The BEY Lounge has an interesting story. Originally a bakery, they have expanded their business to accommodate a full bar, live music and dance, and an occupancy over 140. Needless to say, I was excited to shoot this place.
I did some recon at the location a few weeks before hand since the inception of the bar was less than quiet. Through multiple license disputes, safety ordinances, and most entertaining citizen inquiry, the BEY Lounge developed into a dinner-time topic and had the reputation for being a night club. I did not know what to expect when I walked through the doors with a sense of anticipation, and to be quite honest a little intimidation.
To my surprise, BEY has a day and night personality. When speaking with one of the many family owners, he outlined the distinctive types of clientele. The BEY begins its day with breakfast lovers, taking advantage of the bakery services. Perhaps most appetizing, the establishment has a great reputation for its Lebanese Cuisine and attracts the most customers at lunch. Falafel and hummus with pita bread are most popular as a supporting cast to the bar as well as craft beers received from the BEY's next door neighbor, the Caboose Brewing Company. It was nice to see some cooperation between local businesses to shape the identity of a changing town.
The service was fantastic. It makes for an interesting Venn diagram in that it is a family owned business, and your bartender could be a cousin of the manager; it's a big family. Their business cards were simple but significant, and they were more than accommodating when I asked to take portraits and shots from behind the bar (which isn't strictly legal).
Overall the BEY is a much needed tonic in a town that emphatically propels itself backwards into the mid 20th century. I hope this business is a harbinger of a new face of Vienna. Below is a link to their web site.