Thursday, 11 October 2018

Bar Rescue - The Brixton - OPEN


On this episode of Bar Rescue, Jon Taffer visits The Brixton in Austin, Texas. The bar is in a prime location on Sixth Street and was bought by couple Tim and Sara Lupa to save it from closure. They kept everything in the bar as it was and believed they could rely on their customer service but Tim's behaviour has driven away the customers. They are heavily in debt, at risk of losing their house and their relationship is suffering.

Jon and mixologist Peter arrive and are unimpressed by the uninviting exterior. Jon shows footage of when he sent in friend Clay undercover with two friends.  Tim was behind the bar and is rude to the customers, he asks the few customers they have to leave because they are talking loudly!  Sara is forced to step in and make drinks for Tim as he struggles with their orders. Jon meets with the couple to feed back on the experience and Sara doesn't hold back with her frustrations. Tim vows to change but Sara isn't convinced. 

Jon returns the next day and holds a staff meeting and discovers that they serve no food and have no central theme to the bar. The staff admit that the owners fight often and it makes them very uncomfortable when they fight in front of them. Peter challenges the staff to mix some staple drinks for him to check their skill levels and they all do well, except Tim. 

That evening, Jon invites locals to the bar for a stress test. The bartenders get overwhelmed with orders and Tim falls behind as he isn't used to the fast pace of a busy bar.  Sara gets frustrated with Tim and tells him to leave the bar but he refuses as he wants to help. The constant bickering between the couple is uncomfortable for the customers and many decide to leave the bar. After the service, Jon talks to the owners about his experiences working with his wife, which ended in divorce and he suggests that they don't work together, much to the  relief of the staff!

The next day, Peter spends the day with the bartenders, teaching them their new drinks menu consisting of vodka mixes and beer cocktails.  Jon meets with the owners to discuss future plans and he reveals that he wishes to change the name to move away from their negative reputation. Whilst Sara and the staff agree it is time for a change, Tim is reluctant and has to be persuaded by Sara. Tim visits a local radio station to try and undo some of the damage he has caused and to promote the bar.

When he returns Jon reveals the new name Rocket Room 6, inspired by a tattoo of Tim's and the location on Sixth street. There is a rocket on the roof  and the bar has been given a makeover inside and out. The patio has new seating, heater and there is an automatic door into the bar.  There will be an outside food truck linked to a system in the bar where they can order food and there is a ice rail to keep drinks cold. 

The relaunch evening is a success after Jon packs the bar with hundreds of patrons.  They love the new changes and Tim was more positive and seemed like a changed man! Sara seemed to be much happier with the changes both in Tim and in the bar.


What Happened Next?

They didn't keep the name Rocket Room 6 and continued to be called The Brixton. Trip Advisor reviews are mostly positive, negative reviews seem to focus on poor quality entertainment and a lack of atmosphere. Yelp reviews are also positive. 

Jon revisits and the couples relationship is stronger than ever. They have been able to expand and have opened a second bar. The changes have dramatically increased their sales revenue.

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