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Question:  Are these ventures successful
YES - 1 (10%)
NO - 0 (0%)
Potentially - 6 (60%)
hhmm - 3 (30%)
Total Voters: 10

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Author Topic: Businesses & Ventures of a Steampunk - Old Timey- Nostalgic nature ???  (Read 1684 times)
Hurricane Annie
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« on: September 11, 2015, 03:29:19 am »



 What type of  business ventures are there out there of the Steam -  Diesel - Atomic - Retrospective - Nostalgic  themed operation?

  Do they succeed  and stay afloat ?

 Is it a viable theme for product lines, marketing  and branding?

 That sort of thing - [ take it on any tangent you like]
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Maets
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« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2015, 04:15:23 am »

I have done fairly well with my steampunk line of sculpture.  It supplements my other sculpture work.  Not getting rich, but doing pretty well.  Last year was fantastic, this one not as good, but a few months to go.
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Hurricane Annie
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« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2015, 04:28:11 am »

I have done fairly well with my steampunk line of sculpture.  It supplements my other sculpture work.  Not getting rich, but doing pretty well.  Last year was fantastic, this one not as good, but a few months to go.

  That is encouraging to hear.  They say it is good to be able to do something  you enjoy  for a living. !

 one day I may know that joy.
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RJBowman
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« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2015, 04:41:49 am »

Steampunk business is novelty business; it might be a bar, or a maker of costumes or decorations, or maybe a role playing game.
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Hurricane Annie
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« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2015, 05:15:36 am »

Steampunk business is novelty business; it might be a bar, or a maker of costumes or decorations, or maybe a role playing game.

 yes it would lend itself to the more  artistic theatrical occupations
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2015, 08:17:42 am »

Steampunk business is novelty business; it might be a bar, or a maker of costumes or decorations, or maybe a role playing game.

That much is true, which is why it's sometimes difficult to make a living doing it.  The public's fickle and have a short attention span.  So I'm inclined (after doing it myself, succeeding and finally failing) that it's very volatile in nature.  I will vote "potentially."
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Hurricane Annie
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« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2015, 11:36:23 am »



  even nostalgia and retro can lose its sheen  - which is probably why it is constantly being  rebranded and re issued under a different name

 Everything " between wars"  is now being given a "revival" for a bright " ätomic "  style.
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Clym Angus
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« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2015, 11:58:50 am »

Hmm, sub-culture is tricky. I would love to do full time chainmaille making for steampunk but in all honesty there is competition (some of which I've generated myself; DOH! Actually not doh. I like teaching people skills and I have the luxury of a day job so yeah).

I think you have to take a long hard look at the market your selling to and work out what you can sell them. There are very few places where a subculture is big enough to enable a pub or venue to spring up that will cater to them more than your average punter. On the plus side any old pub is potentially a steampunk pub with very little alteration.

There maybe (what with the China dip) opportunities in middle manning frills furbelows and trinkets from the country that appears to manufacture everything in the known world.
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« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2015, 12:42:50 pm »

The key is to market to non steampunks.  If you are a farmer, you don't try to sell to other farmers, you sell to those that don't grow their own food.

Trying to sell things to other steampunks on Brass Goggles is silly.  My approach is to create steampunk items that non steampunks appreciate for their style and function.  Then to market them at art/craft shows where everyday people will see them and if they like and have the money then buy them.
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Clym Angus
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« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2015, 12:49:36 pm »

I do not see we are disagreeing. Admittedly I could have been clearer.

"I think you have to take a long hard look at the market your selling to and work out what you can sell them."

One should of course cast ones net as widely as possible.
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2015, 09:45:18 pm »

We have a new Steampunk pub here in Austin. I'm wondering whether this establishment will make it in the long run.  While Steampunk is present in this city, it is by no means well known by the general public. So I'm guessing that because this is a college and night club oriented town, it may survive simply because it sells alcohol and live music...

In another thread I was also reminiscing about a Gilded Age themed restaurant bar which was shuterred over 20 years ago, called the Crystal Baking Company, in San Antonio. While not Steampunk, it was definitely a novelty themed restaurant which featured a Victorian bar, and genuine turn of the century furniture, both interior and exterior (patio), with an inner patio with plants and a leader glass ceiling.  It had a very relaxed, family friendly atmosphere, which is a far cry from the night-club, carnival, and comic convention type of environments which permeate American Steampunk gatherings.

I wonder if a more generic family environment would also be durable.  The business in San Antonio succumbed to a local (Texas) financial crisis circa 1985, and possibly to overcrowding as the locale was a!ong a major highway leading to the airport (thus visible to tourists), but became engulfed in industrial type businesses, which probably obscured and devalued the property.
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Hurricane Annie
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« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2015, 10:18:02 pm »

We have a new Steampunk pub here in Austin. I'm wondering whether this establishment will make it in the long run.  While Steampunk is present in this city, it is by no means well known by the general public. So I'm guessing that because this is a college and night club oriented town, it may survive simply because it sells alcohol and live music...

In another thread I was also reminiscing about a Gilded Age themed restaurant bar which was shuterred over 20 years ago, called the Crystal Baking Company, in San Antonio. While not Steampunk, it was definitely a novelty themed restaurant which featured a Victorian bar, and genuine turn of the century furniture, both interior and exterior (patio), with an inner patio with plants and a leader glass ceiling.  It had a very relaxed, family friendly atmosphere, which is a far cry from the night-club, carnival, and comic convention type of environments which permeate American Steampunk gatherings.

I wonder if a more generic family environment would also be durable.  The business in San Antonio succumbed to a local (Texas) financial crisis circa 1985, and possibly to overcrowding as the locale was a!ong a major highway leading to the airport (thus visible to tourists), but became engulfed in industrial type businesses, which probably obscured and devalued the property.

 Good discussion points.

Novelty generic old timey  with a broad market  in a  optimal location  for attracting custom vs   pop culture theme  with booze n broads. Steampunk  meets Hooters. [ stick a gear on it...]

There is  always risk of  succumbing to  external issues such as  the economy, urban planning programmes and development.  Urban sprawl, re zoning and urban decay can  take a toll on a business.

 Adapting  and evolving  is as important for any  business as it it for species.  It can be more about the ambiance, location  and product than the theme.
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« Reply #12 on: September 15, 2015, 01:46:35 am »

And also, that reminds me that both locations of the Old San Francisco Restaurant just closed their doors in Austin and San Antonio. I think that small chain of restsurants failed by now. These were less "relaxed" and more of a novelty, looking like a wild west saloon inside (supposed to look like a "California Barbary Coast"  saloon (which to me looked just the same as a saloon anywhere in the Wild Wear, to be honest), but they did have the girl on a swing trying to ring the bell on the ceiling above the bar...

I know they also had one other restaurant in Arizona? I remember stopping by on the highway many years ago, along the southernmost one from Texas to California, which takes you along the desert, through New Mexico and Arizona, so you really feel like you are stopping at a saloon in the middle of nowhere, and expect Clint Eastwood, or Charles Bronson to walk in at any minute.
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Hurricane Annie
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« Reply #13 on: September 15, 2015, 03:10:50 am »


 We used to have Cobb n Co  here . There may be 1 or  2 left.  They were based around  the old settler  stage coach theme - complete with saloon doors.  The long dead steaks came with little plastic bulls stabbed in them .  They had waitresses that swore at customers and managers that threatened  diners  who complained. Probably a more authentic  experience than the  franchiser was intending  them to serve up.

 They were  welcoming to underage drinkers though

 I am questioning the  use of a Californian wild west theme in Texas ? Did not the original style  migrate from  the Lone Star state?

We have a chain of Lone Star restaurants based on a dubious Texan cowboy theme  and even more dubious menu.   The wild west  or Irish pub theme  is  fairly usual here. There is not many authentic Kiwi  themed venues.  The   tourist traps  in the typical vacation areas tend toward a more generic  "Polynesian" theme than a Maori  one [ complete with  fake glowing lava] .

 Imaging if you will  and old 18th century  whaling  station  vibe with  a  serve   of aged  boiled salt pork, stewed dried  penguin flippers   and  mug  of   old self fermented  barley beer  .  With  an ambiance of  drying seal skin ,  oil lamp and rotting canvas.

  I am working on a recipe for a Missionary burger   Shocked

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pakled
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« Reply #14 on: September 15, 2015, 03:40:15 am »

Sounds like I-10, goes through El Paso, right?...Wink Sounds like fun, most of our saloons have a cookie-cutter approach.
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RJBowman
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« Reply #15 on: September 15, 2015, 04:24:27 am »

What's on the menu at a cowboy theme restaurant in New Zealand?
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RJBowman
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« Reply #16 on: September 15, 2015, 04:30:02 am »

Look what I found:

https://www.zomato.com/auckland/cowboys-viaduct-harbour/menu#food

The Menu for "Cowboys" bar in Aukland, New Zealand.

Lots of puff pastry, mushrooms, prawns, and mozzarella. Just like the chuckwagon meals on the open range.
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Hurricane Annie
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« Reply #17 on: September 15, 2015, 04:37:44 am »

What's on the menu at a cowboy theme restaurant in New Zealand?

 at the chains - Steak,   chicken ,  fish or burger  with   potatoes mashed or fried maybe some lettuce salad on the side.

 then icecream  or  similar dessert.

 At an independent place  maybe  something a little more  fancy -  like nachos,  buffalo wings or chili burger, baked potatoes . Brownie with the icecream.  Cocktails along with the house wine,  possibly  a craft beer  . Fine dining yes sirree !  Wink

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Hurricane Annie
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« Reply #18 on: September 15, 2015, 04:41:11 am »

Look what I found:

https://www.zomato.com/auckland/cowboys-viaduct-harbour/menu#food

The Menu for "Cowboys" bar in Aukland, New Zealand.

Lots of puff pastry, mushrooms, prawns, and mozzarella. Just like the chuckwagon meals on the open range.

  I am familiar with the viaduct  but not the bar.  It will still be frozen from the  supermarket at that price. But it is upmarket from the  suburbs.
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RJBowman
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« Reply #19 on: September 15, 2015, 05:02:21 am »

In the good old USA, a western themed restaurant is typically a steak house; often a cheap steak house serving frozen steaks. The "Bonanza" tv series spawn two restaurant chains of this type; Bonanza and Ponderosa. These two chains used to be ubiquitous in every town in America, but have declined in popularity, merged into one corporation, and closed all but seventeen restaurants (two of which are a short drive from my home).

There is a fairly good mid priced steakhouse chain called Texas Roadhouse which appropriately is headquartered in Indiana. Pretty good grilled steaks. Liquor license. Barrels of peanuts in the shells. Pictures of country/western singers on the walls.

Upscale barbecue has become very popular in America in recent years, and ties in nicely with the southwestern theme, so maybe the cowboy places will start selling brisket, ribs, and pulled pork.
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #20 on: September 15, 2015, 07:20:20 am »


 I am questioning the  use of a Californian wild west theme in Texas ? Did not the original style  migrate from  the Lone Star state?

 Imaging if you will  and old 18th century  whaling  station  vibe with  a  serve   of aged  boiled salt pork, stewed dried  penguin flippers   and  mug  of   old self fermented  barley beer  .  With  an ambiance of  drying seal skin ,  oil lamp and rotting canvas.

I am working on a recipe for a Missionary burger 




 Grin

That's the thing,  ain't it? If you want authenticity, you will have to suffer it!

Missionary burger?  Roll Eyes Sounds naughty  Grin

The Old SF wasn't any kind of authentic, really, more like gimicky, save they included a lot of seafood with their steaks, which was in fact popular among the new wealthy miners in the boomtown restaurant. I wrote a bit about it here:

"Old Saloon Fare"
http://brassgoggles.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,46201.msg945038.html#msg945038

And to be honest, absolutely no one in California was from California, save a few remaining native peoples! Same is true today.
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #21 on: September 15, 2015, 08:11:38 am »

Sounds like I-10, goes through El Paso, right?...Wink Sounds like fun, most of our saloons have a cookie-cutter approach.

Yes, its Interstate Highway 10, but El Paso is half the distance from San Antonio to San Diego (!), and I want to say the restaurant was in Tucson, Arizona, but given the chain's history, it could have been El Paso, Texas, and I doubt it was Las Cruces in New Mexico ( too green, you see  Wink ).  West Texas is very desertic compared to Central Texas, but its a cool high-altitude desert, with Las Cruces being milder and greener than El Paso, and the real hot desert spans South West New Mexico, all of South Arizona and South East California.

As to where the saloon originated, most likely its the Midwest, which for non Americans, is the plains section of the Central East portion of the United States. The cattle drives would traverse along a Noth-Soth axis, from Texas through Oklahoma on to Kansas, and the unincorporated territories would become the cradle of the legends we now associate with cowboys and with the ,"Wild West." The Western territories also contributed, but the Midwest was the ,"practice ground, " before the Indian Wars and the forceful removal of natives further west.

Let's not forget this was the expansion of the United States, first incorporating Texas and then picking a fight with Mexico to take everything from New Mexico to California, before the expansion accelerated exponentially. The population was really sparse in the desert areas that Interstate 10 crosses.  In fact this Southern route really didn't exist as such, and would have been avoided like the plague, by 19th C travelers because of the long distances in extreme heat, and lack of water.
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« Reply #22 on: September 15, 2015, 07:58:34 pm »

Places like Texas Roadhouse and The Republic of Texas are about as Texan as...well, barbeque sauce on your brisket or beans in your chili.*

While they play at being representative of Texas and Texan fare, they're really just your generic chain restaurant grub. The pub fare and side dishes tend to be alright, but anything of a legitimately Texan nature is...not, to be charitable. I had to restrain myself when they brought me an "authentic" Texas chicken-fried steak, and it was the same pre-breaded frozen patty they serve in school cafeterias.

The best of the chains is the Saltgrass Steak House, which manages to get both the ambiance and the food right (well, mostly; everyone has an off-night).** But, by and large, your best places are usually some small hole-in-the-wall place with no name recognition beyond the city. Always ask the locals; the best authentic Tex-Mex/Mex-Mex restaurant in El Paso was sussed out by talking to locals we encountered during a cemetery tour.

Saloons in general popped up wherever there was "civilization", cowtowns, boomtowns, railheads, etc., so while some may have had some Texas "connection" (forming at the terminus of a trail drive), we cannot claim them as a uniquely Texas phenomenon.

The moral here is, most of the little touristy places that purport to be authentically "Texan" or "Cowboy" or "Wild West" probably have about as much real authenticity in their menu as Outback Steakhouse (a ubiquitous chain here) has to actual Australian fare.










*By law, we only allow either for the benefit of tourists.

**Steakhouses are tricky for me, since most of them use aged beef. For those of you who don't know what that means, it means the meat is allowed to rot (in a controlled environment) for a number of days for "flavor" and "tenderness". Having been raised on fresh meat, steaks from these places always taste like what they are, which is meat that has been allowed to go bad. Saltgrass, with the exception of one cut which I cannot call to mind at this time, does not taste that way.
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Hurricane Annie
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« Reply #23 on: September 15, 2015, 11:08:03 pm »

In the good old USA, a western themed restaurant is typically a steak house; often a cheap steak house serving frozen steaks. The "Bonanza" tv series spawn two restaurant chains of this type; Bonanza and Ponderosa. These two chains used to be ubiquitous in every town in America, but have declined in popularity, merged into one corporation, and closed all but seventeen restaurants (two of which are a short drive from my home).

There is a fairly good mid priced steakhouse chain called Texas Roadhouse which appropriately is headquartered in Indiana. Pretty good grilled steaks. Liquor license. Barrels of peanuts in the shells. Pictures of country/western singers on the walls.

Upscale barbecue has become very popular in America in recent years, and ties in nicely with the southwestern theme, so maybe the cowboy places will start selling brisket, ribs, and pulled pork.

 It the 70s  New Zealand had  " Bonanza  bars " popped up all over the  land .  None of them connected to each other, no doubt influenced by the TV show.   They  were  take away bars [ fish n chips, burgers, chinese food] .  Usually  a small  shop front  with a roller door , a walk up counter    that you stand  and wait at, maybe a game machine to one side.

 One of these is still left   down the road from where I live.  They feature rotisserie chicken.  From the look of it the name and the food bar   have been left untouched since the 70's .

 I found a photo of  our  5 star fine dining  establishment  on  google.  Authentic Wild West Wood Grain

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selectedgrub
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« Reply #24 on: September 16, 2015, 07:06:38 am »

^^ Originally "Uncles"
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