Rocks / Power Plant - Bar Rescue Update - Open or Closed?

Bar Rescue Rocks

In this Bar Rescue episode, Jon Taffer visits Rocks in Laguna Niguel, California.

Rocks is owned by Scott Terheggen.

Scott bought the bar in 1996, after retiring from his career in real estate.

It is an upscale bar and cigar room and was a hit, they were getting $50,000 a month.

He chose to open in the location due to a legal loophole that allowed patrons to smoke inside the bar, despite bans throughout the state.

In 2009, Rocks was forced to comply with the smoking ban which was the beginning of their downturn.

Their rent increased and a new club opened close by that has been popular with local college students.

The bar is now empty most days and hosts rowdy friends of staff at night.

This is despite being in a popular college area that should see the bar packed night after night.

They are losing $2000 a month now and may not be in business much longer.

Jon arrives with his daughter Samantha, an expert bartender to recon the bar.

They find a group of men hanging around outside the bar and Samantha thinks that this is intimidating to females.

The front sign is so small that it is barely visible from the main road.

Jon reads some online reviews and they give it zero stars calling it rough, rugged and dirty.

Samantha goes into the bar to get first-hand experience.

As she enters the bar, she can smell old stale beer and isn't impressed with the decor.

She was hit on by an older man and noticed a lack of young, female patrons inside the bar.

She changes location at the bar before ordering the night’s special; a watermelon shot, which doesn't taste like watermelon at all.

The DJ, Tony was distracted and regularly left the booth, leaving long gaps in between the songs being played.

She asks about a sign on the wall that signifies a club, she is given some attitude but is told it is a drinking club.

She leaves and gives her father the low down.

Jon enters the bar and meets with Scott, who admits that he is only at the bar a few times a week and the staff mainly run it themselves.

Jon sees saran wrap on the liquor bottles which is a technique to preserve the bottles but is unacceptable to be on display during service hours.

Scott's brother-in-law walks in drunk, is over friendly and hugging the female patrons.

After a confrontation with Jon, he is removed from the bar.

The bar has a social club ‘O Dark Thirtys’ and Jon thinks it makes the bar appear unfriendly to outsiders.

Scott is made to take down the sign for the social club and they are not pleased with this.

The next morning, Jon shows them footage of the social club members drinking for free in the bar and going wild.

They lost over $1200 of liquor on the day the drinking club came in from free drinks.

Joseph Brooke is a speed bartender and Jon’s expert for the bar.

He quickly finds flies at the bar and that it is sticky and dirty.

He tests the bartenders and they don’t know some basic drinks and they make horrible drinks.

Jon speaks with Scott and suggests closing the bar during the day as they make more money at night.

Scott breaks the news to the staff but they don’t take the news well.

Jon reveals that he wants to transform Rocks into a nightclub to accommodate the younger local clientele.

A large sign of the name is painted over in order to give them a new brand.

It will now be a new nightclub with a strict dress code and no more club related jackets.

DJ Green Lantern comes in to take DJ Tony on how to take care of a younger crowd.

It is revealed he is inexperienced and has only been practising for three years so is not finessed in the basics.

Joseph works with the bartenders to improve their pouring skills and teaches them some new drinks.

The new drinks are a vanilla vodka cocktail and some slammers, giving them a new menu to work with.

He then teaches them some basic pour techniques to keep pour costs down.

Krysten speaks up that she believes the report of their waste is not accurate.

She has an argument with Joseph but she continues the training.

Tony enjoys his class with a seasoned DJ and there is some improvement.

The stress test starts but the bar staff forget all the training and the pressure has them going back to wasting liquor.

The DJ tries to get people to the dancefloor but no one responds.

The staff are overwhelmed and the bar is shut down.

Jon has a staff meeting and gives them feedback on the night.

Jon takes Scott to show him the major changes they will have to make for a more inviting space.

A new bar is revealed called the ‘Power Plant’, inspired by their location in an industrial park.

They go inside and I the main area has been opened up with a VIP area.

The DJ is in the center now with a new MGR sound system.

The carpet has been removed so there's no longer the dive bar smell it had.

There is a new funnel, a barrier created to force interaction between customers.

They have a turbo tap system that fills glasses three times as fast to speed up serving.

On relaunch night, IDs are checked from their young customers and a customer in a club jacket comes to the bar but he is denied entrance and leaves.

The bar starts well but soon gets overwhelmed due to not having enough glasses and customers are left waiting.

DJ Tony plays an upbeat track to pull people from the bar to the dancefloor and succeeds.

They are busy and the bar staff are more confident and Scott is optimistic about the future due to the success of the relaunch.

What Happened Next at Rocks?

Six weeks after Bar Rescue, sales had improved by 20%.

They changed the name back to Rocks after Jon left.

They said that Power Plant did not sound like the name of a bar/nightclub.

They also undid some of Jon's other changes including reopening during the day.

Rocks closed in November 2014. His other Rocks locations remain open.

This post was last updated in February 2022.

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