DNA Lounge update

DNA Lounge update, wherein DNA Pizza is virtualized, and we may give up on being open 24/7.

17 Responses:

  1. Jim says:

    Have you considered Epic Espresso from 49th Parallel? My local coffee shop has it (Comet Coffee in Ann Arbor, MI) and it's a distinct flavor.

    • jwz says:

      It is the belief of the coffee snobs I've talked to that the Hipster Coffees are popular for the name more than for the content.

  2. Joe says:

    Having "Pizza" in the name probably doesn't help. I doubt many people think "coffee" when they see a place called "DNA Pizza". If you're open then, they're probably thinking hangover food. "DNA Cafe" might have worked better.

  3. Lloyd says:

    Okay, your blog is neon green and black. DNA Pizza, like DNA Lounge, copies that by being neon green and black, with a vomit-green pizza logo that does not say 'morning coffee and fresh food' to anyone. If you're going to put your ego and personal sense of style ahead of good business, that's fine, but it's a choice you make, with consequences you accept.

    Hire some marketing/branding people who you can pay money to tell you this. They will point out that Starbucks is not neon green and does not sell pizza. That is valuable advice.

    This cafe effort needs to be up and running and profitable so that you can expand to the DNA Rooftop Promenade Bar and Observatory. You've got two whole rooftops to combine and exploit, and a whole new set of permits to consider.

    Alternatively, consider bikini baristas, which might be daytime employment for some of the exhibitionist nighttime crowd.

    (There's a reason why good vegan pastries are hard to come by.)

  4. Dr. Eggroll says:

    Consider seeding the breakfast time market with samples. Is there much foot traffic on your side of the block in the morning? Have a person or two alternate between offering sample sized dixie cups of coffee on the sidewalk, and something like tiny slices of your breakfast(?) pizzas or sandwiches. If that's not legal for some reason or as an alternate approach also consider putting up a sidewalk sign in the mornings that says "Free Coffee" and give out one 8-12 oz drip coffee to anyone who comes in during those slow hours for a few weeks or months. That could be the most direct and economical kind of advertising. It can break people out of their routine, and even stubborn people are attracted to free. That can get some word out and expose people to your morning menu offerings. Also right now compared to other area coffee places there's no waiting for espresso drinks, which early adopters/in-the-moment or rushed morning people will appreciate if they feel like being upsold, which hopefully some will when they see and smell your menu. If just a few people take the chance on coming back, it can start to make an impression on other passersby who see them there and realize first hand what you're all about.

  5. Adolf Osborne says:

    Do you actually sell much coffee in the non-morning time? I'm guessing not.

    The name may lead people to assume that anything else, other than pizza, is an afterthought. I appreciate good coffee, but I would never (ever) go into a pizza place just for the coffee unless I had already been introduced to it, or am under duress.

    I might order coffee with a pizza, and it may or may not be very good coffee and I'd be OK with that. But if I'm just wanting coffee as an end-product, I'm predisposed to get it from somewhere that does coffee first and everything else later because I perceive the chances of it being good to be greater that way.

    In fact, I often pass several restaurants, diners, and take-out places on my way to get a good cup of coffee. These restaurants may or may not have good coffee, but I'll just never know unless I happen to order some while I'm in there eating.

    So, such as it is. The name is just too specific, and decisively anti-coffee. If I want a pizza, I'll remember that new place I passed earlier today and might give it a shot. If I want coffee (again, and again, and again), I'm not going to stop in and see if that pizza place has coffee at all, since chances are good that any coffee they do have has been boiling away on a Bunn burner for the past five hours.

    All that negativity aside, I suggest either changing (or appending) the name, or doing something to directly promote the fact that DNA Pizza is more than just pizza. Though I despise the things, a flashing LED sign with sufficiently witty verbiage that people actually read it might be a profitable option to distinguish your pizza joint as an all-purpose 24-hour food and beverage destination (as opposed to all those other pizza joints which just aren't).

  6. Dan says:

    I am amazed at how incredibly difficult the whole "DNA Process" has been. The expense, the problems with the city, booking, ill behaved acts and guests, crazy permits, etc. How do you keep from slapping a big "For Sale, Cheap" sign up on the whole thing and going back to something easy, like building browsers? I always thought that at some point you'd start reporting that it was finally turning out to be fun to own a club.

    • TJIC says:

      > I am amazed at how incredibly difficult the whole "DNA Process" has been. The expense, the problems with the city, booking, ill behaved acts and guests, crazy permits, etc.

      It's not the Big Government you want, it's the Big Government you actually get that's the huge problem.

      The Big Government you dream of is run by dispassionate technocrats who fund all sorts of worthy ideas and passes regulations only when they're net positive.

      The Big Government you actually get is run by barely literate morons who excel at nothing other than identifying their own rent-seeking constituencies and using every tool in their arsenal to draw more power to themselves.


      The thing that sucks is that JWZ, like many other people, likes a dense urban environment, and therefore DNA needs to be in a dense urban environment...and stupid bureaucrats and stupid laws and regulations are a an inevitable metabolic exudate of dense urban environments.

      When I get sufficiently sick of the bullshit here in MA I can pack up my 10 person e-commerce shop and my 10k books and 73 metric crap tons of workshop tools and relocate to the hinterlands. That doesn't work so well for most business models.


      Best of luck to JWZ in this Sisyphean endeavor.

      • Rick O says:

        Some small part of me holds out hope for the occasional "and this is how this stupid law came into being, because this one guy did this stupid thing 50 years ago" tidbit. In fact, I would pay good money to see some kind of threaded timeline infographic that shows each of the checklist items for opening a place of business, and how the events of the past intertwine to create those checklist items. James Burke "Connections" style.

  7. Ronan Waide says:

    I'd vote with the "it's a pizza place" guys above. I had a look at the frontage on the streetview link, and there's nothing about it that says to me, "good coffee served here"; even the sandwich board out front is pimping pizza and "drink" - in my head, that's going to be a soft drink, not a coffee. Now, I'm working on local customs, and it's possible that in SF, good pizza and good coffee are collocated often enough to not merit advertising the latter, but really, a pizza place is pretty low down on the list of vendors I'd consider for a coffee - ironically, I'd probably go to a bar before I'd go to a pizza place, even if it meant a sit-down rather than a takeaway coffee.

  8. spoonyfork says:

    TIL: hipster coffee resellers are hipsters themselves.

  9. jayrtfm says:

    Perhaps a coffee cup shaped advertising balloon flying 100 feet or so above your roof?

  10. Lloyd says:

    Oooh,ooooh! I know how the Internet can fix this retail problem in one small part of a coastal town.

    Pay Yelp to give really good reviews of your coffee!

  11. Ben Brockert says:

    Above stuff aside, have you considered selling the coffee and breakfast stuff at marginal cost before giving up on it? It wouldn't cost you anything, and it may build customers if your stuff is good enough for people to want to come back.

    Advertise it through your normal channels, though perhaps as "grand opening sale" or whatever rather than economic terms.

  12. Lloyd says:

    ...and pizzaria is more commonly spelt pizzeria. But that's the least of the problems.

  13. Sheilagh says:

    Do you deliver? Have you considered delivering complementary samples of your breakfast offerings to local offices?