Jazz Katz / Back Beat Piano Bar - Bar Rescue Update - Open or Closed?

Jazz Katz Bar Rescue

In this Bar Rescue episode, Jon Taffer visits Jazz Katz in Southfield, Michigan.

Jazz Katz is owned by psychologist Dr Tamika Scott who had the dream of owning a Jazz club.

She opened it in 2014 confident Jazz music was therapy.

Tamika asked her parents to help with the business side of things.

The club was initially a success, making them $30,000 a month.

Tamika began employing her friends to help them out rather than qualified members of staff.

This has taken a toll on her business as quality dropped and customers left.

Tamika and her mother do not get along especially when it comes to managing the business.

They are losing $8,000 and are a month away from closing.

Jon recons the bar with expert mixologist Phil Wills and expert chef Anthony Lamas.

They see the exterior and it is bland and uninviting with only the club logo visible but no other information.

Jazz is one of more unpopular music genres in America and a challenging theme for a club.

They see Timika and Jon gives the details of her position.

Karen is her mother and Ray is her father.

They are both co-managers and the experts see the dysfunctional atmosphere they create.

Dre is a bartender and they see him refuse to make some cocktails on their menu.

He refuses because no one knows how to make them and the order was too big.

Damien is a server, Isaac is a cook and Janelle is a sous chef.

Jon brings in a Recording Jazz Bassist Robert Hurst and a friend to spy on the service at the bar.

Sitting at the bar they could not see the musicians or hear the music and they were ignored by the bartender.

They order a Martini and a Bullet and the bartender makes the drinks in a sink backing the guests.

The drinks are too strong and too sweet.

Karen and Dre have an argument in front of them over some drinks that were sent back.

Some people have been in the bar for over forty-five minutes and not been served their drinks.

A new customer complains he had been at the bar five minutes and Dre never took notice of him.

Dre gets annoyed and picks a fight with the guest over this.

Jon comes in to clear it up but Dre is pulled away to calm down and the bar is left empty.

Jon confronts him and Dre is rude and denies he did anything wrong.

Dre gets violent and has to be held back.

Jon meets Tamika and tells her she needs to remove the toxic part of her business and she fires Dre that night.

The next day, Jon meets with staff and hey highlight how the standards have dropped.

Tamika’s parents say she hires inexperienced workers.

The staff in turn say they do not know who of the three to follow.

Tamika admits she has caught Janelle stealing but she has given her a second chance.

Jon reminds her to treat her business like a business and make those decisions and not be guided by emotions.

Jon introduces his experts and they walk through the place.

The bar is not properly set up and the kitchen is dirty and food is not handled properly.

The walk-in is also a problem with a bad storage system.

The kitchen is shutdown so they can clean.

They open the grill to empty the oil and it is all black.

Meanwhile Phil is left to train completely green bartenders.

He assesses their skills by having them make drinks and corrects them along the way.

For the stress test they see they do not have a kitchen.

The bar is understaffed and a hundred customers would definitely bury them.

Jon decides to bring in only twenty-five customers and a time frame of thirty minutes to serve them all without any live music.

Tamika will be in charge and Karen and Ray will be supporting.

The customers are let in and it is a disaster.

The bartenders are slow, tickets are lost and Karen is doing things her own way while arguing with her daughter.

The bar is small and they move around awkwardly.

Customers are full of complaints they had to wait more than twenty minutes for drinks.

The stress test is shutdown.

The next day, Jon wants to solve the bickering between Tamika and Karen by meeting with all three family members.

Jon points out to Karen that she is diminishing her daughter at her workplace and it negatively affects the business.

Karen is not happy at being benched but she is reasoned with.

Jon gets Tamika’s motivation and plays with the idea of swapping Jazz for another type of relaxing music that is more modern and has a larger market appreciation.

Phil trains the staff on some bitter drinks that can trigger customers to buy food.

In the kitchen that has been cleaned thoroughly, Anthony trains them on a spin on shrimp and grits.

Jon meets with Tamika and has her use a hammer to tear down part of the bar for the renovations so she lets go and embraces the new.

After thirty six hours the bar is renovated and Jon gathers the staff on a late afternoon to reveal the new bar.

The bar has been renamed to Back Beat Piano Bar and Cocktails.

They used the same theme of black in the exterior and there are clear call-to-actions.

Inside is warmer and cozy and more like a lounge with a piano as the centrepiece that can be seen from anywhere in the bar.

They constructed an L-shaped bar with separate workstations, wells and soda guns with three 2touch POS terminals.

They set up the bar and open up for the relaunch.

On relaunch, the customers come in and they are swamped with orders.

They are on top of everything and the bar makes great drinks on time with the space they have.

The kitchen has a system that works and Tamika is managing with her mother listening to her.

What Happened Next at Jazz Katz / Back Beat Piano Bar and Cocktails?

Six weeks later it is revealed the bar has grossed only $7,614 in sales and is struggling.

Tamika fired a member of staff that messed up to hold them accountable.

Communication between her and her mother is back to being unproductive.

They kept the name and the changes that Jon made.

Jazz Katz / Back Beat Piano Bar closed in 2016.

They closed after an unsuccessful GoFundMe campaign to raise funds to pay their back rent and remain open.

Reviews after the show were mixed with both praise and complaints on the food, drinks and service.

This post was last updated in February 2022.

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