Heat Restaurant and Lounge / Ele Lounge - Bar Rescue Update - Open or Closed?

Heat Restaurant and Lounge Bar Rescue

In this Bar Rescue episode, Jon Taffer visits Heat Restaurant and Lounge in Hollywood, Florida.

Heat Restaurant and Lounge is owned by Vin Durand and his wife Vanessa Santos.

They opened up the place in 2012.

In the beginning, they were making around $10-15,000 a week.

This success was short lived with the very competitive market in Hollywood.

In an attempt to bring back customers, Vin cut prices in half.

However, this brought customers who expected everything for free.

The more the owners gave away, the less tips the bartenders received.

This drove them to dance for their money instead.

In an attempt to turn things around, they hired Vanessa’s 23 year old sister Samantha as the general manager.

Samantha was immediately overwhelmed by the out of control staff.

Vin and Vanessa are $230,000 in debt, losing $5,000 a month.

They want to build a good future for their daughter but it’s hard with all of the debt.

Vin and Vanessa make a call to Bar Rescue.

Jon brings in expert mixologist Phil Wills.

Phil says that there isn’t anything on the outside of the bar that is inviting people in.

Jon says that Hollywood has an older demographic until around 7:00 or 8:00 at night.

This time of night has a younger demographic.

Heat has a deal where if you show up with a party of six, you get a bottle of liquor for free.

You don’t even have to buy anything at the bar to get this.

Samantha is aggravated with how out of control the bartenders are.

Jon brings in two local women for tonight’s recon.

Heat has an unused kitchen in the back.

The girls ask for a menu, but there aren’t any.

Jon says that the owners are more interested in using a stripper pole than to use the kitchen.

The girls order a Cosmo but the bartender doesn’t even know how to make it.

Everybody else is getting free drinks but the bartender makes them pay for the Cosmos.

Jon says that Vin is going to close next week if he doesn’t start to make money.

Vin has no control over his staff.

Samantha has tried to send bartender Bella home five times but she’s too drunk to listen.

Jon says he won’t touch this bar until the staff settles down.

Vin lets Vanessa down so much and never does anything about it.

Vanessa walks out of the bar.

Jon goes to talk to her and asks Vin when will this end.

He asks Vanessa if Vin has the balls to get this bar together.

Jon says if the comes back in the morning it’ll be for Vanessa, not Vin.

He says that this bar sickens him and that this isn’t a bar at all.

Vin talks to the staff and says that all this stuff ends tonight.

Samantha says the bartenders better pray that they still have their jobs tomorrow.

The next morning, Jon comes to talk to the staff.

The bartenders are lying about how many drinks they gave away.

Nini, a bartender, is crying because she wants things to change.

Jon uses Partender to show the staff that they sold $3,750 over the last three days but gave away $11,000 worth of liquor.

Jon says this is so obnoxious.

He tells Vin to act like an owner and to fire someone right now.

Jon asks Vin who is the one who disrespects the business the most.

He says that nobody will be fired right now, however they will survive day by day with keeping their jobs.

Jon suggests that they should start selling food.

Jon brings in expert chef Jamika Pessoa.

Phil meets with the staff to test their drink making skills.

He gives them a list of drinks to make to see who can make them the best and fastest.

Phil says he’s going to report to Jon about who he thinks should be behind the bar.

Jamika meets with the owners to show them a few recipes they could add to the menu.

Tonight, is the stress test and Jon says that he does not want to be a strip club tonight.

He says that tonight he wants to focus on serving people and trying to get them to come back.

He tells Vin and Vanessa that he wants them in the kitchen so they can train their replacements when they reopen.

Jamika is looking for them to be focused and to communicate.

There are about 100 people outside waiting for the bar to open for the stress test.

The chicken isn’t cooked all the way through.

Nini is doing a good job as a bartender, and Jon says the others aren’t proving that they should keep their jobs.

Isabella is dancing on the bar again.

Samantha is sending her home.

Vanessa is scolding Isabella for drinking on the job again.

Isabella doesn’t understand what she is doing wrong and is getting very defensive about it.

Jon says to shut the bar down for the night, although the customers already did that with how they all left already.

The next morning, Jon meets with the owners and Samantha.

Jon says that firing Isabella was a step in the right direction.

Samantha is now an owner as well.

Jon wants to put in a concept that does happy hour and late night.

Jamika shows them some recipes she will be adding to their new menu.

Phil shows the bartenders new drinks like Caribbean Dream and the TropiNINI.

Jon begins his remodel of Heat.

The remodel is done and Jon brings the staff back to introduce the new bar to them.

The bar has been renamed and is now called Ele.

The staff goes into the bar and is in love with the way it looks now.

Jon has designed new uniforms for the staff.

The bar has two different concepts, one during the day for the older demographic and one at night for the younger demographic.

The bar opens up for the first time since the remodel.

On relaunch, everything is going smoothly.

Jon says that Vin and Vanessa are proud of this place and that everyone is paying for their drinks.

Samantha is leading like a manager.

Jon says that his work is done and he hugs Vin and Vanessa.

What Happened Next at Heat Restaurant and Lounge / Ele Lounge?

Six weeks later, late night sales are up by 30%.

Happy hour sales are up by 100%.

The waitresses have found that they can make money without dancing on a pole.

Isabella was rehired and admitted to playing up for the cameras.

Heat Restaurant and Lounge / Ele Lounge closed in August 2015.

The club interior was gutted after they closed and a restaurant opened in its place.

This post was last updated in February 2022.

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