Monday, 9 March 2015
A Whole Lot Of Love (and what happens now...)
On Friday, The Fleeting Arms opened its doors.
A new arts and community space made, loved and imagined by the creative community of York and surrounding area.
That is a huge thing for everyone within and without that community to be proud of - that this has happened and that it is happening, right now. That grass roots, open space, wide armed and welcoming thing is going on. Outside the usual bounds of hierarchy, competition, capitalism - there is a new arts space open and up and running and there to be used.
For anyone who is reading this with a drink near by, have a little toast.
And Friday night was glorious. Full of wonderful people - old, new, borrowed and blue - and wonderful conversations. A good amount of drinking. And a lovely amount of poetry, music, jazz and a midnight ceilidh.
So. We're open. Next?
On Friday 13th March we welcome The Big Smoke Band. A band made up of 50% Holy Moly And The Crackers and 50% Buffalo Skinners. A band full of old time folk tunes, whiskey, guitars, fiddles and damn sweet harmonies - and a special cocktail from us alongside. They'll be on from 8pm, so get on down.
On Saturday we will have a pool tournament, because we have a pool table. We'll play as knock out rounds. More rules and regs soon. But with a good soundtrack and maybe some challenges along the way. Fancy dress? Is a fancy-dress-pool-tournament a thing?
And cocktails. Our bar manager, Max, is a cocktail maker - so expect a few tasty treats along the way.
If you're reading this to catch up on what's happening, then we'll keep you updated. Head to Facebook.com/fleetingarmsyork for regular info.
For those of you who want the nuts and bolts, see below.
We are up and running.
Brian, Brian, Max (our bar manager) and I (Alex), sat down yesterday and did lots of adult things like maths and schedules.
Our BAR opening times will be
Tues - Sat / 12pm-11pm
Sun / 12pm-8pm
Mon / Close
This made the most of Max and Amy's (our other bar manager) time behind the bar.
The building can be used inside and outside of those times for rehearsals, meetings, RnD, general work etc. That is absolutely fine. We will need someone in the space to make sure everything is okay until the bar opens. If anyone thinks they will regularly work there one or two mornings a week, then let us know. All bookings are done through a very simple diary in the space.
Lots of people are interested in putting work on with The Fleeting Arms. This is brilliant. We will keep trying to find a good way of talking about it and keeping everything up to date. Please keep spreading the word and, now, direct folks to Facebook.com/fleetingarmsyork for regular info, and to firstname.lastname@example.org to get in touch.
We would like to keep being transparent about money, time and programming etc. We would like to offer all spaces for free - performance, rehearsal, exhibitions, performance etc - that's important to us.
We need to clear £1,500 per week over the bar. At 50% gross profit on each drink, that covers our running costs of approx £750 pw. So, we need a good night like Friday night every week to help hit this target - one or two events a week which will pull folks in and have a good night at the bar. This weekend we banked £1,080 of which £700 came from the opening night.
Today we ordered £1,900s of booze, so we will be improving our bar offer - looking at more craft / interesting bottled beers, nice wines and some tasty cocktails. We are required to pay for the drinks orders upfront, so we will be considering cash flow in that respect.
Brian will be setting up car parking charges for the car park behind the pub straight away. These will be rented out and will help to cover our costs on rates.
There are new things that we need to look at - online listings and listings of what's coming up in the The Fleeting Arms, blackboards outside the pub with upcoming events etc. So if you'd like to help and / or be a part of this bit, then please do.
Finally, a huge and very heartfelt thank you for coming on this journey so far. The hard bit is, in many ways done, and the fun is all to come. Hopefully see you there soon.
Much love and here's to a glorious 6 months or so ahead!