Open Letter November 9, 2011Daniel Patterson
We’re opening a bar! Located at 2216 Broadway in Oakland, directly next to Plum restaurant, Plum Bar will feature crafted cocktails and a menu of snacks, shareable dishes, heartier fare and desserts.
Plum and Plum Bar are intended to be neighborhood gathering places that are distinguished and supported by the community – you and your friends. To celebrate the new space, we are opening up the development process to your participation by inviting you to become a Seatholder.
The term “Seatholder “was created by my friend Scott Kester for his upcoming bar in New York City, the Elevens. Scott designed Plum and Plum Bar, as well as Coi and Haven (scheduled to open in December in Jack London Square, Oakland). I was inspired by Scott’s idea of raising money for a bar—a Seatholdership—by seeking contributions from its community in advance, kind of a modern day barn-raising. The Seatholdership facilitates a sense of proprietorship and ownership. A Seatholder contributes money up front , which is used to build the business, or in our case, since Plum has already been open for over a year, to help with the costs incurred expanding into its neighboring space for Plum Bar. In return, the Seatholder is accorded primary access to reservations, invitations to special events, and a discount for the life of the business in exchange for giving money that one would likely spend at the establishment, regardless, over time. If one patronizes the business enough, the Seatholdership pays back measurably. Most importantly, however, is the sense that each person who contributes is a part of the business.
The concept of communities supporting the businesses within, which in turn support the communities, is a distinctly American way of doing things, one that’s been around for generations, but that’s been lost in the corporatization and disconnection of our society over the last several decades.
This is an experiment. Seatholdership is a new idea that, if it takes off, could allow many talented and hard-working entrepreneurs to start their own businesses by relying on the support of their friends, neighbors, customers and communities. People can decide the kinds of businesses they want in their cities, and those businesses will, in turn, support the communities from which they originate. (For example, between Plum and Haven, the businesses will create almost 100 jobs for Oakland. Beyond that, the restaurants support many others: companies that brew beer and distill spirits; sell tea, coffee and wine; make dairy products and bake bread; grow vegetables; raise animals; and so many others.)
At Plum, becoming a Seatholder means that, for $500 now, you get 20% off your bill for the life of the business.
To find out more please fill out the form and we will contact you personally.
Plum Bar opens 11.11.11