Bar Rescue - G Willicker's Update - Open or Closed?

G Willicker's Bar Rescue

In this Bar Rescue episode , Jon Taffer visits G Willicker's in Arlington, Texas.

G Willicker's was owned by Clarence Grider.

He made the bar a success for over 15 years but he died leaving it to his widow, who died a year after him.

His daughters Carmen, Carrie and Caseye took over the business.

However, they have zero experience in the bar industry and are losing $100,000 a month.

Jon arrives at the bar with expert mixologist Phil Wills and they notice how dark and desolate the exterior is.

Carrie is the only sister at the bar as the other sisters both have full time jobs as teachers.

There are staff that have worked there since their father owned the bar.

In the evening service there are more staff in the bar than customers.

Jon has asked the Mayor and his friend, who are both ex-military, to spy on the bar and its services.

They arrive and head to the bar where they ask for drink menus and are told there are none.

They order the most popular drink in Texas but the staff have to Google how to make it.

When it arrives, it doesn’t taste good and they can’t drink it.

It is too depressing to see and Jon goes in to talk to Carrie.

Carrie is moved to tears talking to Jon, telling him of her situation and the situation of the bar.

Jon introduces the Mayor to Carrie, who gives her feedback on the bar and the service he received.

They decide to shut down for the night as nothing is happening.

The next day, Jon calls a meeting with the sisters and the staff to discuss the bar.

He gets to learn about Lawrence and his legacy.

It appears that the business has survived from the loyalty and goodwill of the community.

Since the pandemic they have not recovered completely from forced closures and reduced customers.

They may not be able to come back unless they do something drastic to draw in new and existing customers.

Jon brings in his expert Phil Wills and introduces him to the staff and owners.

There is no food expert in this episode as they don’t have a functional kitchen at the bar.

Jon explains how they are losing money.

They are making drinks in the wrong glass and reveals a Partneder report that shows they lost almost $2000 in a weekend.

Phil takes the staff through a test so he can gauge their skill levels at making drinks.

They fail the test as they cannot get the right ingredients for a Cosmopolitan.

They also cannot make some popular cocktails or even pour properly.

He takes them through how to make various drinks with corrections on their technique.

For the Stress Test there will be a 22 minute timer and their aim is to serve 22 people.

Jon says it should take only 30 seconds to make and serve a drink.

They are prompted to choose a leader and Caseye steps forward to lead the staff.

After they prep for the stress test, she lets the waiting customers in.

The timer starts when the customers are seated.

Immediately there are problems, a number of bad drinks are made and are dumped.

The drinks improve but a server gets confused and customers are getting the wrong drinks.

The tally is 50:50 with one bad drink for every good drink sent out to the customers.

There is no consistency to the drinks but they manage to serve everyone within the time frame.

Despite the success, they dumped as many drinks as they got right so they lost money.

The Stress Test is ended and they are given feedback on the service.

Jon and Phil decide on making the bar stand out because of its history and to have signature drinks to match the theme.

The next day, Phil takes the staff through making some new signature drinks with spins on popular cocktails.

Jon meets with the sisters and talks them into getting a manager.

They run the bar out of respect to their father but they do not have the passion and do not have time for it.

They are sad at the prospect of letting the bar go in the future but decide their father would not want the bar to be a burden.

Jon checks on the team working on the physical space to talk about the changes to be made.

Jon gathers the sisters and their staff at night to unveil the bar.

The exterior has been transformed with a bigger sign and lights that make the place visible.

He has kept the same name but added a new sign that says “The GW”.

Inside is brighter with colour and warmth, upscale elements that elevate it and make it modern.

They have added a Piano bar DJ booth with stage lighting and an Orange Door entertainment system.

They have new gravity smokers, HarbourTouch POS terminals, a Pathspot device and a subscription to Partender.

In the back is a photo of Lawrence as a tribute to him and to show the history of the bar.

The Mayor is present for the unveiling and he helps them cut a ribbon to let customers in.

There is also a food truck outside to accompany their business as they don’t have a working kitchen.

The locals all love the changes and rush to order the new signature drink.

The bartenders are confident and Jon is happy to show the sisters their thriving business.

The relaunch is a success and the customers love the new drinks.


What Happened Next at G Willicker's?

Six weeks later, it is revealed sales have increased by 50%.

They have many new customers coming to see the new and improved bar.

They asked bartender Sandy to become a manager and to buy 5% of the business.

G Willicker's is open.

Reviews since the episode are mostly positive with the atmosphere and karaoke being praised by customers.


Click for more Bar Rescues

Previous episode - Brick Tavern

Next episode - Confetti's Bar & Grill / Tropica Cafe

This post was last updated in November 2022.

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