Britestar Tavern - Bar Rescue Update - Open or Closed?

Bar Rescue Britestar Tavern

In this Bar Rescue episode, Jon Taffer visits the Britestar Tavern in Glendora, California.

Britestar Tavern is owned by Jim Reed.

Jim bought the Britestar Tavern in 2013 and it is a beer only dive bar located on the historic Route 66.

The bar has been open since 1965.

Jim already owned a successful bar and purchased this bar as he visited it in his youth.

He kept the name of the bar and changed little else there.

The bar was originally popular but when Jim began focusing on his other bar the Britestar started to fail.

They held open mic nights among other things that drove away the local regulars as they weren’t popular.

There are problems with faulty equipment including the beer taps.

The bar has suffered from Jim’s lack of attention.

Jim is now $500,000 in debt from the bar.

Jon arrives to assess the outside of the building, along with master mixologist Shawn Ford.

The bar has been open since 1965 and Shaun says it looks like it hasn’t been touched since.

The bar serves beer and wine, with no food.

There are LPs above the bar and it lacks identity.

Right now, the bar is losing $72,000 a year, pushing Jim even further into debt.

Jim is with his fiancé Monique at the bar.

Chris is one of the bartenders and she serves with Kristin.

Kris seems unhappy and unfriendly.

It is open mic night and Jon sends in two local brewers for recon.

The bar has no beer list for them to order from.

The servers are losing so much beer in foam it is close to 40% of the total amount poured.

Shaun feels there must be residue in the glasses as well.

One of the recon team says the IPA lacked hops and that means that it’s old.

Jon calls open mic night a bad bar promotion because it starts but doesn’t get going as no one is interested.

The staff are making drinks with spoiled sauces.

Jim is oblivious to the problems that are happening at the bar.

A tap breaks and sprays staff and the customers with beer.

The staff bicker amongst themselves in front of customers.

The open mic night is a disaster.

Kristen is the only one who performs, which tells Jon she created it to boost herself.

She is a terrible singer and it makes the event even worse and uncomfortable.

The bar cleanser smells like Pine-Sol and Kristen openly tells the recon team they have no idea what’s in it.

Jon says Jim doesn’t know the economics of beer

Inside, Jon has Jim pour a pitcher.

As he does, Jon fills over three glasses with foam, more than the pitcher holds.

Jim admits he drinks bottled beer in his bar because it tastes better.

He even admits his draft sucks.

Jon says he’s watching his money go down the drain and asks Jim if he is stupid or lazy.

Jim says that he is a little of both.

Jon says he can teach him not to be lazy but not how not to be stupid.

Jon tells him to clean and fix the tap area to show him he’s not lazy anymore.

Jon says the first step of a rescue is admitting failure, before he leaves.

Jim says Jon ripped him a new one but Jon is the expert, so he will take criticism to heart.

Shaun goes in first the next day.

If the bar isn’t spotless, Shaun says Jon will walk right out.

The bar area is still not clean and Kristen is embarrassed.

Jon runs down open mic night, Kristen tries to defend it but Jon says it doesn’t create sales.

Jon asks who the boss is, and no one knows as Jim is almost never there.

Jon says the owner delegates, not mediates in situations.

Jon shows them that the bar is losing $65,000 a year in spilled beer alone.

Shaun shows that at least one of the bar tap line’s has the wrong pressure.

He also tells them how important it is to have a ‘beer clean’ and served in a glass with no residue.

Shaun shows them the proper way to make a Brewed Bloody, the drink they tried to make with the spoiled tabasco.

Shaun also calls Jim out for using 80s style goblet glasses.

Before, the stress test Jon and Shaun tell everyone, including Jim that they need to pull their weight.

Jon removes the faulty keg, leaving only 8 taps working for the stress test.

The Brewed Bloody is immediately popular.

As soon as the bar gets busy, Kristen falls back into old bad habits.

Shaun dumps an entire pitcher because there wasn’t enough head.

Chris isn’t being friendly enough and Jim struggles to serve a drink with a rim without overfilling it.

Service is slow and Chris becomes more frustrated and downbeat as the night rolls on.

Jon says Chris’s attitude is bringing the bar down.

Jon is surprised by Kristen, who is pulling her own weight.

In the first hour, the bar brings in $700, by far the best night since Jim bought it.

This is before Jon has even done anything to help them.

While Jon’s remodelling is being done, he takes the staff to Old Stump Brewing Company.

He plans for the staff to learn enough about beer to sell it, even upsell it.

Chris doesn’t show up and Jon says they will talk about that later.

Kristin, Monique and Jim are taught about how various beers are made and the flavors that result.

They show a lot more knowledge at the tasting that follows.

Jon meets with Jim alone to recap what he has learned.

Jon also brings up Chris and her poor behaviour.

He tells Jim he’s in a position to make his bar succeed or fail.

As a result, Jim fired Chris due to her behaviour.

Lisa is the new bartender, who Jim has worked with on and off for years.

Jon says he respects the history of the bar.

The biggest challenge was to make a place that looks like when it was built, but didn’t feel like when it was built.

The new front looks more modern and the front door is no longer blocked off from view.

The new sign is electric and bright.

The staff love it and Kristen is very eager for the relaunch.

The facelift makes the bar look historic, not dated.

The beer system has been replaced and TVs have been added.

The stage remains and there is no a drink menu on the wall.

Jon says this beer bar now has good beer, good ice coolers, two point of sale stations and a lifetime subscription to Partender.

Jon also brought in food trucks to set up in the parking lot so they have a food offering.

Jim is happy and Kristen says she knew it would be great but this exceeded her expectations.

The relaunch is a success, the Brewed Bloodies and the new Craft beers are a hit.

Jon says Jim should now be selling 95% of his kegs, instead of losing 50%.

Jim says the experience has made him realize what needs to be done and that he will put more effort in.

Jon says the secret to a good dive bar is locals.

He says he helped keep the history of the bar but set it up for a bright future.

What Happened Next at Britestar Tavern?

Six weeks later and sales have increased over 30%.

Jim is spending more time at Britestar and less time at his other bar.

Kristen is now the manager and a star behind the bar, instead of taking the stage.

Britestar Tavern is open.

Reviews are excellent after the show are excellent.

This post was last updated in March 2022.

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