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May 25, 2010

Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: I'd buy that for a dollar!

a bull and bear share a sandwich. punny!

Today's column by Owl Meat Gravy made me think of that awesome variety show on "Robocop", where the host's catchphrase is "I'd buy that for a dollar!" I would! Would you? Here's professor Owl Meat, with a dissertation about bar-cenomics:

What if drinks were priced like stocks? What if prices varied by demand from minute to minute? Today's Tipsy Tuesday goes all Wall Street on your assets. Greed is good, but bier ist besser.

Sam Adams' stock (SAM) ranged from $27 to $63 in the last year. A bottle of Samuel Adams' beer, however, has been $5.25 all year at one local watering hole.

Exchange Bar recently opened in the Financial District in Manhattan. They set their prices according to demand, like stocks. The bar has a stock ticker-style display above the bar that shows the current prices of food and drinks ...

Imagine that a gaggle of arbitrageurs storm the joint and muster up 20 shots of Grey Goose. After their order, the price of Grey Goose would go up 25 or 50 or 75 cents. The more they order, the more expensive it gets. That's how the stock market works. Demand drives price. In contrast, the price of Absolut, for example, might drop 25 cents if the market is skewed towards Grey Goose that night.

All food and drinks have a base price. A pint of Guinness is priced at $6, but could fluctuate between $4 and $8 in 25 cent increments, depending upon how popular it is on a given night.

In my experience bar products that don't move just get older. I'm talking to you dusty bottle of Pimm's No. 1 Cup. Sometimes a bar might put something on special to get rid of it. The innovation here is that they are lowering prices to spur demand and cashing in on high demand.

A review of customer comments shows little interest in the gimmick. It may get attention from the press, but apparently cool bathrooms, awesome wings, and an appearance by some dude named Jeter is making the place a success. Of course, comments on sites like that might be mostly shills. It's amazing how similar the bar scene in back-water Baltimore is to fabulous downtown Gotham.

Sure, it's a gimmick, but it's an interesting one. This system punishes the trendy and die-hard brand loyalists. It rewards the flexible and thrifty. Given the number of unemployed stock brokers in New York, I can see the appeal. 

Speaking of gimmicks, if you haven't unloaded your spare Euros at Milan, you might consider doing so soon. The Euro is sinking like a paper canoe. It lost twenty percent of its value against the dollar in the last six months. Nice job, Greece. Thanks for civilization; may we introduce you to the concept of the budget? Opa!

You could also have a system where prices fluctuate based upon the number of people in  a bar. That would encourage people to show up when it's less busy. Happy hour does that in a crude way.

Now if only someone would invent a system that had a tool/meathead surcharge. Faux-hawk? Ka-ching. Neck tattoo? Ka-ching. Ascot? Ka-ching-ching. Backwards baseball cap? Bazinga. Popped collar? Bazinga-ching! Of course, if you have all of the above, you drink for free.

(Photo by Getty Images)

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 11:03 AM | | Comments (17)
Categories: Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays
        

Comments

Great title reference, Sam. I would never have remembered where that was from.

Professor Owl Meat? Uh oh, I'm going to have to come up with something really goofy next week to counterbalance that.

OMG- they have a bar like this in London as well. It's a great concept. I've looked over the past couple of years for the software to be able to do this.

There's a little place called La Bolsa in Barcelona that does this too. Loved it. We had a group of 20 there and we had a blast manipulating the prices. MUAHAHA

Awesome. That sounds like fun, kateebee. Sort of like a video game with benenfits.

State Street Brats in madison, WI does it with pitchers of beer. I think it's only once or twice a week though.

mmmmm, cheese curds...

What?

Haven't you ever seen the prices of Guinness fluctuate in March?

Then you have The Lehman Brothers of Happy Hour that would raise all non-happy hour drinks by a buck to counter the ones on discount. Whatever happened to them? Oh yeah, just like Lehman they are muerte

"Now if only someone would invent a system that had a tool/meathead surcharge. Faux-hawk? Ka-ching. Neck tattoo? Ka-ching. Ascot? Ka-ching-ching. Backwards baseball cap? Bazinga. Popped collar? Bazinga-ching! Of course, if you have all of the above, you drink for free."

No, you get taken into the back alley, beaten to within an inch of your life, and left in a dumpster.

Actually, there IS one bar--and many of us know it well--that scribbled up a prohibition against some of the above stuff. The original scribble got turned into a t-shirt that they sell.

No, you get taken into the back alley, beaten to within an inch of your life, and left in a dumpster.

Ha ha. If I haven't tweaked someone, I'm not doing my job. So what's the bar name?

If you're on Twitter, you might want to check out a user called @HeardAtMyBar. It's literally just dumb things people say at this guy's bar. Unsure what bar it is, but it's in Baltimore. Very funny.

http://pirategr.ehost.com/store/media/Max/Product/MOBRULES.gif

The beer stock exchange idea actually started here many years ago, and I have taken advantage on many occasions.

http://www.die-berliner-republik.de/en/

I'll second that. @HeardAtMyBar is one of my favorites to follow. The anonymity is key. People would keep their mouths shut if they knew where it was... or they'd say dumb things on purpose.

People are generally pretty stupid when faced with cool things.

Man, does Exchange have a crappy website.

There's some great stuff on @HeardAtMyBar. I liked "I'm not a liar, just a Facebook liar"

Yes, if that guy doesn't stay anonymous he will get beaten senseless.

Then you have The Lehman Brothers of Happy Hour that would raise all non-happy hour drinks by a buck to counter the ones on discount.

Ha ha. I forgot a bout that or maybe didn't realize it. Not that it mattered; it's not like we actually paid for even half our drinks.

@The Baltimore Chop...

People are generally pretty stupid when it comes to most anything, ha!

An interesting concept, go someplace to kick back with friends after you have haggled over the price of the drinks, every round.

Maybe they have an Auctioneer to price every drink sold.

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at erik.maza@baltsun.com. Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.
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