Who We Are
Shirin Raza Gahr, Owner & General Manager
I'm a Bay Area native, media attorney, event producer, operational nerd and lover of Google docs. Nothing makes me happier than creating new and unique music-focused experiences, whether that means cocktails & records at home, an arts-based fundraiser or a large-scale cultural event. In 2016, I decided to take a leap and bring those passions to life in the form of Bar Shiru. As General Manager, I will oversee operations, business development and strategic partnerships.
Daniel Gahr, Owner & Creative Director
Daniel is an obsessive musical omnivore and DJ who has built his professional and personal life around music. He is currently Group Creative Director and head of Creative Strategy at Pandora, leading a team of multidisciplinary creative contributors and strategists. His past work includes nearly a decade in hospitality, across all functions and types of establishments. As Creative Director of Bar Shiru, Daniel will oversee all aspects of design, music programming and consumer marketing.
Why this? Why now?
Now more than ever, people are seeking out tangible, authentic and connective experiences. Jazz and vinyl are each undergoing a massive resurgence, across all generations. Meanwhile, so many bars and restaurants suffer from poor acoustic and unmanageable crowds, with music acting merely as sonic wallpaper. For those who want to enjoy music, they usually have to choose between a concert or dance club, often at the cost of meaningful social interaction. Bar Shiru will fill a much needed void by providing customers with a space in which to come together and listen to thoughtfully curated selection of records on an incredible sound system, while still being able to converse and socialize with friends.
Given the focus on music and our broader objectives, we see Uptown Oakland as the natural home for Bar Shiru. Oakland's officially designated Arts & Entertainment District, the neighborhood is a burgeoning center for jazz and home to a thriving bar, restaurant and music scene. Uptown also serves as the center of the Bay Area's artist and nonprofit community, which in turn drives a socially-minded and community-oriented small business community.
In addition to Oakland being a natural fit for our vision and values, it is also an incredibly viable place to start a new business in the hospitality space. Uptown has quickly risen to prominence as a nightlife hotspot and is one of the fastest growing mixed-use neighborhoods in the country. The neighboring Fox Theater, just two blocks from the Bar Shiru location, draws 250,000 music fans to Uptown each year. Monthly events such as Oakland First Friday draw an additional 15,000 visitors each month. City surveys also estimate that nearly 27,000 new jobs were added to Oakland in 2016, with an additional 17,000 new residential units planned for the next 8 years. Simply go out in Uptown on any night of the week, and you'll see music fans, the local business community, nonprofit employees and independent artists of all demographics converging in Uptown, with the demand for social spaces far outweighing the supply.
As the face of the business, I have faced first-hand the challenges of small business financing and fundraising as a woman. While there are several amazing initiatives and investment firms dedicated to solving the funding gap for women, resources are extremely limited (and virtually non-existent) for entrepreneurs outside of the tech space. The experience has inspired me to make myself available as a mentor to other small business owners, and someday, reinvest a portion of revenues in women-run hospitality businesses.
But first things first, we've got to get Bar Shiru up and running! And we need your help to do that. By supporting our campaign, you'll both help us achieve our vision and contribute to iFundWomen's mission to empower other women by reinvesting 20% of revenue from campaign fees in other campaigns.
We will use funds received from our supporters to round out our vinyl collection for opening, purchase fixtures and furnishes and cover construction overages.
This has been nothing short of a labor of love and we are sincerely inspired and humbled by your support. We cannot wait to enjoy a night of music and whiskey with you at Bar Shiru. In the meantime, we hope you enjoy the rewards!