Sidelines Sports Grill and Bar / Lake House Bar and Grill - Bar Rescue Update - Open or Closed?

Bar Rescue Sidelines Sports Grill and Bar

In this Bar Rescue episode, Jon Taffer visits Sidelines Sports Grill and Bar in Mount Dora, Florida.

Sidelines Sports Grill and Bar is owned by Rich Marinacci.

He is a franchise and property owner.

Rich was forced to take over a buffet restaurant when the tenants defaulted in 2006.

He converted it into a sports bar with the money from his franchises and a personal investment of $75,000.

The bar officially opened in 2009.

It was successful until 2014 with profits of over $50,000 each year.

He let go of his franchises but he failed to recognize the difference between running a bar and a franchise.

The bar is now in a state of disrepair and they frequently run out produce and don’t have the tools they need.

Rich asked his father to help and he gave him $350,000 but he still needs more.

To further cut costs he got his sons to work for him even though they are still in school.

The brothers play up at the bar and are constantly squabbling.

Rich drinks to cover up his anxiety and depression about the business.

His personal life is taking backseat to his business with both his marriage and home on the line.

Jon recons the bar with expert mixologist Phil Wills and expert chef Michael Ferraro.

They find the exterior to be very unappealing with school bus yellow paint.

Jon fills the experts in with details about the owner and introduces the employees.

Ashley is manager and bartender, Richie Jr and Joey are cooks, Nika is a bartender and Katie is a bartender and server.

They see Joey attempt to rinse off hot sauce off a chicken after making a mistake and instead put mild sauce on it.

Alex a local OAP and his friend Dawn are Jon’s spies and they are to order fifteen things off the menu.

They order a Margarita and a Long Island Iced Tea.

The cocktail is made in an improper glass so it has skewed the measurements and the drinks are not strong enough.

They order a lot of things off the menu and the bartenders know Richie is going to freak out.

Joey ends up being the one to cook while Richie does nothing and disturbs him.

Rich witnesses this and threatens Richie with violence.

Joey cross contaminates everything and as the food is to be served Chef Michael goes in to stop them from eating the food.

Michael tells Rich all he saw in the Kitchen and he is embarrassed.

He goes into the kitchen to tell Joey off and Joey gets upset and hurts his hand by punching a wall.

It all kicks off and Rich then slaps Richie in the face.

Jon has seen enough and goes in to talk with Richie and Joey.

They say they are treated like that all the time and Joey cries openly while saying Rich gets meaner the drunker he gets.

Jon talks to Rich, who gets defensive saying his sons know better.

He admits that he has no idea how much he has drank and walks out.

Jon calls him out on how he failed them as a father and a boss and asks him to clean the kitchen or else he will not save the bar.

The next day Jon meets with the family and staff.

Bonnie, Rich’s wife, is there along with his father.

His father does the books and it is revealed Rich is a different person when his father is around.

Jon shows his father footage of Rich in the bar and his mistreatment of his sons.

He calls Rich a monster after seeing his behaviour.

The sons do not want to work in the bar and they are not being paid.

Rich is repentant and wants to step up but no one believes it.

Jon intends to make him work for it.

Jon introduces his experts to the staff.

Phil trains the staff on refreshing cocktails and a variation of a mojito made with Bacardi Rum.

Michael trains the sons and Rich on making fried Shrimp and Chips.

He encourages them to communicate effectively for stress test.

Jon reminds Rich not to sip a beer that night, treat his family and staff well and remain professional.

The stress test starts and the bartenders are doing well but moving slow.

They are swamped and Rich is told to help serve food to some tables and he gets confused.

The kitchen is behind on orders while making good food but pick up is a problem as no one is coming to take the food to customers.

Only the bar is being served and the tables have not been served their drinks, even though their orders have been put in.

Rich is reactive instead of proactive and a dirty bar leads to glass breaking in their workspace.

The stress test is a disaster and the bar is shutdown.

Rich gets feedback from the staff and he is proud of his sons, who worked together with no friction at all.

They clean up and the next day Jon meets with both sons.

They say Rich was a lot better the night before.

They are appreciative of each other and are hoping their dad changes permanently.

Jon meets with Rich and he admits his relationship with his sons is bad and he wants to turn things around.

Jon brings in his sons so they can hear him, he gives his word tearfully and they reconcile.

Phil trains the staff on some new drinks, a variation of a pina colada with a flavoured Bacardi rum.

The bar is renovated over a day and the staff are gathered in the late evening to reveal the new bar.

The bar has been renamed to Lake House Bar and Grill, named after Lake County.

The colours have been changed to mature greys and blues and strings of lights have been hung outdoors to draw people in.

Inside the bar is warmer and lively with a lake house theme.

There are Two Harbour Touch POS systems and a back bar full of Bacardi bottles.

There are two new work stations with two soda guns.

Jon has given them a lifetime subscription to Partendr for inventory and TVT for training.

The sons are given customised chef’s jackets.

They open for the relaunch and customers who have been there before cannot believe the changes.

On relaunch, the bar is making great drinks while the kitchen is having great ticket times.

The service bar gets overwhelmed.

Rich is made aware of this and he switches staff around to meet up with the demand at the bar.

What Happened Next at Sidelines Sports Grill and Bar / Lake House Bar and Grill?

Six weeks later it is revealed that sales are up 17% from the previous year.

Rich no longer drinks at work.

He is maintaining a good relationship with his sons while they still bicker from time to time.

Lake House Bar and Grill is open.

They kept the name and other changes that Jon made during the episode.

Reviews are mixed with both compliments and complaints about both the food and the service.

This post was last updated in March 2022.

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