CJ's Patio Grill - Bar Rescue Update - Open or Closed?

CJ's Patio Grill Bar Rescue

In this Bar Rescue episode, Jon Taffer visits CJ’s Patio Grill in Loveland, Colorado.

CJ’s Patio Grill is owned by Fadil Astafaj.

He purchased the bar in 2019 after a career in the restaurant business.

They started off well but the pandemic threw them off course.

Fadil had to start working in almost all roles which led him to being unable to delegate tasks.

They are in $500,000 debt and have only months before they would be forced to close.

Jon arrives at the bar in the recon van with expert chef Vic Vegas.

Jon explains Fadil’s situation about how he moved from New York to Colorado for his son.

They see the kitchen work and they are butchering their own meat but wasting a lot.

They are also baking their own bread and using fresh potatoes.

Jon has some media stars from TV and radio come in as spies.

They are given big menus and they order drinks and food.

The drinks arrive and one is very green and they hate it as it is too sweet.

In the kitchen they make their famous mac and cheese.

There are so many things Vic thinks that could be done to make it better.

The food comes and they are not impressed by the mac and cheese.

A dish is sent back and the cook scrapes off the unwanted ingredient and sends it back.

This disgusts Vic and Jon and they go in to confront the cook.

Fadil is taken to the customers and Jon describes what the cook did.

He also tells him that the green drink is supposed to be blue.

Jon points out all the things in the bar that make it cluttered.

He explains the space is too small for everything in there.

The next day, all the staff gather to meet with Jon.

Fadil talks to the kitchen staff to correct what they did the night before.

Jon identifies the inconsistencies as they do not use the right glasses and over pour liquor.

He reveals the results of the Partender report.

They are losing $633 in a night and $116,000 a year.

The GM doubles as a bartender but she has no idea about the recipes or the beverage costs.

The experts are introduced including expert mixologist Alex Goode.

Alex takes the staff through making 3 drinks from their menu within 60 seconds.

Jade the GM does it in almost 2 minutes.

Vic starts with the kitchen staff and makes them promise not to try a burger ever again.

They make a burger for Vic so he sees all they need to help with.

He then makes a quick and easy dish for them to add to their menu.

For the stress test Jon has asked 30 guests come in and they have to serve them in 30 mins.

Jade will be the GM and not hiding behind the bar.

Fadil will be the owner and not hiding in the kitchen.

The timer is started and the bartenders start off slow and drinks have to be remade.

The kitchen is cool and calm and food is sent out in a steady stream but still not fast enough.

The kitchen managed to meet up with the bar, serving 30 people in 31 minutes and all the customers got drinks.

They felt the stress but Jon reminds them they can overcome a busy Saturday night if they got through that.

Jade was commended for her performance as general manager.

The next day, Alex praises them all for their performance.

He trains them on a new cocktail called a Blue Mustang.

In the kitchen Vic also praises them for their work and trains them in making an elevated lamb dish for their menu.

Jon sits with Jade and Fadil to talk about setting their responsibilities and expectations.

Fadil has seen he can trust his staff to take control and Jade is capable of being a manager.

The bar is rebuilt and by night the staff are gathered for the unveiling.

The exterior has been changed, expanding the space outside with outdoor seating and a new brand.

Jon has not changed the name of the bar.

Inside is transformed with warmth and class and they can hardly believe it is the same place.

There are new TVs and new audio and visual systems, a pathspot device and new bar tools.

There is also a subscription to Partender and the kitchen staff got new chef jackets.

Fadil is more than happy to let the customers in and orders flood in.

On relaunch, Fadil is greeting guests while the bar staff are calmly making drinks.

The kitchen is busy and keeping up with orders.

There is great feedback on the food and Jade is excellent in her new role.


What Happened Next at CJ's Patio Grill?

Two months later, sales have increased 30% compared the year before.

Customers love the new food and drinks on the menu.

Jade is excelling in her role, which is giving Fadil some time off.

CJ's Patio Grill is open.

Reviews are mostly positive with plenty of praise for the service and burgers.

This post was last updated in June 2023.

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