Startups #nofilter had the privilege of chatting with Daniel Rubin, CEO & Founder of The Pub Hub. This new venture aims to utilize bars and pubs during the morning and daytime by having them serve as co-working spaces. With free WiFi, coffee, and discounted drinks, The Pub Hub aims to make a dent in the thriving co-working business.
1) First of all, awesome idea, and even more awesome logo. To your knowledge, has anyone else ever tried this concept before? Perhaps individual bar owners?
Thank you! Shout out to Rachee Jacobs (http://racheejacobs.com/) for our logo.
The Pub Hub transforms bars that only open at night, into productive and affordable coworking spaces during the day.
To the best of our knowledge, a handful of bars have tried this, but it never took off for them. Some reasons that bars themselves are not doing this, range from the fear that a workspace would affect the brand of the bar (it confuses customers what the location actually is), to certain bar owners running into trouble when trying to grow, encroaching upon and trying to work with other competing bars.
For The Pub Hub, we are an independent company working with bars to keep their business running (and growing with our help) as a separate entity. This way the bars win, and we can work with competing bars as well.
2) Is there a particular vibe for what sort of pubs you approach? Is there any aspect to a venue that might be disqualifying? What is your ideal place.
Of course! There are a lot of bar owners that approached us to have us use their space,
but their bar did not fit our brand.
We look at the type of seats (we don’t like barstools as much as sears with backs), how much natural light comes from the windows, the smell, the bar’s theme, it’s location, and many more factors.
Bars are almost always willing to work with us, but we make sure the place is ideal for coworking.
3) Right now your website says you have co-working space in Tel Aviv. I’m assuming you plan to roll out to other cities in Israel, and perhaps globally. Can you share us in on your schedule/planning for that?
For now, we are planning to continue growing in TLV and we will open our next location at 60 Rothschild Blvd at Poli Bar. We are looking to expand globally as soon as we are ready. Hopefully in the coming months.
4) I haven’t seen the inside of the pubs that you are currently operating in. But my initial concern would be that it would not be a comfortable environment. Pubs are known for creaky tables and wooden chairs. What if someone wants a comfy office chair and a large table?
Firstly (shameless plug warning:) we are offering free day passes for people to come and try us out (thepubhubs.com/come-visit).
Secondly- this goes back to the question of which bars we want to partner with. We are careful about our locations, and if need be, we make minimal upgrades to make the place more comfortable. For example we added really soft cushions to all the wooden chairs at our first location, but our next one wont need them.
5) What about closing time? Freelancers and entrepreneurs are known to have odd hours and work later into the day and night. Is there a scheduling conflict for someone who wants to work past 6 PM, which is the likely opening time for most pubs? Do they get kicked out?
We love that question. Specifically, in our first location, we have an upstairs that is quiet and open till 7 PM. This room also doubles as a conference room. But in general, we believe in working hard, productively, and efficiently during the day, all while making time to enjoy the Tel Aviv night life after work.
Also, we offer ‘buy one get one free’ at all our locations if you choose to stay and chill there after we close.
6) Can you share any user data with us? Number of pubs operating, and number of working tenants?
Number of Pub Hubs as of today: Just the one. But we are planning on opening number two really soon. At our first location, we are just starting our third week, so we are still growing and learning.
Over the last week, we hosted many free trials, and these trials grew into members within only a few days! There are members who are still on their day pass schedule, so it’s too early to tell anything about their future.
I will also add that we have hosted a conference here and we are building an active online community for our existing members.
7) Can you share us in on any exciting plans in the future? Perhaps some outlandish wacky plans for Pub Hub?
We plan on hosting some really fun events that are unique to each pub and each pub’s location. For example we are looking to sponsor wine tastings at the bar, mixology and cocktail classes, yoga at the Namal (five minute walk from The Pub Hub), and many more unique events.
Maybe the bar will start serving our custom Pub Hub cocktail!
In regards to future plans, I also want to mention that we are strengthening our online community every day, and we have great expectations for that as well. We have already made an intro from one of our members to a VC that we are connected with during his trip to New York.
8) Any regrets so far? Be honest.
At first we didn’t realize how many people needed outlets all at once! So during our first week open we knew immediately that we didn’t have enough. Luckily, later that week we had an electrician come and install many more, but then we learned that bars need special waterproof outlets instead of the standard. We should have done a lot more research on such a necessity. It was very awkward buying a bunch of splitters for everyone to share.
9) For Fun: What website do you go to when you need to check if your internet is working?
10) One quick piece of advice for Startups #nofilter?
Let’s do this live next time!