New England's Ale House / Das Brauhaus - Bar Rescue Update - Open or Closed?

Bar Rescue New England's Ale House Grille

In this Bar Rescue episode, Jon Taffer visits New England Ale House in Palm Harbour, Florida.

New England Ale House was a former school house that was renovated by Tara Cook and her ex-husband.

They bought a 30 year old building called The Old School House and renovated it at a cost of $500,000.

After they finished with the renovations they changed the name to New England Alehouse Grille.

Her husband eventually left her with the failing business and growing debt of almost $1m.

This combined with the stress makes her lash out at the staff.

After a while, she hired a general manger Doug but he is also having problems with the staff.

He also has to run errands for Tara including taking her kids to school.

Jon recons the bar and observes the neighbourhood is affluent and there’s a great opportunity for the bar to succeed.

He watches the staff work for a while and calls Tara out to meet him outside.

Jon points out the food handling of the kitchen is abysmal.

There is poor hygiene and sanitation as raw meats are being stored near prepared meals.

She tells him her ownership story ending with how her soon-to-be-ex-husband is a silent partner now.

Tara says she feels abandoned and she is a week away from losing everything.

Tara says Doug is her good friend and he helps her in a lot of areas not just the restaurant.

Even though Doug has been there for 2 years, the revenue has gone down consistently.

The yelp reviews are also not favourable towards him.

They say he is rude, inhospitable and hostile to customers.

Jon lets her know that she needs to stand up for herself and separate friendship from business.

Jon has three NFL players come in to try out the service.

They make a food order and Jon takes Tara to the kitchen to watch the preparation.

They see Mo touch raw meat then raw chicken and not wash her hands.

Then she touched some quesadillas and prepared some other food.

She did all this without Doug telling her off.

Ten minutes has gone by and not one meal is ready.

Doug then uses his bare hands to make salads and touch handles.

Mo and Doug both continue to cross contaminate the kitchen and food.

Jon stops him and confronts him on his processes and how he is messing up his friend’s business.

Jon then goes out to meet the NFL players and has Doug apologise to them.

Jon tells them to clean their kitchen and leaves.

He comes in the next morning and asks to talk to the staff without Tara and Doug present.

Jon asks for honesty and he gets it.

They say the Yelp reviews are true and since Doug started they had had about 100 employees go through the bar in a year and half.

The main cause of this is poor treatment as the staff say they are verbally mistreated by Doug and Tara.

Both of them are unliked by customers.

Jon then brings Tara and Doug in letting them know their pour costs and food costs are good.

Then Jon confronts them with the truth of all he heard and how Doug and Tara are chasing away customers.

Jon asks Doug and Tara to apologise to the staff for disrespecting them.

Jon brings in his experts, expert mixologist Mia Mastroiani and expert chef Michael Ferraro to train the staff.

Michael trains them on the basics of raw meat handling and making a chicken dish.

Mia trains them well balanced traditional cocktails with a twist.

For the stress test their challenge is to serve tables within 15 mins.

The tables will have penalty flags and when they don’t get their orders, they will drop the flag on the pool tables.

Doug recognises he is in the spotlight and is eager to deliver.

People are let in and the customers are told of the game with the flags.

There is a disjointed system for taking orders and 15 mins into the stress test only 10% of the room has been served.

The service is also slow as drinks were left on the bar without being taken to the customers and have to be dumped.

In the kitchen, almost raw chicken dishes are sent out and have to be dumped too.

There are incomplete food orders and tables are being doubled served.

It is an expediting problem and Doug is blamed for this.

The penalty flags are flying and the count is 8.

The wait time is up to 35 mins and food is being recooked.

The bar is shut down because they can’t catch up with the backlog.

Anthony says it was a major lack of organisation and structure with poor quality food coming from the kitchen.

It is the same for the bar, they weren’t prepared for the volume of customers.

Mia trains them on a stout cocktail as their new theme will be centred around beer.

Anthony trains the kitchen on a beer-based burger, which they love.

Jon then meets with Tara and Doug and tries to mend their professional relationship.

Tara says she can’t trust him professionally and she needs to learn to call him out when it’s going sideways.

Doug is committed to making it work but he wants boundaries so he can focus on work alone.

It is relaunch night and Jon’s team have worked hard to create a new concept and bring it to life.

The name has been changed to Das Brauhaus.

Their new direction is a German themed grill and beer place.

The external area has been converted and is now a beer garden.

Tsquared Custom Signs worked on their new sign and Forever Lawn worked on their lawn.

The interior has been made more vibrant with red tones that liven up the bar.

East Coast Chair and Barstool provided the furnishing and Superior Building Supplies did the stonework.

Florida Restaurant Equipment installed a bottle cooler and Ripples System for promotion on drinks.

There is a Quasi Touch POS system and new uniforms for the staff.

Before customers are invited in there is a German dance troupe entertaining them outside.

On relaunch, the patrons are invited in and they love the new cocktails.

The bar staff are doing great and the kitchen is serving consistent food.

The NFL team came back and they love the food and drinks.

They were reminded by Jon that their word would help Tara immensely as she is in huge debt with a family to support.

Jon says goodbye by signing their ‘Saved by Taffer’ plaque.

What Happened Next at New England's Ale House Grille / Das Brauhaus?

It is revealed some time later that liquor sales are up 39%.

Doug is treating staff with more respect.

Tara continues to separate their business and personal lives.

New England's Ale House Grille / Das Brauhaus closed in May 2019.

Tara said the reason for closure is that she was going through a divorce.

She has two young children and wanted to spend more time with them.

Reviews after the episode were mostly positive with many enjoying the German cuisine.

This post was last updated in March 2022.

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