The Brixton - Bar Rescue Update - Open or Closed?

The Brixton Bar Rescue

In this Bar Rescue episode, Jon Taffer visits The Brixton in Austin, Texas.

The Brixton was a punk bar in a prime location of Sixth Street in the middle of a hipster area.

The bar 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 attitude has driven away customers, mostly college students and a younger crowd.

They are heavily in debt, at risk of losing their house and their relationship is strained by the issues at the bar.

Jon and mixologist Peter O’Connor arrive and are unimpressed by the uninviting exterior.

Tim used to be a marketing professional for a fortune 500 company but has poor people skills.

Jon shows Peter social media posts that are worthy of getting staff fired for their content.

Jon received an email from a friend Clay who has been to the bar.

He reported it was the worst bar ever with Tim being unprofessional.

Clay and two friends recon the bar for Jon.

The bar is empty and the decor is bad with an uninviting patio.

Clay asks for several cocktails but Tim can’t make any of them.

They settle on a Mule and a Gin Martini which are made poorly and taste terrible.

They try to return it but Tim is rude and turns his attention to the only other customers in the bar and chases them away.

Sara steps in, tosses the bad drinks away and makes better drinks that Clay admits are good drinks.

Tim doesn't sound happy that Sara saved the day and lashes out.

Jon comes in and confronts Tim about his poor knowledge of drinks and rude attitude.

He sits down with the owners and they say they are desperate because their business is failing.

Jon says it’s crazy to buy a failing bar and not change anything about it at all.

Sara is sad about the situation and says their marriage may not last.

Tim says he still loves her but she doesn’t believe him.

The next day Jon talks to the staff about what's wrong with the bar.

The staff don't know why the bar has its name and Tim can’t define what type of bar he is running.

They say there is no food menu and the owner’s squabbles make them uncomfortable.

Tim’s attitude of driving customers away is also brought up by the staff.

Jon can’t believe paying customers are being kicked out of the bar on a regular basis.

Sara reveals to the staff they can only stay open for three more months and are in $100,000 debt.

Peter the mixologist comes in to assess their skills.

Tera and Alyssa, the bartenders, shine making good Old Fashioned and Long Island Iced Tea.

Tim isn’t taking it serious and annoys Peter before he makes his drink with some corrections.

The stress test is on and Sara is made the manager for the night.

Tim is slow and fumbles while Sara is faster and keeps on top of the orders.

Tim and Sara get into a fight and the tension chases customers away once again.

Sara is forced to send him out of the bar area while Terra and Alyssa step in.

Tim and Sarah continue to bicker and the stress test is a bust.

Jon and Peter meet with the staff afterwards and it is decided Tim and Sarah shouldn't work together and they close for the night.

Peter and Jon have a small aside to decide what to do to make the bar standout.

The bar doesn’t have a kitchen or enough space for live music so they decide on signature infusion drinks.

Peter takes the staff through infusion vodkas and infusion beer cocktails the next day. He teaches them three drinks.

Jon meets staff about the changes they want to make and Tim pushes back, opposed to a name change.

Everyone else is onboard with the rebranding and Tim seems to cave.

He agrees to be the first to paint over the sign but he paints a middle finger on the wall.

Jon pleads with Sarah to talk to her husband. She manages to convince him it’s for all of them and the success of the bar.

Jon sends Tim to a local radio station to drum up excitement for the relaunch.

Jon brings in a local sculpture artist Tommy Gregory to meet with Tim and Sarah to create something iconic for the bar.

Jon reveals research shows Austin is one of the fastest growing regions and the bar has the potential to be at the centre of the growth.

After renovations the bar is renamed Rocket Room 6, inspired by a tattoo on Tim’s arm and their location on sixth street.

Roman Wheel Constructions did the renovations and added a big metal rocket on the roof.

Inside, Tommy Gregory made the new bar front, the front bar and patio and heating has been installed.

They are given a frost rail to keep drinks cool, a new cooler and a tablet that connects to a food truck across the street for food service.

At relaunch, the customers love the new drinks but there is some wait time for drinks.

Tim mingles with the guests and has a changed attitude.

What Happened Next at The Brixton?

They didn't keep the name Rocket Room 6 and continued to be called The Brixton.

Six weeks later, sales are up 17% and Tim and Sarah are expecting their first child.

The Brixton closed in March 2020 after the couple sold their share of the bar to co-founder Van Akens.

Yelp reviews were mostly positive with praise for the atmosphere, drinks and music.

Jon revisits and the couples relationship is stronger than ever.

They have been able to expand and have opened a second bar as the changes have dramatically increased their sales revenue.

Click for more Bar Rescues

Previous episode - TJ Quills

Next episode - Zanzibar

This post was last updated in February 2022.

1 comment:

  1. I liked the new name Rocket Room 6, unique, and refreshing to the younger hip crowd, the other name was boring and not very inviting 😱🤪


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