Capo’s - Bar Rescue Update - Open or Closed?

Bar Rescue Capo’s Restaurant and Speakeasy

In this Bar Rescue episode, Jon Taffer visits Capo’s Restaurant and Speakeasy in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Capo’s is owned by Nico Santucci.

He opened the restaurant in 2002 after moving from Chicago.

Nico has extensive experience of running a family restaurant under his belt.

Things started very well and the restaurant was popular because it was unique.

They thrived for two decades and was making up to $5million a year.

Dominick is Nico’s brother and helps him out as a manger.

Capo’s did up to 300 covers a night and had four bartenders behind the bar.

They were forced to close their doors for the first time due to state restrictions.

After six months they reopened and Nico had to cut down the number of bar staff.

Nico lost his mother during the pandemic and he had a tumour removed from his throat, which he is still recovering from.

The staff struggled to keep things together with Nico taking care of himself.

The restaurant is popular to Las Vegas locals and Jon used to live in Vegas with his wife.

Jon recons the bar with expert chef Jason Santos and food blogger Lindsay Stewart.

They both enter the bar to spy on its services while Jon is at the command centre.

Inside the bar is in disrepair and they see Nico.

There is also doorman Ziggy, general manager Dominick, floor manager Janeen, bartenders Geri and Fabiola and executive chef.

The spies ring the door bell and are let in and are shown a QR code for the menus.

They order the half pound meat balls, an old-fashioned cocktail and a recommended chianti.

The drinks come and Jason is not impressed by the chianti.

They ask how long the wine has been open and they cannot tell.

They order pasta and say it is home made all while Nico is sitting doing nothing.

The meatball is too dense and dry, the salad is wilted and no one can tell Jason why the salad is brown.

Nico gets angry at the feedback, gets in Jason’s face and Jon has to come in to end it.

Jon takes Nico and Dominick to the side and shows them the chipped paint, the bad wine, the dirty stoves and the broken furniture.

Jon knows all about Nico’s trouble and wants him to get angry at how bad things are so he can respond and do better.

Nico gets emotional and says Jon reminds him of his father who has passed away.

The next day, Jon comes in to meet Nico and his brother and calls them out on the money they made but never took care of their physical space.

Jon is not liking bar entry way but they argue the doorman is the main attraction.

Jon meets with the rest of the staff and highlights the dated interior and says this is the best opportunity to remodel, to prepare for people coming back.

The bartender disagrees that the wine was stale as they go through a lot of bottles daily but she still could not tell when they were opened.

Jon introduces his experts, expert chef Jason and expert mixologist Nancy Santiago.

Jason trains the chef and owners on making meatballs served on garlic buttered baguettes, a twist on a meatball sub.

Nico is feeling down as his throat is getting to him and has to excuse himself to leave the staff to do the stress test with Dominick.

Nancy trains the bartenders on making a Godfather cocktail with attitude.

Dominick gets the staff amped and the doors are open for the stress test.

Fabiola does great from the start and upsells the Godfather.

The wine they serve tastes bad and must be tossed.

In the kitchen they are slow and make some mistakes.

The bar is slow and some drinks are ready but the order is not complete and because they are left standing for too long they have to be tossed.

Food is sent back to the kitchen because it is raw in the middle.

They find out the heater and the steamer are not working properly.

The bartenders are not as good as they thought but the chef is good but has bad equipment.

Dominick still thinks they are doing good.

Jon points out he cannot make any drinks or any food items on the menu so he will be trained the next day.

They have seen enough and shut the bar down.

The next day training continues.

Nancy trains them on efficiency and consistency with making Italian themed spins on traditional drinks.

Dominick is trained on the recipes and he is great at it.

Jason takes the chef through making home made pasta with a brand new pasta maker from Pasta Biz.

Their bar is then renovated over two days and the staff are gathered at night for the reveal and Nico is present.

The name has been kept the same.

The exterior has been brightened with white and red that pops against the dark background.

Inside the furnishings have been updated with brighter reds and luxurious blacks.

There are three Habour Touch POS systems with tablets, Pathspot scanner for hygiene and a Bluezone system for pathogen removal from the air.

There is a a CO system to disinfect and chill glasses and Standard Restaurant Supply gave all the tools they have in the kitchen.

The staff are excited and prepare to open, while Carrot Top, a celebrity, comes in to show support for Nico.

Soon customers are let in for the relaunch and the kitchen is doing amazing with great food going out.

The bartenders are confident and doing better, while Jon asks Dominick to make him a godfather and he does well.

The customers love the changes, the new food and drink and the ambience.

Jon is confident Capo’s is ready to receive the opening economy.

What Happened Next at Capo’s Restaurant and Speakeasy?

Capo’s Restaurant and Speakeasy is open.

Reviews are mostly positive with praise for the atmosphere, food and service.

Click for more Bar Rescues

Next episode - Cork and Thorn

Previous episode - Paradise Cantina

This post was last updated in March 2022.

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