410 – Lessons Learned From Building The Biggest Bourbon Bar with Josh Howes and Tommy Craggs of Watch Hill Proper

The dream of owning a bourbon bar. That sounds pretty awesome doesn’t it? In this episode, we get to hear Watch Hill Proper’s journey. Joshua Howes and Tommy Craggs join the show to talk about the initial concept of the bar and the challenges they faced not coming from a restaurant background. We dive into the finer details of the business such as staff training, retainment, and revenue between food and beverage. But for us whiskey geeks, we talk about building a collection of unicorns that are proudly on display but also available by the pour.

Show Notes:

  • Above the Char with Fred Minnick (@fredminnick) talks about why Maker’s Mark doesn’t use age statements.
  • How did you get into bourbon and what’s your bourbon journey?
  • Did you know what the concept of the bar was going to be before you started?
  • What challenges did you face since you don’t come from a restaurant background?
  • How did you come to the design and the feel of the space?
  • What percentage of your revenue is food vs beverage?
  • How did you procure the unicorns in the collection?
  • How do you train the staff on how to be knowledgable on all the whiskeys?
  • What was your business plan and how many drinks you have to sell to keep the doors open?
  • Can you talk about how membership communication backfired?
  • How did the name Watch Hill Proper come to be?
  • Support this podcast on Patreon

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