August 14, 2007 brett

Arman Ausiello hasn’t made it; at least, that’s what he’ll say. The owner of Santa Rosa, California’s Ausiello’s 5th Street Grill warns, “once you sit on your laurels and think you’ve made it, you’re done.”

Arman, whose vitality makes his age a complete mystery, has owned successful bars for over 25 years; anyone looking into opening a bar would be wise to listen to his advice. Armen’s lack of college degrees is completely negated by a natural business sense and a work ethic taught in no MBA program. Ironic that a man so successful in a competitive business would offer this as advice:

“Don’t get wrapped up in competition. Do what you do, and be happy with it.”

Beyond his years behind the bar, every morning Arman cleans his entire establishment, and in doing so sets the standard for each of his employees. Many would call this work below the level of an owner, but Arman learned from his father to “just work,” and work he does. He makes sure to distinguish Ausiello’s as a neighborhood tavern/beer bar with a sports focus, not a sports bar. He does not draw his identity from thematic elements, but rather strives for consistency of service, food and environment.

This commitment to consistency has solidified Arman’s place in the community; the community is as well a part of Ausiello’s, with hundreds of framed pictures adorning the walls. These pictures serve to remind Armen who his people are, and exactly why he doesn’t need to change.