Romanyuk and her husband developed their business strategy after seeking advice from friends. Initially, they wanted to serve only drinks and no food, but they changed their minds when most of their friends told them they wouldn't come to a place that didn’t serve food.
"People like to eat, and they’re used to having appetizers,” Romanyuk said. They opted for vegetarian snacks such as hummus. The food was sold at a loss – the profits came from drinks sales. But the food on offer also wasn’t to many customers’ taste: “We lost around 60 percent (on the vegetarian food), as our nation is definitely a meat-loving one,” Romanyuk said.
When the bar became profitable, Romanyuk said it seemed as if she was earning money without working. However, no business runs completely smoothly. Her biggest disappointment came when clients started stealing decorative items in the bar, such as the ornamental Buddha statues she had brought in from Asia. To prevent theft, they even had to screw down air fresheners.
Retaining good staff was also a problem. When people quit, it was "like losing a family member,” Romanyuk said.
“The most important thing is to imagine your bar when everything has being stolen and broken. Imagine living through that,” Romanyuk said. “Now you’re ready to open a bar.”