Waste of space?

Bars transformed into daytime offices with The Pub Hub.

The Pub Hub mission: Transforming bars that open only at night into productive, affordable coworking spaces during the day (photo credit: THE PUB HUB)
The Pub Hub mission: Transforming bars that open only at night into productive, affordable coworking spaces during the day
(photo credit: THE PUB HUB)
Have you ever (figuratively) kicked yourself after learning of a start-up concept that is so brilliant and simple that you are at a loss as to why you hadn’t already thought it up? If this sounds familiar, brace yourself before learning about The Pub Hub.
“We transform bars that only open at night into productive, and affordable, coworking spaces during the day,” explains CEO Daniel Rubin. Let the kicking commence.
Working from home is hard. The temptation to remain in pajamas all day, take spontaneous naps and eat anything available proves too strong for many. For years, the solution has been the coffee shop.
“Have you ever worked from a cafe?” Rubin challenges, “How did you feel? Be honest.”
Well, you feel pressure to order an awful amount of caffeine and nibbles. You feel irritated by the unusually loud chatter at neighboring tables. You feel anxious as your laptop’s battery slowly diminishes, and there are no available outlets to charge it.
“It’s not an office, that’s the bottom line. As a society, we decided that a coffee shop was a good place to work from largely because there were no alternatives. But it’s not really a place to work, it’s a place to order food. If you need a copying machine or a highlighter, they don’t have it.”
Functionality, however, is not the only focus. The Pub Hub is trying to form a community of individuals who will help each other professionally. It is only beginning, though there’s little doubt that it will develop rapidly.
“Our community is excited, passionate and growing. With us, the more people that join, the better it is; with a coffee shop, the more people present, the worse it is – you just have to wait longer, and it’s more crowded!” There are, of course, plenty of office options around central Israel and big cities worldwide, mainly in the form of trendy, coworking spaces. Reigning over them is the giant WeWork, with branches in Tel Aviv, Herzliya and Beersheba. The key question is, then, what sets The Pub Hub apart? It turns out, quite a bit. Whilst The Pub Hub is home to a few small companies, it’s particularly good at focusing on the individual.
“Most coworking spaces [in Israel] are looking for start-ups or bigger businesses. It makes sense, that’s how they make most of their money, through selling bigger offices.” This can affect the social aspects of co-working, and the price of office space for the individual.
The Pub Hub’s pull is the price. “We are a third to a half of the price of WeWork,” charging NIS 500 a month for unlimited use.
For an individual, that saves a lot of money. Weekly deals are also available, at NIS 225. Rubin and cofounder and COO, Doron Maman are willing to bend over backward to cater to those with less regular work schedules, such as those who wish to come in once a week. This fills a significant gap in the market. There are day passes, although customers are encouraged to join The Pub Hub community for at least a week, to experience what it has to offer. Anyone interested is eagerly invited to a free trial.
Additionally, unlike larger spaces, The Pub Hub’s formula makes expansion fairly simple.
“We don’t need a huge demand in order to open new spaces,” says Rubin. “It takes us two to three weeks. Almost every bar we wanted to work with wants to work with us, so we are able to be picky.”
Being “picky” includes considering the bare bones of the spaces, such as types of seats and sunlight. In the current location on 60 Rothschild Boulevard, Tel Aviv, outlets were added to allow people to work outside, and with 25 or so members in each space, it can be easily catered to their needs.
“We are a living, breathing space.”
Decor and charm are not a problem.
“There are beautiful spaces all over the world that are closed during the day. Prime real estate.”
As is customary in coworking locations, members are treated to various benefits: a welcome packet including a mug, headphones, notebooks, etc., workshops, mentors and discounts at the location once it transforms back into a bar at night.
The office opens at 9 a.m. and transformation into its night role occurs at 5:30 p.m.
“I believe, personally, that it is productive to work 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and then to go home and spend time doing what you love.
We try to promote that attitude, and encourage members to take the night off, eat a proper dinner and read a book.”
Ah, how refreshing and, in the frantic world today, when technology ensures that one need never switch off, how necessary.
The Pub Hub currently has a branch on 60 Rothschild Boulevard, Tel Aviv, with plans to open more locations around Tel Aviv in the upcoming months, in addition to branches around the country, according to demand.