Thursday, July 22, 2010

A little help from my friends...

Different type of post today. Gonna share a business question with you all...

Im sure most of you have already been to Saint Rocke a few times, and from what I gather, most people like the vibe. Good shows, good room, etc. But one thing we have that alot of people dont go for is our kitchen. We really do have some good food, and the happy hour is pretty sick by any standard ($5 for anything until 730pm), but we should be busier. Have any of you been to happy hour? did you like? what can we do to make it more alluring for people? is the deal good?

Help a brother out. Need some good critical feedback. If you guys give me some good feedback I'll hook you up with some tickets for a show if you want. Thanks all. Have a good thursday....

18 comments:

Nyse B. said...

I have been for happy hour, and I remember feeling a little awkward sitting on the couches to eat instead of a table,and it was also difficult to have a conversation with a bigger group of friends for that same reason. I also looking to the stage and wishing a band was on. I think maybe changing up the inside and maybe adding small bands some days specifically for happy hour/dinner might bring in a better crowd. The food is awesome, and so is the ambiance..it just seems a little weird during HH. Good luck!!

Anonymous said...

People don't really know that the food portion of SR exists. Those that know about the happy hour are die hard loyal attendees. Maybe market to the young professionals in the area. Northrop Grumann, Mattel etc. I'd also consider taking off or improving the weak menu items. I read on Yelp, something along the lines of "not that great, but awesome for 5 bucks." If there is something that is sooo good for 5 bucks, people will line up for it. (see kogi)

Sandbox Sweethearts said...

Saint Rocke is a great local spot and continues to bring showcase gifted and talented artists. My friends and myself hosted birthday celebrations in the past and have nothing but fond memories. My only suggestion would be to extend the happy 'hour' - I work in Manhattan Beach and can't usually wrap up my day until about 7 pm, so by the time I can actually get to SR, get seated and ordered Ive missed the cut off time. If the hours cannot be extended daily, choose several days.

Another idea is to bring a unique experience to SR. My friends and I enjoy taking trips to Venice and Santa Monica to wine tasting bars (Bodega, Salute). Perhaps bring in a 'draft wine tasting machine' or pair up happy hour meals with wine selections.


Rocke on!

Gigi Gregory said...

I agree with Nyse. Unless you are at the bar or a table, it's awkward to have someplace to put your food. Maybe you can add more little tables for two. I love the food. Your Ahi is one of my favorites. I crave it. The $5.00 happy hour is great. Maybe you need to more boldly advertise it in your ads as well.

Nyse B. said...

I also agree on increasing the advertising. Yesterday, for example, I heard about the Reggae, $2 beer and tacos on FB..but it was an hour before 5 and people already had plans for the evening. I think pumping info out about what's going on a day or two prior in addition to a few posts that day might really get peoples attention. Maybe do e-mail weekly calendars, etc..

Anonymous said...

First off SR's Happy Hour Rules. We come in at least once a week. I agree with the music comment. It would be nice to always have at least some kind of acoustic during HH. One thing that bums me out is you advertise Happy Hour 7 days a week yet at several shows that I have gone early for HH and the show we have been told "No happy hour tonight" It's either 7 days a week or not in which case there should be a schedule or note online. Even the recorded SR message says HH every night. As far as getting more people I bragged to my ad agency co-workers about HH and had about 20 of them show up for HH and guess what it was one of those "not tonight" nights. slightly embarrassing. The couches-no offense but are the most uncomfortable sitting situation. They are way too deep so you can't sit comfortably no matter how tall you are. That being said we LOVE the FOOD. We LOVE the prices. We are HUGE fans of SR please take the comments with love. All we want is continued success for SR. It is hands down our favorite venue.

leo said...

Hi,
I trully believe that you need more marketing. You can have the greatest food and atmosphere, but if people dont know about it...it will never work out.
Since you have a great amount of music lovers coming to listen their favorite bands every week, why dont you give to them a 2 for 1 beer HH only coupon or something like that at the time you stamp the little guitar on their wrist. Good luck!

Jim said...

So it's said, and out of the way at the begining: I love Saint Rocke.

I've been to SR plenty of times for both shows and happy hour. I've come to the conclusion that:

-The sliders are top-notch
-The pizza is ok
-The calamari and hummus is less than ok.

I'm with the second poster (anonymous) - eliminate the menu items that don't work, add some low-cost goodness (see: UCC rib appetizer), and increase food promotion.

Oh the topic of the couches and such - I feel like there's almost an identity problem with the layout. It seems to be set up as a lounge/restaurant/bar/music venue.

These things all work great together if you're pulling in small to mid-sized artists. If you want the bar scene, go there, lounge scene, go over there, sit-down dinner, go there.

But I'm torn on seeing big names here. On one hand, I completely love the intimacy of seeing huge artists (Aggrolites, NOFX), or artists that draw huge crowds (B-Side, Cashed out) here - it's something that I can't get enough of. On the other hand, it can be a challenge seeing them from within the loung-y area, if that's where you happen to find your little piece of real estate during a show.

What's the solution for that? Probably nothing - I don't know... I just know that has been one of my *few* "problems".

But like I said - I love Saint Rocke. I like that you have put a personal touch on the business with the blog. I love your sliders.

In closing, I think you need ginger ale. How else would you consume Jameson? That Sprite-and-Coke-Ale just don't cut it!

Sophia said...

Some live acoustic jams during happy hour would be great on the most popular happy hour nights like Thursday/Friday. There's a dude that plays during happy hour at Rivy that just does covers--but it really amps up the atmosphere.

SR is the live music venue in the South Bay and I'd never want it to be anything else. With that disclaimer said, whenever there is a male influence involved and a game on the happy hour destination must be showing the game. Let people know the game will be on.

Make the menu a bit more electric. I can go to a dozen places within a few miles of SR and the menu will be similar to yours. Why not a homage to Elvis and throw in a peanut butter, banana and fluff sandwich? Okay, a little extreme--and I might be the only person that would actually order Jameson with a peanut butter + fluff sandwich...

welcome back + cheers.

Anonymous said...

I agree about losing the couches. They are the most uncomfortable things I've ever sat on. They belong on a curb, waiting to be picked up by Waste Management.

And why have couches there anyway? None of them are facing the stage so you end up facing the people across the way and having to turn your head to talk to the person you came in with sitting next to you. I vote for putting in small tables in that section instead so you can at least talk comfortably with people in your group.

As for the menu, I think items need to be added for more variation in choice.

Sass said...

soph you crack me up! although not to discredit what you're saying... i think it's brilliant, actually. elvis might not be the best fit, however something along the lines of a porkroll sandwich (new jersey signature) called "The Boss"... and if going this route, something, anything- must be named after B. Marley.

also agree with the comments about the couches/tables facing the stage.

lastly, i have dined there during HH and the only feedback i have is to make the lighting a bit brighter. it will be a sunny day, and then you walk inside and it feels like it's 10 pm. eating in (almost) the dark is creepy, unless you're at opaque in la. k that's it.

hi abba.

Anonymous said...

I think its a seasonal thing... I've been to HH @ SR during Football & Laker's games and the place is PACKED . It's summer (not sure the sun gods have gotten that memo yet this year), but if you had a choice to be sitting outside at a patio on the pier or in a dark music venue which would you choose?

We were there last thurs for reggae night. There was no band playing at ALL during HH, they went on around 8pm and it was WAY too loud! The sound system is great, but there is an appropriate time to have the music so loud you can't have a conversation and then there's not. HH would be one of those times when you should have a chill artist (like Sophia said) acoustic style playing quietly on stage and when you can have all 20+ speakers maxed out. Coo-dos to the Audio at SR - no doubt the best venue in south bay, if not all of LA - given the engineer knows how to mix for such a small place.

As for the couch topic, since it seems to be a big hate - they aren't my favorite but they don't bother me. I remember when SR first opened the couches were moving around every other night. Some nights they faced the stage, some nights they didn't. I think it's nice to have couches over booth's because of the flexibility and if need be on a sold out night, you can remove two (or all).

I think the food is great! It's the right combination of all the good stuff; however, Sass makes a good point - maybe try a themed menu? Just for HH?

Cheers and keep the blog posts coming!!!

Anonymous said...

Huge fan of SR, both for shows and Happy Hour. Without repeating what's already been said above, I think for $5, the food is great. However, the ahi and the sushi both have a wasabi-after taste that doesn't incline me to order it again.

I'd say maybe try a loyalty program to get people to come back to HH. Like come 5 times, get a free drink or something like that?

Love SR, keep up the awesomeness!

Anonymous said...

Great location but way way too loud between shows and activities! As soon as the game goes to commercial or the band takes a break, the house music comes screaming down. There has to be some social element. If you can't socialize, then it's just not fun. The food is bad with the exception of the sliders, and it's way over priced based on the quality. I've also had problems with the basics. For instance, at 6pm when we requested silverware and napkins, we were told there were only cocktail napkins and only plastic silverware left. Also no BudLight left. This was a Thursday so no weekend rush excuse.

Paul Moses said...

My favorite Happy Hour is one that is consistent. The best Happy Hours in town have been the same for years. And the hours never change, if it is only M-F, 4-7, fine. As long as I can bank on that I'll go. They also offer one item that patrons always order, i.e. cheap house Margarita, discount pint of good beer, killer Ahi plate for $5.
You're almost there.

Anonymous said...

Food for thought...
People see bar, think, "Bar Food"
so may not think to even try your happy hour foods..(which SR, are wonderful, creative, tasty and priced correctly for this finicky market)...advertise in your bar, have a sample platter passed around to temp people to try...
Of course, outside marketing always helps...craigslist, facebook, others...

On another, but similar note,
(giving feedback) Last Friday we came in for the "I love the 80's night" My friends and I were totally decked out in 1980's dress code. No one else was...talk about feeling "awkward" ...my understanding was that it is a dress-up event??? The staff did not even dress up...To get people interested and exited, encourage staff to participate in the theme of the evening...it will be fun for them as well as guests.

Anonymous said...

I did notice something that is missing from your website home page - probably the most important thing to be on the home page - THE STREET ADDRESS !!!

Janine said...

I go to Saint Rocke at least once a week. I started a Happy Hour Review blog (going public soon)with my girlfriends a few weeks ago and Saint Rocke is the best by far. The waitresses are fantastic and cheerful(Kelly is always smiling and usually serves me). Who likes a groggy waitress right?

I'm a 28 yr female that likes to get away from the apartment from time to time and your place is walking distance from me. I go there with my gf or on my own because of the awesome food and drink specials. I'm telling everyone that you won't find a variety of wines/cocktails and foods for the price as well as the awesome vibe. Being a happy hour bunny I would know! My buddy hosted his work event there after I raved about it.