It all began about the middle of October 2010, Traveller Blues Band were playing regular Friday night gigs at the Tajinaste bar just outside of Los Gigantes. There was talk from the then management that they were considering leaving the venue. As with all things in Tenerife the jungle drums beat faster than actual actions so for a week or two a small group of us headed by Whiskey tossed around ‘what ifs’ … if he was to take on the venue how could it best be used. Of course, music had to be the central theme. Any sort of music, be it folk, jazz, reggae, even the lone guy with the bagpipes or accordion would be considered if they provided good live entertainment. We all agreed a name change was needed and came up with lots of ideas. As you can imagine Blues came into the equation quite a lot Backstreet Blues, Blues & Brews, Inn on the Blues but that gave the impression that only Blues music would be played and that is not what was envisaged.
In the background, things were moving rapidly and others were also interested in this venue in a pretty little village in the middle of nowhere. So, rather than get into price wars Whiskey stood back and let the others take over. It was no hardship as he has several other businesses and this would really be an indulgence. He didn´t want to push the price up and wished the new people every success. It also meant that they were happy for the band to continue playing there.
Fast forward to the third day in the New Year – Whiskey gets a call from the Tajinaste to see if he is still interested and of course wham bam; he is there like a shot. By lunchtime, he had an agreement and I had an email saying ‘Guess What’. Now this is where the impulsiveness comes in. Others would probably have spent time putting their ideas together (well that wasn´t really necessary as this had already done this). The more sensible would have decided what they would like to do in the way of staff, beers, furniture, entertainment, a whole heap of things that suddenly need to be addressed. But not Whiskey, he signs up Sunday and wants a Grand Opening the following Friday.
We are now on RED Alert and all systems go. Whiskey is an excellent businessman, he sees the whole picture and he knows people on the island to contact for supplies, services etc. I advertised for his staff and it was quite a challenge. There are countless people looking for work in Tenerife, many were suitable and some were not. The only criteria being they should be reliable. Age was not an issue, attitude was. The people sought would need to be happy to be at the start of something new, sometimes being asked to do things outside their employment remit. In return, they would be encouraged to put forward ideas if they thought something might work. It always makes for a good team if everyone is involved and just because you are the cook or the waitress does not mean you don´t have a view on what could be improved. These are the people working it; they know what works and what is a pain in the proverbial. We now have Phil the bar manager and Chris the cook and while I could be biased I think these people are exactly what is needed.
The Grand Opening is going ahead tomorrow. However, this would not have been possible without Sandra and Gill who both deserve a very special thanks. Those girls worked their fingers to the bone; they have transformed a grotty, old, little kitchen into something that sparkles when the light hits the stainless steel. It may not have the most up to date equipment – that could come in time, it undeniably needs a lick of paint, but I would defy anyone to find a speck of dirt in there.
So the Opening Party will take place tomorrow due to the outstanding efforts of everyone involved. I will give you a blow-by-blow account if I am sober as there is the promise of free beer. And the name …. The Clubhouse – watch this space, hopefully this is going to be something special, giving the clientele of all nationalities what they are looking for, after all it is their input that has brought about this project and as time goes on hopefully it will go from strength to strength.