Before I started working with new staffs, I was crushed with anxiety that I should keep running the bar, the same way as the previous manager did. Especially when customers who were enjoying his night, who were also musicians as him, who wanted to talk about serious topics or who wanted to listen to his great music.. came to bar Ghetto. I didn’t know what I could do for them and all I could do was to feel sorry and apologize towards them. Of course, I haven’t seen a lot of customers since that time but to my delight, there still are customers that continued to come to Ghetto.
I was starting to understand little by little when I saw people who still came to Ghetto that they didn’t come here for meeting me, but they came here because they like this place. As a rule, like I mentioned in a past story, which we decided when we started this place, this bar Ghetto would become a bar that can connect each person and that can help you to make friends before you go back home. Things which I have to do are not talking about my story to each customer but letting each customer sit down on the next seats of another customer and let them become friends while enjoying some alcohol and Kanpai (Cheers) together.
When I was abroad for almost 2 years, It was very hard to make new friends at the bar for me who can not speak English well, who is a fucking shy person, even though, I sat down next to another customer. I felt humiliated every time when I couldn’t talk to anybody and I drank by myself, and I decided that when I came back to Japan, I will be a bartender who can talk to the customer who is drinking alone. I also wanted to be able to introduce each customer to each other and to be a translator between people who speak a different language (I was helped by that kind of person so many times…). No matter where they come from, no matter what language they speak, no matter the age, job, and who they are. Because everybody is the same if they drink for the same price at the same bar counter.
According to the different bartenders of each day, Ghetto was having different colors such as each day of the week. However, even though I had new staff, the only 4 rules, which we decided at that time, were all the things that I wanted them to entrust with, on their day.
1. Connect each person and help each customer who comes to our bar, make at least one friend before they go back home.
2. Open the bar at least until 5:00 am (To care for the customers until their first train) and close the bar when the last customer would be satisfied and gone.
3. Hold a full moon party called Ghetto-sai (月灯祭) every month. (Saturday of the full moon’s week)
4. Do freely whatever you want but for the good of the customers.
For me, It was not important if they have a skill or knowledge about making cocktails (because I also still don’t have it) but I thought that the important thing is that they can communicate with all the customers, in the same way, connecting each customer to become friends, be able to put themselves next to the customer who came there alone. (If any of the staff has some skill which they want to express at the bar it would be amazing.) Unfortunately, Ghetto is a very tiny bar and we only have one counter but that’s why, we should drink friendly with all the customers and if they can not do it, it is very sad and we should do our best to let them not feel lonely.
Even though I wrote those long sentences a while back, they were just a concept of the bar Ghetto since we started that place and my previous partner and all the staff kept doing it until now. But I thought that those were not enough to keep the bar running well because I cannot do anything special to satisfy the customers by myself. So, I had to do something new, a thing only I could do.
to be continued…