Vinyl Room in Burlingame hosted a Yelp Elite member party in the newly renovated bar.
A new and revived Burlingame means a revamping for a bar right off Burlingame Avenue.
With the Burlingame Avenue Streetscape project, Vinyl Room at 221 Park Road has decided to do renovations and took a spin off the name Vinyl Room for creative inspiration. In addition, soon-to-open businesses like the Indian restaurant and the coffee and wine bar H29 should draw more customers in, so the bar is extending its hours.
“We’ve been here for eight years and a lot of stuff needed attention,” said co-owner Juan Loredo. “We went with the retro theme because it’s something different. Everyone uses reclaimed wood and the rusted look. I was just kind of tired of seeing that. I wanted to see something no one else was doing.”
Renovations by Craig Walters of C. Walters Design began earlier this year. The bar facade is padded in printed canvas that showcases vinyl records on shelves. Liquor bottles are placed on a hi-fi cabinet that sits on wooden hairpin legs. The bar stools resemble something that would be on the set of the show Mad Men. The lounge area features new booths and metal hairpin legged tables. An art wall features 200 wood panels that are the size of album covers. Other upgraded features include sound, lighting, flooring, mirrors, paint and artwork.
Loredo and his business partner Jose Natividad took over the space that used to house Rockets bar in 2006 and opened Barrelhouse Bar on California Avenue three years ago. The two have noticed changes in Burlingame over the years, from being very busy when they started business to a slowdown during the recession to an upswing.
“Now it’s booming,” Loredo said. “There are great restaurants bringing people to Burlingame.”
Loredo and Natividad, both originally from San Jose, met through the fraternity Theta Chi at San Jose State University where they both majored in advertising. After working in the corporate world, both Loredo and Natividad realized they were both not built for 9-5 jobs.
They also bartended together in downtown San Jose during college and went on to open their first bar, Vinyl Room, when they were both 25.
“A bartenders dream is to open up a bar,” Loredo said. “It was definitely challenging. It was kind of hard to do.”
Looking to get out of the South Bay, the proprietors looked to San Francisco to open a bar, but felt they wanted to get their feet wet first before venturing to the city.
A biggest challenge was not knowing anyone in the area but, with some networking, the two said they are now well-connected. The small ’70s disco bar Rockets seemed like perfect location for them to flip, Loredo said.
“We saw a bar for sale and liked that it was in a small neighborhood,” he said. “It was a small location we could put the concept in really easily and run with it.”
This August, the bar will switch from hours of 5 p.m.-2 a.m. Wednesday-Saturday to be open every day 5 p.m.-2 a.m.
“We were preoccupied with Barrelhouse, which is open every day,” Loredo said. “Now that we have more stuff on this corner and a new Burlingame Avenue, we decided to start opening up every day. Customers were also requesting it.”
The two do have advice for aspiring entrepreneurs.
“Both of us don’t have kids but, with a first kid, parents say they’re always up and tired,” Loredo said. “The feeling seems pretty similar [to having a first business]. The second business was easier — we knew the trials and tribulations. I think it will get a lot easier.”
The business partners plan to open up a third, larger, bar somewhere along the Peninsula sometime next year.
For more on Vinyl Room go to vinyl-room.com.
(650) 344-5200 ext. 105