sending credit card batches, running sales reports and playing music. Some weekly, like ordering, scheduling and promotions. Some monthly, like payroll and paying bills. Some quarterly like sales tax. And then there are some annual cycles like Income taxes, property taxes, business taxes and license renewals. But, I think that's as far as the cycles go. In other words, after you go a year you have pretty much seen what the business is about, and what it encompasses. So, I'm looking forward to that. I'm looking forward to putting the first year behind me, and being able to say I survived and now, for the most part, I know what to expect. I feel like I have been going through some kind of initiation or something. It's still all so new for me. I have about as much experience in this business as someone my age could have, (it's pretty much the only industry I've ever worked in). I have a degree in business management. I did my homework. I wrote a thorough business plan. I was patient. But still, this business throws a lot at you. I'm constantly fixing something. How's this for a little stress: You find out half an hour before you open that your ice machine has gone on the fritz and stopped producing ice.... or you have a packed night and your main drain gets backed up. Or, you receive noise complaints from the neighbors. Or your taxes are late, cuz you had so much on your plate and could hardly understand all the mumble jumble that those papers are talking about, other than "hey give us some money". I've had to ask for change so many times from Ralphs, that I dred it. They know me now, know what I want, and I think are getting a little tired of helping out. Hey managers over there at Ralphs I digs it big time. Thank you, thank you. I had to go to four places last time to get $200 in change. Just right now, I have a dvd player that went out, 2 fog machines retarded, a DJ light that went out, MS Pacman coffee table that crapped out, and who knows what will happen tomorrow.
Other than all that. Life is bueno. No complaints. Just looking forward to what the future will bring. By the way.... I won't be name dropping anymore. It's not my style. Unless, Magic Johnson, Carmen Electra or Jaime Pressley drop by. :) Then it's a different story.
That's a horrible picture of me below, but whatever. Look what a stud Ed is.
Man, how stoked am I? Eddie Van Halen @ Smiles!!! For me, it doesn't get any better than that. Man, I was telling people "one day I hope Eddie Van Halen walks into my place", and BAM tonight was the night. I really don't give a F--K about celebrities, but Eddie and his music changed my life. The energy, the vibe, the good times, the sick licks it played a part in molding who I am. Eddie you the man!!! Man, I'm so stoked!!! I must have lost at least 20 customers and friends on opening night from accidentally blaring Hot For Teacher way too loud. Maybe he heard it. I feel like I've made it. Eddie, you told me to use the picture for personal use and not for business. I hope this doesn't piss you off. If it does send me an email and I'll take it down. I'm just so stoked and want to share it with my friends. You made my month! I'm still trippin. Who knows, maybe on a slow night you'll come in and play a few licks for me. God Bless Eddie. I'm waiting for a new album.
YA YAAA!!! No Diarrhea food here!
Well, I have a lot to report..... Dude, the paint job downstairs in the main room is awesome! I don't know what I was thinking. I think I had my head stuck up my ass. Once I get some good quality pics I'll feature them. Or, you can just come in and checks it out yoself. Big grassy asses to Todd, Abe, Tony, Stacy, Dad, Tiffany. The seven of us busted out a whole new decor in a day. Take down, prep, paint, clean and put back in about twelve hours. These guys bust ass and do a kick ass job. They're looking for work (haven't asked if I can do this but fuck it) Here's Tone's number (818)415-2429. Paints for Disney, sculpts, creates, top of the line paint and decor. Give him a call. Now, chigity check this. Look below. See that ridiculously cool 3D rendering of Smiles downstairs lounge area. Todd did that. It's like that virtual reality stuff, video games, computer graphics animation. He can hook it up. You got a vision? You want to build or design something call Todd. He can make stuff look lifelike. He took my 2D Autocad drawings and in a couple of hours BAM we were walking into the new Smiles lounge area. Ridiculous. I owe these guys a lot, but y'all owe me for the hookups to these fellows. Check out the reflections in the mirror and in the wood floors. With more time, the possibilities are endless. I think for a little extra money Todd can throw you into the matrix. He does big shit for monster companies like Universal in Hollywood. I don't know if I'm supposed to say that either. Tone has Todd's number. Anyways the paint and theme is ridiculous.
We got 2 and a half minutes on Fox news for the opening of Friday's Salsa nights. Thank you Susan and Perry. I like the way Perry works. Comps were a little high, but we were celebrating a new start and a lot of TV exposure. We've already had a lot of people come in just from that airing. Click on this link if you want to see the episode: http://www.youtube..com/watch?v=B0AEvg-bYbs
Seven and his Valley Boys crew are preparing for another monstrously ridiculously kopasetic (his word) set of nights on the 14th & 21st. When I say ridiculous, I mean ridiculous. We're talking 4 jumbo, rotating sky lights, and about 4 million dollars worth of exotic cars right out in front. Last time Lambos had to park on the other side of the street. That's just on the outside. On the inside we got some big time rapper, singer, dude, that'a all hot right now singing that "you can do whatever you like song" and some other stuff. And..... free champagne for the ladies till midnight in the VIP room. Ridiculous.
If that's not enough ridiculousness for you, I have more!!! This is as retardedly ridiculous as it gets. Shiva and the Divas are promoting Tuesdays (80's night). They, four hot little sexy b-----s dancing around in these little custom costumes. Like a Virgin outfits, cheerleader outfits, Let's get physical leotard outfits. It's ridiculous. That was the first night I started using that word. That was last Tuesday, and things just got more ridiculous one after another. This 80's night show is ridiculous. It's scandalous. You need to see this shit. Guaranteed good times.
If you thought that was all the ridiculousness we had for you.... Wrongo. Check out this more ridiculousness. So I get a call a couple of days ago.... Hey bla, bla, bla " We need a venue to play our music" So I says "OK". Old Man Markley comes in tonight and with 2 days notice blows the roof of the place. As soon as I heard these guys warm up I knew it was on. Texted a mess of y'alls. Dude, these guys are so rockin it's ridiculous. Ridiculous. Punk Blue Grass, something or other. Whatever, who cares. These guys rock. It's the hottest show on the planet. Packed the place. Cool cats. Was never my intention to open consistently on Sundays, but for the time being this show and opportunity is too good to pass up. Jammin, banjos, guitars, clickity clackety stuff. It's too cool for me to try and explain. Listen to them on their myspace page. Old Man Markley. Ridiculous.
Ok, this isn't ridiculous anymore, but it's just fact. Our food is damn good, and getting better. Filet Mignon ridiculous. ( Overall everything isn't ridiculous, but the Filet and others are ridiculous. Let me tell you which ones). Shellfish Sampler -ridiculous. Spicy Cashew Chicken ridiculous, burgers the best. As good as any. Our chips and salsa are the best I've ever had. I'm an expert on Chips and salsa. I survived college by living off of chips and salsa. Casa Vega's used to be the best, but frankly Smiles' are on another level. Do a taste test and come call me a liar. Senor Fred's very, very good, but ours are better. I know.... I'm biased. Guacamole- best I've ever had. Anyways whatever, come try and see for yourself. Smiles is improving. We aren't going to stop. Come see for yourself. If you weren't that impressed before come see the steps we've made since the last time. I guarantee you will consistently see noticeable improvements.
I'm iz out. Thanks for the support homies.
Oh Snap. I forgot about the most ridiculous of all. I haven't thrown a party all year. Not since opening night. In order to throw a good party you need a good reason. I haven't had one til now. Smiles one year anniversary party. Those that know me, know that I'm not too into hype. Actually, I don't like it at all. I'm anti-hype. I'm about doing it, and not talking about it. Smiles one year anniversary around May 15th ( 2 months from now) is going to be ridiculous. Haven't worked all the details out yet. But, Im going to throw a phat party. Smiles Grand Opening was cool, but it was my first day in a new venue. First day using the computers, first day with the staff, the music equipment, we only had burgers and carne asada. This time around, I'll have one year under my belt. It's gonna be big and bad ass, so stay tuned. Peace.
Well, it's been a while..... A lot has been going on. First of all, to my dissatisfaction and to the satisfaction of the many that have expressed their dislikes for my blue zebra / lava lamp walls they will be changing in the next few days. The haters win. For those that dig the blue, you can still appreciate all your blue stripes in the VIP room. Those won't be changing ever. Here's some 3D renderings of the new concept.
Well there you have it!!! Personally I digs this :
I guess it's a little less crazy and a little more classy. Whatever. I'm tired of the complaints. Actually, no I can live with the complaints. I'm tired of the walls supposedly hurting my business. I thought I would bring something new, fresh, and unique, but the word is " it has to be dark and a solid color" Well, it's not going to be either actually it will be a blend & 2 different color schemes, it just wont be crazy and scare everyone so much that they can't handle it. Don't expect to come into the VIP room and complain about the walls and be allowed back into the VIP area again. Rejoice, Mike, Delphine, Rufus, Karin, Todd, Missy, and the countless others that hate my walls. After 8 years, (I have them at my home too)part of my pattern is being destroyed. Now, maybe you'll have a drink in my place Rufus. Anyways... I want to give a big thank you to Todd Korte for developing the 3d renderings. How cool is that shit? And... to Tone for helping paint the new scheme. But most importantly Thanks to yous who dug my blue walls, didn't bust my balls, and supported my business regardless. Blue walls or no blue walls Smiles is the shit and it's coming on strong!!! My conversations about my blue walls is over!
Got some love for my walls!!! Diggin it! Yo, things are progressing and coming together. I'm gonna try and self promote a rock night one of these days in the not so distant future. Some oldies, some classic rock, some hard rock, a little glam rock, some metal & we gonna rock out! Ya!
Yo. Cool new flyers hunh? Better than my whacky stuff. So... I get a lot of complaints about my blue striped walls.
Happy New Year!!! Things have improved!!! Major improvements still on the way. I'm excited for the future.
Wow, the end of the year is coming up! I'm looking forward to a whole new year. Things are improving. I'm excited. Saturdays are going to be a hit from here on out (Valley Boyz productions). Gonna have a consistent Latin/Salsa night. Comedy nights have been consistent, and Katalina is going to start a weekly promotion! She has thrown some really phat parties so I'm looking forward to that. I'm getting consistent Valet Parking starting in January. We got patio heaters to keep y'all warm, and much much more improvements that have already taken place and some more on the way. Come by for New Years, it's gonna be off the hook! Big thanks Seven, Katalina, Mike, my staff, and to my customers.
Long time no yap. How y'all doing? One of these days I'm going to have to add a comment box in here. I had one going for a while, but I was getting inundated with spam messages. Anywho. There's going to be a few off the hook parties this month, don't miss em. Will's on the 18th, and my birthday party (check for details). We're adding a go-go platform or two, so that should be cool. I don't know, what else to share. I'm not into hype, and I don't like to promote..... Overall, I'm content with where things are in the business. It's improving every day, and I see enormous potential. Right now, financially I'm struggling, like everyone else, but it's all good. I'm really excited about the future. Oh, hey!!! I'm in the process of reducing all my liquor prices. I'm gonna do my part. $7 well going down to $6, with other reductions across the board. Remember, I use all the good expensive brands just for you. No reduction in quality, just the price. I lose money every month, so you guys can drink killer drinks without a hangover. I don't feel like it's appreciated, but I don't care. I can't see myself ever serving crap. I'd rather go out of business. Thanks to the locals, and the regulars that come by and support. Thanks Vernon. Thanks Todd, Tony and the fellas. Big thanks to Mike.
Katalina's B-Day costume party was off the hook! For real. Wow! Packed. So many hotties running around it was ridiculous. You'll have to check out some of the pics on the gallery tab. We have also started featuring beautiful women in lingerie on Wednesdays before and during our comedy showcase. Should hopefully get the full dinner menu out this Wednesday, so that should be nice. The food is dialed in. I recommend you try our Chinese Chicken Salad, fried shrimp, spinach artichoke dip, wings, and our spicy cashew chicken. Well, I don't have much to rap about this time, but we're almost 6 months into this thing, so that is a good thing right there. We've made some serious improvements since we've opened, and we're only going to get stronger. Thanks for your support!
Anyone else out there that can't fall asleep until 7:30 in the morning? I've always gone to bed late, but this is getting ridiculous. Hey, second day I have gotten out of bed or rather couch and had the privledge of having Katalina cook me some killer grub. $10 and she feeds you. Yes, she comes to your house brings food to you, and puts it in your mouth. Something like that. Anyways, her shit is dope. If you're in the Sherman Oaks area, stop by, get her digits, call her up, and she and her homie will bring you killer grub. We bring you nothing but the best, most of the time.... Weez still ironing some shit out, but her food is guaranteed wonderful. And... I dig waking up with her cooking in the kitchen, so..... she's doing a new catering business, and we need to keep her in business. Checks this: Monday-Lasagna, Tuesday-Roasted Chicken, Wednesday-Tilapia (that's fish), Thurs-Spaghetti & Meatballs, Fridays-Paella. So far I've only tried the Tilapia thingie and the Spaghetti they were both amazing. Well, OK, the Tilapia was amazing and the spaghetti was really good. She's so beautiful, you should order it just cuz she might deliver it!
So.... Serious Moonlight was the shit. Kick ass night. Looking forward to them doing it again. We've picked a date for about a month from now, so stay tuned. We're starting an 80's night, so that should be fun, and we'll see how it goes. Just about ready to roll out the full dinner menu. Took a while getting it up to speed, but we're pretty much there. We've added Spicy Cashew Chicken, Sweet and Sour Shrimp, Chinese Chicken Salad, Calamari, Apple Pie, Onion Rings, Fried Shrimp, Chicken Wings, Spinach Artichoke Dip, Caesar Salad. Filet Mignon and a Shellfish Sampler are on the way.
Also, we've added the Nintendo Wii! We now have Rockband, Guitar Hero, Mario Kart and more available. We'll be setting up some tournaments in the near future.
AND.... Due to the recession we are going to be reducing our drink prices across the board with the exception of our super premium liquors. If you want those you're going to have to pay for them. Anyways we're going to bring you dive bar prices in a kick ass classy nightclub setting, so take advantage.
What else..... I need a vacation. Kathalina the beautiful is going to be offering a catering service to businesses and patrons in the area during lunch hours, so be on the lookout. She's going to offer one meal a day, deliver it, and offer it at a very good price.
Besides that, I'm busy trying to get this business perfected. I appreciate my staff, past and present, even the ones I've fired, and the ones that have quit. And... big thanks to those who have come out to support and that let their friends know. Still haven't spent any real money on advertising or marketing, so know that I really appreciate seeing your familiar faces.
Laker games coming soon!!!
Yo. KatieCazorla.com. I've been mangling her last name for a month now. Whatever. Katie's cool. Check her comedy out at her website. Anyways. Had a Swinger party here the other night. That was interesting. I'm iz out.
Yo. How dope is this? Shawn & Marlon Wayans showing up for Smiles comedy night and each doing a set on stage. Huge!!! I'm so stoked. Big shout outs to those brothers. I really appreciate the buzz that they can bring my business. In terms of top notch comedians, it really doesn't get much better than that.
Well, other than that..... Well, that's everything actually. If you haven't ever seen Don't be a Menace to South Central while Drinking your Juice in the Hood rent it, that shit is hilarious. HILARIOUS. It's the funniest shit ever. I'm star struck. I used to wait tables on these guys. To have them perform at my club blows me away. Anyways, I'll move on. Things are improving. Karaoke is doing good. Katie Karzola is a superstar in her own right. She's dope, kick-ass, funny, hot and super talented. Come checks it. People broke off their salsa grooves last night, (thanks Ruben) and we have Bobby & the Angels performing tonight. They are kick ass, and really put themselves out there to help me and the club out, so big shout outs to them as well. They are a kick ass 60's, 70's cover band. My favorites. That's it folks. Y'all are not taking advantage of the best Happy Hour in LA. It's not gonna be the same forever. $3 domestic and premium beers, $3 glasses of wine, $4 good shit well drinks (Smirnoff, Seagrams, Bacardi, Cuervo, Jim Beam), 50% of all food excluding desserts, complimentary chips and salsa, 3 hours long (7-10p), every night. TAX INCLUDED. Quality Grub. It doesn't get better than that. I make no money off any of that. I do it for the love. No one can touch that. Monday Night Football has been dead, and I'm gonna end it, if y'all don't take advantage. I'm wasting my time giving shit away for peanuts to nobody. I have to much work to do to waste my time behind a bar for 4 people. I hate all those mother fuckers that walk paste me, ignore me, blow me off when I'm trying to give them free complimentary dinners for two no strings attached.
There's actually some people that actually read this thing. Diggin it. Got Katie's wireless mic working. That thing is cool. I can make a lot of noise with that thing. I think it's going to be hard to get that thing out of my hands. Works from far away too. I could almost say hello to Tarzana. Anyways thanks to Katie for lending it to me, or selling it to me, letting me play with it or whatever. Hey first of all, I need to bump her shit. You need to check this out, this girl chick is funny. KatieKazorla.com watch her second episode. That shit busts me up. Anyways, she's funny, and she knows it, but thanks for getting the Karaoke thing going. It's bareable. Now that I got that wireless mic, and I can hear myself all over the place. I'm really loving that. Anyways, I'm getting carried away. That's what happens when you start going to bed at 10 in the morning. My schedule has gone retarded. I'm waking up at 6 in the afternoon. Something has gone a little ascrewy. It's 7 right now. I used to go to bed at 430, then 630 and know like 930. Bla bla bla.
I'm excited to get the full dinner menu up. I really love being able to order food, and feel like I'm not paying for it. Especially things I love to eat. Thanks Vernon. Mark Prines (Magician Tuesday Nights) is dope. He makes things float, apparantly bends things with his super dooper, extraordinary, alien technology, mind boggling, brain waves. I haven't seen it, but I heard about it. I think he can leap like tall buildings and shit too. Lost at chess. boo. I did checkmate Josh in 5 moves right after he said ya, ya, I know about the checkmate in 4 moves move, I'm not going to fall for that one. Booyakashaaa. Support your blue stripes!!!! The forces are out to take down the blue. I'm not hearing it though. The blue makes me feel good. Ummm. I'm going to try and fall asleep.
So.... the menus have been updated. You can actually see what we offer now. Also, Monday Night Football, Tuesday Trivia Nights, Wednesday Comedy nights, and Thursday Karaoke. Fridays and Saturdays will be changing.
Well.... How are you? I'm retardly busy. Days seem to just fly by. Anyways, let me just break off the big news.... And this is big news. Karaoke. For those that know me, you know it's not my gig. I hate people screwing up good songs, so they can pretend to be rock stars. But, I've heard from lots of people that they all dig it, and bla bla bla, and business ain't exactly booming, and Katie is adorable and can make things happen, so....... even though it makes me cringe wez gonna do it. I'll be somewhere else, but ya'll dig it. Sing away. I like singing as much as the next cat, probably even more, I just don't think everyone deserves a mic. Want to give a big thanks out to TK and Matt for lending me a hand, (two stand up cats, and very funny, classy dudes). Anyways don't have much to share.
Let's see..... Hmmm. Well we've got food now! Yum! Can't wait to add some new stuff to the menu. We just rolled out an introductory menu and we should be adding a couple menu items a week until the full menu is implemented. Happy Hour is up and going. Happy Hour and the food is helping. We've also been giving away complimentary dinner for twos to neighbors and friends. Come by and ask for some flyers for yourself or for your friends. Comedy night has been consistent and successful. We're moving days though to Wednesday night now. Got a computer virus and had to reformat, so that's why I haven't updated in a while. Bought some Norton's Anti-virus, so should be cool for the future now. We are experimenting with different events such as a group trivia challenge in a couple of weeks, Rick James tribute, Ibiza nights (house music), possible movie nights, possible magician showcases, even something I really don't dig at all, but everyone seems to love Karaoke. Ughh.... Hopefully we can get some yahoos who can hold a note. Thanks to my staff, and thanks to those who have come out to support. It is appreciated. Monday Night Football!!! We keep adding to an already kick-ass audio/video system. We are now able to feature 3 live separate music mixes, (patio, lounge, VIP) or combine them all into one to take over the entire place. We've added more flat screens and synchronized them. We've added new killer lighting effects. I'm figuring shit out, like how to use my POS system. Big thanks to Fabio! Financially things aren't quite there yet, but I just really feel good about the business, and things in general. I go through my moments, but lately I'm feelzin it. I never did this business for the money anyway. I loves to bring the party / celebration. Come celebrate your unbirthday at Smiles. I've already used up all my unbirthdays up to about 120 years old, so now I need to celebrate yours!
I gotta tell you about some upcoming items cuz seriously they are going to knock your socks off. I am not a great chef, but there are some things I don't fuck around with.... Chips and Salsa (the stuff practically kept me alive in my college years)..... Milk Shakes and Smoothies that are just flat out the best period. Jamba Juice ain't got nothing on Smiles Smoothie. My banana milkshake or banana/strawberry milkshake is ummm.. well it's just frankly the best. Don't waste my time ordering one. Sold only by the pitcher and at the employee's discretion. (And, No I really don't want to serve you just a Strawberry Shake, it's just not right). Reminding me of another magically stupendous beverage. Forget about every other Pina Colada you have ever had. I don't fuck around with my cocktails. Beach tested, certified to knock your ass out, without even knowing what hit cha. We'll be giving out free samples pretty often, so come tell me if I'm wrong. Now, I have to tell you about ice cream. Food is food, and Smiles food is damn good. But.... I know cocktails, I know junk food, and I especially know dessert. Quarterback Crunch. Enough said. If that doesn't mean anything to you, then you're missing out. Now, check this out..... Baskin Robbins seasonal Quarterback Crunch with, Breyers Chocolate Chip and Dreyers Vanilla Bean with hot fudge, caramel, and marshmallow toppings served with whipped cream and crushed almonds with a cherry on top.
Just want to send a quick hello out. Well, things have been slow, but it's all good. I've been trying to fix things up, and get my arms around this business. We're auditioning comedians this Saturday and hopefully should have Smiles first comedy night in a couple of weeks from now. If you know any funny fools send them this way. This coming Wednesday were kicking off Smiles Latin night. Thanks to Kathalina for helping to put it together. She's the hottie featured on the flyers. Got some new TVs set up in the bar, so now you don't need to twist your neck around. Anyways, I think things are going to pick up pretty soon, and I'm optimistic about the future.
So, Smiles finally opened!!! We're about a month into it now. I'm going to have to regroup. We spent months fixing the place up and I see enormous potential but the business still needs to be perfected. This past month has been one of the biggest learning experiences in my life. Smiles schedule is going to be a bit sporadic the following month. I need time to fix things, and get on top of other situations. I can't do it being open 6 nights a week. So we are going to shrink the work week down to Thursday, Friday, and Saturday until we tighten everything up. Later, we'll add more days. We've made some really kick ass flyers (thanks to LIsa) and I'm excited to put those out there not only in ads but hand them out in person also. We've had good days and bad days, but just try to make progress everyday. So far, I'm happy and comfortable with where things are, and see many a bright day ahead. We should have the full dinner menu implemented in the following month, some live acts that will be performing, a comedy evening, some enhanced musical and video experiences, a well tuned computer system, and a staff that's dialed in... hopefully I'll be on top of all my paperwork AGHHH... What else..... Thanks to you new guys and ladies that came in. It's nice meeting new people. I'm really excited about the near future, and looking forward to throwing some parties that are really going to pop!
GRAND OPENING Friday, May 16!!!
13615 Ventura Blvd.
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
Two weeks into it! It's fun building this thing. I enjoy the progress. It's been slow, but it's improving, and we're going to get there. Gonna put a little advertising out there, and see what that does. Come grub some free eats and watch the Lakers whoop ass!!!
Well.... Smiles opened. I basically have just been kicking back the last two days and just been doing a lot of reflecting. Friday was a big learning experience for me. I was handed a lot of information that needed processing. There are kinks in the business and there are improvements that need to be made, but with the exception of me blaring a song too loud the night was a success. We didn't have any unfortunate incidents, and for the most part the night went very smoothly. I was happy with the turnout, and it was nice to see some faces that I haven't seen in a while. Thank you to my friends and staff who made that evening a memorable experience. Sorry, again for the overly loud jam. It's not so loud in the DJ booth. I apparently forced a fair amount of people to leave at that time, and from what I gather that is not the best for business. So.... It won't happen again.
Finally have an opening date. I'm headed down a whole different road now, just looking forward and thinking positive. I hope you all will come check out the club. I need you all to help spread the word. I'm not using any promoters or Public Relations firms only word of mouth. So.... I'm hoping you guys and ladies will enjoy your time here and tell your friends. I'm starting out with a very bare menu, and then will expand it as I become more familiar with running the business. Don't worry the food will still be kick-ass. This is my first business, so please just bare with me while I iron out the kinks.
Thanks again to all of you that have helped make this possible. You know who you are. I really appreciate it. It's been a long and rocky ride and I'm still not there yet. It's a new phase, but I'm only half way there. Now, I actually have to run a successful business and repay my debts. Anyways, I've taken down all my previous posts. As I've gotten a little older I appreciate my privacy more and more. Thanks again Jaime, Delphine and my parents in particular. Baughn Baughn Chicka Chicka Baughn Baughn!!