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The $2,500 Bar Stool

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No, this isn’t from a Mark Twain short story or a defense department contract. It’s better! A Portland brewpub is getting creative with some of its financing. See the story in the Oregonian (8/28/07), “Beer lover? Foodie? Checkbook, please,” byline Jonathan Brinckman.

Don’t jump to sour grapes mode too fast. If you read the contract, know the owners’ track record, frequent the pub, don’t confuse this with an investment, know the risks, you might want to plonk down that $2,500 for, no, not more plonk, but some good beer and a guaranteed seat. Maybe not a bad way at all to invest in your neighborhood?

Excerpt (highlights are mine):

Two eating establishments set to open in October — one a bistro/brewpub and the other a restaurant/deli — are about to learn whether residents of this city with a foodie reputation will put their money where their mouths are.

The Green Dragon Bistro and Brewpub, set to open in Portland’s Central Eastside, wants $2,500 each from about 20 people, called “founders.” Kenny & Zukes, a traditional Jewish deli scheduled to open downtown, is looking for “members” to kick in $2,000 each.

The details differ, but in both cases the lenders will end up with no equity in the businesses and won’t earn interest. Instead, the businesses will reimburse their financial backers with discounts, special party invitations and other goodies. Each Green Dragon financial backer will get a guaranteed seat at the bar with his or her name on a bar stool.

Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, I am not an accountant, I do not make any investment recommendations, and I provide no financial advice of any sort, so please don’t confuse this blog post with an endorsement of any person, product, or service.

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