Bar Rescue - Freaki Tiki / Frankie T's - CLOSED

Freaki Tiki Bar Rescue

In this Bar Rescue episode, Jon Taffer visits Freaki Tiki in Clearwater, Florida.

Freaki Tiki is owned by Frank Theriault who bought it in 2008 .

His friend Sean Trimpe invested in the bar in return for a 2.5% stake in the bar.

They took over $500,000 in loans and grossed about $1m in their 5th year.

They brought in their friend, Woody, to be the manager.

They joined in with the party after their initial success.

The owners started drinking more at the bar, comping bills and acting unprofessional at the bar.

The owners have lost focus and the bar is in a poor state of disrepair.

The toilets and drains overflow with sewage into the bar and the customers are leaving in droves.

They are now losing $6500 a month and are $500,000 in debt.

Jon recons the bar with expert mixologist Mia Mastroianni and expert chef Ryan Scot.

They see the exterior and while it is lit up the green lighting is awful for customers and food.

Jon gives them the low down on the owners as they see them drink beers and take shots off women.

They see the bar is in disrepair and the frat bar atmosphere does not tie in with the median age of the town, which is in the 40s.

Jon reveals Woody has been sending him emails for weeks to rescue the bar.

They see the cook barely wash a plate and drain it next to raw meat.

The spies Jon has come in to test the services of the bar.

The spies are Tracy, Juciano and her daughter Zoe from a previous Bar Rescue at Pirates.

Zoe is now going to University in Tampa and they are opening a new bar called Bar Refuge.

They sit at the bar and order a signature drink.

The drink is three vodkas for the flavours rather than other ingredients.

The drink is so strong Tracy cannot drink it while Sean apologises for over pouring.

They order a burger and pizza and they see the cook use her bare hands to prep the pizza straight from a can then go outside to use a fryer.

Jon has seen enough and goes in to stop people from eating the food.

Tracy said the food served was too disgusting to even eat.

Jon meets the owners and Woody and tells them of what he saw in the kitchen.

Woody owns up to it, saying he has told Robin to use gloves often and she is disrespectful when asked.

Sean says he made up the excuse to Tracy because they complained.

Frank is not upset about the problems and Jon is not impressed.

Jon rakes all the three over the coals then leaves.

Frank gets all three to agree to be humble, admit they messed up and resolve to do better.

The next day, Jon comes back for the staff meeting with his experts who he asks to inspect the bar and the kitchen.

Jon takes the owners into the kitchen.

Robin says she uses her bare hands because it is convenient and quick even though the glove box is right in front of her.

Ryan points out the frozen produce in the freezer is easily worth how much they are losing monthly.

They are over spending on food, they are spending three times as much as they should be.

At the bar Mia found fully rusted beers at the bottom of a stack meaning they are not rotating their beers.

When asked who is responsible for cleanliness no one owns up.

The bar is filthy from the bar top to a used condom found behind some bar tools.

Jon tries to make Sean and Frank admit to their years of neglect but they are lackadaisical.

They are made to clean the bar that day while Ryan has some gifts for Robin.

First is a box of gloves, then a turbo chef to replace the grill and the fryer.

He trains her on making cheese bread sticks and a dip.

At the bar, Mia trains them on making cocktails with flavours from garnishes and using no more than two spirits.

She trains them on making lemon citrus flower garnishes.

For stress test Woody is on the floor helping out, two bartenders will be on a station while the partners will be on the other station.

They soon open for the stress test.

In the kitchen cheesy breadstick orders fly in and it is on Robin to create a system as Ryan cannot help her.

At the bar the owners forget garnishes, attempt overpouring and leave their stations messy while the bartenders are doing a lot better.

Woody is working hard, going back and forth and plugging all the holes to zero complaints.

Things are going well till Jon sees toilet water running from the overflowing toilets into the bar.

Sean has a snake machine to unplug the toilet and Jon calls it and shuts the bar down.

The next day Jon and his experts come in and they praise all the staff and scold the owners.

At the bar Mia trains them on colourful fruity cocktails with fruit garnishes.

In the kitchen Ryan trains Robin on making a pizza in less than 2 mins with fresh ingredients.

Jon sits with Frank to get to know him better.

He grew up in the bar business and there a sign from his father’s bar in the Freaki Tiki.

Jon reminds him his bar is in honour of his father and his family and he needs to fight for it.

The bar is renovated and the plumbing and toilets are fixed.

They gather in the night to reveal their new bar.

The bar has been renamed to Frankie T’s Sports bar.

There is a halo sign that can be seen from afar and there are also call-to-actions on the window.

Inside has been upgraded, it is now bright, clean and new.

They have multiple games from American Game Leasing around the bar and a light display for the liquor shelf from BarProducts.com.

There are four 2touch POS systems three inside and one outside.

Jon has given them lifetime access to TVT for training and the sign from Frank’s father’s bar is lit up behind the bar.

The bathroom plumbing was snaked for over 200 feet so they are confident the problem is solved.

They soon reopen for the relaunch and customers come in.

On relaunch, the orders come and the drinks are made to great quality.

The food from the kitchen is coming out fast and in less than 4 minutes.

The customers are playing the games and are having fun.

Frankie is acting like an owner and helping his staff when he can.


What Happened Next at Freaki Tiki / Frankie T's?

Eight weeks later it is revealed the food and beverage sales are down 28%.

The owners blame the new sports bars in the area.

They are confident the new standards will bring customers back.

They kept the name but returned the bar concept to being a dive bar and it became known as Frankie T's Dive Bar.

Freaki Tiki / Frankie T's closed in February 2017.

Reviews were better after Bar Rescue and were positive with praise for the specials and happy hour.


Click for more Bar Rescues

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

Next episode - George and Dragon

This post was last updated in August 2021.

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