Bar Rescue - China Grove Trading Post / The Tipsy Bull - CLOSED

Bar Rescue China Grove Trading Post

In this episode of Bar Rescue, Jon Taffer visits the China Grove Trading Post in China Grove, Texas.

China Grove Trading Post is owned by Raymond and Wendy Jenkins.

They purchased the bar after a lifetime in the bar business in 2014.

The bar was a success at first, with a profit of $5000 a month.

They asked their daughter Maggen to join the business seeing it as a retirement plan.

She started as a bartender but has developed bad habits of drinking behind the bar and not paying her tab.

Maggen is now in the kitchen cooking but still clashes with her mother in front of her customers.

Raymond now works in Dallas and Wendy is left to manage the bar but she is struggling.

The bar is now known for unprofessional bartenders and weird service.

Maggen has been fired and rehired numerous times from the bar.

They are now in $150,000 of debt and it is just a month until they would be forced to close.

Jon recons the bar with expert chef Tiffany Derry and expert mixologist Mia Mastroianni.

They note the bar from the outside doesn’t look anything like a bar.

Jon fills them in on the ownership situation of the bar.

They see Wendy and Maggen cooking in the kitchen with flipflops, which is not safe and a violation.

They see the two get into a fight in the kitchen.

Cheyenne is bartender who is unapproachable and Lisa and Susan are also both bartenders.

Jon has blogger Madelyn Mendoza spy on the bar with a friend.

They ask for a cocktail menu but there is not one.

They order some common drinks but they do not know how to make or do not have the ingredients.

They eventually get drinks that are too sweet.

They order some nachos and tacos and Maggen takes it from the steam table to the microwave.

The food is unappetising and tastes bad.

Madelyn spits it out as it tastes like fat but they are too scared to complain to Cheyenne.

They eventually order the beef tacos again.

Maggen refuses to go into the kitchen again as she is putting on makeup and disrespects her mother in the process.

The experts and Jon then see a man climb the rafters and simulate sex with a stuffed coyote to the sight of the bar patrons.

Maggen is drinking with her friends and is asked for a melon drop.

She wants to make it even though she is not a bartender.

She gets belligerent when asked to step away from the bar and walks out very loudly.

The experts then see a live possum run through the bar and enter the kitchen.

Jon has seen enough and goes in to confront Wendy.

Wendy says it is her daughter and she hopes she would come around.

Jon says everything will change the next day.

The next day the staff are gathered including Raymond and Maggen.

Jon excludes the staff and meets with the family first.

In the meeting he calls out Maggen for her bad behaviour.

Raymond reveals he has fired Maggen several times but Wendy keeps hiring her back.

Maggen is not appreciative of the feedback she has been given from her parents and Jon.

Jon leaves them to talk and it ends with Raymond telling her to leave and she does so.

When Jon returns, they tell him she will not be coming back even though Wendy is already remorseful.

Jon introduces his experts and Mia starts training the bar staff by starting with a quiz on bar basics

They then make a basic margarita together.

In the kitchen Wendy’s son Brandon has been called in to help.

He loves cooking so Tiffany has fun training him on some nachos.

The stress test starts, customers are let in and orders fly in.

Drinks are slow to come out and they make constant mistakes.

The food is slow at first but it soon starts coming out and food arrives before drinks.

The drinks going out look and taste different when they are supposed to be the same recipes.

The bar is served but the floor is left unattended to.

They have food but no drinks on their tables.

They are too far behind on drinks so they shut down the stress test as it is a disaster.

The next day Mia, trains the staff on making more Instagram-able drinks that are visually appealing and taste great.

Tiffany trains Brandon on some more Mexican inspired Texan meals.

Jon sits with Wendy and Brandon and they say they have learnt their lesson with regards to managing the bar and the bartenders.

The only issue left to resolve is Maggen.

They plan to establish rules and not let her back in until processes are set so they know how to hold her accountable.

The bar is renovated for over 24 hours and they are gathered at night to see the new bar.

The bar has been renamed to The Tipsy Bull with a logo that can be pulled to look like the bull fell over.

Inside the bar, it has been made a lot warmer and brighter with a Texas theme.

Harbour touch POS systems have put in three POS systems with two workstations and Bevinco for inventory.

Arctic concepts put in a draft beer cooler.

They now have new t-shirts and a lot of attention has been paid to interesting marketing gimmicks.

They set up the space and let people in for the relaunch.

On relaunch, the bartenders are doing so much better.

Wendy is in charge and makes some strategy switches that Jon agrees with.

The customers are loving the food that is coming from the kitchen.

The experts and Jon are happy to see Wendy more confident.

Maggen is there for relaunch but is happy at how smoothly it is going.


What Happened Next at China Grove Trading Post?

Six weeks later, food and drink sales increased by 20%.

Maggen returned to the kitchen after one week.

There have been no fights and she is respecting the leadership.

China Grove Trading Post / The Tipsy Bull closed on 12th October 2018.

Maggen posted the below on Facebook,

China Grove Trading Post "The Tipsy Bull is closing. Satutday 2am our doors will lock; and we will not re open.

It has been a long road, good times, bad times, and all the in betweens. Its bitter sweet as we say our goodbyes. We appreciate everybody that has been apart of our lives.

Make sure to come in tonight and tomorrow night going out w a bang...

Its been a exprencie of a life time, and i will always hold the memories we have all made together..

In the comments Wendy says that it is what she wanted and that is is a good thing as she is tired and wanted more time to be able to do things she wanted.

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Next episode - Gil & Rick's Sports Bar and Pizzeria / Sauced

This post was last updated in May 2021.

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