2011 was a big year for Phog. That growth, evolution, and change for the better was almost solely due to my business partner, Frank Incitti. Period.
It started with an insistence on changing the way we book shows. And while I was apprehensive, he was absolutely right. The changes have been great for Phog, the touring bands, and the scene in general. I won’t go into specifics, but they were needed in a big way.
In the area of 2011, Frank introduced a vast poutine menu which impressed everyone with a penchant for gravy-goodness. It took a brief hiatus, but came back even stronger in December with a full gourmet pizza menu along with all the specialty poutines. With Stephen Hargreaves’ help, Frank designed and creatively introduced the new menu by naming all the pizzas after famous albums and musicians. The menu has been the single greatest adjustment to Phog since we opened.
In the middle of the year, Frank bought paint and did an ocean of work to change the look and feel of Phog. He did most of the patching, all of the sanding, the lion’s share of the painting, and then installed all of the new art-hanging infrastructure to eliminate damage to our walls. It has been a noticeable and excellent change.
With art, Frank decided to be the booking contact for Phog. All of the art shows that went up, went through Frank’s scrutiny first. And I think he did a great job.
Hopping online, he searched out various items to improve the bar including a brand new sound board (which is WAY better than what we were using prior) and an entirely new matching set of chairs (which have not been unleashed yet). We didn’t even unpack them yet. When we do, you’ll notice.
The social media realm is now unsafe from the touch of Frank since he decided to get himself a Twitter account (@PhogPhrank) to further promote the menu and events at Phog. He does this in a way (frankly) I simply cannot do. It’s his MUCH NEEDED voice.
Phog Phest 3 wasn’t going to happen. I had my mind set on skipping 2011. Frank was insistent about having the event, and being a more integral part of the process. The event, with his guidance, ran so smoothly and with a feeling of confidence that I almost didn’t recognize it. By far, it was the most successful Phog Phest yet. I can’t wait to collaborate with him on Phog Phest Phour.
Frank has always endured an incredible amount of work to keep Phog going. But the effort from Frank in 2011 is, in my opinion, the biggest contribution that either of us has made for this business/community in our 8-year history. This business has evolved in it’s scope, reach, and purpose because of his enormous reach this past year. He has sparked a renewed vigor and interest for the way we do things, and why we do them in this scene.
I mean it.