Bar Rescue - O'Banion's Bar and Grill / Sorties Tavern - OPEN

O'Banion's Bar and Grill Bar Rescue

In this Bar Rescue episode, Jon Taffer visits O’Banion’s Bar and Grill in Bellevue, Nebraska.

O’Banion’s Bar is owned by Jerry, Dave and Steve.

In 2005, Jerry bought the bar with his brother Dave and friend Steve after losing his job.

They bar is split 40% a piece for the brother and Steve has 20%.

For two years business was good bringing in $25,000 a month so the co-owners left Jerry to manage it alone.

Soon Jerry started partying too much, frequently getting drunk and buying drinks for people.

He makes staff uncomfortable and chases customers away.

Steve and Dave are tired of seeing business dwindle and called on Bar Rescue.

The bar is in an air base area with a young population but it is empty.

Steve and Dave are with Jon in the SUV and tell him their problems, laying it all on Jerry.

They put in $160,000 each from the banks, with their homes as collateral.

The bar used to be frequented by the air force officers back in the day.

Their father served in the force for twenty one years.

They have about seven months left.

Jon tells them the problem starts from outside as the signs are not good and the branding is poor.

Jon shows them footage of the bar.

Michele is the senior bartender and Brittany and B.C. are bartenders.

The bar used to have food but Jerry sold all the kitchen equipment and customers often bring in their own food.

There is a fake turbo tap with plastic tubes, that is unsanitary.

Jerry is loud and chugging drinks, drawing the attention of the bar then he bumps a table and breaks glasses.

Jon points out they both have 60% and can tell Jerry what to do and take the business back from him.

If they need to, they can action a hostile takeover.

They all go into the bar pull Jerry aside and he is told how his actions is pulling all of them down.

They tell him that they are taking it over from him.

Jerry is not pleased and Jon leaves them to complete the transfer of the keys and the cheque book.

Jerry does not go quietly, cursing all the way to the parking lot.

His girlfriend takes him home and he says they do not know how to run the place.

Jon comes in the next day and the staff are all present, including a sober Jerry.

The staff say they hate how his behaviour is robbing them of their salaries.

Jerry blames his partners for abandoning him.

He is asked to stay sober and be a part of the Bar Rescue process.

They they will spend more time supporting him in the business.

Jon introduces his expert, expert mixologist Trevor Frye.

Jon takes them to the kitchen and shows the new equipment his team put in so they can start serving food again.

Nick Liberato is the Culinary expert brought in.

He gets started with an inspection of the other areas of the kitchen.

As they try the sink a pungent smell emanates throughout the bar that has all the staff and crew leave in a hurry.

Their grease trap beside the sink is full and growing bacteria.

A plumbing company is called in and they use the rest of the afternoon to clean it.

No training happened in the kitchen until just before the stress test.

That night, Trevor trains the bartenders on making some basic drinks.

Despite being the oldest, Michelle is more of a beginner than the others.

In the kitchen Jerry is trained on making a chicken and bacon sandwich.

For the stress test Jon has young people from the base come in.

Jerry will be in the kitchen, Steve is running food and Dave will back up the bar.

Customers are let in and the orders in.

The bartenders get flustered almost immediately.

They run out of glasses quickly and they are rushed to wash glasses.

It is clear that they did not plan properly for the stress test.

Steve is running food to the wrong tables and he cannot find the customers so they leave before their meal arrives.

Jerry is upset at this and he blows up.

He is doing well but the others are messing up.

Jon and Trevor find some new glasses to use at the bar.

Jon and the experts have seen all they have to see.

During feedback Jerry says he knew where the extra glasses were but no one came to him.

There is a lack of communication.

Jerry is praised for not drinking and holding the fort in his position.

He is given the keys to the bar back.

The next day, the training continues.

Trevor trains the staff on some new signature cocktail drinks.

Nick train Jerry on some comfort food from potatoes.

Jon meets with the staff afterwards to train some more.

BC is not interested as she is too tired and she walks out.

Jon tests them on some speed orders so they multi task.

They do well in food and drinks.

The bar is renovated over thirty-six hours.

The staff are gathered at night to reveal a new bar.

The bar has been renamed and is now called Sorties Tavern.

The difference is night and day.

The exterior is brighter, there are call-to-actions on the windows and there is a plane themed mural.

Sortie is a reference to Air force missions.

Inside the bar is a tribute to the Airforce.

It is brighter with lots of plane paraphernalia and a photo of their father in the air force on the wall.

There is a new bar top, a second station with two speed wells, extra glasses and fourteen new turbo taps.

They get the bar ready and customers are let in.

On relaunch, orders come in and the drinks are great.

The food is well received and made within decent ticket times.

The customers are locals and love all the air force and their base references.

The partners are all happy with how things are going.


What Happened Next at O'Banion's Bar and Grill / Sorties Tavern?

Six weeks later, it is revealed drink sales are up 20%.

Food sales are up 100%.

Jerry is still sober and they are all working together well.

O'Banion's / Sorties Tavern is open.

The bar was sold to new owners in 2016 due to medical reasons.

Prior to the sale they had to replace a number of chairs and other items as they weren't fit for commercial use.

Reviews were poor after the rescue and have improved under the new ownership.


Click for more Bar Rescues

Previous episode - RG’s Lounge / BARcode

Next episode - KC's Bar

This post was last updated in September 2021.

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