Bar Rescue - Sandbar Sports Grill / The Hot Rock Bar and Grille - OPEN

Sandbar Sports Grill Bar Rescue

In this episode of Bar Rescue, Jon Taffer visits Sandbar Sports Grill in the Coconut Grove neighborhood of Miami, Florida.

Sandbar Sports Grill is owned by Albert Borrero decided to buy the bar in 2007 after being a loyal customer.

During the early years of the bar, Sandbar continued to be a top nightlife spot for college students.

Albert says that on their average Thursday night they were taking $18,000.

In 2010, legislation drove out the late night crowd.

Albert’s friend, Matt Gentile bought into the bar and he has restaurant experience.

Matt has good ideas but they don’t match the atmosphere of Sandbar.

Sandbar is losing $7,000 a month and they are only two months away from closing for good.

Matt says it bothers him that Albert makes a general manager salary but he can’t manage a bar and he can’t assist anywhere.

Matt is in debt to the tune of $150,000.

Matt says his life is on the line since he is newly married and has a baby.

Matt makes a call to Bar Rescue.

Jon brings in experts Mia Mastroianni and Gavan Murphy.

Jon says this area is pretty sophisticated and should be doing well.

He says since Coconut Grove is quiet by 11:00 PM, that happy hour, lunch, and dinner are very important.

Jon says this bar has no class at all.

Jon brings in Mack and Nick from Y100 Radio for tonight’s recon.

They order a Category 5 Hurricane, which is a specialty drink.

Their drinks are way too sweet because the orange juice is coming out of a hose gun.

Shakira, the bartender, is shaking an Old Fashioned.

Mia says you’re not supposed to shake an Old Fashioned.

It’s being served in a martini glass, but it’s supposed to be served on the rocks.

They also ordered fish tacos, but the dish doesn’t even look cooked.

This whole time Albert is playing fantasy football rather than taking care of the bar.

They ordered more food and it was brought to them smoking.

The food is rubbery and is not edible.

Jon decides that now is the time to go into the bar.

Jon scolds Albert for playing fantasy football when he should be working.

Jon says maybe it would be better if Albert weren’t here since he doesn’t know anything after 5 years of owning the bar.

Mia says that after stepping inside this bar, she feels like she needs a shower.

There are bugs inside the liquor bottles and the bottom of the cider cans are growing mold.

Mia says you can’t drink anything in this bar as it is all unsafe.

Jon tells them to shut the bar down.

Jon goes into the kitchen to investigate.

There is bacteria on the cutting board and the lobster meat is dry.

Jon says to tell the customers and to shut it down.

He also says he’ll come back when this place is clean.

The next morning, Jon goes back to Sandbar to speak to the staff.

Jon asks what the brand of Sandbar is as he can’t tell what their theme is.

Albert doesn’t agree with what Jon is saying and Shakira is agreeing with Albert.

Matt says that when he’s not there he’s worried that Albert doesn’t care enough about the bar.

Jon wants Albert to tell Matt that he’s sorry for being the way that he is and he hesitated at first.

Mia wants the bartenders to make every drink on the specialty menu and to show them the right way.

Albert is texting during training.

Mia makes Albert make a real hurricane.

She says that if he were paying attention during training then he wouldn’t have to guess how to make it.

Gavan shows them how to properly cook seafood.

The bar opens for the stress test.

The bar is behind with drinks and the kitchen is backed up with orders.

The cooks aren’t used to making decent food.

Customers are impatiently waiting for their orders.

Mia says that Albert doesn’t know what he is doing and that he has no business being behind the bar.

Albert says it doesn’t matter to him what Jon thinks.

Jon tells Shakira to start closing the checks.

Donnie, a cook, says that tonight could’ve gone better.

Jon says that Albert is a cancer in this business.

Albert asks why don’t I just leave and Jon says that maybe he should.

Jon says that Albert will just ruin everything they do to help the bar.

Jon and his experts leave Sandbar.

The next morning, Jon meets with Matt and Albert to discuss what is going on.

Jon says they’re going to build something they will be proud of.

Matt says that he’s going to be there to help.

Mia meets with the staff to show them drinks that will be added to the menu, such as the Hot Rock Sunset and the Citrustini.

She says that using sphere-shaped ice will help keep the cocktails delicious.

Gavan shows them recipes that will be added to the new menu.

Jon begins the remodel of the bar.

He discusses with the owners his plans for remodeling the bar.

The next night, Jon meets with the staff to show them their new bar.

Sandbar is now called The Hot Rock Bar and Grille.

Shakira says it is gorgeous and they go inside to see the changes.

They’re surprised that the extensive makeover took just 36 hours.

Matt says that he can tell his wife feels a lot better about the bar with the new remodel.

Jon put in four revention POS systems and a copy of his app Bar HQ.

He also got them a lifetime subscription to Partender.

The staff says that now they have a bar they can believe in.

Matt says he feels like the $150,000 debt is already going down.

Shakira is ready to make some money.

The bar opens for the first time since remodel.

On relaunch, the bar is filled with customers.

Everything is going smoothly and the drinks and food are incredible.

Mia says that Shakira is crushing it.

Jon hugs the owners and says that his work here is done.

Matt isn’t going to be looking for another job.

Albert is finally stepping up and he’s no longer playing fantasy football at work.

Albert and Matt’s friendship is renewed.


What Happened Next at Sandbar Sports Grill / The Hot Rock Bar and Grille?

Three months after the relaunch, the bar has made over $397,000 in sales.

Matt and Albert continue to work together as owners.

Albert won $3500 in two of his fantasy football leagues.

They didn't keep the new name and went back to Sandbar Grill, removing the sign out the front.

They also undid some of the changes that Jon made to the decor but kept a number of the new drinks.

They continued with renovations missed off during the show including the bathrooms.

Sandbar Sports Grill is open.

Reviews are mostly positive with praise for the staff, outside area and food.

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Next episode - Friar Tucks / Stein Haus

This post was last updated in September 2021.

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