8-Apr-2000 (Sat)

On Tuesday, we discovered that our refrigerator had stopped working. Specifically, it had stopped cooling, and started heating: apparently it had been blowing hot air at the beer for several days before we noticed. We had a fridge guy come have a look at it, and, surprise surprise, the compressor is shot. "You wouldn't believe how much dust was inside that thing," he said. "Oh yes I would," I said. Apparently you're supposed to have the things serviced every three months; the previous owners hadn't so much as dusted it in four years.

I'm starting to wonder if I actually bought anything that works.

Well, we were considering getting a bigger fridge anyway, so that we could run subterranean lines from the kitchen to the bars for beer: that way the kegs can always stay in the back, and nobody has to lug them through the crowds at the club during the night. To do that, we'd need more room in the fridge.

The lines that carry the beer from the back to the front are pretty cool, they're called "glycol lines" (no, I don't know what that means) and the lines themselves are refrigerated, so you don't lose all the beer that sits in the pipeline over night: except for the first cup or so, which will be foamy because of gravity, it's as good as if it had been in the keg all along. It's expensive stuff, though: on the order of $90/foot.

Most places (including the DNA) do this sort of thing already with sodas and mixers: the concentrated syrup and juice boxes will be in a closet somewhere rather than behind the bar, and the concentrate is forced through tubes by a CO2 tank. They are then mixed with water, chilled, and fizzy-fied at the bar.

This week we also learned more about all the legal complications that exist between liquor distributors and bars. Like so many permitting issues, it's all very strange. Presumably this legal tangle stretches all the way back to Prohibition.

For example, I'll bet you assumed that bars are able to buy liquor more cheaply than ordinary people can buy it at the store, didn't you? After all, they buy it in bulk. Well, no! It turns out that bars pay more for liquor than you would pay for it at CostCo, because there's an extra 5-cents-per-drink tariff tacked on there for some reason. And of course, to prevent the obvious workaround, bars are only allowed to buy their liquor from licensed liquor distributors, they can't just go pick it up at a store. Do that, and you can lose your license. The bottles also have to be exactly one liter, for some reason I don't understand (sometimes the bottles are labeled "bar liter", which makes me wonder whether a "bar liter" is defined to be different than a "liter liter." That wouldn't surprise me at all.)

On the hygiene side, the place is now both clean and exterminated, and you can't imagine how happy that makes me. We hired a totally kick-ass cleaning crew who scrubbed out all the nooks and crannies, and the place is immaculate. Well, let's say, immaculate for a garage. But still, it's pretty darned good. We also had an exterminator come in and take care of that pesky roach problem. They coated the club with boric acid, which as I understand it, is a dessicant rather than a poison, so what it does is suck all the moisture out of little insect bodies so that they can't breathe. He said that the worst it would do to a mammal would be to cause a dry mouth. It may be a few weeks before they're all dead, but they're on the way out.

By an amazing coincidence, the exterminator we called at random out of the yellow pages happened to be the guy who keeps Za Spot, the pizza place next door to the DNA, bug free. Za doesn't have roaches, so that was all the endorsement we needed.

Oh, we got a call from the police just letting us know that they've already received noise complaints about the DNA. This is a good trick, since we haven't been open once since we took over ownership. Also apparently some anonymous tipster called them to complain that we had "ripped out all of the existing soundproofing." I expect we're going to have to deal with lies and deceit like this all the time, and I should just get used to it, but it's just so lame!

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