Bar Rescue - The Bridge Lounge / The Bridge: A Local’s Bar - OPEN

The Bridge Lounge Bar Rescue

In this episode of Bar Rescue, Jon Taffer visits The Bridge Lounge in Tarpon Springs, Florida.

The Bridge Lounge was originally owned by Bill Cladakis, who bought the bar in 2003.

In 2007 his son Manny came to help run the bar, leaving his medical career in New York behind.

Bill sadly passed away in April 2015 and Manny took over the running of the bar.

Manny, co-owns the bar with his sister Anna Cladakis.

The bar took a big hit when the BP oil spill happened as it was a fishermen’s bar.

Due to the oil spill, the Bridge lounge had lost 75% of their income and clientele due to no fishermen.

Manny made his good friend Gary the bar manager.

The rest of the family did not agree with Manny for hiring Gary.

Crissy, Manny’s sister, believes that Gary takes advantage of Manny.

Gary is lazy and sits down for the majority of his shifts.

Manny’s mother Harriet is left to cover the $4,000 a month the bar loses with her retirement fund.

Jon has Anna Cladakis come and sit in his SUV to watch the surveillance footage.

He also has her fiancé John Daly join them.

Crissy is getting onto Gary for not doing his job as a manager.

Crissy and Gary are yelling at each other in front of the customers.

Jon brings in Brody and Rose for the recon tonight.

The bar is making $28 per square foot in sales, $122 less than the required break-even point of $150 per square foot.

There was expired orange juice in Brody’s screwdriver.

Gary and Crissy are screaming at each other again and Manny hasn’t done anything about it.

Jon decides that now is the time to walk in.

The bar has been half remodeled due to the lack of revenue.

Jon asks Gary what his beverage and labor costs are and Gary has no answer.

Jon asks why Gary is here and says that their failure surrounds them.

The next morning, Jon talks to Harriet.

He explains to her what he saw last night.

Harriet admits that she doesn’t trust Gary either.

Jon says he has to figure out what this bar is all about.

Jon brings in expert Bartender Phil Wills.

Jon says this bar is like purgatory.

Jon looks at their inventory room.

He says they should have inventory of about $4,000 but they have about $22,000.

Jon says they have a lot of dead stock.

The bar has about $15,000 worth of dead stock in the inventory room.

Phil points out that there is rust coming out of the beer taps.

Jon wants Gary to get out of the building because of how little effort he puts into everything.

Jon says that Gary does not know what he’s doing.

Some of the wood is painted and Jon makes Gary go get the paint when he says the paint is in the building.

Jon tells Manny that he took an oath as a doctor and that he needs to take an oath for his family.

Phil wants to incorporate the dead stock into something that will help it sell.

Phil shows the staff some flair tricks with pouring drinks.

Phil says every drink made in tonight’s stress test needs to be done with the long pour.

Jon says he gave the guests a fishing weight so they can put it in a container for good experience or bad.

Jon says if the bad experience container weighs more than seven pounds, then the bar is sinking.

Manny thinks his father will be there in spirit to help.

During the stress test, the wait time is up to 20 minutes.

Gary is still not doing anything and is standing around.

People are getting drinks that they didn’t order.

Manny tells Gary that he needs him to step up right now and that he believes in him.

Gary is still just standing around and is doing nothing.

Gary takes his wires off and quits.

Manny asks him if he is really leaving the bar.

Gary then yells at Jon.

Manny tells him that if he doesn’t come back inside then he should never turn up to the bar again.

Gary doesn’t go back inside after Manny.

They close for the night, with 9 pounds of weights in the bad container.

The next morning Jon sits with the family to discuss Gary.

Manny says that he is going to move forward without Gary.

Phil is showing the staff some of the cocktails that he came up with, like Harriet’s Island Bliss.

He shows them another drink he calls Anna’s Crush.

Manny and his family go to his father’s favorite restaurant to destress for a little while.

Harriet says she can’t believe the change in her son.

The family is very excited to see how their bar was renovated.

Jon tells them to turn around, and they are greeted with a brand-new bar.

The bar has been renamed and is now called The Bridge: A Local’s Bar.

Manny says that he’s in awe and that his father would be proud of this.

The construction crew even added a boat to the side of the building that they named after Bill.

Jon says that 8,000 cars drive by every day and that many of them may remember their dad as they drive past.

He says this will help give them back their customers.

Anna says this bar reflects exactly who their dad was.

They all head inside to the bar and are greeted with something that feels warmer and inviting.

There’s a picture of Bill hanging up on the wall.

The floors are no longer a problem.

Manny says he wish he could have one minute with his father in the newly renovated bar.

Jon goes over the changes he has made to the bar.

He has given them two touch POS systems, a food truck and a lifetime subscription to Partender.

Jon says now it’s time to make Bill’s dream come true.

Harriet loves the bar and says that she wishes Bill was there.

They open up for the first time since renovating the bar.

On relaunch, everything is going smoothly and the energy in the bar is great.

Customers are loving the new drinks and food offerings.

Jon says his work is done and he hugs the family.


What Happened Next at The Bridge Lounge / The Bridge: A Local’s Bar?

Six weeks later the bar has grossed $32,403 in sales.

Manny continues to successfully operate the bar without a manager.

They have sold the majority of their back stock.

The Bridge: A Local’s Bar is open.

Reviews are mixed after the show. The karaoke is popular but there are some complaints on service.

Gary was rehired as manager amd they have recently remodelled the interior of the bar.


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Previous episode - Grinders / The Cajun Belle

Next episode - Cirivello's Bar / The Aging Room at Cirivello’s

This post was last updated in August 2021.

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