Bar Rescue - Swanky Bubbles - CLOSED

Swanky Bubbles Bar Rescue

In this Bar Rescue episode, Jon Taffer visits Swanky Bubbles in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Swanky Bubbles is owned by John Frankowski.

After visiting a successful champagne bar in Manhattan in 1999, John decided to bring the concept to Philly.

John says that in their peak the bar was doing $100,000 in business a month.

However, three years ago, the gimmick wore off and sales at the bar fell flat.

Swanky Bubbles is now losing around $4,000 a month.

John only spends one to two hours per week at the bar.

This leaves the majority of the decisions in co-owner Ryan.

Ryan’s ideas of keeping the customers happy has been hurting the server’s wallets as well as the bar’s bottom line.

Low tips have led to high tension, creating an unbearable work environment.

John and Ryan make a call for help to Bar Rescue.

Jon is with his wife Nicole head to Swanky Bubbles.

Jon has Nicole head into the bar for tonight’s recon.

Swanky Bubbles is a 1,250-square-foot venue which features a narrow, linear bar with two service stations.

It also has a permanently installed bar gate so the staff have to crawl underneath to enter the service area.

Nicole meets with her friend, Valerie.

They will play the role of single ladies out for a night on the town.

The drink menus are huge and very unattractive.

Nicole says this bar has no identity.

Not long after they come into the bar, Ryan begins talking to them.

They decide on a drink and Ryan says he will give it to them for free.

They get a drink that’s called sexual chocolate martini, which Ryan implies that this would be him as a drink.

Nicole is creeped out by Ryan.

Nicole and Valerie head back to Jon to discuss what they’ve uncovered.

Jon heads into the bar to begin his bar rescue and he heads upstairs with Ryan.

The next morning, Jon meets with the staff.

The bar is very closed in, unorganized and filthy.

Jon tells John how Ryan is the problem in this bar.

He asks the bartenders what they think of this bar.

They say that they are out of liquor, that the bartenders have to buy some themselves just to have something to work with.

The bar isn’t even built for one person, let alone two.

John says that he is not pleased with Ryan.

Jon has the staff write down all of their issues with this bar on paper.

For the kitchen, Jon brings in chef Brian Hill.

Chef Brain tours the kitchen to get an idea on what needs to be worked on.

The dishwasher has an awful smell to it.

For the bar, Jon brings in expert mixologist Elayne Duke.

She tours the bar with the bartenders to see how they work.

She has them make simple cocktails.

Jon has a meeting with this experts to discuss what the biggest issues are and where to go from here.

Elayne says the bartenders need more room to work in and more inventory.

Chef Brain says that the menu is way too long and they need to cut it down a lot.

Jon begins to talk about where he wants to go with the concept.

Jon says he wants to create a social club for women.

There will be simple foods and pretty drinks.

Jon meets with John and Ryan to discuss why this bar is failing.

He goes over the changes he will be making in the remodel.

Ryan believes that he didn’t run off the female customers but he did.

His behavior has got to change in order for the bar to succeed.

Jon tells Ryan that he can’t ask women out ever again in this bar.

Chef Brian stresses that the dishwasher needs to be sanitized every night.

One of the cooks says that he has to leave.

Jon asks if he’s going to walk out of here feeling good and calls him a lightweight.

Jon says that losing an employee like this is a gain.

Elayne shows them drinks that will be added to the new menu.

Jon and John go over the notes the staff has written, most are complaining about how Ryan is as a manager.

John meets with Ryan to discuss what he has learned.

He tells Ryan that if he can’t do his job then he has to step aside.

Jon brings the staff together to try out the new menu items.

Eef now has financial control to stock up the bar properly.

Swanky Bubbles opens up for the soft opening.

Most of the staff haven’t seen the bar this busy.

Jon gives each bartender six customers to see how they work.

Bartender Tim isn’t working as fast as he should.

Jon says that he can’t do this and tells Tim to leave.

He was going to fire Tim but Tim began to pick up the pace as a waiter.

They are at an hour for ticket times and customers are getting impatient.

Jon has the owners do table touching and Eef helps out in the kitchen.

Customers are asked to fill out comment cards before they leave the bar.

After closing, Jon meets with the staff to discuss what happened during the soft opening.

Jon says that Ryan didn’t take control of his business.

Customers mentioned that the decor is old.

Jon has the staff take their aggression out on the bar with a sledgehammer.

Jon begins reconstruction on the bar.

Thirty-six hours later, Jon meets with the staff to show them their new bar.

Swanky Bubbles has been renamed and is now called Sheer.

They head inside to see all of the changes.

The bar looks way classier on the inside and is sophisticated.

Sheer opens up for the first time since remodel.

Ryan has hired a new line cook.

On relaunch, a bachelorette party isn’t happy with their service.

However, eventually they make it work and they are satisfied.

Jon says his work here is done.


What Happened Next at Swanky Bubbles?

Shortly after relaunch, Sheer changed their name back to Swanky Bubbles.

The female-to-male ratio has not improved.

When asked about sales, John had no comment.

Swanky Bubbles closed in November 2011 after failing to secure a liquor license and after having landlord issues.

Click for more Bar Rescues

Previous episode - Kilkenny's Irish Pub

Next episode - The Blue Frog 22 / The Local

This post was last updated in September 2021.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments will be moderated prior to being published. Those with spam links, offensive language or of an offensive nature will not be published. All comments are the opinion of the commenter and do not represent the opinions of the website owner.