No, I don’t mean the kind at the mall. I personally avoid those like the plague unless I’m going there to have hairs on my body dealt with. You know, I go to the same place to get pampered by my favorite hair fairy and to chat with a nice lady while she rips “other” hairs from my nether regions using hot wax. Otherwise, you can keep your mall shopping.
I’m talking about jerks of a different ilk. The sort who should be good neighbors, but aren’t.
You see, I own a bar. Well, I own a brewery, with a “beer bar” (Tap Room) attached. I have plenty of free parking because I chose the location away from the crazed downtown madness of very-much-not-free parking. My business is located in a former appliance warehouse, behind a store that sells and repairs bicycles. Herein lies my problem.
The bike shop has about 25 parking spots and is open most nights until 8 p.m. I have about 60 spots and open at 4 or noon depending on the day. My business has been, in a word, successful. We have many times more than 60-cars’ worth of folks inside drinking my brewer’s amazing concoctions, playing foosball, throwing darts, watching sports or whatever.
Like that night last week when I had one of those “Oh, dear Lord please do not let the fire marshal show up tonight” sort of night. I was hosting a public radio forum on K-12 education in Michigan. Ann Arbor is lousy with teachers so they packed the place. It was moderated by a well-known political correspondent. I am a huge fan grrl and was loving it AND the fact that I could look around and see something like 75% new faces in my establishment.
And my “neighbors” call and complain that my patrons are in their parking lot and the tow truck has been called. They did the same thing when I threw a hugely well attended 1st anniversary party. A**holes. So I had the moderator make an announcement, about 10 folks came out, and I stood in the snow, apologized, got them situated in the empty bank lot next to the bike shop. The bank that has welcomed my after hours parking, no problem. This bike shop at most has 2 cars in its gigantic lot at any given time. Seriously.
This being “Ann Arbor” (read: over educated, underemployed and vocal—oh and HUGE bike riders) 90% of the nice people who came out of the bar, missed a solid 20 minutes of discussion to move their cars from a nearly empty lot took the time to stick their heads in the door of said bike shop to remind those folks that they would be taking their over-priced bike buying dollars elsewhere. I love the power of the consumer.
Bike shop owner called to apologize. Too late. Damage done. I blog as The A2 Beer Wench and have a huge reach and issued a teensy little PSA on my blog the next day reminding folks that they really should never, ever park in the bike shop lot. For any reason. The implication of course being: Even to buy a bike.
Don’t know whom they were messing with, did they?
And so you can see why I’m even ON this fine blog today, I’ll make the connection for you. I have a series of stories and one novel based in the craft beer industry. The Brewing Passion Series with Breathless Press includes:
The Tap Room (a Choose Your Romance Ending novel)
They chronicle the lives and loves of the 3 owners of the fictional Winter Street Brewing Company with a lot of heat, heart and humor—oh, and hops.
Check ‘em out. You won’t be disappointed.
If you’re in the Ann Arbor area, come by the Wolverine State Brewing Co. and ask for the Wench. But do NOT park in that damn bike shop lot, ok?
Microbrewery owner, beer blogger and journalist, mom of three teenagers, and soccer fan, Liz lives in the great middle west, in a Major College Town. Years of experience in sales and fund raising, plus an eight-year stint as an ex-pat-trailing spouse, plus making her way in a world of men (i.e. the beer industry) has prepped her for life as erotic romance author. When she isn't sweating beer inventory, sales figures or promotional efforts for her latest publication, doing pounds of laundry for her sweaty athletic children, watching La Liga on the Fox Soccer Channel, or trying to figure out what to order in for dinner, she can be found walking her standard poodles or doing Bikram Yoga. Liz loves her Foo Fighters Pandora station, and watching reruns of Deadwood, when there isn't any decent European football on the telly. If you want a beer education follow her: www.a2beerwench.com. For writing related stuff, including her backlist, go to: www.brewingpassion.com.