Bar Rescue - Mac and Chester's SRO / Boulder Lodge Bar and Grill - OPEN

Mac & Chester's SRO Bar Rescue

In this Bar Rescue episode, Jon Taffer visits Mac and Chesters SRO in Anoka, Minnesota.

Mac and Chesters SRO is owned by friends Scott Mac and Todd Chester.

They bought the bar Standing Room Only - SRO in 2012.

They added their names to the banner while preserving the history of the original and popular bar built in 1976.

This means there are two signs with two different names outside the establishment.

The business has two buildings and separate bars, four softball fields and lots of land

The bar had initial success once they took over, making $800,000 their first year.

They brought in Todd’s wife Elise to handle the paperwork and books.

Soon the partnership between Scott and Todd soured.

Todd is more of a partier, drinking at the bar and giving out free drinks and bringing in bikers.

Scott got fed up and moved to the softball hut, worked on reviving the softball pitch.

He had some success until Todd brought his antics and bikers to affect his side of the business.

They are losing $6000 a month and they are struggling.

Jon recons the bar with expert mixologist Mia Mastroianni and expert chef Vic Vegas.

They are also wearing disguises and will be going into the bar as spies.

They get in and the bar is busy.

When ordering from their specialty cocktail they say they do not have all the ingredients.

The cocktail is too strong and Vic coughs when he drinks it.

Jon points them to Todd at the bar and he is drinking.

Jon asks Mia to go to the second bar operated by Scott and his girlfriend Linda.

She finds it and orders a special that she immediately wants to throw away after tasting it.

Vic orders a wrap but he finds hair in the food and it does not taste good.

Vic complains to Todd who then talks to the chef.

Jon calls off his experts and meets with Elise as she is the one who called Bar Rescue.

They go through the dynamics of the ownership.

Jon points out there are seventy people at the bar but six bikers can chase away all the patrons.

They see the bikers burn some picnic tables.

Todd is there smiling even though they would have to spend up to $200 to replace the table.

The bikers proceed to rev their bikes on a table while families are playing softball close by in the field and this brings Elise to tears.

Jon decides to talk to Todd that night and he is drunk and still smiling when confronted with the truth.

Todd attempts to fight Jon and has to be held back.

Jon decides to leave and come back in the morning when Todd is sober.

The next day, Jon comes in and talks to Scott alone first.

Scott details the problems he has faced with the bikers and why he had to split to the second bar.

Jon meets with Todd and Elise alone.

He is sober and humble when hearing how his antics are affecting his family and the business.

He admits fault and says he wants to plan for his kids’ futures.

Jon asks him to ban his biker friends but he says they are loyal.

He asks him to let his wife make the business decisions and run the place as he is the cause of the failure of the bar.

Jon gives him an ultimatum on his friends or the bar remodel.

Todd agrees to step back and let Elise run the bar.

Once Jon meets the staff, Elise tells the staff the good news and they are happy for the change.

Scott says that he is willing to work with Elise.

Jon brings in his experts and they give their feedback on the drinks and the food, which are not positive.

Jon reveals he needed to call a second expert mixologist because of how bad they are and Phil Wills comes to join them.

Vic trains the cooks on a grilled cheese sandwich for customers to easily take to the softball field.

Phil trains the staff at the softball field bar on making balanced drinks and pouring drinks to time.

Mia at the main bar trains the bar staff on proper bar set up.

She blindfolds them to make a drink as they should know where everything is to make drinks quicker.

For stress test the bottles will be blacked out and the bartenders have the challenge of remembering what each bottle is.

The management has to coordinate between both bars and adequately portion bartenders where they are needed all night.

Customers are let in for the stress test and orders fly in at both locations.

The main bar is suffering from the first drink as wrong bottles are used.

The chef starts well and works through the tickets while at the second bar they are moving too slow.

It is obvious they are understaffed and Elise is running back and forth while her bartenders are stressed.

She calls Courtney the bartender from the second bar but Scott asks her to stay a while before going.

Elise has to pull Scott aside and have Courtney hurry to the main bar.

She tells him she is disappointed as she expected teamwork and better communication.

The main bar recovers as they have mastered the bottles and no more mix ups.

Jon confronts Scott and he tells her a different story to what happened.

He is happy with the takings and the turn around so shuts the bar down.

Jon decides to sit with the owners and Elise as there is still friction that affects the bar operations.

Jon proposes Todd and Scott separate and a floating note is put forward.

For the business to pay $20,000 to Scott based on bar income monthly until it is completed and Scott can separate from them.

They agree, Todd has full ownership and Elise is empowered to run it herself.

They make the announcement to the staff and training continues.

Mia and Phil both train the bar staff at the main bar on refreshing cocktails for the softball players from the field.

Vic trains the cook on cooking a local fish into a sandwich.

The bar is renovated over a day and the staff are gathered at night to reveal the new bar.

The bar has been renamed to Boulder Lodge Bar and Grill, inspired by the north wood area around the property.

There is only one sign with one name on the front and the exterior looks more like a cabin.

Inside, has been made warm and cosy continuing with the cabin theme with lots of wood.

The same look was given to the softball hut outside.

There is a new station and four 2touch POS terminals.

Nordic Beer System put in a new beer system and there is a lifetime subscription to Partendr for inventory and TVT for training.

The food and drinks have been priced to earn them more and encourage tips.

Elise is happy to run the place and they quickly set up for the relaunch.

Jon has a surprise firework display for the relaunch that goes up as the customers go in.

On relaunch, the bartenders are doing great.

The customers love the cocktails and in the kitchen the food is going out well.

The second bar is also doing well running cohesively with the main bar.


What Happened Next at Mac and Chester's SRO / Boulder Lodge Bar and Grill?

Six weeks later it is revealed Boulder Lodge is doing well with 38% increase in sales and takings of $126,000.

Elise continues to successfully manage both bars while Todd still treats the business as a business.

They returned the bikers to the bar for special events.

In 2017, they changed the name to Back to the SRO Bar and Grill.

In 2018, the building was listed for sale for $1 million.

Reviews are mostly positive with compliments to the food they serve.


Click for more Bar Rescues

Previous episode - Chix on Dix / Power Strip

Next episode - Van Goghz Martini Bar and Bistro

This post was last updated in August 2021.

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