Local man creates conversation with unique social bar
BY PETER SWART
Waterloo is continuing to grow more and more each day and it’s thanks to people like Rami Said.
Said is one of the city’s many entrepreneurs who offer something to the community that makes it as unique as it is.
He was born and raised in Waterloo and as he grew older he decided to check out what the rest of the world had to offer. As he roamed he fell more in love with the city of Waterloo.
“As I travelled more I realized how lucky we are to have a city like ours,” he said. “It’s a smaller city with a big city feel that has so much to offer.”
When Said left high school he jumped right into the business world, starting autoBahr Lubrication & Detailing with his brother.
“I spent about five years running that business and I learned a lot from it to put it bluntly,” he said.
From there he dove into the bar business, opening Waterloo’s first ever LGBT nightclub, The Order.
“I opened The Order three years ago with my business partner at the time,” he said. “By year three we said you know what, Uptown has become much more inclusive and the need for just a singular LGBT nightclub might not be there anymore.”
Said and his business partner went their separate ways, closing The Order. He began to think about his next move.
“I was sitting around with my high school friends every time they came home for the holidays, (talking about) what we were doing and the fact that none of us really, you know, we didn’t really have a place that we could go to and just hang out and have fun,” he said.
Enter Patent Social.
As a group of people in their late 20s, Said and his friends felt they were too old to go to nightclubs and they would always end up staying in.
“We’d always end up going to someone’s house and play Nintendo 64 and reminisce about the good old days in the ’90s when we were young,” he said. “So we kind of took those ideas of what we were doing and created a venue that kind of catered to that demographic.”
The bar features televisions at each booth, like a sports bar but with old school gaming consoles set up rather than the Leafs game.
It loans patrons video game cartridges for free, and also features live music and performances like burlesque shows, cabaret nights and local musicians. The menu is also unique as it includes only appetizer-type foods like kettle corn and sliders because the bar is focused on the socializing aspect and not providing full meals.
Using “patent” in the name of the bar was a big part of the creation of the space. Said wanted something that truly represented Waterloo.
“The question when we started was: What is Waterloo?” he said. “Well, the University of Waterloo takes no ownership over any inventions or ideas that come out of the university, so it’s actually one of the highest per capita in terms of patents coming out of students.”
Said hired a local artist to paint the walls with artistic representations of some of the region’s most famous patents.
“You’ll see everything from the 1930s rubber sole patent to the original Blackberry on the walls,” he said.
The point of the patents being displayed is mainly to spark conversation about what Waterloo has to offer the rest of the world.
“Being a social bar, the idea is to start conversations and get people talking about our community,” Said said.
The bar is located in Uptown Waterloo at 17 Erb St. E. Their current hours are 4 p.m. to 12 a.m. on Sundays, Wednesdays and Thursdays and 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. The hours will change during the summer. For more information you can check out their website at www.patentsocial.ca.