Sunday, 15 December 2013

Last Chapter

Here is a big spoiler for tomorrow people: The new name of Spiral Music Bar is going to be Lost in Budapest! Wow, would you not think that that name already exists about 10 minutes walk from that place, only opened in June 2013. It would be crazy to rename a place to an already existing one, wouldn’t it? Well, it looks like its not so… Scott London is working now for Spiral Music Bar, after he got fired from this place, that we have been working together for about 10 months in total.
In Vienna we came up with a concept and had some money to open a small place in Budapest, where people can come to and have fun, after experiencing what hospitality is abroad I felt like there would be a need for something like that in this city. Of course opening a business is not easy, but we just seemed to get along fine enough. Just before the opening, we had lots of difficulties already with Scott, as we had differences in the concept. In Vienna we had Scotts friend to make the logo for us, and then we started building it up. I was writing the blog and Scott was doing the videos. Back then he imagined a place where he is going to get the djs from around the world and although the bar is tiny and can only fit 30 people in it, he is great in making the most out of it, was saying that actually this is what is going to make the place unique. I guess, now it is all about the big venues again. Anyway, the investment for the bar was mostly mine, but it didn’t really matter, because we were both working hard for it, and it seemed like it is going to pay off as well. The first problems occurred when Scott was spending all the money before the opening night, so we were standing here with no budget as the bar opened. That was a source of a lot problems later on, as he realized 2 things: doesn’t matter even if you have an amazing concept, with a new business you just have to be patient and wait for it, and two, the money a bar makes in Vienna is not the money a bar makes in Budapest. 
After that we had a crazy summer with the building and the licences, and the goal we started with, or at least what I thought it was, was slowly fading away. Friends of mine were not welcomed in the bar anymore, as they were seen to be helping me and they spoke Hungarian with me, which is I guess totally unacceptable.  They got phone calls from Scott, saying they better not be coming here again, or else there are going to be problems.  These were the first times I realized I made a very big mistake going into business with him. Lots of times, I left the bar with him, and came back to a very short till or having lots of missing drinks and no stock. That was the second time I realized I made a mistake here. 
At this time things got very out of control between us and it led to a point where I had to get a report on him at the police for locking me out of the bar taking my keys away for both the flat and the bar saying he is going to do it by himself.
Of course during this period we didn’t make enough money to get all the bills and the rent paid, so my family helped us out, even when I called them I need money, because the till is not what it was when I left the bar, but I need to pay for the delivery, otherwise, there is no drink in the bar.  Or for that matter if it was for him, this place wouldn’t have even made it through the summer, as we had no money to pay for it.
I was staying away from the bar more and more, as it was impossible to work with him at this stage, and I was hesitating if I should just leave everything and start new, or should I fight for it, and get him off the company papers, and get his share. It was not an easy decision to make, and for the people that think I am a bitch for getting him out of here, I can ask: if you have an employee that is stealing money from you and has no sense of business whatsoever, what would you do? If that person is constantly abusing you, getting wasted at work and telling people you don’t even work in your own company, what would you do? Would you keep investing into it? I guess, I figured, with so much great help behind me, that after all for 3 years I had a dream to have a bar eventually. Ever since I started working in Amsterdam I knew this is what I really want to do.
Apparently, having a business is a very though thing to do, and I needed to thoughen up for it too.
By last week I knew, even if I actually come back with all the legal documents, that he doesn’t work here anymore, he is not going to end up on the street and probably the worst case is that he has to go back to England, where his family lives. The reason I got help with me to get him actually realize that he is off the contract is that whenever I came by myself, he would just get me out the place physically, saying it is not possible.
The day after he came back and stole the computer from the place, but I guess its okay, he said he wanted to make me upsetJ. I don’t think that when you actually have to leave a place, you can go around somewhere else and start doing it again with the same name that already exists, but maybe all of this is going to turn out well in the end!
I don’t know what is going to happen in the near future, but I am not afraid, if the names are going to change here and there is not the biggest problem on earth, although I do feel sad to this thing came to this end, but after this, just look to the future and we will see what it is going to bringJ!
Thanks for reading.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Lost Adventures @ the City Hall

First of all I would like to warn everyone in advance that I am still quite upset about everything that has happened, so it might leave a mark on what I write. Anyway, when I last wrote I think we were just still in the process of waiting for the Committee Meeting at the City Hall, where 3 lawyers basically decide in these legal things and they tell us where we can go from here. On Tuesday we got the electricity back, so we were already open and had a really good day in the bar with the english, australian and belgian customers we had in. First thing on Wednesday, we went to the City Hall, and asked the representative if all of our papers are fine and if there is anything else we can do. The answer was a weird nothing and all he said, is that the communal representative (kozos kepviselo) of the building was there the day before and she cleared all the votes and all the not clear things about the bar. I asked if there was a meeting and he said, nobody knows, but as far he heard we arranged a meeting with the city clerk (jegyzo), so we should just ask them what is going on. The reason for us to arrange this meeting to maybe get somewhere and finally talk to someone who is responsible for something that is happening. It seems like everyone is just putting responsibility on someone else saying it is not their fault. 
Still full of hope
After this, we just came to open the bar and the last information we had was that it also can happen that there is no meeting till the end of September. To be clear, this bar cant make it till the end of September, so we have to come to a conclusion before, but by law, they cant drag on a thing like this for a 120 days instead of 30. The City Clerk said we can meet, but we should meet earlier as she is busy at 2:30 when we were supposed to meet. Last evening I got a phone call saying there is going to be a meeting regarding the opening hours today and it says on the official site of the city hall as well that the topic of Lost in Budapest is there. We were told not to see the clerk as there is no point now, but we dont trust that much anyone anymore and thought at least we should present ourselves in order for them to hear both parties about the case (Erika is going there all the time and probably has friend in the city hall). 
We dressed up nice and went down there. I was VERY nervous, I hat all these official kinds of things and now our lives and business is on the line. Got mixed feeling, we told the lady how it was, and she said, they heard everything already before from different bars, it always goes the same way, we should cooperate more. I told het, we got 56% of the buildings support and we only dont get along with Erika, who refuses to talk to us and everyone else is on our sides, plus the building has a history which is not very fortunate for us. Absolutely no help from her side, at the end of meeting all she sad was on one hand there is all our money and business and on the other there is someones peace. 
Seriously, there is someone living in the building who is unemployed, basically we are paying for her benefits, and on the other hand there is us, who pay taxes, who work, want to trade in Budapest, make things better (hahahahahahaha naive) and we are ones who get knocked over by the authorities. If it is so, than Hungary is everything but entrepreneur friendly, and it is not worth it for anyone to take a risk in Hungary, because you are about to loose. It would be okay if she was the one living above us, but no, she lives on the 6th floor, the furthest of the bar, so there is NO WAY she is disturbed by any ways by us. 
Sooooo, after this me and Scott were arguing about whether or not to go to the Committee meeting, I really didnt want to, it is so upsetting that there are no words for it. After about an hour we decided to go. There was no one else in the meeting, only the people we already know from the city hall and 4 people on the Committee. As we were there they decided to put our application first. So, than this woman came, who is the Head of the Trading Department, very very very rude, doent even say hi, thinks above everyone women, who said, unfortunately they didnt give the votes to them, as they forgot, but as they see, they suggest they should decline our papers, because it is not clear which vote was when. So:

1. February 50.01% building votes for us having a licence till 2am, in return we pay the building 140 000 HUF a year for 5 years (700000 in total)
2. May 2nd-July3. Erikas votes 53% said they are against any of the shops in the building to be open after 22:00
3. July3/July10. 55.6% without the city hall 6.7% saying that they support us, we can be open till 2am, each signature collected by myself and Scott.

 So this was the order of the votes, but for them something was just not clear, they still hold our licence back. Going there yesterday, getting no answer if everything was okay with it, now not helping I seriously dont understand. What do they want money? It just makes us paralised knowing nothing again, and this was our chance to get it. They said, if we get the order in right they will make a decision next week. As being so trustworthy I would be quite surprised. So this is where we are at the moment, and if anyone has a person they know, who works in the 6th district City Hall, or someone who can give legal advice on what to do, it is more then welcomed. I never though I would become the one who is complaining, but there is no way I will let my bar go down over this now. We will still fight for it.... 

Monday, 22 July 2013

Let there be light!

On the set:)
One of the reasons for me not writing the blog again for a week is not pretty. Everyone knows how we had problems with our licence, with the woman who lives up on the 6th floor, and tries to make our lives miserable. So, last Wednesday we said we have enough. I had a conversation with the Communal Representative in the building to ask her if everything went alright with our request when it turned out, that the neighbour is accusing us now with paying off the officer in the city hall to get our stuff sorted quicker. Hah! This was just painful to hear. I am not going to lie about the stuff that happens to us recently, but it is crazy how many times I heard since we are in Budapest, to pay someone to make things move quicker. Now, I am not that naive, and I know how things can work, but it also sad to think, nothing is possible if you actually just want things to get sorted on their own way. It is their job to give us the licence, to check the hygiene and to sort things out for a new business. Just to make it clear, we havnt paid anyone for anything, on the other hand, probably everything would go quicker if we would. Also, as a new business, we have to save all the money we can, and we cant pay people to do their jobs what we already pay for through tax. I know, it is no an ideal world....

Anyway, we headed down to the city hall, where we were so pissed off, as the administrative person who represents our business told us, he still hasnt done the check on the votes. Remember we have been waiting for it for 3 months now!! But surprisingly when he heard what people say about him being paid by us, things started to move faster and he wanted to report the woman, as this can actually mean his job for him too. We wrote a report and then went to the police, and we gave a report in as well, saying she is causing us a lot of money by trying to make our business go down and making things go slower at the city hall. Maybe she is not going to like the taste of her own medicine. I think in the past couple of months I became more and more aware of the fact, that being nice to people doesnt always work, and that there are many, who just dont want others to succeed. I am sorry, but there is a woman, who is about 35-40, sitting home, unemployed and all she does is going to court for stupid reasons and sue people, making them feel like shit and this is what makes her happy. It is a very sad life to live, and it feels like no one really understands that all we have is in this bar now, and it costs a lot to have it and if we loose it, we literally loose everything with it. Another fun story from the police station:
An australian guy comes in, kinda lost, only speaks english, we help him what he wants, someone stole his phone needs a report for it for the insurance. An interpreter comes out, middle aged woman:
-What can I do for you?
-My phone got stolen on the tram.
-So, you lost it.
-No. It got stolen.
-Have you been drinking alcohol? 
-No, my phone got stolen I need a report.
-We cant help, I hope you know that.

But this was only the beginning. We went back to the bar from the police station feeling a bit better, and organised, so I took the dogs for a walk, but only when I got back to the bar I heard Scott shouting from the end of the road. There were two people coming out and they cut our electricity off, saying we dont have a contract. It was 3 hours before the quiz suppose to starts, the phone was dying, I took care of all the paperwork, and really thought that we do have a contract. So, running off to the ELMU office, finding out it just closed, we called them and they said, it is true, they sent us a letter saying we were missing a paper for the contract. The only thing is that we have never seen this there is nothing to do, we have to wait till tomorrow and have a nice candle light quiz. I enjoyed it quite a lot, and the fact we still had cold(ish) beer and ice helped a bit...
In the morning we started at the electricity company, where they said, we have to do the contract, then you have to wait 1-2 days before we can pay and get the contract. After that is done, t takes officially 8 days to put it back on. We told them it not possible, we have to pay our rent, tax and so on, if we loose a trade for a weekend it almost means shutting us down forever. But there is nothing to do, we started begging, shouting, being nice, nothing worked, we were told that they are going to call once it is done. The phone remained silent, and talking to the hotline just proved it even more, nothing can be done on a weekend. The fact it is a business and our income and life just dont make any sense, how can they just cut off without warning when they had my phone number? What if someone has kids and they do that to them in their home for the weekend? Is there seriously not a single person who can do something about these? We paid our bills straight away, and it wasnt even a crazy amount. The weekend went by, and we made ourselves useful, did a lot of revamp on the bar, organised everything and Scott did his usual amazing artwork, so the bar looks cooler then ever. This is the plus side of the whole story:)! But it is not over yet, since probably we are not even gonna get the electricity back today only tomorrow if we are lucky. So, that is the story of the last week, we really seriously thought about giving p, but it cant go any worse (knock knock), so fingers crossed we are about to have the time of our lives:)!!

Dont forget, Friday we have a party on: LNF @ Lost in Budapest

This video is made on how to open up a new business, I tried to say a couple of useful stuff:)

Sunday, 14 July 2013

What a weekend!

We are over the weekend, I am mostly just gonna let the pictures speak for themselves:). Lets just say, that we had Scotts friends over from England on a stag-do and also we had my good friend Viki and her friends booked in for Saturday night on a hen night. The combination already let us think that it is going to be an exciting one! 

Girls on the Hen Night

England vs Hungary
On Friday we had our licence from the city hall till 3am, so we were excited for the night, especially because Scotts friends were about to come over as they stayed in the Sofitel for a couple nights on a stag-do, 10 of them from Brighton. It was already late when they came around and quickly had a lot of Jaeger-bombs before they headed to go out to party. We thought its better for us as well just to join them and them around as they were really cool:). First we went to Hooters, but it was already closing, so just had a drink and went on to Hell Baby. I didnt really know what to expect, just heard a few stuff about the place before, but when we got to the entrance we realised that it is not so easy to get in, and there is a face control. Unfortunately they didnt want to lt us in, because Scott wasnt dressed according to the dress code, but finally speaking hungarian did the magic, but they told us that next time we wont be able to make it in. Anyway, long story short, lots of drinks, bit of dancing, some people got lost, but we had fun. Scott had the worst hangover the next morning, and we had to get ready for the hen-night, preparing the Mojitos etc. 

More stags
Again, we were standing here at the bar at 10pm, and the street just looked dead, we were a bit afraid that our concept is just not going to work in Budapest, and already though about what are options are if we are not doing the bar. It wasnt very nice to talk about this, and we always have to remember that we have to be patient and try to advertise us as much as we can, so more and more people will know about Lost in Budapest. At around 10pm the girls came over before their limo ride, had a quick drink and we had the Brighton boys back starting drinking again. We were a bit worried about the rest of the night, as we knew there were 2 male strippers coming for the girls, and we were not sure if the english guys are going to handle it alright or not:). But just as it started, they had their taxi coming to take them to the island. I put a couple pictures up of the strippers, it was very funny:). Three of the guys from Brighton stayed here and we had another hungarian stag-do coming in, and they were drink battling, drinking Jaeger-bombs and Tequila. The bar got very busy and it had a great atmosphere with the people we like to have around. At about 3am we had to close and we were very tired, but at least we made some money, so we can start sorting out finances, which is going to take some time:). But we can finally see the end of the tunnel and it seems promising:)!
My first Mojitos in lost
We also have 2 more new acts arranged for the next weeks, and we are thinking about the Lost in... party event series, which I would really love to do, it is basically different themed nights such as Lost in the 80s, Lost in Hollywood etc. The people who know me knows I love theme nights, so I would really like to arrange them once every month. What would you guys think about it? 
Dont forget, we have the Lost in Quiz Part 2 coming up on Wednesday, so that should be a good one again, really looking forward to it!!
Thats it for now, tomorrow we are off, I think we desperately need a day off:)! 

Burger Monster

Thursday, 11 July 2013

We are not Lost!!

Have to catch up finally with the blog, sorry for disappearing for so long after the opening, but overwhelming is not even the word describing what the last month was like. Finally it looks like we are going to be okay on the legal side of things and our opening hours, but it has been a long way of being only open officially till 10 o clock and having private parties just to make a bit of income on the weekends. It is definitely not the way we imagined it to be. 
Since we are open, we had crazy nights, just like having the 30 english guys around for 3 days, as they stayed next door in the hotel on their stag-do. We are getting to know our boundaries as well, what we can handle, how it is to have our own bar, and coming to a conclusion that it is not such a good idea for us to drink on shift. Actually this past month was even a bigger emotional roller coaster then the first one when we were only revamping the bar. Now it is all about us making it successful. When we first sat here and had no customers at all till about 9pm, we were going a bit crazy, thinking what have we got ourselves into, and how will we ever see people here. After that we had some busy nights and great events, that gave us hope and patience when we are about to think that this is never going to work. Also we realised how quick money goes on things, such as the tax, rent, drink orders, and without being busy all the time it is hard to stay focused and not panic. On the plus side we met so many cool people from around the bar, and we have a couple of great djs and artists coming around and playing.
If we look at the bar we have come such a long way, it is very exhausting to keep up everyday (I dont succeed sometimes, but then Scott is here to cheer me up) and think positive. 
New Bar Look:)
As I already wrote about it before, we were due to get our extended licence on the 27th June, but instead of that, we were told, that there is something wrong with the paper we gave in from the building, so we have to confirm it, but there was a complication with the house, and for a week it all looked like we are going to loose the licence and have to shut at 10pm every night which would be just a death sentence for the bar. What we had to do was get a signature from the owners of the building stating they allow us to be open. Now, this wasnt easy at all, and it took us over a week, making a crazy phone bill calling everyone, when most of the flats are empty and no one really knows how to reach the person responsible for the property. Yesterday we finished with it, got more than 55% instead of 51%, and we got to know most of the tenants and I can say, they are pretty cool:)! So, through here as well, thanks for them for supporting us, and taking their time to come around and talk to us. 

Now, we are quite broke, there is no nicer way of putting it, and it is very annoying that Scott lost all his money on the flat in Vienna, since they were not able didnt want to get new tenants in the flat, and also I lost a bigger amount of money in the past, which we could use now to get the bar in good position again. We are very happy with our events, we had a quiz, had Kensho Coast with an amazing guitar concert and we are glad that we can say our customers are 50% foreigners and 50% hungarians, just the way we wanted it. 
Future plans
We are very busy every day and it is shit, that when we open the bar, we are already over a full day, giving out flyers in front of the hostels, take the dogs for a walk, Scott cleans the bar and get ready for the night. We realised now, that it is going to take time for people to know about Lost in Budapest, so the journey just started on the way to create a unique bar experience in Budapest! We still say take a risk live the dream, but sometimes we have to tell it ourselves more so we keep our spirits high:)!! 

Welcome back everyone on the blog, from now on I will write down everything again on how we are getting there:)!!!

Monday, 3 June 2013

its all good But..........

Need to explain something to everyone about Lost In Budapest Project its not been the best life situation setting up the bar etc as me and Bori have worked our asses off for 8mths saved the money we could and even lost more due to the fact of other none planned events but in life their is always more ups and downs but I believe we have something very special and real its a real adventure and what we both achieved in 30 days revamping lost etc was breathtaking the bar is amazing with the best team behind it and i love Bori more then life its self but I will not have people tell me how to run my business friends,Families etc I have worked 18 hr days every day for the past 30 days no sleep etc nearly killed myself but got through the tuff times and as i say Man up and achieved our goal Bori was amazing with all the paperwork info legal docs etc and I did the pr and art designs it completed the deal the last 3 days have been crazy busy and very very successful landing some real pr deals for massive future scope for lost people say I am a dreamier and think to big but why you have one chance in life and I cant and wont waste my life anymore yeah I have a past like everyone but now is the time to turn everything around and be successful lost in budapest will be very successful because me and Bori believe in what we can and will do but people who dont just move on and do your own thing I will die before I see lost go under LOST IN BUDAPEST INTERNATIONAL BAR INTERNATIONAL SOUND its all about respect and respecting the venue and we wanna be the best and most professional Bar Venue around showcasing everyones talents around xx

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Future Plans for Lost Festivals,Tours,Club Nights Plus Much Much More

Big Plans in the pipe line for Lost In Budapest Connecting Brighton UK / Budapest Check it out!!!!