When we think of a young entrepreneur, we typically picture a headphones-wearing millennial in jeans and a sassy t-shirt, hunched over an Apple laptop deeply focus on the screen with one hand scrolling the computer while the other reaches for a bag of Funyuns, kale chips, or whatever the food fad of the month is.
The tech scene, filled to the brim with young, radical startups that are launched and operated by 20-somethings, has pointedly sculpted our vision of Generation Y and blinded many of us to the vast accomplishments and spectacular strides other young entrepreneurs in more traditional industries are accomplishing everyday.
If we can expand our thinking of what a young entrepreneur is, we can look past the latest 20-something to hit the news circuit after selling his dot.coma startup for more money than the average American will make in a lifetime, and we can see millennial entrepreneurs are doing much more for the economy than just what comes out of Silicon Valley.
Enter one such establishment, the bar Augurs Well, founded in 2011 by a then 22-year old New York native, Greg Nardello.
No, this isn’t a gelato bar, quinoa salad bar, beauty bar, or any other non-alcohol serving establishment using the word ‘bar’ in its title simply to attract a more trendy crowd. It’s a down to earth, all-american made bar — no funky bells or interactive whistles here, folks. And although it sits next to one of the most infamous speakeasies in the city, and is located at no place other than St. Mark’s Place, Augurs Well isn’t trying to be anything more than a good ol’ beer bar.
It totes a simple yet classic layout, with a large prominent bar area, a handful of stools and booths, and an awe-inspiring selection of beer on display. With reasonable prices and traditional bar food, it’s not poised for one type of customer over another. The ambiance is the antithesis of pretentious and on any given day, the clientele ranges from out-of-towners, to a tattoo-covered, leather-jacket wearing couple, a middle-aged impromptu group, and a mixture of NYU graduates. It’s not a frat-boy sports bar, and it isn’t railing in customers by repeatedly blasting the top 10 songs on the chart. Instead, it’s a place where a down-to-earth bartender will have a whole hearted conversation with you, amongst a backdrop of Pandora playlists consisting of Johnny Cash, the Beatles, and 90’s hits.
Why would this be any millennial’s dream project? To answer that, I sat down with Augurs Well owner, Greg Nardello, to get his take on what it’s like to be a millennial entrepreneur in a typically non-millennial industry.
Let’s start with the name. Why Augurs Well?
“It was first called the Burger Shop. Then I realized no one wants to be at a place called ‘Burger Shop’ at 10 p.m on a Friday. Picking the name for the bar was actually one of the hardest things about opening…