State Pub (St8 Pub) / Downstairs Bar and Kitchen - Bar Rescue Update - Open or Closed?

Bar Rescue State Pub (St8 Pub)

In this Bar Rescue episode, Jon Taffer visits State Pub in Inglewood, Colorado.

State Pub is owned by Sean.

Sean has spent 15 years working as a bartender and dreamed of owning a craft beer bar.

He took on St8 Bar with a $10,000 loan from the owner and $2,000 is to be paid monthly for rent.

Sean was told that by paying it off within a year he could become a co-owner.

With no financial commitment he just had to run the bar and it was successful at first.

Things started going down hill due to Sean treating it like his playground and drinking often on the job.

Sean currently owes $25,000 in rent along with the initial $10,000 loan.

His drunken behaviour sees him being rude to staff and as a result they are losing customers.

Seans mother helps with the bar from time to time.

His landlord has waited thirteen months for the rent to be paid.

He has given him a five-week ultimatum to pay up his debt or the bar will be shut for good.

Jon recons the bar with expert mixologist Shawn Ford and expert chef Vic Vegas.

They see the area is a blue-collar community and the bar exterior does not draw the eye.

It is dark and overshadowed by neighbouring businesses.

Jon fills them in about the situation at the bar.

Sean’s mother Pamela is at the bar and she is paying his rent and upkeep.

The bar top is floor tiles and the interior is tired looking.

There are over sixty types of beers on the menu and Jon has some beer experts go in to spy on the bar’s services.

They both enter and order a specific beer that is supposed to be served in a specific glass but it is served in a mason jar.

Shawn explains that there is a change in the beer that indicates the glass was not clean.

Sean is doing chores but he takes out the garbage but neglects to wash his hands.

He handles other things in the bar and wipes sweat on his dirty t-shirt.

He continues to make drinks at the bar with the same unwashed hands.

The spies order two sloppy joes, which Sean makes from scratch.

The kitchen is in a state and they see meat they cannot identify.

Even though he is using gloves, he contaminates everything and the food is made in the microwave.

Jon and his experts go in to shut down the bar and the kitchen.

Sean is confronted on his bad practices and told he can make people sick which he vehemently denies.

The experts point out the dirty rinsing water at the bar and the bottle cap bin has not been emptied for weeks.

There is dirty liquor and sweat on the food in the kitchen.

His mother never knew how bad things were and Jon tells all his problems to the whole bar.

Jon tasks Pamela with talking to Sean about his irresponsibility.

Sean was blindsided and says he had no idea it was that bad and apologises to his mother.

The next day, Jon meets with Pamela, Sean and Caitlin the only remaining staff.

He wants to find out their motivations and figure out if it is worth saving the bar.

Sean is so bad that Caitlin is his only member of staff as two had quit recently.

Jon lays it all out and says it is impossible for Sean to repay all he is owed within five weeks, even if the bar is renovated.

He asks Sean to talk his landlord into a repayment plan that will at least get him time to bounce back and repay the debt.

Sean makes the call and he gets an extension of three months so Jon can move ahead with the remodelling.

Jon makes Sean apologise to his mother and promise to stop drinking at the bar.

Jon insists on more staff to be trained so Sean is forced to hire people on the spot.

Two new faces: Rachel and Isaiah are added to the bar staff for training.

Shawn comes in to train them but he is not happy with the system they have.

It is very dirty and cannot train them on beers but does so on a Tom Collins cocktail.

Rachel and Caitlin are green at the bar.

In the kitchen, chef Max is brought in to help along with Pamela and they are trained by Vic.

He takes them on using a pressure cooker to cook the meat for a pulled pork sandwich.

Soon it is time for the stress test and Rachel is nervous making mistakes and Caitlin is not confident.

In the kitchen, things are progressing but they are slammed with ten orders and are moving too slowly with undercooked meals.

Customers are left waiting for too long and Sean is counterproductive at the counter with new tickets left sitting on the bar.

Drinks are dumped and they have only one station with no organisation system.

Customers start leaving and Sean is made to apologise and shut down the bar.

After the service, they have a feedback session and Sean is apologetic and promises to fix the processes.

Jon meets with his experts and resolves to turn the bar into a man-cave, drawing inspiration from the basement feel of the bar.

Jon meets with Sean and Pamela to get them on the same page and Sean again apologises to her promising to do better.

Shawn trains the bar staff and introduces the beers that will be the base of their beer programme.

They are shown an ale, a lager, a wheat and a stout.

He tasks them to learn about the samples whilst blindfolded so they have to rely on smell and taste.

He also trains them some beer cocktails.

In the kitchen, they are trained on making a simple meat stew and potatoes dish.

The bar is renovated and the staff are gathered on an rainy night to unveil the new bar.

The bar has been given a new name Downstairs Bar and Kitchen, inspired by the basement feel of the bar.

The exterior has been cleaned up and brightened with bursts of orange that pop out.

Inside it is brighter, warm and inviting like a home basement with walls of custom men’s magazine covers.

They now have two complete workstations with soda guns, wells and ice bins.

There are two POS systems and a lifetime subscription to TVT for training and Partender for inventory.

The bar is ready to be relaunched and the customers are let in.

On relaunch, the bar staff speak confidently about the beers and making cocktails that come out great.

In the kitchen, things are moving smoothly, and the food is moving out fast.

Customers are happy and loving the service.

What Happened Next at State Pub (St8 Pub) / Downstairs Bar and Kitchen?

Three months later, it is revealed that revenue is up 25%.

Sean has started paying rent.

The bar has a full team of staff.

Caitlin is a manager and Sean is still not drinking at the bar.

Downstairs Bar and Kitchen closed in July 2017.

Reviews before the closure were mostly positive with compliments to the drinks selection and food.

There were some complaints about Sean in reviews.

This post was last updated in March 2022.

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