Bar Rescue - Artful Dodger / P’s and Q’s Auto Body - CLOSED

Artful Dodger Bar Rescue

In this episode of Bar Rescue, Jon Taffer visits Artful Dodger in Huntington, New York.

Artful Dodger is owned by Mike Conforti.

Mike lost his job in sales and used his savings to buy the nightclub in 2006.

Artful Dodger became one of the first bars in the area to feature DJs and dancing.

The bar thrived for the first five years.

Mike says sales at one point were reaching $50,000 a month.

As the neighborhood’s dance scene grew, Mike’s lack of cleanliness standards sent customers going to the competition instead.

In 2011, Mike hired nightclub promoter Brian Gordon to help boost sales.

Brian changed the name from Artful Dodger to Radio.

They started an 18-and-over promotional gimmick however, it didn’t really work.

Brian says that the place being so rundown drives customers away.

Mike is around $150,000 in total debt and that in two months he’ll be out of business.

Mike makes a call for help to Bar Rescue.

Huntington has a median income of $116,000, which is more than double the national average.

Artful Dodger is so rundown that it fails to attract the wealthy locals.

Jon brings in service expert Jessie Barnes and expert bartender Phil Wills.

Jon and his experts go to the other bars to see how busy they are.

Jon wants to take some customers to do the recon at Artful Dodger.

The other bars are packed and Artful Dodger is the only one not making money.

Jon brings in 100 people to go to Artful Dodger.

The bar is very gross and there are flies in the drinks.

The customers say it looks like a rat ate the couches.

Many of the customers drinks have fruit flies in them.

Jon goes into Artful Dodger.

He is disgusted and he tells customers to not drink the drinks.

Jon points out how the bottles of liquor have bugs in them.

Mike brushes it off as if it’s nothing.

He says he’s sure they’ve had bugs in drinks before.

Brian says that having the fruit flies is embarrassing.

The next morning, Jon says that this bar is so neglected.

Jon meets with the staff to discuss how the bar got this bad.

Jon says he had his cleaning team clean the bar up all night and he shows them some of the things they found in there.

There are mosquitos in the drains.

Mike drinks beers at work, which isn’t good.

Jon brings in his experts Jessie and Phil and introduces them to the staff.

Phil says that the bartender skills are not up to par.

Phil shows them the proper way to mix drinks and how to make multiple drinks at one time.

Bartender Jen makes excuses saying that this isn’t what she’s used to and she walks out of the bar.

Brian goes out to talk to Jen and convinces her to come back inside the bar.

Jessie shows them proper customer service skills such as giving the customer your name.

Jon wants the stress test for tonight to also be an 18 and over night.

They put black Xs in Sharpie on customers under 21 and pink wrist bands on customers who are at least 21 years of age.

Jon brings in a 23-year-old and tells her to say she’s 18 and see if she can get a cocktail.

The girl Jon brings in wipes off the Sharpie X.

Jon sends Mike to check for people with drinks but without wristbands.

The girl is even talking to the staff and they still don’t notice her.

She’s had the cocktail for 30 minutes now.

After 45 minutes, Jon tells Mike and Brian about his plan and that they failed.

Jon tells them to shut the bar down for the night and the teenagers are going insane.

Jon talks to his staff about doing a speakeasy concept.

Phill meets with the staff to show them some drinks they will be adding to the new menu.

He shows them the Bootician and the P’s and Q’s Ginger.

He compares the P’s and Q’s Ginger drink to an old saying.

He says that it means to mind your business, which is something that could be incorporated into the speakeasy concept.

Jessie continues to show them customer service skills.

She has them practice on each other.

Mike tells the staff that he’s proud of everyone there.

Brian says that he’s excited to promote the new concept.

Jon begins remodel on the bar.

The next morning Jon meets with the staff to introduce the new concept for the bar.

Jon goes on to say that blaming each other for the bar failing has caused everyone to fail.

Yet, he says all of that is going to change right now.

He explains that he had to create a concept that would set them apart from the other twelve bars within the two surrounding blocks.

Artful Dodge has been renamed and is now called P’s and Q’s Auto Body.

The bar is very secretive.

It looks more like an auto body shop but it’s a bar.

The staff says that the bar is now clean and classy.

Jon put in a Revention POS system, to help track sales.

He also put in a third POS system at the end of the bar for service.

He installed a mirror that’s also a TV.

Jon says it’s time to make money and that there are 200 people waiting outside.

On relaunch, the customers are saying that this bar is way classier now.

They’re glad that there are no more 18 year olds running around the bar.

Jon says that Mike is contributing as an owner.

He also says that Mike and Brian believe in each other again and they’re working together a lot better than before.

Phil says that it’s a beautiful thing.

Jon says that this is one of the best rescues they’ve ever done.

Jon shakes Mike and Brian’s hands and tells them good luck.

Jon says that Mike and Brian’s relationship has really changed, they’re sharing a common vision.

He says that now it’s time for them to make some money.


What Happened Next at Artful Dodger / P’s and Q’s Auto Body?

Six weeks later, sales have gone up at least 30%.

Mike and Brian are working better still and they’re making money now.

They briefly closed from March 2015 to May 2016 due to a fire in a nearby building.

Artful Dodger / P's and Q's Autobody closed in October 2018.

The bar was bought by bartender Michael was renamed to Repeal XVIII.


Click for more Bar Rescues

Previous episode - The End Zone Sports Bar and Grill / Houston Sports Hub

Next episode - Undisputed Sports Bar and Grill / Soyo Craft Bar

This post was last updated in September 2021.

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