Bar Rescue - Lucky 66 Bowl / Great 66 Entertainment Center - OPEN

Lucky 66 Bowl Bar Rescue

In this Bar Rescue episode, Jon Taffer visits Lucky 66 Bowl in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Lucky 66 Bowl was bought by Mike Draper, a Vietnam veteran.

He bought the bowling centre in memory of his father who was a pro bowler.

His son Jay is the general manger and his granddaughter Daphne manages the bar.

Mike hopes to one day hand over the business to them so that he can retire.

When the bar first opened business boomed but it has since slowed down.

With the pressure, Mike is bad tempered to his both staff and customers causing both to leave in droves.

Mike is over $1 million in debt and is still losing money every day.

Jon arrives with expert mixologist Alex Goode and chef Anthony Lamas to recon the bar.

They note that the area is not ideal even as a drinking spot with a bowling alley.

They think that the separate entrance to the bar, down a dark tunnel way looks shady and unsafe.

They believe that the place has promise with more than 50% of the local population being singles.

The interior is also good with an elevated bar and windows overlooking the bowling alley.

The let down of the place is the bar area, which is tired looking and uninspiring.

They find out that Mike is losing about $15,000 a month and is a million dollars in debt.

They meet bartender Vanessa, who has only been there for 3 weeks.

The chef Joel leases out the food operations with his son and runs it as a separate business.

Their food has a few complaints which include greasiness of the food that can effect bowling.

Miles Snr and Miles Jnr manage the bowling lanes.

Miles Snr has been fired from his role 9 times and re-hired 10 times.

That night, a bartender got in an accident and Miles daughter Crystal, a hairstylist is in to help bartend.

There are three different families working in the business that risk losing their jobs if it closes.

Jon sends in some local young singles to test the service at the bar.

They order 3 lemon drops but the bar has no lemons to put in the drinks.

The bar is left unattended for a while with the whiskey left unattended right in front of the customers.

The recon team get their lemon drops but they taste horrible.

They decide to order some different drinks but they are no better and also taste bad.

They ask for a water next and Mike is rude to them.

He gets intrusive and cuts them off from ordering anymore alcohol.

Mike gets aggressive towards them, wagging a finger at them and asks them to leave.

Jon is upset at his behaviour and comes in to confront Mike, who tries to defend himself.

Jon asks the staff in front of everyone if Mike is an a*s and they all agree, even his son.

Jon reconsiders helping the bar because Mike doesn’t want to admit he is the problem.

Jon walks out with his team asking Mike to clean the bar.

The next day, Jon talks to the staff after asking Mike to leave temporarily.

They say customer service is the major problem and they are so close to ruin they are living month to month.

They all have a lot on the line if they lose their jobs.

Jon notices there are no staff that aren’t family and have worked there a long time, meaning the staff turnover is high.

They find out Daphne is a great bowling alley mechanic and can run any part of the venue.

She is called in and she tells of her disappointment and why she had to leave.

Mike is called in and he is told the truth on how they all feel.

He says he has felt Daphne’s absence and Jon manages to get through to him.

He admits to needing help to turn the business around and Daphne agrees to come back.

Alex takes the staff through a training of some basic drinks.

Anthony takes them through making non-greasy snacks, that would be better for bowlers.

Jon calls the staff together and they set up some bowling pins on a table where if something goes wrong one pin is knocked down.

Miles Snr apologies to Mike for his previous behaviour.

The stress test kicks off and the drinks are coming out slow, leaving customers waiting.

Mike is doing well greeting customers.

There is no system in place for placing orders for food as handwritten orders are taken to the kitchen.

Soon the ticketing strategy dissolves into a mess with people being served twice and no one knowing where some of the food goes.

There are 5 tables still not being served so 5 pins are removed from the table.

Food is sent back to the kitchen for being raw and customers are charged for food that never arrives.

Soon there is only one pin left on the table.

The stress test is ended and the bar is shut down because they can’t catch up.

Jon takes Mike aside to see what new changes he is going to make to open the space and make the bar functional.

The next day, Alex trains them on simple cocktails that are fast to make so they can meet up with orders.

Anthony trains them a grease-free quesadilla dish.

Jon meets with Mike, Jay and Daphne and helps them open up and agree to help Mike to move the business forward.

Overnight, the bar is renovated and has been renamed the Great 66 Entertainment Center to describe the multiple entertainment offerings.

There is a bold new sign outside and the interior has been modernised, decorated with bowling pins and balls at different points.

There is a new DJ Booth and video systems for PR.

There is a new printer in the kitchen and a server pager system so servers know when to pick up food.

They have a Partender subscription for inventory and TVT for trainings.

The interior has been changed with new bar stools and tables and updated plumbing.

Jon calls Mike to the side to tell him that he will be donating $10,000 to cover payroll and expenses for at least a month till sales come in.

The relaunch is underway and returning customers are impressed with the changes to the space.

The staff are using the printers and the pager system to fulfil orders.

The bar is working faster serving drinks timely and the customers love the new food.



What Happened Next at Lucky 66 Bowl / Great 66 Entertainment Center?

Sometime later, bar sales have increased.

Daphne returned to her role as full time bar manager and Mike has kept a positive attitude.

They reverted back to their previous name and didn't keep the name Jon chose.

Reviews after the show are mostly positive with some criticisms of bowling and a lack of air conditioning.

The building was sold in August 2019.



Click for more Bar Rescues

Previous episode - SacTown Sports Bar & Grill / Brannan Manor

Next episode - The Union

This post was last updated in April 2021.

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