Jolt'n Joe's Gaslamp / Gas Lamp Social - Bar Rescue Update - Open or Closed?

Bar Rescue Jolt'n Joes Gaslamp

In this Bar Rescue episode, Jon Taffer visits Jolt n Joe’s in San Diego, California.

Jolt n Joe’s is located in the iconic Gas Lamp quarter.

Jolt n Joe’s is owned by Phil Paccione, who bought the bar in 2004.

He remodelled it into a billiard club, sports bar and event center.

Business took off and it was successful for many years.

Owner Phil got sick with cancer and bought in a General Manager Sean Kisner to keep the business going.

Now that he is feeling well again their work relationship is tense due to a dispute on sweat equity.

Because of their dispute Sean is very controlling of the business and staff operations.

The food is inconsistent and the bar has been neglected and fallen into disrepair.

They are now $1.2m in debt and are losing $10,000 a month.

Jon arrives at the bar with Mixologist Alex Goode and Chef Vic Vegas.

There is no space to park his SUV in front of the bar so they have to do the recon from a nearby location.

Jon gives his team the lowdown on the owner Phil and his dispute with Sean.

They meet bartenders Mindy and Angela and server Erica.

Mo is the cook and he is constantly being disturbed by Sean as he attempts to cook in the kitchen.

Jon has asked some local radio celebrities to come into the bar and they order Mai Tai and Bloody Mary.

The Mai Tai tastes sour and the Bloody Mary ‘tastes like a hotdog’.

To sample the food they order a grilled chicken sandwich and a steak burger.

The orders are served and the customers spit the food out saying it tastes like cardboard.

They place another order for tacos with cornbread which they think is horrible and also spit this out.

During their recon, Sean is clueless to the issues and is playing pool.

Jon has had enough of what he has seen and comes in to meet with Phil and Sean.

He finds out more about Phil’s health and how he hired Sean to lighten the load whilst he was sick.

Jon takes him to meet the spies and during their feedback on what they experience Sean interrupts.

Jon blows up on him showing him the substandard food and drinks that they were served.

However, Sean blames the cook and the cook is called to speak on the food.

He points the finger right back at Sean saying he micro-manages the kitchen.

Sean is lost for words and Jon says he needs to step up or he will find Phil a new manager.

The next day the staff gathers to meet with Jon and his team.

Jon asks Phil to reveal his financial situation to the staff and they hear without improvement they can only stay open for a few more months.

Staff are honest about the issues and say the food and drinks are bad and very inconsistent as there are no standards.

Mo says the recipes need work and their recipes all come from Sean.

Staff also say that Phil never set a standard either and that’s why Sean has let things go.

Jon sends the staff off to be trained while he speaks with Sean and Phil about the resentment between the pair.

Sean thinks he was given a promise of equity in the business through his sweat but Phil denies ever doing that.

Phil believes Sean is being overpaid and Jon makes him see that if he is unhappy he won’t give his all to his business.

They agree to see how Sean performs at the stress test and Phil and Sean can discuss a deal moving forward or they would part ways.

Alex takes the staff through some skills tests so that they can learn consistent drink making.

They all make Bloody Marys inconsistently and Sean makes a legendary Bloody Maria.

Alex teaches them how to make a Bloody Maria.

In the kitchen, Vic Vegas asks Mo to make some fried chicken using his recipe and they talk about why it tastes so bad.

Then he teaches them a new recipe and the proper way of making fried chicken.

The Stress Test starts and orders start coming in.

The customers are enjoying the drinks and Mindy is shining as a great bartender.

Phil is in the kitchen. He is meddling with Mo’s cooking and trying to serve undercooked chicken.

Mo has to step in front of him often to stop him causing issues in the kitchen.

At the bar, Sean is trying to keep on top of things when a customer complains of getting a raw burger.

More customers start complaining of the food being undercooked and they start sending it back to the kitchen.

Sean comes back into the kitchen to help with the fryers and running food out of the kitchen.

Jon has seen enough and decides to shut it down as he has seen the parts that need work.

The next day, Alex teaches the bar staff some new cocktails.

Vic takes the kitchen staff through some new dishes including spicy shrimp tacos.

Jon meets with Phil and Sean and gives them some time alone to air out their issues.

They settle on an offer whereby Sean will receive 15% of net profits.

This deal will be put in writing but in the meantime they shake over it.

The renovation team work all night and a new bar is revealed, with a new name: The Gaslamp Social.

The inside the bar has been updated with a new colourful decor with digital elements everywhere and there are new pool tables.

There are HabourTouch POS systems, Skytabs and Onestone Hub stations for PR with charging cables.

Vinyl Viral did the new wall graphics and Forever Lawn did the turf detailing.

There is also a new Manitowac Ice Machine and a lifetime subscription to TVT for training and Partender for inventory.

Mo is also given a new chefs jacket.

On relaunch night, the customers are loving the new cocktails and the bartenders are doing great with keeping up with orders.

Sean is in control and logging orders and running food.

Mo is keeping on top of orders in the kitchen with great food being served to happy customers.

What Happened Next at Jolt'n Joes Gaslamp / Gas Lamp Social?

Six weeks later, Phil stepped back to allow Sean to manage the bar, new customers keep coming and sales have improved.

They kept the name Jon gave them but were forced to close temporarily during the pandemic.

Gas Lamp Social closed In April 2021.

They closed after they were evicted by their landlord after he filed for eviction with the court, despite a ban on evictions at the time.

Reviews were positive after the show with customers praising the service, food and drinks.

Their La Mesa location (not the one featured on the episode) closed in June 2019.

This post was last updated in March 2022.

1 comment:

  1. Total shame goes to the landlord for the eviction if a long-term tenant especially when it was not to happen during COVID protocol.


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