Silver Dollar - Bar Rescue Update - Open or Closed?

Bar Rescue Sand Dollar

In this Bar Rescue episode, Jon Taffer visits the Silver Dollar in Chula Vista, California.

Silver Dollar is a 90 year old bar owned by Mike Tegardine Jr and Mike Tegardine Sr.

Mike Jr has always wanted to own his own bar.

He got the funding he needed to start the bar from his father, who was supposed to be a silent partner.

Initially, the bar was on the rise and sales were growing.

Not long after the bar started falling apart with both owners clashing in managing the bar together.

The constant fighting is affecting not just their relationship but also with the staff, the business and Mike Jr’s marriage with Norma.

Jon arrives at the bar with Derrick Turner and they take a look at the bar and aren’t impressed with what they see.

They see a dated bar that is falling apart and it also looks like a dive bar.

Derrick goes into the bar with Christina, a fellow mixologist, to see how the bartenders manage with some classic cocktail orders.

Meanwhile, Jon calls Norma to come outside secretly and to fill him in on the dynamics of the bar.

She tells him the bar needs help and lots of things are broken including relationships.

We are introduced to Candy and Sam, who Norma insists are good bartenders.

Derrick finds out there is no drinks menu and they order a Tom Collins and a Martini.

They aren’t impressed with the drinks and Derrick says the Tom Collins is too sweet.

Mike Sr and Mike Jr have a mild exchange of words awkwardly witnessed by Derrick.

Mike Sr is also conspicuously drinking and he thinks he might be drunk.

Norma says that the father and son used to be best friends.

Now they constantly bicker all day and don’t see eye to eye on most things.

This has also affected Norma’s relationship with her father-in-law as he keeps trying to put Mike Jr between them.

Jon and Norma go inside the bar to have a talk with the owners together.

Norma’s letter to Bar Rescue is read aloud on how the family is falling apart and how they need his help.

Mike Jr reveals he and Norma no longer live in the same house.

Mike Sr is shocked and admits he never knew that their marriage was in that much trouble.

This demonstrates how bad the communication has broken down between the family.

Jon points out it is Mike Jr’s dream to own a bar but Mike Sr refuses to allow him to run the bar alone.

Jon leaves them to have a talk about the future of the bar.

Mike Jr wants to run the bar himself but Mike Sr is worried about the mounting debt that the bar is in and can’t let go of that.

Jon and Derrick come in the next day to see the bar decor.

It is run down but they feel that it has some potential with its authentic history.

At the bar they don't serve any food with just basic bar snacks available to patrons.

Jon meets with the staff land discovers that the tension is obvious to customers, making them uncomfortable.

A lot of things have fallen through the cracks because of their relationship.

Mike Sr. reveals he knows nothing about running the front end of the bar but spends a lot of time running the bar.

They both tell Jon that they want their previous good relationship back.

Derrick comes in to give his feedback about the lack of a drinks menu.

It is decided they need a menu, comprehensive recipes and signature drinks to be able to rescue the bar.

Behind the bar they find rotten wood on the bar and dirt with dead flies in the liquor.

Jon tells them to clean up the bar.

Derrick gives the bartenders training on making a Tom Collins cocktail after the poor one he received.

That night they have a stress test and they will be tracking the wastage for the service.

They have a limited drinks menu to help speed up service but they waste 2 drinks almost immediately and are slow to get orders out.

It quickly gets up to $30 wasted. Mike Jr is up front serving customers but many are unhappy with the wait.

They quickly run out of glasses and ice and Mike Jr asks his dad to run back to get some new glasses.

The bartender gets cheers from the customers as she makes 16 Tom Collins at once!

Later that night there is close to $50 of wastage.

Jon is impressed with Mike Jr’s hard work and his father praises him too.

Derrick trains them the next day on making a Negroni and sets a new drinks menu for them.

As construction continues in the bar, the father and son are sent off to have a meal together at a nearby Italian restaurant.

They spend some time getting sentimental, with Mike Sr apologizing for things he had said to his son.

He is willing to let his son run the bar as the stress test was a revelation for him that he can step.

Mike Jr is happy to have his father back.

The bar is unveiled after renovations with new wallpaper throughout. It has been cleaned and updated whilst maintaining its historic feel.

Replications Unlimited did the stone work and Decorative Ceiling Tiles did the custom ceiling work.

There are two new Kitchen terminals set up for food delivery service to the bar from the Italian restaurant.

Jon has fitted them with One Stone for promotional videos, Harbour Touch terminals and Skytabs for payments. have provided bar tools and mixing equipment and East Coast Chair and Bar Stools supplied the tables, chairs and stools.

They also have a Partender subscription as well a free training program from Jon Taffer.

There is dance floor lighting installed by AV King and Orange Door for entertainment.

On relaunch night, the patrons like the new look to the bar, they order food and it is delivered in less than 30 minutes.

The Bartenders are more confident and as a result the service is faster and the drinks they serve are better.

The family is much happier with Jon sharing a hug with all three of them.

What Happened Next at Silver Dollar?

Six weeks after the show was filmed Mike Jr had quit his job to focus on the bar full time.

Mike Sr. had stepped back to let Norma become a Manager.

The bar is busy and they made as much money in one month as they had in one year.

Silver Dollar is open.

Reviews are very postive after the show with customers loving the music, bartenders, service, drinks and food.

There are complaints on Yelp of refusal of entry and a long wait for entry.

Due to restrictions they closed temporarily and the windows were boarded up due to demonstrations in the area.

This post was last updated in March 2022.

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