On tonight’s Spike episode of “Bar Rescue,” Jon Taffer and his crew came to Lake Marie in Antioch, Illinois, in this episode titled “Swinging from the Rafters.” In 2013 best friends Rob Hoffman and Steve Mallmann embarked on a mission to open a bar. With parking for a hundred cars and docking for about twenty boats, it was a plan. They each put up $40,000, but lacking enough for startup, they brought in silent partner, Scott Lopes who added the last $25,000 to get it going. Looking for names, Rob came up with the Filthy Cock, but that was not allowed, so they settled for the Dirty Rooster.
Within no time, the bar was going strong, but Rob sabotaged the business by partying with his friends day and night and turning the place from a fun watering hole to a washed up dive. Now with $110,000 invested in the bar, they agreed to call Jon Taffer to help them make the bar respectable again.
Jon, arriving by boat on the lovely lake brought Chef Nick Liberato to help the kitchen and award winning mixologist Raul Faria to clean up the bar. Jon and the guys went downstairs on the boat to watch the hidden cameras. Jon explained the scenario to the guys, Rob and Steve each own 37.5% of the business and Scott owns 25%. Rob is supposed to manage it and Steve is supposed to help out. Scott sees that he is a minority partner in a sinking ship and has little to say about it. Rob lives upstairs, works downstairs, drinks all day and night and this is the extent of his life.
Tara is the bartender, waiting on Rob and his friends, but no money is on the bar. Cesar is working in the kitchen and it looks like he is doing a good job keeping it clean. Jon sent in Jessica and her five friends to do the recon for him. Jessica only has $5, and Jon wants to see how many drinks she can get for the five bucks. Raul does not believe she will even break the five. The women walk into the place and are told by Tara that beers are a dollar and shots are two dollars; which Jon relates will not ever make a profit.
The girls announce that it is one of their birthdays and Rob is willing to give all the pretty girls free shots. When they ordered nachos, Cesar was spotted scooping cheese out of a can, which did not sit well with them. When Rob was spotted lying on the bar, expecting one of the girls to drink beer from his belly button, it was just too gross. When Scott asked the bartender to cut him off, or send Steve in to bartend, Steve stated he did not know how to tend bar. Rob was hanging from the ceiling over the bar, making a complete ass of him and nobody could do anything to stop him. When Scott confronted him, he had nothing good to say to Scott and probably forgot that Scott had an interest in the place too. It was sad for Tara, when Nick and Raul came in to tell Rob that Jon Taffer was not coming back. Rob went upstairs, had a fight with Scott. Tara is a single mother of four and the bar is her only income, but with the owner giving away the place, her chance for salary or tips is nil. Jessica left with the same $5 she came in with.
The next day Jon came in to speak with the three partners. Jon showed Rob what a drunken idiot he was the night before as his tablet told the story. Jon then told Rob about his fiduciary responsibility to his partners, and exactly what it means. He then made Rob the silent partner and will make Scott and Steve run the bar. Jon then showed the entire staff his figures based on Partender statistics. In the past two days, the amount of liquor that was poured amounted to $9,639 while the amount of money taken in was $2,721, giving them a loss of $6,918 for the past weekend.
As Rob decided to leave, Jon told him he was 48-years-old and had nothing, and now he was walking out on the only thing he had. He then told him if he walked out; he was a dead man. So he returned to face the music. Jon then put Rob in the kitchen to pay his dues.
For the stress test, Jon put Scott and Steve to work, but they were really bad and everything they tried. Then Jon had an idea; he asked each partner individually if they would take back their initial investment and walk away? All but Rob said yes, and Jon had the investor right at the bar, ready to take over. After closing, he spoke to the three partners and asked if they knew what a white knight was. He told them it is someone who comes in to take over when the place is at its worst. Rob was adamant that he wanted to keep the place. The other two guys did not want to walk out on Rob, so Jon got him a counselor and proceeded with the rescue.
Rob proved himself to Jon and for the relaunch; he will be running the bar. When the transition was completed, they found the new name Lake Marie Lodge and on the inside it was warm like a lodge should be. With eight more seats, more income is guaranteed. The place was humming, the food was coming and the bartenders were serving drinks and everyone was smiling.
Six weeks after the relaunch, the food and beverage sales have gone up 70%, Rob is now running the day-to-day operations as a sober person; thanks to Jon and his crew at “Bar Rescue.”