Bar Rescue - Desi Romano's Sports Bar and Grill - OPEN

Bar Rescue Desi Romano's Sports Bar and Grill

In this Bar Rescue episode, Jon Taffer visits Desi Romano's Sports Bar and Grill in Chalmette, Louisiana.

Desi Romano's is owned by Desi Romano, who has been in the bar business for over 25 years.

Lindsey is his daughter and manager and Bethany is his niece and head cook.

Things were great in the beginning till Desi had a stroke and had to cut back on his active role in the bar.

With this and Lindsey’s lack of experience, patrons stopped coming.

Even with Desi coming back to work business still did not pick up.

Desi is hands off for health reasons and the staff do as they please and have open tabs.

This caused Desi to start drinking at the bar.

Jon recons the bar with expert mixologist Derrick Turner and expert chef Tiffany Derry.

They complement the exterior which is visible and clean but inside, there is no concept.

He fills them in on Desi’s situation, he is in debt of $150,000 and has no idea how much he is losing monthly.

Since his stroke the pressure is on Lindsey to take on more responsibility but she is not being supported.

They see the activities in the kitchen and notice the cutting board is heavily stained.

There are three bartenders and they are smoking and drinking while on shift.

Smoking is permitted in the bar for patrons by law but not for the employees.

The bartenders have tabs and owe Desi money.

Jon has an Alum from Bar Rescue Brad and his friend, Steve, spy on the bar and their services.

They ask for a drink menu but there is none.

The bartender has no specialty drink but recommends a margarita.

When it is delivered, they are told their drinks are on the owner’s tab.

They see the bartender make mixing errors and then deliver another round once again on the owner.

The pair like neither of the drinks they are served.

They check the food menu and they do not have items listed.

They order a mac and cheese that is sloppily presented and it is made by a cook while Bethany is at the bar drinking.

The pair do not know how to eat it because it is massive and soggy and they hate it when they do.

Desi keeps downing drinks and is getting progressively drunker.

He dismisses his daughter when she tries to get him to calm down.

His liquor is cut off by Lindsey but he is belligerent until he is given more.

Jon has had enough and goes in after this.

Desi is so drunk he cannot tell Jon is behind him and is shocked.

Jon can barely get through to him when informing him they intend to start fixing the bar that night.

Desi insists they should start the next day.

Jon threatens to walk out till Desi asks him to stay, chasing after him.

Lindsey is frantic through all this trying to keep her father calm and shut down the bar for the first meeting.

The staff and Jon have the meeting and Desi is in denial of his problems as he is still drinking.

When Jon brings up the fears of his family for his health, Lindsey cries and Desi walks out.

Desi is still not cooperative, and Jon leaves with the condition that Desi must be sober for the whole process if he is to return.

Lindsey and Bethany promise to help get him in line.

The next day at the staff meeting Desi is a different person and greets Jon politely.

He cannot remember what happened the night before so Jon plays footage of the worst of his drunken antics the night before.

Desi is embarrassed by what he has been shown.

Jon addresses the staff’s bar tabs, with Bethany having the most at $2000 and a total of $3890.

The staff say they take advantage of the offer because Desi allows it.

Desi also does not believe his daughter can run the bar.

Jon says Desi needs to act more like an owner and he will teach him to direct Lindsey and the rest of his team.

Jon introduces his experts and they give feedback on the lack of direction in the kitchen and the smoking behind the bar which is not sanitary.

Derrick takes the bar staff on proper counting and making a Louisiana favourite the hurricane cocktail.

Tiffany takes the kitchen staff through making easy bar snacks with a southern theme, then demonstrates making stuffed and fried okras.

For the stress test, Desi is given the role of greeting people and Lindsey will be more visible as the manager.

They are expected to get orders out within six minutes and use proper counts to make the cocktails.

The doors are open, and customers are let in.

The orders pile up and the bartenders make mistakes with drinks that need to be dumped.

The kitchen is slammed with ten orders at once and are moving too slow.

Lindsey is more of a bartender and ignoring other aspects like the growing stack of tickets at the register.

Tickets are also seen abandoned on the floor, Lindsey is confused and cannot remember who gets what.

Desi sees the chaos at the bar.

Jon shuts it down after the kitchen ticket times hit thirty minutes and too many badly mixed drinks are made.

There is a meeting afterwards and Lindsey is reprimanded for falling short of management and the kitchen not being able to handle just two dishes.

Jon commended the staff for how hard they worked.

He brings in Brad and Steve from his best rescue.

They tell the staff their bar is doing so great their revenue is up to $5m.

Derrick trains the staff on making a bourbon martini while Tiffany trains the kitchen staff on making a crawfish vignette.

Jon meets with Desi and Lindsey to harmonise their goals and vision for Lindsey to take on more and eventually run the bar.

She reiterates her commitment and Desi promises to support and train her.

The bar is renovated overnight and is revealed to the staff at sunset.

Desi is sober and is looking like an owner, dressed in a suit.

The exterior of the bar was freshened up because it was good enough already.

Inside, the concept was confusing and now it is a sports bar and grill with bolder orange walls, shutter and door designed walls with a darts section.

The old shutters and wrought iron partition are used to depict the authenticity and age of the bar.

There are three Future POS systems and USB charging points on the bar top from Bar Juice.

They have a lifetime subscription to Partender.

On relaunch, they open they bar to customers.

The bartenders start confidently making drinks two to three at a time.

In the kitchen, Bethany is giving direction and they are functioning properly, making great meals.

Brad and Steve are back for the relaunch.

They love the food and drinks and are especially happy the first drinks were not on the house.



What Happened Next at Desi Romano's Sports Bar and Grill?

Six weeks later, it is revealed that sales are up 12%.

Desi still struggles to hand over to Lindsey.

Desi has stopped giving out free shots.

Desi Romano's is open.

Reviews after the show are mostly positive with compliments to the food, drinks and service.

Click for more Bar Rescues

Previous episode - Big Mike's Sports Bar and Grill

Next episode - Casual Tap

This post was last updated in July 2021.

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