Five and Dime: Vinyl Records and Microbrews

Envision Saint JohnNew BrunswickSecond Career

On certain nights in uptown Saint John you can catch faint strains of music wafting through the streets: 50s Rock, 60s Pop, Motown, Soul, Hip Hop, Funk, Jazz, Reggae, Disco, and even 80s and 90s Jams. One could be skeptical that these varied genres were emanating from the same street, let alone from the same establishment. However, Five and Dime ties these different genres together through a shared medium – vinyl.

Five and Dime Vinyl Bar is located at 34 Grannan Street in Saint John’s. Opened in December 2016, the bar is a joint venture of business partners Brian Irving and Jody Kliffer. The duo previously ran a small side-business called the Queen’s Square Farmer’s Market. After seven years working together, Irving and Kliffer realized their strong communication and matching skills sets made for a strong business partnership that had the potential to free them from the typical 9 to 5 grind.

All the entrepreneurs needed was the right business idea to make it happen. In 2015, at the height of the craft beer movement, the pair settled upon opening a small bar in uptown Saint John. The partners put their heads together to find a unique idea to help them standout from the crowd. Heavily influenced by his father’s career in the music industry, Kliffer wanted to turn their establishment into a celebration of music. While travelling abroad he had stumbled upon several ‘vinyl bars’, which were popular for their mix of vinyl records and alcohol. Seeing opportunity in nostalgia, Irving and Kliffer set to work getting their concept off the ground.

They took their time building a solid business plan, turning to Envision Saint John for feedback and support.

The process of doing a business plan, and then going through that process is really important, because you think you’ve got a good business plan, you test your assumptions, and you do your low, medium, and best case scenarios, and then to be able to run it through somebody that validates and reviews business plans professionally was good. We got very positive feedback from our counterpart. That was really good. It starts to validate and give you the confidence to go forward.


This confidence was further bolstered when Envision Saint John helped the business partners secure an Impact loan. Irving and Kliffer were investing a fair amount of their own funds into the startup, and the Impact loan ensured the new venture had enough capital to be successful.

Since opening Five and Dime has become a fun, alternative venue within the uptown Saint John bar scene. The vinyl concept attracts a surprising mix of demographics, from young cultured creative types, to suburban retirees feeling nostalgic for days gone by. The bar regularly hosts guest DJs who specialize in specific genres or eras of music. The DJs attract enthusiastic crowds and are responsible for the eclectic mix of tunes floating throughout the uptown nights. In addition to spinning vinyl records, Five and Dime has become a part of the local music scene, supporting the community by hosting live performances and giving young and old musicians alike a venue to showcase and refine their art.

It’s not just the customers who have been supportive of the new venture. Irving and Kliffer are astonished by the support they have received from the competition. When a short shipment left Five and Dime low on beer, another local entrepreneur was quick to lend them a keg, saying “We’re all in this together, man. If we’re not all good, we’re all no good”.

Despite the hard work they put into the business and their clear achievements, the duo remain humble about their success.

We have a lot of nights where we sit around, and have a drink after the night, and we’ll celebrate what we’re accomplished.

Do you live in Saint John and have a business idea you want to take to the next level?
Apply for Impact online or get in touch with Envision Saint John today.


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