Bluewater / Sydney - Bar Rescue Update - Open or Closed?

Bar Rescue Blue Water

In this Bar Rescue episode, Jon Taffer visits the Bluewater Daiquiri and Oyster Bar in Jacksonville Beach, Florida.

Bluewater Daiquiri and Oyster Bar is owned by Chung Ong.

In 2006, he emigrated from China to America and he is originally from Malaysia and moved to California at 17.

The bar is run by General Manager Charlie, who says he knows the bar business well.

Six weeks after Charlie was hired Ching went to New York for eight months.

Chung says there are management issues.

Charlie’s girlfriend Brigette is a bartender at the bar but she had no prior experience.

Chung has already put $300,000 into the bar.

Now he’s losing $10,000 a month and had to sell another business to keep the doors open.

None of the staff really know Chung as he is never around.

Jon meets with expert Lil Jon, one of the best party DJs in America.

They think that the front looks old and dated.

Lil’ Jon says the inside décor looks like Spongebob due to the underwater motif and that’s not good for a party bar.

Brigette does not impress Lil Jon.

Chris is one of the bartenders and Victoria is a server.

The cook is a woman named Kat.

The crowd is not bad in size but there isn’t a party atmosphere.

The recon team are from Lil Jon’s staff.

When asked about specialties Brigette says they don’t really have one.

Lil Jon says it’s a daquiri bar and they should be pushing that.

It turns out only three of the daquiri machines are even working.

Meanwhile, the owner is sitting in the back office and not interacting with the staff or customers.

The cook shells oysters well.

The crab legs are greasy and there are no crab crackers available.

The staff run down the restaurant to customers.

Lil Jon says he would have left by now so Jon heads inside.

Jon summons Chung and Charlie to the restaurant floor.

He asks Chung if Charlie is doing and good job.

Chung says he did at first.

Charlie doesn’t even know what daquiris are actually available that night.

Jon says there should never be a cash handling employee who is also the bartender’s girlfriend.

Jon says if Charlie wants to keep his job he has to fire Brigette.

Jon says tomorrow he will teach Charlie to be a real manager, which he obviously is not.

Charlie meets Chung out back and gives his notice and tells Chung to find a new manager but returns the next day.

Jon says the bar lost $3,255 due to overpouring, giving drinks away or stolen.

He says Charlie should have noticed all that and he cost Chung that money.

Jon says Charlie is incompetent or dishonest.

Charlie says he’s not dishonest and he never took anything.

When Jon asks, he says he is not a competent manager at the moment.

Jon also says Chung can’t be in the office when the bar is open and needs to work with Charlie.

Charlie says it feels like Chung doesn’t care.

Charlie says he respects his staff and his customers and cries a little as he says that it sucks failing.

He says he has passion and Jon says he sees it.

Charlie wants to make it right.

Jon calls in his experts and Charity Johnston is a mixologist, who understands part bars.

She says the bar needs to have a fun atmosphere.

Michael Ferrarro is chef and restaurant owner.

He says the food in the area is great and they need to capitalize on that.

Bar training with Leah a new bartender starts with the staff not knowing what goes in a classic daquiri.

She gives them a lesson in mixing and ask Chung to demonstrate what he learned.

The staff are surprised when he does.

In the kitchen, Michael teaches Kat, Charlie and Chung how to make Oysters Rockefeller.

For the stress test, Chung is going to need to be out of his office, running his bar.

Jon also says Charlie is really going to work tonight.

The stress test begins breaking down quickly.

Jon has to push Chung to interact with customers.

Chung feels things are going ok but they need to step up their game as they are falling behind.

Kris becomes frustrated behind the bar and begins making more mistakes.

Jon says the young crowd wants drinks and food quickly.

The longer they wait the more the atmosphere breaks down and it becomes a downer.

Chung’s food orders don’t differentiate between which customers are getting which item.

Charlie tries to help, but doesn’t pull the team together and truly manage.

After shutting down the stress test, Jon says all Charlie did was act like a busboy.

Jon asks Charlie what went wrong.

Charlie says they were overwhelmed and underprepared.

Jon says they had no system no management.

He says a bar is supposed to be packed on Friday and Saturday night.

Jon says Charlie is a worker, not a manager, and he has to change that or Chung will keep losing money.

Jon calls Charlie “Mr. Excuses.”

Chung is not sure if Charlie can change, especially after being given so many chances.

Jon meets with Chung to talk about Charlie.

Chung feels Charlie is lazy when he is not around.

Charlie refuses to talk to Jon.

Chung shows more passion than he has before and threatens to fire Charlie.

Chung eventually says the problem is that Charlie is not willing to change.

Charlie refuses to talk, so Chung tells him his job relies on it and he says he’s done.

Jon goes to try to talk to Charlie, who says Jon has taught him nothing and is a terrible motivator.

Jon tells him this is his chance to turn it around.

Charlie agrees. Jon says Chung will be hurt without Charlie.

Chung agrees they need him.

Jon asks what Charlie’s biggest learning was and Charlie says it’s personal responsibility.

Jon asks if Chung will help him. Chung says he has Charlie’s back. The pair shake on it.

Jon meets with the experts.

He lays out the bar is in a great marketplace and has beach access.

The store’s biggest asset is the staff but Jon wonders if Charity can get the bartenders ready in time.

She says she’s going to have to make it simple.

Jon suggests colorful, fun, drinks with citrus.

Michael teaches the kitchen staff to make fish sandwiches and fish tacos.

At the reveal, Charlie says that they now understand Chung’s pain, and he understands theirs.

The reveal shows the bar’s name has been changed to Sydney: An Australian Beach Club.

Inside the décor matches the new theme, complete with a fake shark head mounted on the wall.

The daquiri machines are properly frozen and everyone loves it, especially Chung.

Jon shows off the acrylic glasses that are resistant to breaking.

Three new point of sale terminals have been added.

Jon also supplies a subscription to Serve Safe to allow for further training and Jon’s old training program.

Phone charging stations have been installed and an automatic DJ machine with 50,000 songs.

The shark head is meant to be a perfect photo opportunity.

Jon says Charlie is helping and Chung deals with customers and helps out.

Chung is left very excited for the future.

Jon’s final thoughts are that Charlie improved and Chung learned that together they can be a success.

What Happened Next at Bluewater Daiquiri and Oyster Bar?

Six weeks later and the sales have doubled.

Chung visits the restaurant every day and Charlie is still manager.

Bluewater Daiquiri and Oyster Bar / Sydney closed in January 2019.

They had previously had a poor health inspection in October 2018.

The inspectors found dead rodents and birds and evidence of a live infestation amongst other cleanliness issues.

Click for more Bar Rescues

Previous episode - The Airliner

Next episode - Fatballs

This post was last updated in March 2022.

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