Elise Poche and Naude Gouws with The Haberdasher

Elise Poche and Naude Gouws with The Haberdasher

This is one of those great interviews where I get to chat with local business owners for the first time. Although I've been to The Haberdasher previously, I haven't had the opportunity of meeting the owners, Elise Poche and Naude Gouws, until this recording. Elise is a fantastic photographer and Naude is a retired rugby player and all around handyman, together they have handcrafted a truly unique bar & restaurant. Check them out on Facebook or better yet their physical location at 113 Dauphin St Mobile, Alabama 36602. Now let's jump into our conversation with Elise and Naude from The Haberdasher. This episode is brought to you by Blue Fish.


Elise: My name is Elise Poche.

Naude: and I’m Naude Gouws. And we're from the Haberdasher.

Marcus: That's awesome. Well, I'm really excited to have you guys on the podcast. We've never met before today, so these are always fun because I get to meet somebody new as part of this process, but also, I think I mentioned to you before, I love going over to your establishment. My favorite is the margarita that has the Mezcal in it, so if you're listening to this and you haven't been to the Haberdasher, by all means, it is a business-friendly place. You can go there and take some business folks. They've got food and we'll get into some of that here in a minute but the margarita is definitely the way to go so, welcome to the podcast, then.

Naude: Thank you.

Marcus: Yeah.

Elise: I would agree. I'm also a fan of our margarita.

Marcus: Yes. Who came up with that, actually, before we get too far into this?

Elise: Well the margaritas, you know, are pretty known everywhere but we do have one in particular called the Salamanca that is jalapeno and habanero infused tequila.

Marcus: Okay.

Elise: So very spicy, put your lips on fire a little bit but that's actually my favorite one.

Marcus: Yeah.

Elise: It's not on the written menu but we have a lot of drinks that are not on the written menu that you can order off menu.

Naude: And most of our stuff, I don't know if you've met Roy, our general manager. Roy is the, I guess, cocktologist, I don't think he's a mixologist. I think they like the cocktologist more than mixologist but he's the guy that comes up with all our drinks-

Marcus: All your different drinks-

Naude: He's really into that kind of stuff.

Marcus: Yeah.

Naude: He spends days researching-

Marcus: Well much like a chef, I would imagine.

Naude: Yeah, exactly.

Marcus: You have to understand how the different flavors are going to-

Naude: Yeah. And Roy is actually extremely knowledgeable. He's more knowledgeable than most people that I know.

Marcus: I think so.

Naude: You can ask him anything about any kind of beer, liquor, I mean, I don't think he's a wine guy but beer and liquor, he just knows everything about it.

Marcus: Wow.

Naude: Like how it's made and like, Mezcal, he can tell you everything about Mezcal you want to know. He knows his stuff man.

Marcus: Yeah that's cool. We'll come back to that but we usually start by getting some back story of who you are and how you got started. So, why don't we start, I mean obviously you're the one with the accent, so we're going to start with you. What's your story?

Naude: I'm not sure 25 minutes is going to cover my story.

Marcus: Yeah.

Naude: I'll give you the short version.

Marcus: Sure.

Naude: Came to Mobile a long time ago, and I told you before, rugby's what kept me in Mobile. I have fantastic battleship rugby club, fantastic rugby team and I joined, I think it was '94, and they just won a national championship so, I'm like, oh yeah.

Marcus: I didn't realize the rugby team here was that-

Naude: Yeah, it was fantastic and I'm from South Africa so rugby is a religion over there.

Marcus: Right.

Naude: So, I got here and like, damn, these guys are actually phenomenal. I got one of those under the table jobs and worked construction for about 10/15 years and played rugby. And we traveled everywhere. And we won another national championship in 2001. After that, the club took a little bit of a dive. People retired and you know, had stuff to do. Now, it's booming back up and the team was actually pretty good. So I was working for a realty company doing maintenance and stuff like that. Then I started selling cars for a while. And then I went home, and then I couldn't come back for a while because my Visa was, long story, but so I started importing antiques. I'm like, let me start a business. So I came and in that time, people starting asking me about wine, like a lot. So, I ended up starting a wine import company, not knowing anything about wine or anything but, so, and then wine import company, wine shop, and then Roy and those guys showed up and we started doing more cocktails and then Alease and I had taste, wine bar, and cocktail bar on April Boulevard.

Marcus: Okay.

Naude: And then one day we drove, actually drove down Dolphin Street and if you saw the building at 451?

Marcus: Yup.

Naude: And she goes, let's look at that place. And I was, mm-mmm (negative). It's downtown, there's nothing going on downtown, you know.

Marcus: Yeah.

Naude: And so we ended up leasing that space and creating the Haberdasher and we had a naming party one night and we had like, I don't know, 150 names. Let's name our bar something cool and I think the last two was like the Goat, was one, and something else.

Marcus: Let's be thankful that you ended up with the Haberdasher.

Naude: I think we were going to pick between the goat and I forget the very ... Either the Surly Goat and the Goat, something like that.

Marcus: Yeah.

Naude: But anyways, and then somebody said, so what was this place before? And so we called and found out it was an old Haberdashery-

Marcus: Interesting.

Naude: And so then we said, okay, well that's the name. So, and then when we finally vacated that building and found this one, it used to be an old shoe store? The Baker Shoe Store?

Elise: Yup.

Naude: And we were lucky enough to buy it, but the name stuck and so-

Marcus: Yeah. When was that? When did you start the Haberdasher?

Naude: The first one, we started working on it in 2011, right? And then I think we opened in March of 2012, and then we were there for 3 years and then-

Marcus: Now down at the-

Naude: We were down for about a year and a half, remodeling and that stuff. So we opened last June-

Marcus: Yeah.

Naude: Again.

Marcus: Now it's phenomenal so. Tell me a little bit about yourself, you're backstory.

Elise: Well I'm originally from Mobile. I left in high school and moved to Charleston, South Carolina.

Marcus: Okay.

Elise: And I stayed there for about 10 years doing ... I'm a photographer as well so, I did strictly photography. Ran a commercial studio there and then 2008, went off. Decided I was ready to go out on my own full-time. So I went to Africa, for 3 months, traveling through Kenya, Rwanda, Madagascar, and ironically South Africa. And then I came back and the economy, it was 2008, August, the economy was falling. I was in Charleston-

Marcus: Imploding.

Elise: Out on my own-

Marcus: Yeah.

Elise: My grandparents were back here, not doing very well. So, I decided, maybe I should start looking at coming back home. And I actually met him in November of 2008, and that was a pretty big draw, I think, to make me come back home, so, that's how I wound up back here and then wound up getting into the cocktail and wine business with him, as a partner, and found a whole nother love of food and cocktails and what I like to shoot and create, so it was kind of neat how it all kind of came full circle.

Marcus: That is cool. Now, and college, either of you?

Naude: Yeah. I went to Seminary School, in South Africa. So I was in college for 9 years. Now I'm a bar owner-

Marcus: There is a joke there. Seminary School, I know, is kind of a, behind the scenes joke, but the 9 years, that's ridiculous.

Naude: Well, Seminary School in South Africa is a Master's program.

Marcus: Okay.

Naude: So, you do your undergrad, which is a four year program and then you do an honors and then a masters and the total thing is 7 years but I was having a really good time in college so, I actually flunked two subjects on purpose just to-

Marcus: Extend the time-

Naude: Extend my stay in college and back then, military was compulsory, two year military-

Marcus: Yeah.

Naude: And I'm like, I'm not ready to go military or be an adult yet, so-

Marcus: Right.

Naude: So I just extended my stay a little bit-

Marcus: You know how to game the system.

Naude: Yeah, and then in '94, an opportunity came to come to the States and jumped on that. Never in my wildest dreams did I see myself owning a restaurant or a bar or anything like that-

Marcus: Right.

Naude: But that's just how life goes I guess.

Marcus: Yeah.

Elise: That goes for both of us.

Marcus: Yeah.

Naude: Yeah.

Marcus: And of yourself to-

Naude: The wine I can see, sorry. The wine I can see. I mean, I was very into wine but the cocktail thing, it's like the craft beer scene-

Marcus: Right.

Naude: It's enormous, so, you know, couldn't fight it.

Marcus: And growing incredibly, right?

Naude: Yeah, yeah.

Marcus: Even locally and we can get into that a little bit with Ink Blue and [inaudible 00:08:21] and Fair Hope Brewing and stuff like that but I mean, when we travel ... We were just in Denver last week and apparently, they have like the world craft beer-

Naude: Yeah.

Marcus: Festival or something-

Naude: Yeah, yeah.

Marcus: Like that, and they said it was just ridiculous the amount of craft beers that were represented there and it's probably just a fraction of what-

Naude: Yeah.

Marcus: Is available, so.

Naude: We like to travel, obviously, and we do quite a bit of that but we just came back from Charleston where she still has a house there and just a ton of breweries. We went to Ashville a few months ago, I think there were 17 breweries-

Marcus: That'd be incredible-

Naude: In a little town.

Elise: Within a couple blocks.

Naude: Yeah, within a couple blocks and expanding like you know. So yeah, the craft scene is insane. The cocktail scene in New Orleans is insane, I mean. Houston, you name it, any big cities it's crazy.

Marcus: Yeah. But going back to backstory, college?

Elise: I went to Trident Technical College in Charleston and studied graphic design and photography.

Marcus: Very cool.

Elise: Yeah.

Marcus: And the reason why we ask that isn't necessarily you know like, it's not about really whether you've had an education or not, but what we find is that it's very interesting that people go into business or go into a specific area of business, and may not have had any experience-

Naude: Yeah.

Marcus: And the whole purpose of this podcast is to kind of pull back the curtain on what it means to be a business owner, an entrepreneur. And, you know, for those people who may be looking to do something-

Naude: Yeah.

Marcus: It may be inspiring to them. We're literally heard plenty of stories of people that are starting businesses because they've listened to this podcast and they think that it's now, you know like, it's just normal folks that just persevere and just keep going that have become successful-

Naude: Yeah.

Marcus: And they can achieve that.

Naude: I guess perseverance is the key to everything you do.

Elise: Yeah.

Naude: When I first went to Seminary School, you know, my professor said, you don't don't need it here, you need it here-

Marcus: Yeah.

Naude: You need to sit and study.

Marcus: Yeah.

Naude: Whatever we've done, nothing has come easy. It's been extremely difficult but, just perseverance and hard work, you know.

Marcus: So, go back to, you said it was 2012, go back to 2012 and think about that first, well maybe even back into 2011, starting a restaurant/bar is not, I mean, that's not an easy feat. I mean, there's a lot of money that goes into that. There's a lot of preparation and then you open your door and then what? What's that feeling like when you-

Naude: Well, I'll go back further than that. When I first opened Taste ... Taste was a wine shops, wasn't a wine bar or anything like that and so, I remember buying all the stock on my credit card. I put everything on credit card so, it was a leap of faith. It wasn't like ... It was just like all right, I'm going to do this. And so, we had wine tastings on Friday nights and like 2/300 people would show up at this thing, it was insane. Of course, the curve goes like that and so then we opened a small little wine bar and it was still very successful but this was a whole nother thing because now we needed inventory of liquor and that's a very expensive thing to do. And we leased this building that was basically just four walls-

Marcus: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Naude: And we fixed it up. It took us about a year to fix up, and we still had Taste and doing that and fixing up the building. And we were just looking at pictures the other day of our first month in business. We had like one small, like an old cash register. We had some bottles behind the bar, I mean, a disaster waiting to happen but for some reason, it was just, people just kept coming, from day one, you know.

Elise: It's like when you look at that picture of yourself in middle school and you're like, ooh.

Naude: Yeah, I mean, we had no back bar.

Marcus: I have those pictures hidden in a safe place.

Naude: We had no back bar and I told you, I started an [inaudible 00:12:27] construction and so, back then, I called my mom I'm like mom, I got a masters degree, I'm standing in a ditch digging a, you know I'm digging-

Marcus: Yeah.

Naude: But in hindsight, all that stuff taught me how to build stuff, how to be in construction and so luckily for us, all that stuff I was able to build. I build the bar, I build pretty much, I even built the booths, and I built everything, and it's not because I knew how to do it, it's just like-

Marcus: Well you have a, once you've seen how things are constructed-

Naude: Yeah.

Marcus: You can kind of extrapolate that.

Naude: Yeah. But you know it's like, we don't have the money to do it, so what do we do? Okay, we're going to buy wood and build it-

Marcus: Right.

Naude: You know, so, yeah. It's been ... But looking at those pictures, empty bar, just like one row of liquor bottles. It's actually, it's endearing actually but wow.

Marcus: Yeah.

Naude: I can't believe we made it to the next level.

Marcus: Hindsight is often ... It's interesting to look back, not hindsight is 20/20 but it's interesting to look back because you know, Blue Fish has existed for 9 or 10 years-

Naude: Yeah.

Marcus: And when I look at ... Our way of looking back would be to look back at the things that we've created, right. So the early websites that are very rudimentary-

Naude: Yeah.

Marcus: The way that we build things now is completely different because technology is changed and everything like that, so. But, I do want to go back to this idea of mixologist or coming up with cocktails and stuff like that because you all, more than most of the places that are down here, and it's no slight to them, but I mean, when it comes to your cocktails, it's extremely, in other areas they'd say artisanal or handcrafted-

Naude: Yeah.

Marcus: I mean all drinks are handcrafted so that's BS but, I mean, it's very different and, I mean-

Naude: It is and again, I think it's between Alease, myself, and Roy, we just like things made really well. We take pride in everything we do and it's not ... You don't make this cocktail thing, you're going to make a lot of money with this cocktail but it's pride in that cocktail-

Marcus: Right.

Naude: So, it translated in us being successful but that cocktail is not made to be a huge money maker but we take pride in that one cocktail so everything we make there is from scratch, you know. You hear that term a lot, all over the place, but we actually do everything from scratch.

Marcus: Well my understanding, because what I'm seeing, and I'm not, I haven't asked, so I may be speaking out of term but even the bitters and the things like that, that you're using, look like they're something that you've made.

Naude: I don't think our bitters are. We buy from people who make them.

Marcus: Okay. So it is still-

Naude: We don't actually make bitters but we make all our mixers-

Marcus: Right.

Naude: We make everything-

Marcus: And so it's not like you're just going down to the ABC store-

Naude: No.

Marcus: Buying a Jose Cuervo margarita mix off the shelf-

Naude: No, no, everything is made from scratch. Our produce order in a week is huge because everything is fresh limes, fresh lemons and everything, and we have dehydrators and make our own stuff back there, so yeah, it's a labor of love. And a lot of things we have to source really hard online and find stuff that's top quality.

Marcus: I'm going to ask this question, and we may have to strike it, just based on whether you want to answer it or not, one of things that I have found as someone who likes certain types of tequilas-

Naude: Yeah.

Marcus: And Mezcals, you just can't get it, in Alabama.

Naude: A lot of the stuff we have to special order.

Elise: Yeah. And you can special order by the case.

Naude: Yeah, so a lot of this stuff is stuff that, especially Roy, because Roy knows the names and what he wants and so, some of these things take months and months to get in. We'll wait, and wait, and wait and then get it in. And like, I think our Rum selection is probably the best in Mobile and to get those, we have to drive to Orange Beach, we get a lot there, because they have a lot of stuff by region and again, Roy will order that stuff and wait for it, and eventually it will come and-

Marcus: I don't suppose he could order me a case of George T Stag, can he?

Naude: That I don't know.

Marcus: He's laughing because it's impossible to find. I had a glass of George T Stag, probably about, it's probably been about 7 or 8 years ago, and I've looked, I've tried to order it, and I just can't find it anywhere, it's just not being able to find it.

Naude: You know, I know they have stuff online you can order ... Alabama's a tough state to order stuff.

Marcus: Yeah.

Naude: You know, it's all kinds of ... Yeah, so, I can't tell you what to do about that but-

Marcus: No, no. It's a loss cause I think.

Naude: For my, we went to South Africa for my 50th birthday party a few months ago and she bought me a bottle of 1960, an Armagnac from 1967.

Marcus: Wow.

Naude: A 50 year old Armagnac. We haven't opened it yet, so pretty-

Marcus: What are you waiting on?

Elise: Year of his birth.

Marcus: Huh?

Elise: Yeah of his birth, the significance.

Marcus: Yeah. There you go.

Naude: Yeah, '67.

Marcus: That is cool.

Naude: Yeah.

Marcus: One of the questions we like to ask is, if you were talking to someone who wanted to get started in running their own business, what's the one bit of wisdom that you would impart to them?

Elise: Be ready to eat a lot of grilled cheeses.

Naude: I just think if you want something, go for it. Do not let anybody tell you, you cannot do it. I told you my, I'll tell you a quick thing about my wine, how I started. When I decided I want to be, you know, at the antique import business, which is just kind of me buying some stuff and having it sent over, wasn't a real business but people ask me a lot about wine and I'm like, yeah, let me look into wine. Didn't know anything about wine. So, I started emailing distributors, like national guys and you know, saying I'm an Alabama distributor, and I would like to buy some wine. So I ended up going to Vegas, the guy flew me down to Vegas for a big national convention and so we sat there, and he's a big wine importer, huge. And I think I bought like 30000 bottles of wine, with not a penny, not knowing anything about it. Came home, and then had to find a way how to do it. And so, plus the United States and Alabama's liquor laws are so difficult, so I had to negotiate through all that. Didn't know anything and it's not because I wasn't smart or anything, it's because-

Marcus: You have to.

Naude: You have to.

Marcus: You've already made the investment, you've already spent the money-

Naude: Yeah.

Marcus: You've got to figure some way to get out of this-

Naude: You can find a way to do whatever you want to do, just don't take no for an answer and don't give up. Things are going to get rocky man. Some lady told me the other night, you have the golden touch. I'm like, do you know what comes with that golden touch?

Marcus: Years of experience.

Naude: A lot of, what do you call them in English?

Marcus: Callouses.

Naude: Yeah, a lot of callouses.

Marcus: Yeah.

Naude: You look like [inaudible 00:19:16], you know, you just can't give up and just don't take no for an answer.

Marcus: Yeah. Do you want to add anything to that?

Elise: I mean, I think it's pretty much the same thing here. He's taught me how to sand floors and-

Marcus: Yeah.

Elise: Run plumbing and rip off roofs and you know, we've done a lot of things by ourselves just to be able to make it work and you might, I think people sometimes look at the whole and say oh, this is going to take, you say, just say comparatively, $150000. Well, if you can learn how to do a lot of that yourself, then you might be able to cut it down to half. You just figure out ... Like, when we opened the first Haberdasher, it was very different than this one but we started somewhere and if you start somewhere, and you keep building on that, and you stick with it, you can make anything happen.

Marcus: Yeah. Actually that's really, both of you are answering, it's really good, and just that perseverance because, I've heard other people say it too like, you never know, if you stop now, you never know that-

Naude: Yeah.

Marcus: That success that you're looking for may be just one step-

Naude: True.

Marcus: You know, further.

Naude: And also, surround yourself with good people. And we have. Our staff, our support has been phenomenal. Surround yourself with good people, people you can trust.

Marcus: Another question in regards to Alabama, so they craft brewing has kind of had an upswing because of the laws surrounding that have kind of loosened up-

Naude: Yeah.

Marcus: Just, what do you see for the next say 5 years, as far as craft beer goes in Mobile?

Naude: Well, when I first started in the wine business, I think beer was at 6% alcohol and wine was at 14.9, so Alabama was missing out on 80% of the world's best beers. Then when that went away, all of a sudden you saw-

Marcus: Pause for just a second because people may not understand the limitations on craft beer-

Naude: Right.

Marcus: That it couldn't be above a certain alcohol-

Naude: It couldn't be above, I think beer was 6%, 6 or 7 % was the maximum amount of alcohol allowed and wine was 14.9. Then they bumped it up to like, I think wine 16 and beer went to-

Marcus: 10 or something like that.

Naude: I forget now. Yeah, something like that, 10/12. But all of a sudden, we had a huge influx of beers from Belgium and overseas and that lasted for a few months and all of a sudden that was gone, because it was just too pricey, people just couldn't, didn't want to pay 20 bucks for-

Marcus: Sure.

Naude: An imported beer-

Marcus: Yeah.

Naude: And that time, the craft beer, you started seeing craft beer and it's, I don't know, it just blows my mind when I go, just drinking around here or go to different cities and breweries like, and those places are packed out. Every brewery we go to is just packed out. You know, people tell me all the time it's like man, it won't last. And I'm like, I don't think it's stopping any time soon.

Marcus: Yeah.

Naude: Mobile, I think this area was the last area that didn't have any breweries, I mean, none. And then Fair Hope came a few years ago, and now we have 3, like that you know-

Marcus: Yeah.

Naude: It's awesome, I can't wait.

Marcus: I mentioned to you that we were just in Denver and we went to Wind coop. So the flip side of that is that Wind coop Brewing had a beer on their menu-

Naude: Yeah.

Marcus: 30%.

Naude: Whoa.

Marcus: And I was like, what in the heck-

Naude: I don't think I've ever had a 30%.

Marcus: I much prefer tequila or-

Naude: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Marcus: Some sort of mixed drink, was it 15? Okay. 30 proof. I'm sorry.

Naude: Oh.

Marcus: Tad is correcting me off mic here that it was 15%, not 30.

Naude: That's pretty high.

Marcus: But it was still extremely high and aged in, you know-

Naude: Yeah.

Marcus: Some sort of barrel or something like that, and I almost got it just to try it because that was such an anomaly but it'll be interesting to see what Ink Blue did with the sayson, you know, [crosstalk 00:23:22] sayson-

Naude: Fantastic beer.

Marcus: Fair Hope has done some really cool things, so it's just interesting to see, again, it's this idea of someone who really is a chef with various-

Naude: Yeah.

Marcus: Ingredients-

Naude: Yeah.

Marcus: Making a drink, instead of a plate of food, right.

Naude: Yeah, man. And whenever we have a brewer come in town, like you know, Dogfish Head was here a while ago and the owner was here, and just talking to those people and the way they come up with stuff and how they figure out how to make a fantastic product, it blows my mind every single time. I'm like man, I can never do that-

Marcus: Yeah.

Naude: You know, but theses guys are just craftsmen. They know what they're doing and they're so passionate about it, you know. And again, those guys who started with nothing, you know-

Marcus: Yeah.

Naude: And they just kept at it.

Marcus: So you mentioned rugby, traveling, photography, but you guys have any others things that you like to do in your free time?

Naude: Free time.

Elise: Yeah.

Marcus: Yeah.

Naude: That's cute. No. We're very busy but in our free time, I think we just like to, sometimes just-

Marcus: Just to chill.

Naude: Just chill and just watch a show on Netflix or find a podcast that's really good to listen to and but yeah. Traveling is probably our number one thing and it fits with everything we do.

Marcus: What's your favorite podcast?

Elise: Well we just finished, "Up and Vanished," this week.

Marcus: I haven't heard that one. I'm a big podcast guy too-

Naude: You are? "Up and Vanished," is captivating. It was cool because we drove back from Charleston a few weeks ago and we decided to go on the back roads and we listened to this podcast and it's, the setting is-

Elise: Ocilla.

Naude: Ocilla, but Georgia, and we were actually driving through Ocilla as we're listening to the podcast and I was like, whoa.

Elise: But it's about a beauty queen who disappeared in 2005 and she was, you know, theoretically murdered and this reporter starting doing a story on it, trying to find out what happened to Tara Gristead, and it's like 24 episodes that are roughly an hour a piece, so you have to be committed.

Naude: But, it's-

Marcus: Yeah.

Naude: It's awesome. And I guess before that one, we listened to, "S Town."

Marcus: Very good.

Naude: Yeah, I loved that one too.

Marcus: One of the things, I live on the eastern shore and one of the things that I've enjoyed about working downtown is I have at least 15 to 20 minutes of driving-

Naude: Yeah.

Marcus: Because before, my office was always near my home or in my home, quite honestly, and you know, it was very difficult ... I can listen, almost have to listen to music while I work-

Naude: Yeah.

Marcus: Because it forces me to get into the work even deeper, like tuning out-

Naude: Yeah.

Marcus: I'll often times just put the same song on and literally just listen to it on repeat over and over and over again, just to get into the right mind set, but I can't listen to podcast when I do that because I'm trying to listen too intently to what the person is saying, so.

Elise: Yeah.

Marcus: So final question, any resources or books or anything along those lines that you found helpful?

Elise: Google.

Marcus: Yeah.

Elise: How do you-

Marcus: Yeah.

Naude: You know, there's nothing I can really pinpoint but a lot of looking at stuff, like a lot of, just even like stuff like Pinterest, just ideas. Food and Wine magazine, just stuff that gets your mind going, this is something cool. I'm a visual person, so I need to look at stuff and so I get creative if I look at stuff and I think she's the same way and-

Elise: Yeah, and travel goes along with that too.

Naude: Yeah, travel goes a long way.

Marcus: See what's being done in other areas.

Naude: Yeah, and how the people do it but Mobile is a very different town. The culture here is different, I think the food is different, the way people go out is different-

Marcus: Right.

Naude: But yeah, just bringing ideas from traveling and seeing stuff.

Marcus: It has been cool to see ... So I've been here since 2004 and in 2004, you would never have thought really to come down here for dinner or whatever. But, you know, I keep referring to it, and I actually need to go and like find the sign because it may not be there anymore but there was a sign on I-10 at one point in time that there's, it said there were like 43 independently owner restaurants-

Naude: Yeah.

Marcus: Downtown.

Naude: Yeah, yeah.

Marcus: And, that's a huge number and you know, Southern National just opened up, you know, I know the guys at 5 Bar are getting ready to open up, Ole Poppy.

Naude: Yeah.

Marcus: You know, I mean there's all kinds of stuff that's happening down here and the food is just phenomenal. I ate at Rooster's at lunch today, you know, I mean they've got great tacos-

Naude: Yeah, absolutely.

Marcus: You know so, part of the reason why we keep inviting folks like yourself on because I just love food so much and Jared's been making fun of me, and he thinks that I haven't noticed and all the little recaps that he's been doing on Facebook, but the truth is, I just, I love food. I love quality food, I don't care how much it costs. I'd rather it not cost an arm and a leg-

Naude: Yeah.

Marcus: But you know, if I can go some place and get a margarita that's completely different with Mezcal in it and fresh limes and stuff like that, and just have it knock my socks off and I don't remember what the price was but it wasn't, you know, it was like a normal-

Naude: Yeah.

Marcus: Margarita. I love that. We just, we like that you guys are doing what you're doing-

Naude: Yeah.

Marcus: So, you're just-

Naude: Thank you and it's an evolving thing for us. Our food, it's always evolving, it's always, and it's not because we want to stay one step ahead-

Marcus: No.

Naude: Because we have so many ideas and have seen so many things and want to bring so many things here and like you said, there's a lot of places now. When I first moved down here, '94, there was 2 or 3 bars, you know, and you wouldn't come down here.

Marcus: I think it was you and Noga, were probably the only two.

Naude: Well back then, it was the Walkers-

Marcus: Yeah, Jen-

Naude: Well they had a bar here-

Marcus: With bicycle shop and-

Naude: Well no before that they had GT Henry's, just like, on the next block-

Marcus: Yeah.

Naude: And then when that went down, they started opening up the bike shop, but that took a long time and there was Haley's, I think, Big Kahunas, and the Aberills man, and Noga opened not too long after that. But yeah, it was slim pickings down here-

Marcus: Yeah.

Naude: And it was kind of dangerous too, but now, I mean, it's just-

Marcus: None of that. So if you're not fluent in downtown, don't be afraid. Come down, have a drink, see a show, have dinner, you know, I mean, it's phenomenal down here so.

Naude: It's the heartbeat of the city.

Marcus: Yeah. So, tell people where they can find you, Facebook, website, location.

Naude: We don't have a website yet, we're working on that. We are located at 113 Dolphin Street.

Marcus: Hey Renn, give me a card.

Naude: Yeah.

Marcus: No, go ahead.

Naude: Yes, yes. We have not had time to sit down and do a website but yeah, we're on Facebook, like everybody else is. Located 113 Dolphin Street. And that whole block, before we came was dead. Now there's all kinds of stuff over there, you know so-

Marcus: [inaudible 00:30:36] across the street from you-

Naude: Yeah, we got Dolphino's there. We got Foye-

Marcus: Foye.

Naude: Next to us.

Marcus: And all kinds of stuff, so-

Naude: Yeah so, it's a good place to be.

Marcus: Well cool. Well, I want to thank you for coming on the podcast. This has been-

Elise: Thanks for having us.

Marcus: Yeah. This has been awesome. Any last thoughts, comments, anything you'd like to share?

Naude: No, just thanks Mobile for supporting us and downtown is made a 180 degree turn from where it was a few years ago so downtown is awesome. Definitely come down here and check out all the bars and restaurants.

Marcus: Well I appreciate your willingness to sit with me and share your journey as a business owner and entrepreneur. It's been great having you.

Naude: Thank you. Nice to meet you too.

Elise: Thanks for having us.

Naude: Yeah.

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