Editor's note: This is one in a weekly series of profiles on locally owned and operated businesses in Southern Oregon.
What do you do and how long have you been doing it? We do live music, and we've been doing it for 32 years in this valley. I had a place in Ashland called Daddy-O's from 1990 to 2000. I moved to Medford in 2004, and I'm at my second location in Medford. I've been here for four months.
Business: Johnny B's
Owner: John Bach
Address: 120 E. Sixth St., Medford
Facebook: John Bach
How long have you lived in the Rogue Valley? I moved here in 1980 from Santa Barbara, Calif.
What inspired you to go into this line of work? I've always been a real supporter of live music, and there didn't seem to be anyone around here doing it. There are a lot of bands that are really loud — metal, punk rock — and they don't have anywhere to play. There are other venues that want a certain kind of music, and I run the gamut. I do a little of everything; that's how I fell into it. We have local bands, a lot of bands from around the country and even overseas. I booked the Avett Brothers, and they're on the country music channel now with videos. I booked The Devil Makes Three years ago when no one knew who they were. There were 20 to 25 people the first time they played, and now they open for huge names. They sold out the Ashland Armory a couple of weeks ago.
What decision or action would you change if you could do it again? I was on Bartlett Street for eight years and then the Job Council wanted my building. That turned out to be a good thing. I've moved two blocks away, and it's been a total difference. Now I'm more in the loop by Howiee's, Habañeros, Porters and the Rocky-Tonk Saloon & Grill. All of those bars are right in the loop here.
What's the toughest business decision you've made? The way I'm set up was pretty much determined by the (Oregon Liquor Control Commission). There was a time when, if it was before 9 o'clock, I could have all ages listening to music. I don't have minors in here anymore. They were welcome until 9, and then you had to make sure there weren't any minors, and now I don't have to worry about that anymore.
Who are your competitors? Musichead does all-age shows, but I don't do that. I've got a different niche at 21-and-older.
What are your goals? Hopefully, I'll still be in business. It's a hard business dealing with people and the city. To get open where I am now requires more rules and regulations. I had to put in an overhead sprinkler system before I could open. It gets harder to open a business all the time. I had to put in a backflow system for the soda, a grease trap for the water and then I had to put in another emergency exit — it was a nightmare.
What training or education did you need? I took restaurant management when I was in high school. I attended the Southern California Regional Occupation Center. I worked at a Sears cafeteria for management and food service. Beyond that it was pretty much on-the-job training, and over the years I've cooked with a lot of different chefs.
What's your advice for budding entrepreneurs? Do your research, talk to other people and location, location, location.
To suggest ideas for this column, about businesses that are at least five years old, contact reporter Greg Stiles at 541-776-4463 or firstname.lastname@example.org