Bar Rescue - The Grant Bar and Lounge / Leia's - OPEN

The Grant Bar Bar Rescue

In this Bar Rescue episode, Jon Taffer visits the Grant Bar and Lounge in Tracy, California.

The Grant is owned by former construction manager DJ Miller, who bought the bar in 2014.

He thought it would be easy and the bar did well for the first 2 years then things started falling apart.

The staff tried to help and suggest ways of improving but DJ is not willing to listen.

His ex-wife and silent business partner Tammy has also tried to talk to him but has got nowhere.

They are losing $5000 a month and are $190,000 in debt.

Jon recons the bar with Chef Jason Santos and mixologist Amy Koffsky.

They notice the bar is in a good location with high traffic but there is nothing about the bar that stands out to attract customers inside.

They see the bar has multiple competing concepts and they need to unify.

They see DJ on the cameras and Jon gives his companions the lowdown.

DJ only has about 6 more months of money left to invest in saving the bar, after which he would be forced to shut down.

He wants to hand the business down to his 10-year-old daughter when the time comes.

DJ also discourages his business partner and ex-wife from any input in the bar.

Tommy is the bar manager, Trina and Victoria are bartenders, Roxy and Heather are waitresses and James is the cook.

They see over pouring at the bar and wonder where DJ is and instead of overseeing the bar he is in the kitchen.

They also notice there are few female patrons in the bar so Amy is sent in alone to test their service and to find out why women don’t visit the bar.

Amy asks for basic cocktails geared towards women and they say they don't have the ingredients to be able to prepare them.

Amy settles on a simple two-recipe drink, a gimlet.

The bartender asks the manager and then the owner how the drink is made but neither know so they google it.

Amy gets her drink, tastes it but it's too strong to drink. Amy also orders some food.

In the kitchen there is no proper cooking equipment, just a small deep fryer they use to cook everything.

They make some chicken wings carelessly and a wing falls on the floor.

The cook is preparing food with no gloves and is not washing his hands before touching other kitchen tools and some other food.

This happens in front of DJ and he doesn't say anything about the breach of food safety rules.

The chicken and nachos are about to be served and Jon and Jason decide to enter and stop the service before potentially harmful food is served.

Jon tells the customers not to touch the food and that it might be contaminated, including glasses from the bar.

Jon then angrily confronts DJ in the kitchen.

He demands the kitchen is cleaned and they will commence the transformation of the bar the next day.

Tommy and some staff are happy DJ was called out on the problems at the bar.

DJ calls a staff meeting and shifts blame the staff, saying they have messed up and James let them down with his practices.

He then asks them to clean up the bar.

The next day Jon speaks with DJ to find out his motivations in owning the bar.

DJ says the issues with the bar is consistency in the bar service, that he has a high turnover of staff and they don’t care about the bar.

The staff say his blaming them is unfair.

Tommy reveals he doesn’t train staff and he has only been there for 3-4months, compared to a bartender who has been there for about a year.

Jon notes that consistency has never been a priority since no one had even talked about trainings.

DJ starts to cry and Tommy tries to console him but Jon is having none of it.

Jon invites Tammy in to help deliver the numbers.

The Partender report for 3-4 days shows that they lost $7600 in three days through overpouring. This totals up to $33,000 a month and $395,000 a year.

DJ isn't managing the employees or the bars costs.

Tammy says he is a good father but the problems she has with him are bar related and aren’t personal.

For the stress test Tammy is put in charge of the kitchen and DJ is in charge of the front of the house.

Amy and Jason are brought in to train the staff.

Amy gives the staff constructive criticism to show DJ how to encourage his staff to do better.

Jason comes in to get DJ into the kitchen.

There they unveil a gift from Jon, he has bought them a top of the line steam table.

Jason takes DJ, Tammy and the cook through making a mini meatball pizza that they can add to the menu.

The stress test starts and the cocktails aren't being made properly and have to be thrown out.

One of the waitresses is slow on taking orders and drinks are slow to come out.

DJ is brought in to make drinks and have someone else watch the tables.

In the kitchen they are slow to get food out too, with tickets coming in fast.

The bar soon starts chanting they want drinks, the staff are overwhelmed and Trina bursts into tears and locks herself in the bathroom.

Tammy is called out to witness the state of the bar and how poorly it is functioning.

The stress test is a disaster and they shut the bar down.

DJ calls a staff meeting and consoles the staff saying they will do better next time.

Jon and the experts meet and they note the area is harsher than they thought and they need to upgrade the bar to meet the local tastes.

Kim says they need some fun, feminine cocktails to attract female patrons and trains them on a new pouch cocktail.

Jason says they need simple, non-messy nightclub food and trains them on making small portions of ribs.

Jon speaks with DJ and Tammy on their relationship and how it is important to be on better terms for the sake of their daughter.

The success of the bar is also integral to the state of their relationship.

Jon’s team works all night and they unveil a new name Leia’s.

The bar will be named after the owners’ daughter, to remind them who they are making the business a success for.

The interior has been made more intimate and there’s blue light everywhere.

There is a dancefloor with drink rails round it so it can be converted to a sitting area for overflow dining, where needed.

Harbour Touch provided four POS systems, Turbo Chef provided equipment in the kitchen and One Stone Hub provided digital table tents for PR.

East Coast Chair and Barstool provided the chairs and barstools, Point of View Graphics provided the wall graphics and Rockless Tables provided the bar tables.

There is a new nightclub wall and there are Sky Tabs and subscriptions to TVT and Partender.

The launch commences and people love the new interior.

The bartenders are keeping on top of orders and the kitchen is serving great food, to the delight of the customers.

The nightclub also starts on time, with two different businesses running in unison within the premises.



What Happened Next at The Grant Bar / Leia's?

Some time later, weekday sales have increased, the VIP booth and nightclub sells out on weekends.

Their customer base is now younger and hipper. More females are also drinking at both the bar and nightclub.

Since the episode aired, former staff have come forward to say that DJ is terrible to work for.

Reviews are fairly mixed after the episode aired.

Positive reviews focus on the fun atmosphere and food.

Negative reviews focus on issues with security, unfriendly bartenders and drinks being unavailable due to a lack of ingredients.



Click for more Bar Rescues

Previous episode - The Sandbar Brewery & Grill

Next episode - The Broadway Club

This post was last updated in March 2021.

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