Creekside BarNovember 17, 2011
Cocktail Lounge of the Year Entry
Name of Bar: Creekside Bar
Location: Brecksville, Ohio
Ownership/Parent Company: Creekside Restaurant & Bar
Square Footage: 1600
Open Date: Sept. 15, 1992
I am nominating Creekside Bar in the Cocktail Lounge category for the 2012 Nightclub & Bar Awards.
Creekside Restaurant & Bar has been operating since 1992 and we are celebrating our 20th year anniversary next February. This year, we are having a record breaking year with overall bar sales up 13%.
Our elegant upscale cocktail bar brings the look and feel of a bar you would normally find in a downtown location to the suburbs. Our guests enjoy an experience unlike anything else in the area.
From the waterfalls on the wall to the artwork to the unique lighting, Creekside Bar is not something you will usually find in the suburbs. The look and feel is upscale while being inviting at the same time. As you enter our complex, the bar is the first thing you see and is visually stimulating and provides the energy for our entire business. Our restaurant overlooks a very scenic creek and since the bar is located in the front of the restaurant, customers cannot see the terrific view. Therefore, we brought the water element inside with three cascading waterfalls on the wall behind the bar.
To make the bar more inviting, we added seating with a soft leather sofa and chairs. This has become a gathering area within the bar. Under bar rope lighting, smoked glass windows and decorative candles all add to the lounge atmosphere. Creekside Bar was featured on a local Cleveland television show.
Our bartenders provide the friendliness and top notch customer service that keep our customers coming back. If a customer has been in more than once, most of the time our bartenders will remember your name and drink. Our bartenders work as a team and not only provide service to customers in the bar, but also provide drinks for our restaurant and party room. All of our bartenders are involved in developing new signature drinks with interesting ingredients and presentations. They have the freedom to try new things (bacon infused vodka for bloody Marys did not go over so well!)
We have weekly drink features and monthly wine and beer specials. The bartenders take the time to meet with the servers to review all of the bar specials including the ingredients and the taste profile. We have regularly scheduled wine tastings with the serving staff so they are able to effectively communicate our wine selections.
We infuse many vodka’s and tequila’s for our signature drinks. Our bartenders train our serving staff on how to sell these unique infusions to our customers. We believe in providing as much training as possible to our bartending staff as well as exposing them to educational experiences. Our staff regularly attends local wine tastings and education seminars put on by our distributors. Our staff also has attended the Nightclub & Bar show in Las Vegas, as well as the National Restaurant show in Chicago.
Our beverage menu has many unique and interesting items. A great deal of time and effort goes into developing this menu so customers have many new items to try. We generally make changes to this menu every six months. A cornerstone of our signature cocktails are our infused liquors. We infuse vodka and tequila to provide interesting and flavorful drinks.
Besides our infusions, some of our most popular selections include wine flights and Martini flights. These make great presentations and when other customers see these they always ask about them. We also offer what we call “Creekside Crushes”. The basis for these drinks is crushed fruit that is done in plain view of the customer. This is another example of customers visually being stimulated with our drinks.
In the summertime we change our beverage menu over to include a wide selection of Mojito’s, flavored Margaritas and home-made adult lemonades. We have a large deck overlooking the creek and these are always a hit.
From our drinks to our food, the Creekside Bar provides a tremendous value to our customers. Our drinks are reasonably priced and when you add in our happy hour specials and daily specials, or customers receive a great deal.
Our daily drink specials include:
• Stop Whining Tuesdays-A selection of wines at retail pricing, most at $12 or under. We typically sell 30-40 bottles of wine per night with this promotion.
• Martini Madness Thursdays-We serve a wide selection of martinis for $5.55. Again, another very successful daily special for us.
What we have become most famous for is our happy hour. Not only do we provide discounted drinks, but we provide a $1.99 bar menu that provides a wide variety of food. Our chef changes up the menu every two weeks and customers cannot wait to see what is on the new menu.
We have been recognized in several media outlets for our outstanding happy hour http://happyhourcleveland.com/reviews/creekside.asp. The Plain Dealer newspaper in Cleveland does weekly features on the best happy hour in town. Our happy hour was rated 5 out of 5, which is the highest you can get.
By any measurement, the Creekside Bar is a tremendous success. As previously mentioned, this will be a record breaking year in the bar with sales up over 13%. Every category has shown significant growth including beer, wine, mixed drinks and food.
I am very proud of Creekside Bar and what we have accomplished. It is quite an achievement being in business for 20 years, and the Creekside Bar continues to set the standard in the suburbs.