Well thats another season over and one to look back over and see how it went. But before we do that my lovely blog readers a few have asked "What closing sign did you leave this year?" Well i left 2 this year, one on my front chain as usual and one inside for my designer LOL.
So "On with the show!". You better get comfortably as it may take some time to read, thats if i can remember everything i wanted to write.
After i landed on the island in April i was met with a bar full of graffiti and i mean full. Every surface was defaced including ceilings, doors, walls, floor, planters,sign and even trees. Some was done 2 days after i left in October 2010 the rest was done Feb/Mar 2011. It will take a lot more than graffiti to take me down. I knuckled down to work and within 3 days was ready to open with an all new look. Jealousy is a terrible thing but as the saying goes "What goes around, comes around" and boy that day will come and i will have the biggest smile ever when it does but no rush for that day, it will come.
You get what you pay for when you hire cheap designers LOL.
And this is when a professional like myself picks up a brush.
May i thought was going to be quite slow, resort was pretty empty but the weather was great. Opened on the 4th of May amd was shocked by how busy opening night was. As the month continued it was going much better than normal and i had set myself up for a bad season due to the British and Greek economy crisis. Its was a pleasant surprise when May ended up being my best May ever but i was sure it couldn't last out like this and put it down to people booking early to get cheaper holidays. May's weather was brilliant with only 5 hours rain in total and those hours were early hours of the morning between 3-5am so the days were glorious.
June started off steady but then after the first week it went crazy bonkers, 10th June saw me break my record for a best nights takings ever and it carried on that way for the whole of the month, very busy indeed. Weather was outstanding and little did we know it was going to continue to just get hotter and better. June also saw Oceanic become No.1 business on Tripadvisor for the island. Well, in the restaurant section it is but Tripadvisor were happy for it to stay there so i'm really thankful for that even though alot have moaned that "its not a restaurant". If you read the reviews and and have read that its called "Oceanic Chill Out Bar" then you can pretty much figure out i don't serve food, so unless you have a brain the size of a pea then you should be able to realise that i only serve drinks. So just look at the second best rated business on the island or within the resort, you don't need a masters degree in common sense to figure that out haha. June was again my best June since i had opened. Problems were starting to occure with certain business owners and myself but i took the bull by the horns and decided to sort it head on.
July levelled out and was a bit quieter than June which i wasn't complaining about as the first 2 months had been manic and my body was struggling a little to keep up the pace. This is when the 18-30's started to flood the resort and a bad eliment was creeping in to Kalamaki. Groups of young guys and girls were being encouraged to act as if the resort was Laganas, bar crawls were being organised by an independent group making tax free profit and bars were starting to war due to this independent group. Now if your a home to bed person by 11pm you wouldn't have seen this type of behaviour but trust me it was there and my friends who own certain bars had more trouble in them than any season before. I was having the odd problem myself but i was determined to fight against it and beat them by keeping my business busy and full every night without changing anything about my bar, no loud music, no prices outside, no free shots, no special offers and still my bar remained full through all of July, that made them even more crazy as they couldn't see why i was still busy, its all about a business mind baby, its all in the mind LOL. July even though it was quieter than June ended up as my best July ever.
August, Well this was a very very busy month, broke all records for best night and best month ever. I had the best group of people in my bar that i've ever had in either of my bars Tropicana and Oceanic and thats the Leeds Crew. What and great bunch of people. It started off as 22 for the first week but went down to 16 by the second week and thats when i got to know them all a bit better, Woody, Big Bob, Alison, Mandy, Eden, Bailey, Colby,Brenda, Dave, Jayne, Callum, Daz, Heidi, Chris, Carol and Andy. They were such a big part of my season due to having such a laugh with them and their music tastes were of the highest standards, these people were the highlight of my season. Very down to earth, very polite, very drunk (by 4am) haha. A new champion was born in Oceanic, Cogger the first ever Connect 4 World Champion. I'm hoping myself and Helen can get up to Leeds so we can all meet up again and they can meet Helen. This month also saw me get a reply from "Total Wipeout" saying that i have been successful in getting an audition for the show. Woohoo what a great bonus for a great month. Weather was hitting the 38-42 deg so its was a bit of a nightmare trying to keep cool even at night, you never get used to the heat. This month also saw Oceanic featured in the Easyjet inflight magazine, how it got there i don't know but i think that helped me with making August such a outstanding month.
September and the temprature remains the same, what is going on with the weather? Some people say "i wouldn't moan if i were you" but its no difference. Having to much sun and heat is the same as having to much rain and cold, you can get bored of it. The resort dropped off very quickly after the schools had started back, in fact it got alot quieter quicker than normal. As for Oceanic it was still going as strong as ever, full at some point every night and not missing a target. Went back to the UK for 3 days for my audition which i passed all 3 stages so it was just a matter of waiting for them to make the final pick for the show. September also beat my best September ever.
October and i am now running on empty after the most amazing 5 monhs of my 5 years with Oceanic. I start to think of home, Helen, my mum and family and of course our new house but the season aint over yet and Wales are in the Semi final of the rugby world cup. Weather is starting to change the resort starts to get hit by high winds and hours of monsoon rain. Never seen it rain so hard for so long in all my 11 years on Zakynthos. Many businesses are closing very early in the season, hope this isn't a bad sign for the season to come in 2012. By mid October half the resort is shut and the Old Road is deserted. There was hardly anyone on the road it was like the very first day of the season but the bar was still getting all its seats filled even though i got flooded out 3 nights and they still come back and sat in puddles but i did close one Sunday night as the bar was just so damp i wouldn't let my customers sit in a bar like that so i dried it out ready for the next night. Thats the first time in 11 years i've ever closed a bar for anything but my customers have to be comfortable and i wouldn't let them sit there with a damp bar. October was the same as previous 5 months my best October ever.
So thats it month by month. 2011 season was by far my best season by long way but what with the tax increases and new taxes that were being set up it does take a big chunk of that money so i'm very fortunate to have had such a good year as i know many struggled but hope they all survive to open for another season. It wasn't all highs over the season but i had maybe just 2% of lows that was mainly to do with things going on at home like missing Helen and family and Helens mum finding out she had cancer and me not being there for Helen. See i can be a big softy, sometimes LOL.
My body isn't getting any younger and this season has pushed my fitness level to its limits but it held out, just! I was losing 2kg a night which i would then have to go home and pig out so i didn't lose to much weight but thats not a healthy way to live even though it was all healthy food for most of the season. Apart from the odd "Big Boys" buffet and "Next" feast, They are greek take aways in Zakynthos town mmmmmmm!
Would i change anything about my season? No. Will i be back next season? why hell YEAAHHH!
Got some new things going on with bar and the building but i've only just got back and don't start to think of the bar till Jan as its time for a little break from Zakynthos. No doubt my bar will have the little pixies visit it again during the winter as they have every winter since i opened but i'll say this to the person "be careful" you never know who's watching. Oh and if your thinking of what to do next to the bar could you take the roof down for me please haha.
So thats it for another season and all thats left to say is a huge massive thank you to all my customers old and new. If it wasn't for you enjoying what i've set up with Oceanic then i wouldn't still be open, you make Oceanic work by enjoying a bar that you can socialize in without having to shout and music that you know or reminds you of a certain memory. As i've said many times before "My bars nothing special, i don't even think its the best, its just a bar being a bar again with no frills but has good company, good music and only quality drinks". Hope to see many of you next season.
Don't forget i still update my blog every 2 weeks during the winter so keep checking the blog or Oceanic chill out bar facebook for my updates and i'll leave you with my last pictures from the island for this season.
Its been emotional LOL.
Aww my little bar all closed up for winter.
The last pool i used at the Golden Sun Hotel. As you can see there is only one towel out, thats cause there was only me using the pool. What a crazy guy.