"When Henry Vortriede opened Montclair Bistro about 20 months ago, he was confident it would succeed.
But to truly compete with the best culinary establishments in the East Bay, he also knew that his restaurant was missing one central ingredient: a state-of-the-art banquet room for corporate events and wedding receptions.
Vortriede had to have one, but because so many restaurants fail within the first few years he also knew that he couldn't risk burning through the Oakland establishment's cash. Especially when it would cost about $60,000 to build.
But Vortriede found another way to get his banquet room built. He turned to bartering — the practice of trading one business' service for another's in lieu of cash."