Life Along the Streetcar with Tom Heath from The Heath Team Nova Home Loans

On this week’s show, we’re going to interview with Nick Wayne Eggman. He is the co-owner of Highwire Lounge here in downtown. They’ve been open since 2015. They serve a unique product in a spherical alcohol, but they’re making a move into the green sphere, and that’s what I wanted to talk to him about. We’re going to find out what all of his efforts and plans are in just a few minutes.

Today is October 10th, my name is Tom Heath and you’re listening to “Life Along the Streetcar”.

Each and every Sunday our focus is on Social, Cultural and Economic impacts in Tucson’s Urban Core and we shed light on hidden gems everyone should know about. From A Mountain to the U of A and all stops in between. You get the inside track- right here on 99.1 FM, streaming on DowntownRadio.org– we’re also available on your iPhone or Android using our very own Downtown Radio app.

Reach us by email contact@lifealongthestreetcar.org — interact with us on Facebook @Life Along the Streetcar and follow us on Twitter @StreetcarLife

Our intro music is by Ryanhood and we exit with John Doe

Our intro music is by Ryanhood and we exit with music from Tommy Keen, “Highwire Days”.

Transcript

Tom Heath
Good morning. It’s a beautiful Sunday in the Old Pueblo and you’re listening to KTDT Tucson. Thank you for spending a part of your brunch hour with us on your downtown Tucson Community sponsored a Rock n Roll radio station.

Tom Heath
On this week’s show, we’re going to interview with Nick Wayne Eggman. He is the co-owner of Highwire Lounge here in downtown. They’ve been open since 2015. They serve a unique product in a spherical alcohol, but they’re making a move into the green sphere, and that’s what I wanted to talk to you about. We’re going to find out what all of his efforts and plans are in just a few minutes.

Tom Heath
Today is October 10th My name is Tom Heath, and you’re listening to Life along the streetcar, each and every Sunday, our focus on social, cultural and economic impacts And Tucson’s Urban core Only shed light on hidden gems. Everyone should know about from a mountain to you, Arizona. It all stops in between. Get the inside track right here on 991 FM Streaming at Downtown Radio.org.

Tom Heath
Also available on our very own app, which is the Downtown Radio Tucson app. If you want to get us on the show here, you can email us Tact at Life along the streetcar dot-org. That same URL will take you to all of our past episodes. You can also find us on Facebook Instagram. And if you like podcasts, ask your smart speaker to play Life along the streetcar podcast, or check us out on iHeartRadio Spotify ITunes and so many other places.

Tom Heath
So much is going on here In Tucson. It is fall festivals, or back to Saint. Meet yourself is Our way, maybe get a chance to go out and see the the new version. The first time. It’s been live in a couple of years. So it’s going on through a part of a today. And then for those of you that we’re looking for, the Presidio museums living history, days on 2nd, Saturday, they a move that to the 16th They didn’t want to conflict with Tucson meet yourself. So they pushed that date back a week, giving us even more opportunities to For the amazing events in downtown Tucson.

Tom Heath
Well, our featured guest today is no stranger to special events in downtown Tucson. He is the co-owner of high wire Lounge, which is in the Gibson court, right Behind Johnny Gibson’s downtown market off of Arizona Avenue. The he and his co-founder started the business in 2015, and they serve a unique product, A cocktail made with a magically formula Spherical alcohol. That’s An interesting product, a few, If you’ve never tried it, It’s certainly hard to describe. But our guest Nick Wayne Eggman will try to do so here in just a moment, But their their business is making a move to the green space, and they’ve got a lot of plans to make their footprint more sustainable and really improve the general area in which they operate. And that’s really why we want to sit down with him Had a chance to talk with Nick a couple days ago. Well, we were here with Nick Wayne Eggman, one of the co-owners of the high wire Lounge in downtown Nick. Thanks for spend a little time with us today.

Nick Wayne Eggman
Hey, thanks a lot for having me.

Tom Heath
So you’ve been operating out of downtown for about six or seven years now, right?

Nick Wayne Eggman
Yeah, it was six years, June of this past summer.

Tom Heath
But what, what on Earth possessed you to move Downtown in 2015?

Nick Wayne Eggman
All right, Good good. And so I grew up here in Tucson. Don’t dread. Most of my twenties up at Scottsdale, Got into house flipping from there with that that started to dry up and not be as viable, Had a little pocket of money and needed to do something with it. So invested into, you know, my hometown downtown Tucson was what I decided. And then very quickly it became apparent that it wasn’t going to be a type of business that I could just go off and go back to real estate. And so I kind of Got sucked in, and they’ve been here since.

Tom Heath
Sucked in has been here since I think they think that might be the new motto I guess, for for downtown, right? We can’t escape, right? So, tell us a little bit about your business model. I mean, obviously we have a lot of bars, restaurants and such in downtown, But but yours was open somewhat with the unique concept and remains, I think the only one in the area correct?

Nick Wayne Eggman
Yeah. So that’s where my business partner, John Hardin, comes in. He, He’s really developed our cocktail program. And people have really taken. We call them Pearl shots there, The spear fight vodka on a soup spoon. And they’ve really become our Say, everyone has their thing. And that’s definitely ours, but some people really seem to enjoy that.

Tom Heath
But this is this is science. You talk about a spherical shot of vodka. I mean, that doesn’t happen naturally. How do you, how do you make that happen?

Nick Wayne Eggman
Right? So It’s I’m just so everyone knows it’s not Jello, not gelatin, No animal by-products. It is completely vegan, and it’s basically it’s a secret are bigots, unicorn, unicorn tears and whatever John says. But yeah, it’s Melissa a few ways to go about it, A few different processes and products that can be used. And just over the years, He’s kind of perfected to You, get that screw application without without you. If it includes all the fire where it’s still, you know, a liquid at the center and just cry when we’ve kind of figured out, you know what the way to do it,

Tom Heath
What led you to this? This concept? I mean, what? What? Why did you think this is a good idea?

Nick Wayne Eggman
So when I wire first opened, he he, you know, original and current space, a new box, It’s actually 785 square feet. So there’s not much to it. We had our little space and our patio. And so in order to set ourselves, apart from, you know, every other, you know, smaller cocktail lounge. It was just something you know, to make us stand out over the years We’ve grown, we’ve acquired more patio space. We’re currently in the process of construction across the way at the former independent Distillery space. So it’s going to go from a shoebox to, to quite a big venue All together will be nearly 6000 square feet. You know, suppose he’ll downtown.

Tom Heath
So let’s talk about the space, First of all, because if you’re not familiar with downtown, not only are you a shoebox, but you’re, you’re tucked away. Sort of in the, in, in the back corner of what used to be a gym equipment. Warehouse,

Nick Wayne Eggman
Exactly. Yep. So that gym equipment warehouse, It’s Jen equipment, Is that Johnny Gibson’s downtown market, and we’re in the back Back, which puts us right off of Arizona Avenue. But for all intensive purposes is an alley. So our front door is right off the all storefront. So. And so, yeah, we had to find ways to adapt and evolve, And, you know, make a way for ourselves off this little alley here.

Tom Heath
Okay? And so you’ve had, you’ve got the patio space. And now you just mention you’ve taken over the there is another establishment across The patio from you, and you’ve taken over that space,

Nick Wayne Eggman
Yes. And so constructions going full blast, very excited. Hopefully it’ll be up and running by the end of the year. And so that will give us our kind of your new home base will keep the existing high wire, will remodel it next year to match the Aesthetics of the new high wire. And so we’re basically going to have a north and a south end with a courtyard in the middle.

Tom Heath
Interesting. Okay, So your do the renovations get the new one open. And then Then remodel the original location to match the the new one

Nick Wayne Eggman
Exactly

Tom Heath
700 square feet to 6000 square feet. So that’s that’s right. That’s that’s more right. That’s bigger.

Nick Wayne Eggman
Yeah, It’s a lot more. Yeah, it’ll be nice That people, for whatever reason. So, you know, rap down the alley around the corner, It’ll be exciting. We be able to have the space, the facilities to serve, you know, customers more efficiently. Everyone who wants to come in will be able to get it.

Tom Heath
Awesome. And are we? We had featured high wire few years ago, not because of the bar, but because of what you were doing in the art community you’re having, I think, on second Saturdays, you were having artists come in and do work live on your patio. So you’ve been using that patio for more than just, you know, just your normal business. I mean, what other things have you done on the patio where the things that you’re doing there?

Nick Wayne Eggman
All right. So that that’s yeah. So aside from just selling parts of that’s what we do, that That’s something very important from the beginning has been Community involvement, Making it about more than just selling content. So as things with the pandemic start to lighten up, we are doing currently monthly pop ups where we open up the space, too low Cool business people who might not have their own storefront, or, you know, a physical retail space. And we have them come in for a few hours, you know, Saturday after Do they have the space to set up a pop-up and get themselves out there? So that’s one thing we’ve been doing. We’d like to bring back live music here in the very near future. Then it’s second Saturdays ever get going again. That’s where the artist kind of bash up happened. We did it every second. Saturday Day, we’d like to get that going again as well.

Tom Heath
So what are some examples? What are some of the businesses that have been done as pop-ups?

Nick Wayne Eggman
Goodness? There are so many. And I don’t know, Is it? Is it?

Tom Heath
Is it a monthly thing, or is it? Is it just periodic, When everything’s whenever the think, the stars align?

Nick Wayne Eggman
We started it up this summer. It’s monthly. I think we skipped one month due to the heat, but they pick back up. And our next one is actually coming up next Sunday. And I believe that is The me grab my calendar

Nick Wayne Eggman
Yep, October 16th We will have our next pop up here. So yeah, if you’re out and about on a Saturday afternoon, come check out all the local local vendors. And it’s usually everything from you know,

Tom Heath
also, it’s multiple vendors. It’s not. Oh yeah. Oh, I thought you meant your opening up to multiple vendors. But like one at a time, you open it up. It’s almost like a like a farmer’s market or An arti fair.

Nick Wayne Eggman
You know, people come back clothing, jewelry, sulfa, candles, body scrubs, all kinds of you, just wonderful local businesses. So for especially with the holidays, you know, that will be right around the corner. It’s a great option for gifts and whatnot.

Tom Heath
What, what hours does this operate then?

Nick Wayne Eggman
So it does vary month to month. We kind of what we try to do, depending on whether this kind of try to coordinate it at a time. Now that the weather, you know, for the next know from now until May is going to be amazing. That gives us more options, but we can get it up and get you the exact.

Tom Heath
That’s okay. We can. We can also, Where do people find out more to they link to your website, Or what’s the work was?

Tom Heath
Instagram and Facebook page have any trouble finding it will be back to the second half of interview with Nick Wayne Eggman of Highwire Lounge in just a moment. But I would remind you that you’re listening to lifelong A Streetcar on Downtown Radio 991 FM and available for streaming on Downtown Radio, dot-org

Tom Heath
Welcome back. We’re going to finish up our interview here with Nick from high wire Lounge, Getting a sense of his history here in Tucson. And this next step for the episode here, We’re going to discuss some upcoming events and really get into the details of how they’re going to make their space more sustainable, and how they’re going to impact the area in general.

Tom Heath
And you mention holiday. So I would imagine Halloween downtown Is it coming back this year. We’re gonna have a Halloween this year?

Nick Wayne Eggman
Making kind of this point which vaccines readily available. It was a month or so ago. I was on a conference call with Pima County Health. I think the direction everyone’s going is vaccine awareness. If you want to get it, they’re out there. So I think we’re kind of at this point letting you know our customers, the public kind of dictates. So if they’re ready to come back out, what we’re definitely going to have events with Jameson on Friday, the 29th and then Bacardi Saturday, the 30th Sunday, the 31st there will be a costume contest. I believe it’s a $500 cash prize. So I think, yeah, down Out and everyone’s ready for Halloween.

Tom Heath
Well, I think if there’s one event that, regardless of the controversy we can all rally around. And when it comes to mask-wearing, it’s Halloween, right? Yes. But reason, you know, II, love your establishment. And and I love what you’re doing in downtown and in the community field. But something came up recently that prompted this call. I was I saw you had posted something, and then actually talk to Mike Piazza at local first Arizona, and he had filled me in a little bit that you would just Completed one of their green certification programs, One of their big ones, and got through all the training. And you’re starting to implement things in your, in your business. And this is really kind of grown. But the first of all, tell us a little about your involvement with this green effort through local first. And what that meant to you and why you’re doing that.

Nick Wayne Eggman
All right. So I made this kind of ties into, and, you know, I’m 41 years old now. So you start to get to an age where, aside from just selling cocktails, what you know, what are you really doing? And so The involvement it’s more than just, you know, a surface level getting involved with clean initiatives, things that you know are for the betterment of the world around me is becoming more and more important. So through that course, the objective was by PN to develop a project where we could take what we learned throughout the summer and implement it into something that we could bring it out to fruition to make real Leti with my course. I decided to excuse me, Propose a project Along Arizona Avenue, our initiatives like solar powered lighting. They’re definitely for safety aesthetic. We could use a lot more Lighting in this island. We do have quite a bit of vegetation in this Courtyard. I’d like to implement rainwater harvesting to assist with that. I mean, those are just a few of the things you know, I would like to accomplish.

Tom Heath
And then. So this started as an effort with high wire in your business. But now I understand it’s, it’s really kind of grown into a project that’s going to pull other others into it. And it’s really it sort of grown from there.

Nick Wayne Eggman
Yes. And there’s some great local businesses that I’ve been in touch with. Bottle rocket Actually take glass, recycled glass and fun that they use it to create Planters benches. I’d like to have them. You don’t, In this project, the watershed management group, Jennifer Johnson with kids, a Picasso. She’s a local artist. She does paint classes which serves the downtown community. So I’d really like to work with her on a mural along Arizona Avenue. So, aside from just the green initiatives, the basics of solar rainwater harvesting through the green leaders program, It also extends into community outreach engagement, inclusion. And so I kind of To get all that together and use Arizona Avenue kind of as a canvas to where we can display there.

Tom Heath
When I talked to Mike he in this we didn’t actually originally the conversation wasn’t about your. Business or your effort, It just sort of came up, And then he explained to me, He’s like, I think Nick has got one of the best, you know, from from a graduate standpoint, people have come to this program. He’s sort of he’s got this probably the best cohesive and one of the most immersive plan, And to get the community involved in Lily. And I think it excited him because it wasn’t just about making improvements. It was what you just said. And that’s spreading the word and getting more businesses involved in making them more aware of the opportunities.

Nick Wayne Eggman
Correct. Yep. And so the. So that’s the goal. That’s the plan along with that, though I think it’s important to know it’s great that sold our rainwater harvesting Go. Those are things that could make a difference. However, in Downtown Memphis lose, We’ve lost all our recycling receptacle. So that’s a huge step. I feel a huge step backwards. So as part of this plan with Arizona Avenue, I’d also like to get conversation going with with the City of Tucson on the way He can know, resolve any issues that were happening and get our recycling back downtown. There’s a huge amount as a bar of cardboard aluminum bottle, and that all these glass liquor bottles out all are just now going into the – so I, you know, some type of way to recycle that that makes sense. I mean, I can’t load all the stuff at the back seat of my car every night and take it somewhere. So we need to have a realistic, you know, way to for these businesses to be able to recycle. Yeah, just kind of blows my mind that for whatever reason, it was decided to remove recycling downtown.

Tom Heath
Well, we can. We can look into that from a few different standpoints. And you mentioned and what it is, it bottle rockets, or that Don’t are they able to help you and take some of your glass and use that? Or is that not an option?

Nick Wayne Eggman
And that very well could be so bottle rocket. And either Goodrich who I’ve spoken with briefly, that could be an option to get our glass, you know, put into some of her recycled products. And I do believe there is a rich purple receptacle for glass over at Armory Park, which is wonderful. And I’m sure the system residential, but you Got, you know, businesses right here in downtown, better, going through a lot of glass are being night. It would be nice to have something that’s more realistically, and our area

Tom Heath
Understood. And it seems like, you know, like, kind of leading the way with, with what you’re doing. And if you’re putting in solar water harvesting and, you know, gauging the community and all of these activities, maybe that will spur Some, some actions forward. And where’s this? You talked about a mural. So this is new to Me. Where is this mural going to go?

Nick Wayne Eggman
I would like for it to go. There’s a big empty wall that I think is, you know, suffered damage graffiti over the years. It has splotchy touch up, paint in a variety of colors. So I’d like it would go right across from where high wire currently is on the wall along Arizona Ave.

Tom Heath
okay, So it’ll be it’ll be it won’t be inside of your establishment. And we’ll be outside for the public.

Nick Wayne Eggman
This would be something for everyone to enjoy. Arizona Avenue. I mean, as Is kind of is an artery that connects Congress to Broadway. There’s some new businesses opening up over also Broadway. So this will probably get a lot more pedestrian traffic. You know, it’s time goes on right now. Like I said, it’s pretty rough at nighttime Dim not sufficiently lit at all. So for just safety and Aesthetics, I think this project would greatly be a benefit to everyone. Downtown.

Tom Heath
Fantastic. So, Nick, it tells Highwire, what are your hours? When are you normally open? What specials do you have coming up with? What events? Things like that? What’s going on?

Nick Wayne Eggman
Alright? So we are now back open. Seven days a week Monday through Friday 5 pm. On the weekends We open at, I believe, two o’clock noon on Sunday. I don’t know these things. I just write the checks. But open seven days a week with the pop-up community events, We have some of the best. He’s in town on the weekends We do have. Actually, right now, a karaoke contest going on That’s Tuesday in the following, will be the last two qualifying rounds. The last Tuesday of October will be the finale. And there is a $500 cash prize for first place. So that’s actually pretty exciting. We’ve had some great singers come out so far. So if, if you’re interested, the next two Tuesday’s come by by 8 pm To sign up.

Tom Heath
All right. So, and all Of this information, the the events, the the contest, the pop-up markets and information about your your green projects as they’re moving forward And ongoing. This is all social media available. We can find it on Instagram, Facebook and and such.

Nick Wayne Eggman
Yep, Yep, Highwire Tucson.

Tom Heath
And are you chronicling this, this green transformation and going, you know, kind of doing it as a its own little blog series, or, or how we’re going to be able to track that.

Nick Wayne Eggman
You know what? That’s a good Question. I’m not really good at taking pictures of things. Usually I get a project done. I should have got a picture of the before, but that’s a good idea. And I think you probably should be chronicled. So once it kind of gets its feet and gets off the ground, that’ll probably be something that that we could do

Tom Heath
And can people help you with, and you need anything, Or you just trying to put all the pieces together right now?

Nick Wayne Eggman
For right now, getting all the vendors together quotes, I will be getting an architect on board to come up with a rough plan, because I believe That’s what we’ll need to then go to city council, and it’ll really be up to them to, to approve this. This is City public property, So they’re going to have to be the ones to get the Okay. And at that point, that’s where I think Community Support, who would really come in handy.

Tom Heath
So if you’re if you’re interested in this project and want to see it move forward, pay attention to high wire, Tucson’s Facebook and Instagram pages. And when the time comes, speak up and let your let the folks know that you support this.

Nick Wayne Eggman
Perfect.

Tom Heath
Okay, Well, we’ll be keeping track. And if you want to reach out to Nick or support any of their efforts, or check them out, you can always head over to our Facebook page, and we’ll have links to that as well. But I know it’s we’re recording this on a Friday afternoon. So I would imagine you are pretty busy. So I appreciate your time. And I look forward to catching up with you over some spherical vodka.

Nick Wayne Eggman
Awesome. Alright. Thank you so much, Tom.

Tom Heath
Thank you. Nick Wayne. Eggman, Co-Owner of Highwire Lounge, Appreciate his time as we appreciate that of all of our guests. My name is Tom, He and you’re listening to Life along the streetcar in Downtown Radio 891 FM and available for streaming on Downtown Radio dot org

Tom Heath
Well, thank you again to our guests, Nick from high wire Lounge time these days Is extremely precious, and we appreciate him willing to spend some with us. And we appreciate that of all of our guests Don’t find out what’s happening in the urban core directly from the mouths of those Making it happen. It’s a very refreshing and rewarding. And we know that it comes at a cost to them with their daily schedule. So we appreciate that If there’s something we should be covering that we’re not something you think is pretty cool out there. Another Hidden Gem Hit us up on our Facebook page Instagram or shoot us an email contact at life. The streetcar dot-org, as we’d like it to share. And quite honestly, I’m lazy. So I’d rather you just tell me what to talk about, and I’ll I’ll go track it down. But all this research is killing me. Just kidding. That’s the fun part.

Tom Heath
Hey, next week We do have some more exciting stuff Coming your way. We’ve got David Mitchell from the Pima Association of governments. This group called PAG. It’s a planning organization that really incorporates incorporates all of the various organizations and municipalities in our region. So we’re going to find out a few things about them and including a few cool upcoming events. And we’re going to leave you today with a little music in honor of Our Guest. We’re going to go way back to 1989 This is music from Tommy Keen. The album is called based on happy times. And the music you listening to the song is Highwire Days. Hope you have a great week and tune in next Sunday for more Life along the streetcar.

This page provided by The Heath Team at Nova Home Loans®

Tom Heath - Senior Loan Officer with Nova Home Loans
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