Written by The Business Journal Staff
Every businessman needs a good haircut, and inevitably that means every businessman must spend some time waiting to get one. SipsnClips in Fresno is looking to transform that wait time into a good time, inviting folks to wait for their haircut in the new barbershop’s man cave, complete with live streaming sports and craft beer.
Owner Joel Alonzo was inspired to start the shop after years of waiting for haircuts. With a background in banking, Alonzo said getting a haircut has been a biweekly ritual for him for 20-plus years, and he can’t even fathom the number of hours he has spent waiting in barbershops and salons.
A self-proclaimed connoisseur of haircuts, Alonzo said he was waiting for yet another trim when he had his ah-ha moment.
“You go to the barbershop and wait 30 to 45 minutes and as a guy, I grew impatient,” Alonzo said. “I realized there is no better way to address this wait time then to cater to what guys like — sports and beer. A guy can appreciate waiting while he is watching sports and enjoying a beer.”
Bringing Alonzo’s vision to life, SipsnClips features 65-inch 4K televisions, streaming channels from the Comcast sports package and eight beers on draft as well as several bottled selections. In the future, Alonzo wants to expand to 16 taps, but for now the draft list features local brews from Tioga Sequoia and Tactical Ops, as well as popular beers from Firestone.
Alonzo said it took some coaxing to get the City of Fresno onboard.
“Alcohol Beverage Control [ABC] didn’t really have any issues, but it was a slow process with the City of Fresno because this is something that has never been done before.”
Alonzo applied for his alcoholic beverage license in February, when the barbershop opened, and was just granted the license in early June.
“It was challenging to say the least, but now we’re serving,” he said.
To celebrate, SipsnClips is hosting its official grand opening on July 8. SipsnClips is located at 1568 Champlain Dr., Suite 101, on the northeast corner of Champlain Drive and Shepherd Avenue in the Via Montana Shopping Center.
Me-n-Ed’s introduces iPourIt self-serve system
Fresno’s beer enthusiasts can now serve themselves thanks to the new Me-n-Ed’s On Tap location and its self-pour system, iPourIt.
Recently renovated, the Me-n-Ed’s located at 1731 W. Bullard St., Suite 101, in Fresno reopened its doors for the first time in months on Thursday evening. The highlight of the remodeled Me-n-Ed’s, now called Me-n-Ed’s On Tap, is a wall of draft taps from which patrons can help themselves to the beer of their choice.
Fresno-based Milano Restaurants International, which owns Me-n-Ed’s, has already installed a similar self-pour system at its Blast 825 location in San Luis Obispo. The Me-n-Ed’s on Bullard is the first in the area to feature the system.
Milano Restaurants International CEO John Ferdinandi said the Blast and Brew concept used in San Luis Obispo was so successful that it made sense to try a similar concept at Me-n-Ed’s. The Bullard and West location was selected as it was already undergoing renovations.
As part of the iPourIt system, Ferdinandi said customers can purchase up to 32 ounces at a time and receive a pre-programmed wrist band, which they scan each time they pour beer from one of the 32 taps featuring local craft beer and wine.
“It’s a great opportunity for consumers to taste different beers that they would like to just try, which can be difficult to do when dealing with a busy bartender,” Ferdinandi said. “It gives them a chance to learn more about craft beer, which is part of our goal to educate the customer. We also have tapologists—at Blast and Brew we call them beer geniuses—who help customers.”
The system not only saves time for customers, but Ferdinandi said it ensures that not a drop of beer or wine is wasted and each ounce is accounted for on the books.
“On the business side, this reduces labor and it also decreases waste that can happen if a bartender pours wrong,” Ferdinandi said. “With this system, it’s up to the consumer to pour and if something goes wrong they pay the cost where usually the business would eat that cost. Then, there are cases where sometimes bartenders will give their friends a free beer and this makes it so that is less likely.”
According to the iPourIt website, the self-serve system “tracks and monitors every pour and provides reporting that helps [businesses] understand who poured what, when and where so [they] can effectively target customers and create a positive experience.”
As of June 28, more than 1,126 iPourIt taps were in operation nationwide and more than 1.3 million ounces are poured through the system each month. Those numbers are expected to increase as restaurants like Me-n-Ed’s On Tap introduce the new system.
In addition to the new system, Me-n-Ed’s On Tap will be the first to offer Ed’s Red bottled beer for takeout purchase. Tioga Sequoia brews Ed’s Red exclusively for Me-n-Ed’s.
HashtagiDo: Your personal wedding TMZ
Brides and grooms spend months, if not years, preparing for their big day. They plan every detail from the venue’s décor to the list of love songs to be played at the reception. One thing couples shouldn’t have to fret about during their long-anticipated ceremony is their social media presence.
This is where HashtagiDo steps in. HashtagiDo provides digital services to showcase each detail of a client’s wedding day via social media. This way friends and family unable to attend the ceremony don’t miss a beat and are able to follow the highlights of the ceremony and reception through live stream video posts and photos on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. In the meantime, the happy couple doesn’t have to be concerned with keeping those social media accounts active — a professional is there to share those posts for them.
Owner Christine Rose Brown launched her digital business just two short months ago and already it’s taken off. Four couples have already benefitted from hiring Brown to cover their weddings via social media and two more are getting ready to walk down the aisle with Brown close by, acting as what Brown describes as “their personal TMZ.” Brown said she was also honored to be part of the Big Fat Fresno Wedding Expo held at Chukchansi Park in May, where several Central Valley couples were united in marriage by the newly ordained Grizzlies mascot Parker.
Brown said she didn’t anticipate the whirlwind of activity as a first-time business owner, but HashtagiDo is something she is passionate about because she knows her own wedding, held nearly two years ago, wouldn’t have been the same without some social media assistance.
“I’m always on social media and wanted that presence for my own wedding, but I also wanted to spend my time enjoying the moment, working on the last minute details and enjoying the day with my family and friends so I had one of my cousin’s friends come to the wedding as a guest and tweet posts for me and I had someone else live stream the ceremony,” Brown said. “Over 75 people watched my wedding on the live stream.”
While browsing her news feed full of memories after the ceremony, Brown found herself wishing each couple could enjoy a digital account of their wedding day the way she and her husband were able too. However, it wasn’t until two months ago, when Brown’s co-worker enlisted her social media help with his wedding, that she decided to startup HashtagiDo.
Brown said HashtagiDo is perfect for the social media obsessed, but it is also a great tool for those desiring just a touch of live coverage to share with their relatives and friends not physically able to attend the ceremony.
“The biggest opportunity with this is allowing people to stay connected who can’t be at the wedding, either because they live too far away or maybe the bride and groom just couldn’t invite everyone they wanted to come … because they are having a small ceremony or keeping costs low,” Brown said. “This allows everyone to be involved and witness the occasion even when they can’t be there.”
Celeste Torres recently used HashtagiDo to cover her May 14 wedding. She said the overall experience was amazing, but the most important aspect was that HashtagiDo was able to give her distant friends and relatives a window to view her ceremony.
“It was special for us because we have family from across the nation, in Texas and Washington, who were unable to be there and it was important for all our family and friends to see us and share that special day with us even if they couldn’t be there.”
With few business models to follow, Brown said she tailors her services to meet the needs of each individual couple.
“When I started this business, I did some research and found only one company in New York that provides a similar social media and live streaming service like this,” Brown said. “There is no cookie-cutter formula for what I’m doing so I personalize it to each couple and go over the ceremony schedule with them to find out what they want to show online and what they want to keep more intimate and private.”
Each wedding and each couple, Brown said, is different. Some mainly just want the live stream feature for their family and friends to watch the ceremony online and they don’t want as many posts on their social media accounts, while others want to “break the Internet.”
Whatever a couple desires as far as social media, Brown said the most important thing is taking over those feeds so brides and grooms can relax and enjoy the big day.
“A bride hands me her phone and I do everything that is needed, like changing her name and relationship status, in live time so she doesn’t have to worry about doing that,” Brown said. “ Everyone is busy on their big day. Even without my phone in hand, I still didn’t have enough time in the moment and that is why it’s so important to disconnect and let someone else take the reigns.”