Bar Rescue - Martini Brothers Burger Bar / The Federal - OPEN

Martini Brothers Burger Bar Bar Rescue

In this Bar Rescue episode, Jon Taffer visits Martini Brothers Burger Bar in Youngstown, Ohio.

Martini Brothers Burger Bar is owned by brothers Dan and Joey Martini.

They opened the bar in 2013 after their first attempt at running a bar failed.

Their landlord Jacob has an 8% stake in the business in exchange for discounted rent.

The bar was initially successful and making $60,000 a month.

Jacob started bringing in his vision of the bar doubling as an art gallery and cultural center, hosting amateur artists and his own works.

Jacob is jobless and bored so is disruptive in the bar from ‘borrowing’ money from the register to shenanigans in the bar.

Jon recons the bar with expert mixologist Mia Mastroianni and expert chef Mike Ferraro.

They see the bar is close to an actual martini bar, which can confuse their brand.

They are $600,000 in debt and losing money each month.

Jon fills them in on the dynamics of the bar and they meet Sophia, Dan and Joey’s sister and office manager.

They are puzzled after seeing people finger paint in the room at the back of the bar.

Debby and Kevin are local food critics and are the spies Jon has asked to test the bar service.

They see they only have one martini on the menu and are transfixed by a mural on the ceiling.

They order some burgers and the experts see the chef squeeze all the juices out of the meat and make soggy fries.

The spies hate the burgers and the fries and the meat is not cooked as they specified.

They order a dry martini and a blue berry martini.

The bar uses artificially flavoured drinks and it tastes like imitation blueberry.

Dan, Joey and Sophia are upset there are people covered in paint in the bar while Jacob has a noisy musical set in his space.

Jon has seen enough and goes into the bar to see Jacob drinking with his friends.

He meets the brothers and they explain Jacob does not do much unless it is his freeloading art room.

Jon accuses the brothers of owning over 90% yet they do not fight for their business.

All three get into an argument after Jon leaves.

The next day Jon comes in with his experts to meet the staff.

Jacob is made to see the business should be treated as such.

The staff say they are struggling as they are not getting regular pay checks.

He is still adamant he is useful.

Mia sees so many things wrong at the bar.

It needs a deep clean, the speed well has trash in it and drinks are kept in a dirty container.

Michael spots some thawed meat in a container in the kitchen, dirty grills and greasy, soggy fries.

Jacob stores his edible crickets in the walk-in fridge.

They are made to clean the kitchen before anything can be started.

Mia trains the staff on basic cocktail recipes and they play a game of timing each other whilst making drinks.

Mia starts first and makes an orange martini in 36 seconds.

They try their best but come in at almost two minutes.

Michael trains Joey on making perfect fries so they are not soggy and making burger patties.

For the stress test Mia is taking count of mistakes the bartenders make.

If they get to ten, they are going to be pulled from the bar.

Dan is taking care of the bar, Joey will look after the kitchen and Jacob is to support them.

Customers are let in and soon Mia is making notes of errors as they happen.

Jacob is shocking staff by how helpful he is being when he is needed.

In twenty-five minutes, they have not served half the room.

The kitchen is trying but a burger is sent back twice as it is not cooked to their specification.

David gets ten notches first and is pulled before a second one is pulled.

Phil is the only bartender left to serve the whole bar.

Phil makes some more mistakes and is pulled so the bar has to be shut down.

They are given feedback the next day and they are commended for the teamwork, especially Jacob.

Jon points out they have to let go of the mural on the ceiling and the back room.

Jacob paints over it himself to show he is willing to let it go.

Jon has a partner’s meeting between all three to get them all on the same page.

Mike trains Joey on making some new burgers from patties demonstrating the meatloaf burger.

Mia trains the bar staff on making cocktail shots demonstrating a bloody mary shot and a boozy milk shake cocktail.

The staff train as the bar is renovated and the staff are gathered late afternoon for unveiling the new bar.

The bar has been renamed to The Federal.

Inside has been upgraded and made warmer with a dancefloor and pool tables.

The gallery is now a meeting room with a boardroom table and leather chairs.

Jon says the new room is already in demand by a law firm close by who want to use it.

The ceiling is now kitted with a smoke machine system for the dancefloor.

There are 2touch POS systems in place.

Outside eagerly waiting customers are let in and they love the name change and the ambience.

On relaunch, Jacob is being a manager supporting front of house.

Joey is doing well with the burgers with the food critic spies loving how much better it is.

The bar is doing great and is making all the drinks in good time.

The dancefloor is being used and the partners are happy as things are looking promising.


What Happened Next at Martini Brothers Burger Bar / The Federal?

Six weeks later it is revealed food sale grossed almost $50,000 and beverage sales were at $90,000.

Jacob is still actively helping and he no longer finger paints at the bar.

Martini Brothers Burger Bar / The Federal is open.

Reviews are positive with compliments to the food, bartenders and drinks with the odd complaint on service.

In 2017, Daniel was sentenced to probation and community service for money laundering after an investigation into eBay fraud of autographed sports memorabilia.


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This post was last updated in September 2021.

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