On the Line: Roland Barrera and Joey Oehrlein of Casa, Part Two
You know it's a team effort when Roland sends me cool cocktail videos and photos of Joey lighting things up in Casa while he's on vacation. I gave Joey the night off and had Roland cruise through the rest of the questionnaire. Looks like he's dropping hints at another venture in the works. Stay focused, Roland! You're almost done here.
I started our conversation with Roland and Joey yesterday. But we continue with Roland in part two below . . . What was the last spontaneous thing you did? Purchased a ticket to New Orleans for the "Tales of the Cocktail" show last week for five days and literally just landed at LAX. Boy, oh boy, what a great time and experience. Soaking up all that French Victorian architecture, visiting 300-year-old graveyards and getting dinner and cocktails served by bartender Chris McMillian just by accident was all pretty surreal.
Where do you like to go snowboarding? Brighton, Utah or Big White, Canada.
Where did you grow up? If you're not from Orange County, what brought you here? Corona, California until I was 17. Skateboarding and snowboarding and working in construction brought me. I hated the 91 freeway as soon as I had to personally drive it. Said to myself, "This ish is for the birds." Through board sports I met a ton of really cool guys and gals that did not reside in the I.E. We'd plan skate, snow trips and events; and the rest was history.
What other projects are you working on? We are both currently excited to be working on a few projects at the moment that will be opened and/or released in late 2014 [Editor's Note: I'll be awaiting that email, Roland.]
Hardest lesson you've learned: Being vulnerable.
When you're not working, what are you doing in your free time? Working.
Last movie watched or last book read; how was it? Just watched Philomena last night. Was actually really good, I thought. I grew up in a somewhat troubled Catholic household, and pretty much have the same views on the religion or religion in general. Completely fascinated with all the 14th and 15th century works of Michaelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, though!
Last song playing on your radio: Two Sides (To Every Story) - Etta James.
Let's talk about your furniture line. That had to be put on hiatus while I was tending to other interests and projects. Designing Casa took a ton of time from last year, and at times was physically draining. As long as I get to design and turn my thoughts onto paper, then onto fabrication and physically see it through, then that's all I'm really passionate and care about.
I do see furniture coming back around again sometime soon . . .but now I am really into early 18/1900s, and you sure can't make them like they used to! The other projects have me booked from now until mid or late 2015. This will have to fulfill those dreams for now, and should help keep the creative juices flowing forward.
If you could have another profession, what would it be? Man . . .a classical musician or a part of a large scale traveling show that had real large scale budgets to go with them. Watching the creative process of creative director Konstantin Ernst for the 2014 Sochi opening and closing ceremonies really did me in. To have a team equally as passionate and creative as he was gave us all the end result we witnessed then . . .might be the best shows we will see in our lifetime.
Is there anything you'd like readers to know about Casa that we haven't asked? Yes, I'd like to acknowledge all Casa partners, family, fans and guests for all the hard work and dedication they have put into making what Casa is and can be for future years to come. It's all really exciting to see a newer, intimate bar concept here in OC, and work out all the kinks that come our way week in and week out. Everyone has an opinion, and it's very tempting to try and listen and stray away from the vision and what we have set out to do as a team so that others can appreciate the hole that we are filling. You can't ever know how to do it unless you've done it. Thanks to all of you!
This month, Casa will be turning one and celebrating our first anniversary. I think it's been pretty fun for all thus far, and that's what this business (or anything else for that matter) should be. If you aren't having a blast doing what you're doing, then you haven't found your place. Keep trucking . . .
Casa is located at 820 W 19th St, Costa Mesa, www.casacostamesa.com.
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