New York bar to set menu prices like stocks

Wed Mar 24, 2010 1:39pm EDT
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By Basil Katz

NEW YORK (Reuters) - What's the value of a pint of beer? Let the market decide, says a new restaurant in Manhattan where prices for food and beverages will fluctuate like stock prices in increments according to demand.

The Exchange Bar & Grill, set amid the bustling shops and pubs of the Grammercy Park neighborhood, is replete with a ticker tape flashing menu prices in red lettering as demand forces them to fluctuate.

Customers can move prices for all beverages and bar snacks such as hot wings ($7 for 6 pieces) or fried calamari ($9). The prices will fluctuate in $.25 cent increments, but will most likely plateau at a $2 change in either direction.

A glass of Guinness starts at $6 but could be pushed to a high of $8 or a low of $4, depending on popularity.

So if one drink is in heavy demand, its price will rise, causing the cost of other equivalent drinks to drop. A rush on a particular beer would increase its price, and cause other beers to drop.

Owners Levent Cakar and Damon Bae admit the stock exchange theme is a gimmick but hope a good deal on drinks and their hamburger's tastiness will win over customers.

"Its definitely something a little bit different," said Bae. "There is a little bit of a twist."

Bae, 35, who has an MBA from Georgetown University and Cakar, a veteran restaurant hand, combined forces to open the airy lounge, which serves up to 60 people.   Continued...

<p>Men drink beer at a restaurant in Hanoi July 20, 2009. REUTERS/Kham</p>