By Annamarya Scaccia for the Brooklyn College Kingsman (April 3, 2006)
A typical day at Luv 24/7 is never lacking in elbow grease.
Long before the crowd packs into the tiny Lower East Side lounge to play, a cleaning crew is hard at work at 6 a.m., tidying the space for the evening ahead. Then at about 8.a.m., it is Bruce Grilikhes’ turn. Twelve hours before the doors open, the owner of this new, intimate venue begins his workday, making sure that Luv 24/7 is ready for showtime.
Grilikhes’ morning starts with an inspection of the lounge, located on 247 Eldridge Street between Houston and Stanton Streets. He checks to see if everything is in working order, from the sound system to the refrigerator, and once he is satisfied he moves on. Next, he tackles the supply closet. Toilet paper? Check. Napkins? Check. Enough liquor for the bar? Check.
After his daily routine of running around and ordering supplies, he is off talking to promoters and setting up events for the upcoming week. Then at 7 p.m. in comes the staff, ready to serve the customers that will flood the place at 8 p.m., the exact customers Grilikhes’ feels is the most important part to the success of a venue.
“That’s what makes a place successful, the regular customers,” said the 51-year-old industry veteran. “Those are the ones you gotta make sure are happy.”
And that’s the way Grilikhes’ approaches business- putting the customers first. “What aids to the success of a venue is people coming in and being comfortable,” he said. “A regular clientele, not the one-time clientele.”
But for the guys at Southpaw, a live music and entertainment venue located in the heart of Park Slope, its “plain old good management” that keeps a venue going.
“Everything that factors into a business as a whole [affects the success and failure of a venue],” said Matthew Roff, co-owner of the popular music spot. “All the way from the lease terms of the space, good staff, good booking and plain old good management.”
Since its inception in June 2002, the former 99-cent store space has been home to such acts as Sahara Hotnights, KRS-One, Supergrass, and Clinic. And just like Grilikhes, Roff and his partner, Mikey Palms, spend their days making sure Southpaw is raring to go when the crowd comes in and the show goes on at night. So much so that they will fix “anything and everything” that needs to be fixed themselves.
But it seems it is not just the regular customers or the dedication put into a venue that helps both Southpaw and Luv 24/7 thrive. According to Roff, the people that he and Palms work with at the venue, along with the prime location of the club have also helped the Brooklyn venue gain recognition.
“Other factors in our success [include] who we have working with us, such as
our incredible booker Todd Abramson, the notorious owner of the great venue Maxwell’s in Hoboken, NJ,” Roff said. “We…also factor in our location. We are in the middle of Park Slope…one of the fastest growing neighborhoods in Brooklyn and the city. It’s filling up with musicians and other lovers of the arts in general.”
For Grilikhes, success also means never letting the lounge run down, having the highest quality products for the bar and hiring a warm, productive staff. But that’s not all.
“Events are important because they absolutely aid to the success of a club,” he said. “Also, preparation. Preparation is key…don’t just open the doors, have a game plan.”
When asked what advice he’d give to a fresh, young mind looking to open their own music space, Roff and Palms had this to say: “Don’t do it, it’s harder than you think.”
“But we love it,” they added.