VFW Post 9644 - Bar Rescue Update - Open or Closed?

VFW Post 9644 Bar Rescue

In this Bar Rescue episode, Jon Taffer visits VFW Post 9644 in Sheridan, Colorado.

The post opened in 1977 and the community is small but beloved by veterans.

However, memberships have decreased, and younger vets are not joining.

Commander Paul has been struggling to keep it open.

A new leader, Todd has been elected, and he is driving for younger members to join.

The old regulars are uncomfortable with the changes he plans to make.

They have a 75th Anniversary coming up.

Jon recons the VFW post, which is his third he has visited on the show.

It is important for him to do a good job.

He is accompanied by expert Chef Anthony Lamas and expert mixologist Derrick Turner.

Jon explains that the bar is operated separately so it is open to the public.

They observe the staff cooking burger patties in a way that quickly dries them out.

They also notice that the other staff at the bar are making drinks incorrectly and using the wrong utensils.

They decide to sample the services together.

Jon talks to the customers, and they discover that the patrons have to go to the bar to get their drinks.

There are no servers, and no one is serving food.

Jon heads to the kitchen and finds that the mass-cooked burgers are undercooked.

They meet with Paul and Todd, who are prepared to be yelled at.

Jon calmly criticises them and gets their commitment to work on improving the place.

The next day, Jon meets all of the staff together.

They share their thoughts on the problems, including branding and visibility.

Jon introduces his experts and highlights their ties to the military, making the project personal for them.

Jon explains that he is not angry with any of them since they are volunteers.

Their knowledge was lacking, but he can help them with what they need to learn.

Derrick demonstrates how to make a signature cocktail drink, which they all love when they taste it.

Anthony teaches the cooks how to make a classic burger.

Later, the staff come together to plan for their stress test, but they only have one POS system.

They are terrified, but Jon reassures them that it will help them.

Paul lets the customers in, and they are overwhelmed with orders.

This is due to only having one POS system for drink and food orders and only one workstation for drinks.

Derrick has to guide them through the steps, but they are still slow.

The kitchen is also experiencing delays in fulfilling orders.

Unable to keep up, Jon instructs Paul on what they need to do to make it work.

They shut down operations for the night.

Afterward, the staff meets, and while they appreciate the upgrade, they hope it won't be unrecognisable as it might alienate the old patrons.

The next day, Derrick teaches them how to make a new multicoloured cocktail drink.

Anthony instructs them on making a hotdog dish.

Jon sits with Todd and Paul to discuss the business's leadership.

Paul is confident in his ability to attract a younger crowd.

Jon promises to introduce a new menu of food and drinks that will revitalise the post and attract new customers.

A few days later, everyone gathers outside, along with the community for the reveal.

The exterior has a newly designed sign that stands out.

Inside, the establishment has been upgraded, with new wall colours and mounted TVs.

Much of the bar, including their jukebox and most of the furnishings, remains the same.

The bar now has two full workstations, a Harbour Touch system, two Skytabs and a Pathspot machine.

There is a Bluezone system, new glassware, and bar tools, as well as two Oasis cold drink machines.

They have also improved their draft beer system and installed a new audio and visual system.

The kitchen now boasts a new pizza oven and deep fryer.

They have also subscribed to Partender for inventory management.

As the staff and community see the full transformation, Paul and many of the staff members are moved to tears.

Paul and Todd open the doors to the eagerly waiting customers and the community pour into the bar.

The relaunch runs much smoother with orders being promptly taken.

The kitchen is more efficient and prepares delicious meals.

The bartenders exude confidence in crafting the new drinks.

What Happened Next at VFW Post 9644?

A few months later, membership has significantly increased.

The majority of new recruits are younger veterans.

Todd has officially taken over as Commander, with Paul remaining as his Vice Commander.

They are now planning their 75th Anniversary celebration, filled with renewed hope and excitement for the future of VFW Post 9644.

VFW Post 9644 is open.

Reviews are very positive and the changes were well received.

This post was last updated in June 2023.

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