Alfonso is the current owner of the legendary Rainbow night club in Granada. Although the nightclub first opened in 1996, he’s been running it ever since 2004. With a facebook page that already had more than 26,000 followers (prior to facebook closing it no warning) he receives visits from Spain and all over the world. In fact, most of his occassional customers recognize him by the logo of his own self-made van wherever he goes. All that turns Rainbow nightclub in one of the most famous metal night clubs in Spain and all around the world.
What I loved most about our interview is finding out about his original motivation to run the pub and his determination to make it work. You’ll find out what is that reading all the way through the interview below.
Alfonso contacted me, among other things, because he is a fan of images, more specifically video making, and knowing I also do photography, he proposed to join him on a new side hustle that I found interesting to be in. So we met to actually get to meet each other in the flesh and take some photos to promote our new side hustle.
Likewise came to me the idea of featuring him on my Wild Dreamers side hustle last project and join his video hustle ViDrone. Given that we have no name yet, please feel free to add your own suggestions to our new project on the comment section below.
07/12/20: we are happy to announce our project is labelled as: IMVICTA.
So let’s begin with the inteview, what I find most interesting about your story is … how did you get to own the Rainbow club?
I was a regular customer of Rainbow and once talking with the then owner (David) he said someone had made an offer on it to make it a brothel. I said “how much did they offer you? I’ll make you the same offer”
But… did you have money enough for it?
Not at all, but I thought I could always ask for a bank loan.
What personalmoment of your life were you in when all this happened? did you have a permanent job at all?
It happened three months after my dear uncle passed away, with whom I had a really close relationship so I wasn’t really on my best moment. However the idea of having another brothel in my neighbourhood – I always lived in this area- didn’t please me at all, as at that time it would be the fourth in the area. Also, I was a regular costumer and I didn’t want to have to do without my favourite metal night club. When it comes to employment; I already had a permanent job in another night club.
But… did you have any experience on how to run a business? how did it all go in the beginning?
Even though I had no experience running a business per se, I definitely had some experience working in the night clubbing scene working in several and varied roles; waiter, security guy, barman psychologist (hehe) and dj of music I didn’t enjoy at all. The latest role in fact is one of the reason as to why becoming the owner of a club more in alignment with my musical taste acted as a powerful magnet to me.
However, I kept my job at the beginning for a whole year in order to pay the loan I had applied for to own the club.
Have you ever regretted your sudden decision?
No, Never. As a matter of fact everything went quite smoothly from the very beginning. I was the first one in shock with the new popularity the club adquired once under my regency. Before I started running it, the club was almost empty. Soon after I arrived and after decorating the interior, added a tv screen, changing the exterior with the new logo (as seen in pic below), adding a pc and changing the whole sound system the club success began to rise. All those things definitely added up and when I launched it under my management (after three weeks closure due to such reformations) the new customers joined the previous it already had and they soon all became regulars and started spreading the word immediately to other metal lovers in town.
Wow, it seems you got extremely lucky, doesn’t it?? Just kidding.
The majority of people who don’t take risky decisions seem to say that. However we do know we take risks and therfore own a life that it seems it was just pure “luck”, deep down we both know that there is way more work that goes into managing a successful business than what it might seem at first glance.
In your case you had to ask for a loan and you worked twice as hard on the first year (working even 12h for 365 days) in order to pay the loan back sooner than it was expected and necessary. You also had the vision on how to re-decorate it and how to improve the atmosphere and that’s why you’ve got such results (a.k.a “luck”) that most people don’t have, and furthermore, the fact that you did so for an honourable cause honours your business further. It seems like luck to others but actually success only happens when talent and preparation meet opportunity.
So tell me… what makes Rainbow so different and so popular? Besides your charactistic self-promoting RainVan with which your national and international customers recognize you for wherever you go? (hehehe)
Unlike many other heavy metal clubs these days, in Rainbow we only play the metal genre; anything from bands like Deep Purple to Mayhem.
To sum it up, the choice is very wide, but we narrow it and aim mostly towards the old school metal. Which includes bands that now may have an “antique flair” to those new generations. Heavy, Power, Thrash, Death and Black are the main pillars of our musical atmosphere.
In fact, below you have me in the dj cabin holding two great representative albums of such music pillars.
Have you got any fun shareable story/incident that you can share with us that makes us understand what makes the Rainbow pub so legandary?
As a curiosity I’ll tell you that in a certain occassion came a man followed suit by three ladies, that later he’d let me know that it was his wife, his mother-in-law and his own sister. He was wearing a white shirt and he caught my attention because he didn’t seem from here (I mean, Spanish). I remember that I was playing in the cabin and when I played a song by Mercyful Fate, the man opened his white shirt showing proudly the King Diamond T-shirt he was wearing below whilst raising both thumbs up in a gesture of approval to my musical choice. Later, he came to the cabin and definitely confirmed my suspicion that he wasn’t a local with his American English. He told me he was from Missouri and that he was celebrating his stag do that he had planned all around Europe. He told me he had devised a plan to visit the most emblematic heavy metal clubs of 5 different European countries (Germany, England, Belgium, Norway and Spain, if my memory doesn’t fail me) and that he had left Rainbow for last since his plane back home departed from Spain the following Monday. And he confessed to me that of the five clubs he had visited, Rainbow was the one he liked best. He also told me to be a close friend of one of Anacrusis’s Band members, thrash metal band from the U.S.A.
Wow, it seems then that Rainbow has such an exceptional reputation in the world of Metal and I’m sure that customer felt satisfied indeed with his choice of country and metal night club. There is nothing quite like listening to one of your favourite musicians being played out loud on a club without you having to beg the dj for it to be played. It’s like you’ve found your place.
Before we forget, please tell us something more about your new side hustle.
Well, as a waiter in a heavy metal club I’m in touch with a lot of customers and friedns who play and have their own metal bands and I’ve always liked the image world, in fact, not too long ago I took on a drone piloting course and now, given Covid circumstances, I’ve decided to invest more time in this new project of offering doing videos to emerging local metal bands, and hopefully, in the long run, offer this same service driving anywhere in Europe where they require of my service.
It’s been a while since we added each other on facebook and the quality of your images caught my attention and hence why I decided contacting you, just in case you were interested in working with me on the video takes on foot as well as offering your photographic services together with my drone image recordings as a full high quality package at a more reasonable price to these new emerging metal bands in Granada. As we both know how hard beginnings can be. Also we barely know each other but I think we’ll make a great team! ;D
Thank you so much indeed for thinking of me for this side hustle, the truth is that it would be an honour to work in partnership with other entrepreneurs like you, who work daily on making their dreams come true, and in doing so, helping other people feel inspired to do the same. That’s what my project wild dreamers is mostly about.
By the way, how is all this Covid-19 affecting your business? Which measures did you have to implement to keep the club open?
I had to ask the council of Granada for a new change of conditions on my business licence so I could adapt to the current regulations and continue to be able to follow with the business activity, although as you’re already aware, with an endless amount of restrictions and limitations. From using desinfectant after each customer to ensuring masks are worn indoors most of the time.
In fact, right now I’ve seen myself forced to remove the table football game due to preventive measures (temporarily, mostly because it’s hard to ensure all handles are properly desinfected at all times plus the time it takes to desinfect them all) and I’ve created a new much needed seating area which my regulars have labelled as the “chill out” area, hehe (see pic below)! I’ve also built another table near the dj cabin and brought a standing table indoors which we had at the entrance.
¿Do you think you’ll survive the Covid Crisis? ¿Have you sort of thought of a deadline to give up if night clubbing measures don’t improve any time soon?
I would say “I wish I knew” to the first question. It’s all very uncertain, who knows who will survive this situation. To the latter, so far I really haven’t got any intentions of giving up anytime soon, in fact I’m calmly flowing with the situation and awaiting for better news regarding new restrictions and measures to come by for the night clubbing scene. Nevertheless, it’s true that since I’m involved in our new aforementioned parallel side hustle, in the one you’re now immersed, the most important thing now is to keep working on something.
What would you recommend to the future wild dreamers who might be reading this article that haven’t yet made a move towards achieving their dream jobs?
If you’ve got it clear in your mind, don’t hesitate, go ahead instead.
¡¡And that’s all folks!! We hoped you liked this interview and we hope it may help you feel inspired to chase after what you want, listen to your intuition and jump ahead when you meet an opportunity. And those who are working on that and need high quality videos or photos at a more reasonable price, please contact either of us for further details.
And remember to have some cold beer jugs whilst listening to some wild music, Rainbow is your place to go. And if you can’t physically go there yet, try following its activity on Instagram until you can drop by in the flesh. 😀