Ian Cross had a vision for The Trestle Inn, his dimly-lit go go bar under the Reading Viaduct in Callowhill: floor to ceiling projections of retro videos would stream on the wall while customers sipped whiskey sours and made their way to the dance floor.
Only problem was that the projection software was a nightmare.
Bartenders had to control the software from a tiny closet-sized room between the bar and the dance floor, and the software constantly crashed, leaving a Windows error message on the wall.
It wasn’t the trademark that Cross, who leads Old City web design firm I-SITE, had in mind.
Fortunately for Cross, a trio of techie Trestle Inn regulars offered to build him a solution. Meet The Trestleator, crash-proof projection software with a mobile app that lets Cross control the projections from his phone.
A side project from freelance designer Leslie Zacharkow and P’unk Ave. developers Kerry Gilbert and Kyle Stetz, The Trestleator allows Cross to tag videos with different themes like “Blues” and “Psychedelic.” The software also lets him change the layout of the projection screen and play multiple videos at once.
Currently, only Cross and his staffers have the link to access the app, but Cross said he’s considering opening up the projection controls to customers, the way National Mechanics has a crowdsourced jukebox.