Greg and Aaron in Uruguay (2008)
I recently premiered my short film “Fired!’ in Portland. I chose to show it at Dig A Pony, the bar that I helped open last Summer. It’s been a very successful enterprise, and it’s been exciting watching it grow in popularity over the 9 months it’s been open. Credit to the three owners Jake Carey, Page Finlay and Aaron Hall for making it so great.
I met Aaron in Uruguay in late 2008. It was a special time. We were surrounded by stunning beaches, free from concerns, Obama had just been elected, and there was a feeling of hope and mystery surrounding our trip. When you’re travel, you are often in search for something or somewhere new. I didn’t realise, until I met Aaron his girlfriend Emily, that the place I was looking for was Portland.
We talked a lot about our plans for the future on those beaches. I wanted to be part of a group of inspiring creative people who could help each other achieve their goals. Right Club was formulated on those beaches. Aaron spoke about wanting to set up a bar that would become a meeting place and a place to make great things happen. Three years later, with the opening of Dig A Pony, he achieved it.
It wasn’t until I saw this photo, taken on the night my film screened, that I truly realised how things had come together. I was able to reflect on how far we’d come and how lucky I am that Aaron and Emily were sat in my seats on a small bus in Uruguay.
Fired! premieres at Dig A Pony (Photo by Tommie Fox)
Travel when you can and be open to everything and everyone you meet, for the seeds of opportunity lie in every new experience.
"Hey Adrian. Which way's Hollywood?" "Not sure... just keep smiling:"
New flat top beer, Churchkey had their launch party at Dig A Pony, Portland last week. Not only did I get to be one of the first hipsters in the world to sample “the most hipster beer in the world”, I also got to meet Mr. Adrian Grenier, who is one of the partners in Churchkey.
There was definitely a hint of fear in his eyes when I first accosted him, but when he realised I was more of a harmless psycho, as opposed to the axe-wielding type, he seemed to loosen up. I told him about Bigfoot and also my idea for the shit British (Shitish) version of Entourage, which he sounded excited about appearing in. Then I asked if he was going to Cannes.
“Oh… But I would need a place to stay” he said.
“You could stay with us” I said. “We have a spare bunk bed”
“Hmm… It’s just that you grow accustomed to a certain lifestyle” he said.
“Come on! You telling me, you don’t secretly want to sleep in a top bunk?”
“But how do you get chicks in a bunk bed?” he laughed.
“No I’m in a double bed. You’re in the bunk bed…”
And that was the story of how I invited Vince Chase to be in my Entourage. I’m expecting the restraining order through the mail soon.
The Good, The Dad & The Ugly by Jordan Domont
I’m premiering Fired! tomorrow evening at Dig A Pony in Portland. Looking forward to sharing it with my friends before we take it to the LA Comedy Festival next week. My friend and local artist Jordan Domont designed this poster for the show. The Fired! logo was designed by Will Bryant. Maybe people will like these posters and I can sell some of them and get some money back for all the festival submissions. Festivals are expensive these days.
So now I just need to find a printer. Of course, I’ve left it to the day before the screening to do this. Organisation isn’t my strong point, especially with my PA/Mum back in England.
If you’d like to come to the Fired! show, the details are, like everything in life, on facebook.
I just edited this video together for the world’s best bar, Dig A Pony. It’s been open a month now and so far people seem to like it. I hope you enjoy watching and find it inspiring to see what can be achieved with hard work and passion. I’m obviously talking about my video, not the bar. LOL!
Also don’t expect to see me much in it. I don’t really do manual labour (more of a blogger than a builder). But I do come in near the end for my Hitchcock moment. Just to keep the fans happy.
Portland bar Dig A Pony opens today. It’s the creation of 3 of my friends, Page, Aaron and Jake. They’ve worked themselves into the ground over the past year or so reaching this point, and it’s been great to be here in town to help them over the final hurdle.
The bar is full of things that I love. It looks like a modern version of a 1920s establishment. The walls are lined with old books. People I love work there. It’s going to have a darts board. DJs will be playing soulful, uplifting records most nights of the week. Good food. A huge bar. I think it’s going to be a special place to be.
I even bought them a Shove Ha’Penny board in tribute to old English pub past times. I had their name lazer cut into the surface at ADX…
Lazer vs. Shove Ha'Penny Board
I see myself spending many an evening there, propped up at the bar, dressed in tweed, like a more literate Norm from Cheers…
The years at Dig A Pony had not been kind to Greg
Today they’re having an Opening Party. I think it’s going to be some night. Let the good times roll!
I’ve been taking some photos down at new Portland bar Dig A Pony before they open this week. Here’s one I took of my friend and talented photographer Randall Garcia. In case you were wondering, this is just in front of the ladies room and Randall plans to spend most weeknights in this position.
Randall Garcia by Greg Ash
My friends, Aaron Hall, Page Finlay and Jacob Carey are opening a bar here in Portland. It’s called Dig A Pony, inspired by a Beatles song.
With it scheduled to open in 2 weeks time, they are working hard to get it ready in time, stripping the floor, fitting the bar, installing the kitchen. The list is endless. I have been managing their daily blog and facebook, and generally helping out in a manner that doesn’t involve heavy lifting or use of machinery. I even painted a wall in the kitchen the other day!
I’m very excited by the what’s taking shape down there. They’re going for a nice blend of old and new, and planning on serving fantastic food, and having DJ’s playing records every night of the week. I’m looking forward to organising a few events when it opens and maybe even starting a darts team.
I’ve been hanging around a lot over the last 4 weeks, observing and taking photos. Here’s some of my shots…
View From Across The Street
Making Way For The Stained Glass Window
Aaron Sweeps Up
Those Walls Are Painted Now
That's Going On The Wall
To support Dig A Pony you can read their blog, become a fan on facebook, and follow them on Twitter @digaponypdx, if you’re into that kind of thing. Or just go get a drink if you’re ever in Portland. I’ll see you there.