No, that’s not a typo, Microsoft top brass have decided to axe plans to open a bar on their Redmond campus.
The bar – named Spitfire – was almost completed when Microsoft abruptly pulled the plug, and when I say almost completed, I mean they had deals with food and drink distributors, hung signs announcing the opening and hired 22 staff. Spitfire was due to open tomorrow.
Microsoft spokesman Lou Gellos had this to say, “The goal was always to create a cool gathering place for employees, but to do so in a manner that’s consistent with a business environment. We took a second look at that, and we were sensitive to the business environment. We decided we should do something more appropriate, and that meant not having a pub.”
Perhaps I’m biased, after all, I come from the UK, a nation of drinkers, but this seems like a bit of an own goal for Microsoft. I can’t imagine that many employees were going to be stumbling into their cubicles blind drunk.
Bar owner Jonathan Sposato was equally baffled: “I am completely stunned and disappointed by the decision,” he said, “I am confused by the sudden change of heart.” Sposato declined to comment on how much he and his partner had invested in the project, only saying that it was ‘a lot’.
He hopes that it won’t have to come to litigation, pointing out that the site could easily be turned into an alcohol free restaurant.