Monday, May 16, 2016

Nurse the Hate: Mephisto's

As we drove in the van this weekend Leo spotted a billboard for the current MegaBall Monster Enormo Super Jackpot total of $178 million dollars.  “Man… I sure would like to win the lottery.  I could finally make my dream come true of owning a bar.  Then I could have it fail and move onto the next thing to fail at.”  This was a moment of pure self awareness in that not only did he know the bar would end in spectacular failure but he would move on undeterred to his next epic misadventure.  There was one problem with his daydream though.  $175 million would be difficult to run through with a single location bar.  This was when the true brainstorm hit.

As anyone that has engaged in a 15-20 minute “shit talk” portion of Leo’s day knows, he has a wobbly plan for what he would do if he owned a bar/restaurant.  The quick pitch is this:  Mephisto’s, a place that combines casual dining with magic.  The dining room would feature waiters/waitresses that doubled as magicians.  Diners would make an order and eat in between frequent interruptions of magic tricks at their table from the server.  The logo and branding would focus on a hairless cat named Mephisto, which was never made clear to me on how it tied into magic.  In addition to the main restaurant area, there would be a gift shop area which would have an unusual amount of cat products interspersed with magic kits.  The concept was refined while driving around in Europe last Fall, at which point led Christoph to freak out and announce “I would burn that place to the ground the moment it opened.”  Christoph’s contention that magic and eating a meal have no place being mixed and would only be annoying did have a cold logic to it, though I will admit burning the restaurant to the ground seemed a harsh response.

It was quickly concluded that $175 million would enable Leo to launch a 25-30 market grand opening simultaneously.  The grand plan gained steam quickly.  Mephisto’s with this much initial capital would be able to be much more than just a cat restaurant with second rate magician servers.  It would be, in Leo’s words, “anything you want it to be”.  Mephisto’s would offer happy hour bar specials in the lounge.  There would be a sand volleyball court.  Sushi bar.  Live entertainment.  Indoor water park.  Quiet areas for more intimate dining.  A dance club.  A sports bar.  Topless dance.  Laser tag.  Bourbon tastings.  Children’s birthday parties.  Microbrewery.  Breakfast.  Bowling.  Wine bar.  Mechanical bull.  Burlesque.  Hot tubs.  Puppet shows.  All you can eat crab legs.  Tacos.  Heavy metal music festivals.  Book clubs.  Dart leagues.  Tiki bar.  It’s all there done simultaneously.

I pointed out to Leo that with the sheer square footage necessary for such a sweeping vision that he might run into trouble finding suitable locations.  This is when the obvious idea of creating different types of Mephisto’s took flight based on the available location.  Each level of Mephisto’s would be put into an extremely confusing grid to theoretically help consumers understand the variety of options available at each Mephisto’s.  For example, the “Mephisto’s Gold” located in Myrtle Beach would have a water park, live music area, strip club, chapel, pizzeria, ramen, Kids Korner and video poker machines.  Meanwhile a “Mephisto’s Deluxe” by the Orlando Airport would have an indoor waterpark, horseshoe pits, Medeval jousting, taco bar, upscale French restaurant, sake bar, and “adults only erotic playground”.  See?  It’s quite simple.   

Each Mephisto’s would be created by Leo on site with whatever whim he had at particular moment.  They would all have a vaguely similar look with the hairless cat and annoying roving second rate magicians, but each would have an ever changing list of features.  This would be supported with an enormous advertising campaign that would have the vibe of a family fun park with a light rock jingle.  “Go to mephitsto’s…. Mephisto’s place for ribs!” Enter announcer for tag line “Mephisto’s is anything you want it to be!  All week 25 cent wings at the martini bar.  Wednesday don’t miss a special Jenna Jameson feature at Mephisto’s After Dark!  Thursday Bachman Turner Overdrive.  Friday sand volleyball leagues are forming now!  And all week long 24 hour breakfast!  Get your Mephisto’s Lucky Savers Club card in the gift shop and accrue points for discounts on magic kits purchased any Mon-TH online!  Shipping costs not included.  Enter to win a ride on the Mephisto’s jet!  And don’t forget our 3 for 2 Happy Hour!  Mephisto’s!  Anything you want it to be!  (back to jingle)  Go to Mephisto’s… Mephisto’s place to dance!”

I think, God willing, if Leo can win that lottery jackpot we can get that money spent and have those clubs folded up within 18 months.  But what an 18 months it would be…


At May 17, 2016 at 3:26:00 PM EDT , Blogger Frank said...

Good see the fine taste in live music with Bachman Turner Overdrive. On a Thursday, no less. Those are connections that only 25 years in rock n' roll can ring about. Now THAT is true magic.

At May 17, 2016 at 6:36:00 PM EDT , Blogger Greg Miller said...

So I'm getting a frozen marguerita over by the French Bistro watching magic when this conga line goes by into the puppet theater. I join in as I gotta go that direction to get my dry cleaning anyway and who do I run into but Pete Rose signing autographs with Zsa Zsa Gabor over by the tether ball bar area.
- actual conversation from Mephisto's

At May 17, 2016 at 7:03:00 PM EDT , Blogger Greg Miller said...

So my kid is waiting in line to see Santa at the ramen place while I'm playing pop-a-shot. Next thing I know my pizza order is ready so I gotta go all the way back past the rock climbing wall and cut through the gastropub so I can get back in time to get the kid's Santa photo wrapped at the gift shop. How would I know that they moved the gift wrap center to the Carolina Pit Barbeque and tequila shot station by the sports bar?

At May 18, 2016 at 1:38:00 AM EDT , Blogger old man taylor said...

Enrollment would increase in auctioneering schools.

At May 18, 2016 at 12:37:00 PM EDT , Blogger Greg Miller said...

Now I don't normally ride bumper boats, especially as drunk on microbrew as I was, but I had an hour to kill until the play and my kid was at his bowling league, so I say what the hell? Next thing I know I'm watching Pat Benetar doing a duet with Two Live Crew at the topless pool while I'm knocking back a snifter of cognac. Thank god the valet found my car over by the laser tag exit.


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