Bar Rescue - Speakeasy Bar and Grill / Second Line Co. - CLOSED

Bar Rescue Speakeasy Bar & Grill

In this Bar Rescue episode, Jon Taffer visits Speakeasy Bar and Grill in Kenner, Louisiana.

Speakeasy Bar and Grill is owned by Keith Bellaci who bought the bar with a friend in 2006.

He has some experience of managing bars so decided to buy his own.

Business boomed for three years where he met Amanda, his now wife, who helped behind the bar.

They both retired from the business once they started a family, sold the bar and went into the corporate world.

They stayed for seven years but repurchased the bar in 2015 for $250,000 thinking it was still profitable.

They share ownership with Barbara, Amanda’s mother, who they turned to for financial support.

When they repurchased the bar it was in disrepair and a downturn.

They do not have the funds to turn it around.

Amanda’s lack of ownership experience and freedom has her twerking inappropriately to the surprise of guests.

This has influenced Keith to take a relaxed approach to management.

Both of their behaviour has affected staff who are mostly untrained and contributing to the demise of the bar.

They are now $250,000 in debt.

Jon recons the bar with expert mixologist, Ashley Clarke, who was a bar rescue alum turned expert and expert chef Aaron McCargo.

The bar is in an above average income area.

They see the call-to-actions are generic with no signature items that can attract new customers into the bar.

They see the owners and Jon fills them in on their situation, they are losing $5000 a month.

They have four bartenders and a cook.

Izzy who works in Jon’s company is sent in with Aaron, in his chef coat, to spy on the bar services.

They order the cocktail of New Orleans but they do not have the ingredients so they settle on an old fashioned and a margarita.

The bartenders have no proper tools as they use plastic cups to mix.

The drinks are bad and taste nothing like they are supposed to.

Keith and Amanda get into a small tiff as neither want to do their jobs.

Keith is sitting at the bar drinking while she is playing darts.

The bar keeps making shots all night and it is noticed the staff keep going for it.

The spies have ordered food but no one is making the food.

Meanwhile Amanda starts partying, doing cup games and twerking.

In the kitchen, the cook cross-contaminates the work surface and the food that was made in dirty fryers.

Jon comes in to stop the spies from eating the meal and confronts Keith and Amanda.

They admit to the kitchen not being clean and that they are lazy.

Aaron takes them to the kitchen for an inspection.

He is horrified by the state of the grill and the bad food sitting on the counter.

Amanda is so embarrassed she starts crying and hyperventilating.

Jon tasks Keith to clean the kitchen before the next day but he quickly gives up and walks out.

The next day, Ashley and Aaron are sent to the bar to see if the place has been cleaned but it is still in a state with no staff around.

Jon is disappointed and sends his cleaning crew to do the much-needed cleaning.

Jon has a staff meeting later that day and confronts them on not showing commitment to making their business better.

The owners say that they have just six months left to stay open.

The staff are shocked and complain of the state of the bar and not having the tools to work well.

After berating the owners on their choices, Jon brings out his experts.

Jon has Amanda and Keith clearly define their roles.

Amanda will oversee the bar, Keith will oversee the kitchen and Barbara will look after the books.

Ashley trains the bar staff on communication with a focus on Amanda being the leader.

Amanda is tasked with describing cocktail recipes for her staff to make without using specific words.

In the kitchen, Aaron trains the staff on a jambalaya quesadilla.

At the stress test, Amanda is to showcase her managerial skills.

She delegates the weakest bartender Cassie to table duty and Barbara is to help run tickets to the kitchen.

The stress test begins and the customers are let in.

The bartenders make mistakes as their nerves get the best of them.

The guests have been waiting up to twenty minutes with no drinks.

In the kitchen, they have been waiting with no tickets.

It turns out the orders are stuck in the POS system and not getting to the kitchen.

Amanda is called from making drinks to solve the problem by manually taking orders and running them to the kitchen.

Cassie walks out for a smoke break in the middle of the chaos.

Guests who have food have no silverware or napkins while others are waiting up to one hour for drinks.

Amanda is made to apologise to the guests and the bar is shut down.

Amanda tells Cassie go home.

The next day Amanda let the experts know Cassie had to be let go.

Ashley trains them on making a prohibition style drink made with Sazerac and also a cocktail for women.

In the kitchen Aaron trains them on a Louisiana dish on sliders.

Jon meets with Amanda and Keith to tackle their resentment for each other and try to get them to work together.

They outline their positions in the business and promise not to overstep and communicate properly.

The staff are gathered reveal the new bar.

The bar has been renamed to The Second Line Co. Festival Bar and Grill.

The name is inspired by the parades that happen in New Orleans.

Inside the bar, it has been designed to match the theme of New Orleans with a jazz mural and pictures from the city.

The back bar has new back lighting to showcase the spirits.

They have three new Future POS Systems with printers, a lifetime subscription to TVT for trainings and Partender for inventory.

The customers are let in for the relaunch.

The staff are ready and confidently making drinks and cooking food as the orders come in.

The training has paid off as the bartenders are doing great.

Barbara jumps in to help and washes glasses as they are busy.

Amanda is more of a manager and is moving around delegating rather than stationing herself at the bar making drinks.

Jon is proud of how much they are all working hard and communicating and he leaves to applause.



What Happened Next at Speakeasy Bar and Grill / Second Line Co.?

Six weeks later, it is revealed that Amanda and Keith have kept to managing their respective areas.

They are communicating properly and no one is twerking when they should be working.

Speakeasy Bar and Grill / Second Line Co. closed in January 2018 after they sold the bar.

Click for more Bar Rescues

Previous episode - The Dugout

Next episode - Big Mike's Sports Bar & Grill

This post was last updated in August 2021.

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