Two downtown bars have come up with a creative business idea that brings back the pre-pandemic luxury of “live music” while creating a new revenue stream.
Phog Lounge and Meteor are offering food delivery with the option of live music.
“Now that we’re locked down entirely, our only option is to bring the shows to the people,” says Ian Philips, co-owner of Meteor.
“We bring everything to you, all you need is to sit and watch. We set up amplifiers and a lighting system.”
When a customer orders one of its three foods and drink packages, ranging from $40-$125, a local musician arrives will at their front door and serenates them with songs. Customers can order consecutive packages and add food items a la carte.
“They are absolutely gob smacked that this is happening outside of their property. The neighbors are clapping from behind you after a song,” says Phog Lounge owner Tom Lucier.
This unique concept being dubbed “The Gravy Train” is not only helping the bars recoup their lost revenues, it also puts money in the pockets of musicians who have been out of work because of the pandemic. Artists earn a flat rate for the day plus tips from the customers.
"How it’s financially structured is really fair to the artists in this case and we're all doing really well," says guitarist Max Marshall. He performed once on “The Gravy Train” and will be back for another route on Sunday January 17th.
“I’ve never done nine shows in a day. That was really exciting because we got a chance to really be all over the city. ”
The service is currently only offered on Sundays. However due to a surging demand, more artists and food options are being added.
“Seeing people’s faces light up at the first live music they’ve almost experienced in a year has been really special,” says Phillips.