(Yahoo) – When Martin Riese first introduced his 46-page water menu at Ray’s and Stark Bar in Los Angeles two years ago, he didn’t exactly get a rousing reception.
The 38 year-old German citizen had already been certified by the German Water Trade Association back home, but that designation didn’t hold much weight among skeptical Americans, who weren’t used to shelling out $20 a bottle for water.
“Some of them said ‘Only in LA’ and their eyes were rolling and everything,” Riese says.
Two years later, Riese may be having the last laugh. Business at the bar has jumped 500% and his water menu has expanded to two other locations, including the Hollywood Bowl. His $50 per person water tasting class has sold out each session since it began this year.