Bar Rescue - Throwbacks / Murphy's Arcade and Bar Update - Open or Closed?

Throwbacks Bar Rescue

In this Bar Rescue episode, Jon Taffer visits Throwbacks in Sanford, Florida.

Throwbacks is owned by Robbie Kennerney,

Robbie is an Irishman who was attracted to it being a British pub.

He bought it spontaneously on a night out 2 years previously.

His dog, Murphy, was involved in an accident in front of the bar,

He lost a leg which buried him in vets bills but the community rallied and supported him.

While this was going on he left the bar in the hands of inexperienced bartenders,

There was no hierarchy or leadership.

There is also very poor management of the gaming equipment.

Robbie is about $190,000 in debt.

Jon brings in expert bartender Nick Ortega and expert chef Vic Vegas to help him.

Jon tells them Robbie’s story and his attachment to the community of Sanford.

They recon the bar and see the kitchen is dirty.

There is dust and spiderwebs everywhere and an unsanitary cooking area.

The bar area has the liquor stored in the open for the guests to see.

The bar top is dirty and sticky, with a dirty soda gun and a mouldy ice well.

Jon has two spies who are bar veterans sample the services for the recon.

The bartenders are unaware of the ingredients they have and make a drink from the mouldy well.

Jon goes in and shows Robbie and the customers the dirty soda gun and the mouldy ice machine.

Jon reads Robbie the riot act and gives him the ultimatum to clean up the bar before the next day or else he would not work with him.

The staff rally and clean as much as they can.

The next morning, all the staff are present with Robbie still doing the final cleaning.

Jon calls a staff meeting and gets to know them better.

Timmy does some managerial work but is not a manager.

Jon points out because there is no clear leader and no one wants to take responsibility for the state of the bar.

The staff say they would have helped if they had been asked to stay late to clean.

Jon outlines several points and makes Robbie admit he is the one making the bar fail.

Jon brings in his experts and they get to work putting Timmy in the kitchen to cover as a cook.

Nick takes the staff through pouring consistently and making an Irish Whiskey Sour.

Vic takes Timmy and Robbie through making pizza rolls as they need more hand-held food.

For the stress test, their performance is given a gaming theme with 5 lives on a TV screen.

If they make any major mistake then they will lose a life.

Robbie lets the customers in and the bartenders are swarmed immediately.

They are too slow and are only making one drink at a time.

The printer is not working so the process is longer as they are taking orders by hand.

At the bar, they are making mistakes by mixing too strong drinks and using the wrong glasses.

Destiny was called into the kitchen and she spent too long making a pizza.

The kitchen has no process and they quickly fall behind.

Destiny gets flustered and Amanda makes more errors.

They lose all their lives in quick succession.

Jon shuts it down and the staff are overwhelmed.

Jon says it is not their fault as Robbie has set them up to fail.

Jon identifies with his team that the competition in the area is extremely stiff.

There are many other Irish bars in close proximity to this one.

They have to rebrand the bar to be something unique.

The next day, Nick trains the staff on a new signature drink called a Capri Spritz that is served in a pouch and has LED lights.

Jon sits with Robbie off site and he realises how he started his business on the wrong foot.

Jon is happy with his progress and trusts the renovation will be in the right hands.

Work commences on the bar and hours later Jon reveals to the new bar to the staff and community.

It has been renamed Murphy’s Arcade Bar and Pizza, named after his dog.

Robbie is shocked and emotional with his dog getting excited.

The staff are let in and see the fun, colourful bar space.

The games have their own area as well as being in the bar too.

Their workstation has been extended and they have a new ice machine.

They have a Blue Zone system, a Turbo Chef oven, Sky Tab POS systems, mobile tabs and a subscription to Partender.

There is a new media system from Wave Media and local artists artworks on the wall.

On relaunch, Robbie is happy and lets the eagerly waiting customers in.

The locals love the changes that have been made to the bar.

The bartenders have a renewed energy making drinks properly and quickly.

The systems are working as the kitchen is also functioning optimally.

There are 6-8 minute ticket times and a working printer.

What Happened Next at Throwbacks / Murphy's Arcade Bar?

Six weeks later, it is revealed sales have increased steadily.

The repaired games bring in new crowds.

The community is on board with the new brand.

They changed the nane back to Throwbacks.

They also returned a lot of their old menu as Jons was too restrictive.

Robbie also redid some of the interior decor as he didn't feel like it worked.

Throwbacks is open.

Reviews are mostly positive.


Click for more Bar Rescues

Previous episode - The Forge

This post was last updated in December 2022.

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