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Business booming for two Southland men

August 15, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
The worst economic downturn in years put two Southland men virtually out of work. However, they have put their ingenuity to work.Diversification is a word you hear often these days. For many, that means spreading investment portfolios. However, for a man who works in real estate, and another who works in the movie business, it meant going in a whole new direction.

Two old friends, now business partners, marked a new beginning this past May.

"We're spending money here to make more money down in the future," said John Brennan, co-owner of "The Office."

"You create your own opportunities and, for now, this is my opportunity," said Brian Kibbie, co-owner of "The Office."

Brian Kibbie co-owns a post production house in Burbank. It is a facility that transfers film to videotape for movies and commercials. Kibbie says recovering from the Writers' Strike has been rough.

"In my other company I already had made a lot of changes in staffing and reducing staff. It's hard to say how many more changes I'll have to make," said Kibbie.

John Brennan is a real estate agent. Times are pretty tough for the real estate business as well.

"Our markets are down but we are fortunate enough to have the right financing to be able to take care of this and go for it," said Brennan.

Instead of hoping for things to improve, Brennan and Kibbie took matters into their own hands. They dipped into their savings and leased an old neighborhood bar in Burbank. The old friends sunk tens of thousands of dollars into it. Soon enough, what was once a tattered old dive bar called "The Blue Chip" became an upscale bar and grill called "The Office."

"We saw a big opportunity. And, the bar and grill business, we think, is something that could be very prosperous in that it will be something that the community needs," said Brennan.

Two people with very different backgrounds came together to make a life-long dream come true.

"We thought that this would be a great opportunity to, possibly, offset, you know, our wages and make a little more money," said Kibbie.

The Office opened last month, and the crowds have been getting bigger every week.

Some may say there is no reward without risk, and so far, this risk seems to be paying off.

 

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