The Forge / Crowne Irish Pub - Bar Rescue Update - Open or Closed?

The Forge Bar Rescue

In this Bar Rescue episode, Jon Taffer visits The Forge in Brandon, Florida.

The Forge was opened by Patrick and Mariely Crowne.

They opened the bar in 2019 and they were successful for the first year.

They had experience in the industry with Patrick having worked as a bartender and Mariely as a server.

The pandemic slowed down their business and they have not been able to recover.

Patricks mental health suffered as well as their relationship declined.

They ended up getting divorced and still own the business together.

Their tension in their personal lives has now transferred to the business and is losing them customers.

Jon sits in his jeep with his experts, expert mixologist Mia Mastroianni and expert chef Anthony Lamas.

They all agree that the interior does not look Irish even though it is supposed to be an Irish Pub.

Jon breaks down the sensitivity of the ownership situation.

Patrick is in $300,000 debt.

Mariely is refusing to leave the business.

Two Irish musicians are sent in to recon the bar and there is no drinks menu for them.

They ask for an Irish coffee which is supposed to be a cocktail but are served the drink in actual mugs.

The drink tastes as bad as it looks.

Mariely engages with the guests and Patrick is off sitting in the corner.

They can feel the tension between the two.

The cook Kim makes so many mistakes including cross-contamination while frying fish and other raw foods.

Mariely checks on the progress of the food in the kitchen and Patrick is still not doing anything.

Jon has seen enough and goes in to sit with the couple.

They tell Jon about their woes and how the business has severely affected them both physically and mentally.

The pair also tell him that it has led to their marriage failing.

Jon tries to get some emotion out of Patrick since he seems to have lost his passion but he is not responsive.

The couple start arguing in front of Jon.

Jon tells Patrick to step up and Mariely to support him rather than tear him down.

The next day, Jon meets with the staff and gets to know about Patrick’s motivations for opening the bar.

Jon highlights the division in the leadership and points out how they need to work together.

Patrick is emotional when staff point out he has checked out and used to be a winner.

Jon asks to talk to him privately to get him to calm down.

The experts are introduced to the staff.

Mia trains the bartenders on the basics and making a twisted version of a Moscow Mule.

Anthony trains the staff on making fish and chips and how to properly fry the fish.

They then practice the new food and drinks until it is time for the Stress Test.

The customers are let in and they order from the limited menu.

The bartenders are kept busy but are too slow, making the drinks one at a time.

Many of the drinks are made incorrectly or look wrong and are dumped.

The food is close to 20 minutes but the dishes are eventually made.

The food arrives at the tables before the drinks do .

The kitchen falls behind and Mariely helps Kim to catch up while Patrick is in front of the house.

There are no systems in place so the extra help in the kitchen does not do much to help.

The drinks are made but no one is there to run them to the tables.

They cannot correct the problems so the bar is shut down for the night.

The next day, Anthony takes the kitchen staff through making an Irish Beef Stew from fresh ingredients.

Mia takes the bartenders through making a twist on an Irish Coffee.

Jon meets with Patrick first to tackle the relationship and how it is affecting the business.

Mariely is brought in and they both state their best intentions for each other.

They both ask for what they need to be able to run the business well.

Jon meets with his staff and they begin the renovation of the bar.

After hours, Jon gathers with the staff and the community who are entertained by an Irish band.

The new bar is unveiled to the staff and community.

The bar has been renamed to The Crowne.

It has been given new green branding and is looking as Irish as possible.

The interior matches the vibe with a modern Irish bar feel with wood detailing, a green colour scheme and Patrick’s family crest on a large stained glass window.

They have a new Manitowoc Ice Machine, a Skytab POS system, a subscription to Partender, a Pathspot device and Kim got a new chef’s jacket.

Mariely is not present for the launch as she is not feeling well but Patrck is able to handle it all.

On relaunch, Kim is doing great in the kitchen.

She is working through the order tickets with a 7 minute ticket time average.

The bartenders are confident in making the new drinks and engaging with customers.

The customers love the ambience, the food, drinks and service.

What Happened Next at The Forge / Crowne Irish Pub?

Six weeks later, it is revealed sales have gone up more than 15%.

The customers love the new concept and events sell out fast.

Mariely left the business and a new GM has been hired to support Patrick.

The Forge / Crowne Irish Pub is closed.

They closed in July 2022 due to needing more time to recover.

Click for more Bar Rescues

Previous episode - AJ's on the River

Next episode - Throwbacks

This post was last updated in November 2022.

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