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Afterlight: a new twist on after-work drinks

Setting a whole new tone

Tucked away beneath a downtown Ottawa heritage building is Afterlight, one of the most unique hangout spots you’ll find in the city.

You won’t find blaring Top-40 music or 50 flat screens showing the same depressing sports game. No beer n’ wing specials, either. Nope—this is a new refreshing take on “after-work drinks.”

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Afterlight co-founder Farid Dagher and his team have set out to create a warm, intimate speakeasy lounge and listening bar. At Afterlight you can order up a beautifully crafted cocktail or two after sunset, and soak in the fresh, laid-back sounds from a rotating cast of local DJs.

“The concept behind Afterlight is simple: get downtowners together, hang and enjoy great cocktails during the work week in a musically open-minded space,” says Farid. “It’s also where mixologists can get creative and explore new flavours.”

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Building a uniquely Canadian community of creatives and creators with .CA

According to Farid, choosing to use a .CA domain speaks volumes about their business’ size, scope and commitment to the local community scene.

“Everything that we do, the people that we work with, the DJs that we hire—are primarily Canadian and they are small curators, creators and creatives themselves,” he explains. “Having a .CA domain is just a representation of the collective and community that’s behind everything Afterlight is.

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Being a Canadian business provides Afterlight with a platform to showcase uniquely Canadian talent—whether it’s DJs on their decks or mixologists behind the bar—to both locals and visitors that may be in town attending conferences and festivals throughout the year.

“One of the most rewarding things about running a small business is working with a variety of people in a much more connected way.”

Farid registered his domain through GoDaddy, emphasizing his trust in the well-known registrar. “I’ve used GoDaddy to register a dozen websites in the last decade—it’s my go to platform.”

Cocktail break!

Watch as Afterlight head mixologist Makayla Sutherland shows you step by step how to create the Hair of the Moose a quintessentially Canadian cocktail and custom signature drink for CIRA—featuring Nova Scotia blueberries, maple syrup and whiskey.

Extending Afterlight’s reach beyond their physical space

Having a .CA presence allows Afterlight to reach customers who’ve never experienced the speakeasy space with information, photos and even playlists . For instance, customers can learn about the drink menu and operating hours or book the space for private events—a key piece of Afterlight’s business.

Afterlight Website

“We’re using our website to streamline the booking process by having all the most asked questions available. That way, people know what to expect before they ever call us.”

Afterlight’s website is also used to promote a host of upcoming events and initiatives and solicit feedback on everything from the atmosphere to the cocktails.

“I would say that our online presence has contributed a lot to our growth—both through organic exposure, and with paid advertising to connect us with our target customers,” says Farid. “Having something for them to land on and explore is key—no matter what channel they’re being converted from.”

A new dawn…what’s next for Afterlight?

While their website will continue to play an important role going forward, Farid is also grateful for the unique scene playing out at Afterlight, and the platform it provides.

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“We’re lucky to be continually fostering and engaging a big community of creatives and creators in Ottawa,” he says. “I would say our baseline is the music community, and we’re constantly looking for ways to create deeper opportunities and expand the spaces that we have for these people to come together and create.”

You can follow Afterlight on Instagram, browse their killer cocktail menu and even sample the sounds and vibes on their official Soundcloud account!

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