Greg Melzer is clear about his goal in life: "I want to have a hobby that pays the bills." Amazingly, he's on the verge of living the dream.
Greg and wife Kim are about to launch the second edition of MadCity Cocktails, which Isthmus memorably anointed "a Bucky Book for barflies" when it was unveiled last year (Watchdog, 9/10/09). The new edition, which goes on sale Sept. 30, features two-for-one drink specials at 150 area bars. It can be preordered at madcitycocktails.com and will be sold at all participating bars as well as Cub Foods, Steve's Liquor and Rosatti's Pizza.
The book differs from the Bucky Book in that coupons are not torn out; rather, bartenders sign and date the books when used. Melzer says most of the 100 establishments in the first edition are included again. Moreover, "I've had people in other counties steal my idea" - the sincerest form of flattery.
MadCity Cocktails sold about 10,000 editions last year and hopes to sell 15,000 this year. "Am I getting rich off this?" asks Melzer, a former advertising salesman. "No. But do I love what I'm doing? Absolutely."
But Melzer is a bit surprised by the book's audience. "Students aren't the ones buying this," he says. "The ones who buy it are people affected the most by the economy" - folks trying to save a few bucks whenever they can.
With 300 two-for-one drink deals, each for up to $7.50, MadCity Cocktails offers potential savings of $2,250. The new edition sells for $15, up from $10 last year. Melzer says he wants his fam's three kids "to eat more than macaroni and cheese and ramen noodles."
We'll drink to that.