Bar Rescue - Dale 1891 / Cayman Cove - CLOSED

Dale 1891 Bar Rescue

In this Bar Rescue episode, Jon Taffer visits Dale 1891 in Tampa, Florida.

Dale 1891 is owned by cinema owners, Howard and Gonen.

They decided to get into the bar business in 2011 and purchased the bar.

They named the bar after a local hero.

Howard got his son Scott to run the bar with a $80,000 investment to get a stake in the business.

The place started successful and Howard and Gonen focused on their cinema business.

They left Scot to run the bar but the bar started to decline with the cinema covering the bar down the line.

Jon recons the bar with expert BBQ chef Kevin Bludso and expert mixologist Daniel Ponsky.

They meet at the Villagio Movie Theatre and he gives them the lowdown on the ownership and they view footage in the big screen.

They are confused by the name as it does not match the exterior of the bar.

They don’t know what the name means or how the Tiki theme ties in with this.

The interior decor is also as confusing as there are mismatched knickknacks and a motorcycle in the middle of the room.

A family feud is clear from the go as Gonen has strong feelings about Scott running the place.

Howard does not do much and Stephanie, Scott’s wife, who also helps at the bar is mentioned.

Jon has some locals stop by the bar after their movie to test their products and services.

They are greeted by Burt in a friendly manner and they order a mojito.

They see him over pour the alcohol and have no words when they taste it.

They order a burger and Burt goes all the way to the movie theatre across the street to drop the order.

He also goes over to collect the food despite having their own kitchen.

The spies think the burger could be better if it was warm.

They see the staff prepare BBQ hotdogs and burgers outside and give them out to bar patrons on the house.

The owners have a partner meeting in the bar during the shift, raising their voices and are heard by everyone.

Jon has seen enough and enters the bar to speak to all three.

Scott is the only one in charge of the accounts and the books.

He determines loss the wrong way and has no idea of the beverage costs.

Scott is not running the business well and would have been fired in a typical situation.

Jon asks Howard and Gonen to take charge of the bar as majority owners or he will not rescue the bar.

The next day Jon meets with Scott and they tell him their story on how they had been toiling for over four years after his wife recovered from cancer.

Jon meets with staff and compliments them on their customer service skills but does not feel the same about the owners.

Jon lays into them about the free burgers and the decor.

They tell him they are $400,000 in debt and bring out the bank statements.

The statements show lots of personal expenses from Scott, which is fraud as the partners did not know about it.

Scott is a minority owner and he is spending big despite claiming he has not been paid a salary and saying they cannot afford rent.

Howard and Gonen ask Scott and Stephanie to leave so they can clean up the mess but they claim to want to see the business succeed.

They ask Scott to hand over signatory to the business account and he refuses.

Jon says he is not going to remodel the bar if they cannot agree.

Jon tasks Scott to prove his worth at the stress test to change the partners and Jon’s minds on keeping him in the business.

The experts train the staff.

First is Daniel who trains them on making a strawberry and coconut mojito.

Kevin trains Stephanie on a variation on a Cuban sandwich made in less than five minutes.

The stress test has a lot riding on it and customers are let in.

The orders come through and the owners are asked to walk around, support and make notes.

The bartenders start with a disaster and break glass over the ice and that has to be cleaned out.

Scott has not been seen behind the bar.

The kitchen is getting food orders out on time but no one is picking the food up.

Scott is busy cleaning up a second ice bin that had glass broken into it as well.

Scott is lost as he has a shrimp dish and cannot find where it is going to.

It is a disaster and Scott made no plans to organise everything.

The bar patrons start chanting for Mojitos and Scott is called behind the bar to help out.

He makes so many mistakes until he eventually gets it right.

Jon is impressed Scott at least took all the running around well and then they shut down the bar as they have seen all they needed.

The next day Jon meets with the owners and they give feedback on the previous night.

Scott has handed over financial control to the partners.

He says that he is on the side of the business and the partners will give him back the keys.

Howard is happy his relationship with his son is being repaired.

The staff are then trained on some new cocktails with Captain Morgan’s Rum.

Stephanie is trained on a skewered marinade with rum sauce.

The bar is renovated over night and the staff are gathered at night to unveil the bar.

The bar has been renamed to Cayman Cove.

It has been updated with a bright and colourfully painted exterior that incorporates the Tiki structure.

The Tiki has a smoking chimney and red lighting so it is seen from afar.

Inside the bar follows with the island theme with bright colours and tiki thatch roofs and bamboo in almost every corner.

East Coast Chair and Barstool gave them colourful chairs, there are three 2touch POS systems, bar size menus and fair pricing for tips.

The staff in Hawaiian shirts let in customers for the relaunch.

On relaunch, the bar is slammed but they are on top of it.

The customers love the cocktails.

Great food is leaving the kitchen to the compliments of customers.

Scott and the owners are happily working together.


What Happened Next at Dale 1891 / Cayman Cove?

After the Bar Rescue, revenue was up 15-20%.

Dale 1891 / Cayman Cove closed in June 2019 as the owners wanted to spend more time with their growing family.

Reviews prior to the closure were mostly negative with complaints of rude, slow service and the bar being empty.


Click for more Bar Rescues

Previous episode - Van Goghz Martini Bar and Bistro / Crafted

Next episode - O’Kelleys Irish Pub / Pastimes on 4th

This post was last updated in August 2021.

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