Bar Rescue - Filling Station Pub / Off Base Bar - OPEN

Filling Station Pub Bar Rescue

In this Bar Rescue episode, Jon Taffer visits Filling Station Pub in San Diego California.

Filling Station Pub is owned by Sissy Xue.

In 2003 Sissy and her son Lenny moved from Hong Kong to the USA.

In 2013 she opened the bar across from a military base and it was successful, making $60,000 a month.

Her son is in Naval College so she has an attachment to the military.

Sissy hired young attractive girls intentionally to attract more Marines to the bar.

However they are not professional and don’t have bartending experience.

This drove away customers and she blames her staff

Sissy is known to be difficult to work with.

She installed CCTV cameras to watch her staff as they work.

She owes her father $400,000 and is losing $15,000 a month.

Jon recons the bar with expert mixologist Phil Wills and expert chef Nick Liberato.

They see Sissy at the bar and Jon fills them in on her situation.

Heather is the manager and Alyssa, Anna and Rosa are bartenders.

Mike Costa and Dave Palet are local radio hosts and the spies Jon has sent to try out the service.

They ask for suggestions and the bartender recommends the long island iced tea.

It is made with juice and they complain so they order a Manhattan .

The bar tender pours straight form a bottle and uses her hand to add sugar.

They hate the drinks as none were correct.

They want to order food but the kitchen is closed.

The bartender over pours by so much that it is illegal to serve such a large measure.

They use olive juice that has been in the open then use a rocks glass to strain the drink, which is unsanitary.

The bartenders go to the bathroom to drink shots.

Sissy sits watching the bar before coming out to grab a drink for herself.

The bartenders get on the bar top to dance and one gets hit by a ceiling fan because she is intoxicated.

Phil and Jon go into the bar to confront Sissy and she defends her need for the CCTV.

Phil and Jon have the bartenders behind the bar make a classic Manhattan.

There are six of them but only three attempt the challenge and make three different drinks.

None of them are a Manhattan.

Sissy is angry and asks Jon if he has any bar experience himself and he doesn’t dignify that with an answer.

He has the staff be truthful with Sissy about her ways.

Jon says he will save the bar if Sissy takes down her security system and leaves her wine.

The next day Jon meets with staff and Sissy’s misbehaviour is revealed to be a big reason a lot of bartenders leave.

Heather is the one holding the staff together.

Sissy still blames them and doesn’t trust them.

Jon points out she gets the negativity she is putting out.

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

Phil comes in to address their lack of basic skills and teaches them the difference between shaken and stirred cocktails.

They have brought in a new cook Ted to be trained in the kitchen.

Nick trains him on a turkey dinner sandwich and a cheese steak sandwich.

For the stress test the bartenders are given cards and if sissy does anything positive she will be given a card.

Military personnel are invited for the stress test and they swamp the bar.

The bartenders make mistakes and Phil has to correct them.

Ted is also making some mistakes in the kitchen and moving too slowly.

Sissy is avoiding the bartenders and hasn’t received any cards.

Soon the floor of the kitchen starts flooding because the drain is blocked.

The kitchen has to be shut down because food cannot be served out of it.

Sissy mops up the water and goes to the bar,

She is much more helpful and complimentary to the bartenders so she gets two cards.

The stress test is shut down as all the pain points have been identified.

They all stay back for feedback and he is pleased that Sissy got cards.

Jon reminds her making a connection with her staff will get them to trust her.

Jon come in the next day and meets with the staff and he announces they had the drain cleaned.

It was the first time it had been cleaned and it is revealed that it should have been cleaned once a year.

Jon meets with Sissy and her son Lenny to see their motivation.

Nick trains Ted on making an Italian sandwich.

Phil trains the bartenders on making a balanced cocktail with a whiskey base.

The bar is renovated over 48 hours and the staff are gathered in the afternoon to reveal their new bar.

It has been renamed to Off Base Bar and now has a red, bold logo.

Inside is classy, warm with a liquor rack and there are some games and pictures of Sissy and her son on the walls.

Jon tells his inspiration for the bar being a social club for the military.

There is a new bartop and two 2touch POS systems.

They set up the bar for relaunch and bring in a marine that was awarded hero of the year to see the bar.

He gives it his approval and thinks that the local military will love it.

The customers are let in and the spies return to see the changes.

They order a Manhattan and they make it much better than the first night.

The bartenders are doing great and the food is going out is well received by the customers.


What Happened Next at Filling Station Pub / Off Base Bar?

Six weeks later it is revealed bar sales are up 30% and food is up 100%.

Sissy is earning the respect of her employees and doesn’t use her security system to spy on them anymore.

Reviews after the Bar Rescue episode was filmed are very mixed with lengthy patches of 1 star reviews on Yelp but reviews on Google are more positive.


Click for more Bar Rescues

Previous episode - Ripper's Rock House / Tim Owen’s Traveller’s Tavern

Next episode - The Hooch / Proving Ground

This post was last updated in September 2021.

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