Gilly's Sports Bar - Bar Rescue Update - Open or Closed?

Gilly's Sports Bar Bar Rescue

In this Bar Rescue episode, Jon Taffer visits Gilly's Sports Bar in Dunwoody, Georgia.

Gilly's Sports Bar is owned by Willie Chandler, who bought the bar after his mother had a heart attack.

Prior to buying the bar he worked in the hotel industry.

The buzz of being the new owner revived the bar and they were making up to $15,000 a month.

Soon after the buzz died down and his inexperience of the bar industry led to the decline of the bar in it’s 5th year.

The staff feel he likes being the bar owner but does none of the work needed to keep the bar open.

They do not respect his leadership and he has no control over them.

The bar has service and hygiene problems due to a bad cook and is losing up to $3000 a month.

Jon views the bar with his experts, mixologist Phil Wills and Chef Vic Vegas

Jon breaks down the background on the well known bar.

Dayzia and Alonna are the bartenders and Bryan is the cook.

They all drink at the bar during working hours.

On the monitor they watch the bartenders make a horrible Bloody Mary and the customer makes a face while drinking the drink.

Jon decides to go recon the bar himself to see if Willie will react.

Jon walks in and sits at a table and no one greets him for over 5 minutes.

He has to call Alonna over to get service at the bar.

Jon orders nachos, chicken potato skins and some other dishes.

Willie does not come to greet him so Jon looks for him behind the bar and in the kitchen.

Jon confronts Bryan as he cannot ignore the state of the kitchen whilst he is in there.

Vic is called in to see the state of the kitchen up close.

The walls and work top surfaces are dirty.

The food isn’t stored properly and the food they are using has been cooked days before.

Bryan does not appreciate being yelled at by Jon.

Jon tells Bryan and Willie to clean up the kitchen before he arrives the next day.

Willie drinks and starts cleaning while Alonna is upset after the dressing down and wants to leave.

The next day, they have cleaned the kitchen to Jon’s standard.

Alonna has returned and is relaxed.

She admits that she cannot stand charged situations.

Jon comes in and meets the staff, praising Bryan for his work in cleaning all night.

Jon confronts Willie as he is trained in hospitality but the business is close to shutting down.

Next, Jon calls out Alonna, who was drinking at the bar during the service the night before.

She walks out of the bar, pulling off her microphone as she cannot handle any more criticism.

Jon introduces his experts to the staff and Phil works with them first.

Phil has the bartenders wear drunk goggles so they can simulate making drinks while drunk.

Next, Vic takes Willie and Bryan through making a Namesake Burger.

This will be a great selling point and it is as good as their bestselling chicken wings.

They both try the burger and they love the taste.

For the stress test there will be penalty flags for the experts to throw up when the staff make mistakes.

After getting the bar ready for the service, Willie lets the waiting customers in.

The drink and food orders come in.

The bartenders start slow, making mistakes and forgetting the recipes for the drinks.

The one workstation they work with slows them down and they are constantly reaching over each other.

The POS has problems with adding changes to orders and the process takes longer than it should.

The kitchen is slow to send out the food.

Jon gives penalties to Willie to tables that have been waiting for food and drinks for over 15 minutes.

The servers are busy running drinks so food is left to go cold in the window.

The food that gets to the customers is sent back as the meats aren’t cooked properly.

The Stress Test is deemed a failure.

The next day, Phil takes the staff through making a signature Bloody Mary.

Jon sits with Willie to see why he seems so disinterested in his bar.

Willie admits he has lost his passion as he can now see how much he has let slide.

A few hours later, the staff are gathered for the relaunch.

They unveil the new bar and bar has been renamed to Stadium Club Bar and Grill.

Jon explains it ties into the nearby stadium and no one will be in doubt of it being a sports bar.

Inside the bar has been upgraded from looking generic to looking like a sports bar with stone, wood and patterned wallpaper.

There are new HarbourTouch POS systems and a Skytab to streamline the process.

They have been given a subscription to Partender and a chef jacket for Bryan.

There is a Pathspot UV hand washing system, new audio and video systems from Intuitive AV and lighting by Georgia Central Electric.

The staff get ready and invite customers in for the relaunch.

The customers are mostly regulars and they love the new look of the bar.

Orders come in quickly but Bryan is working hard to get through them all, sending out good food on time.

The bartenders are more confident, making several drinks on time with food orders.

Willie is expediting, helping where needed and giving oversight to the staff.

The customers and staff chant his name as praise and the relaunch is a success.

What Happened Next at Gilly's Sports Bar?

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

The staff no longer drink behind the bar which has increased their tips.

Willie is considering going back to the name Gilly’s.

Gilly's Sports Bar is open.

Reviews are mostly positive after the episode with some complaints about service.

Willie did change the name back to Gilly's shortly after filming.

Click for more Bar Rescues

Previous episode - True Grit Tavern

Next episode - Ace's Sports Hangar

This post was last updated in August 2022.

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