YNot Sports Pub & Grub before Bar Rescue
YNot Sports Pub & Grub in Everett, Washington, was opened in 2013 courtesy of couple John Ellis and Yvette Otto. Both already had experience in managing businesses under the beverage industry in the past, hence handling this bar wasn’t much of a hassle.
Unfortunately, the stress of managing a bar caught up to the two, and they faced a mountain of expenses. Moreover, an arena opened right across the street which they thought was a lucrative source of patrons, but the opposite was true and they barely had any customers whenever there was an ongoing show or game. The employees too showed t heir true colors as they exhibited poor bartending abilities and drank during their shift. Their chef, Gerald, acted like he was the king of the bar’s kitchen and did as he pleased even if it resulted in poorly-cooked dishes.
Aside from uncontrollable staff members and a looming financial collapse, Ellis and Otto were also threatened by $155 grand worth of debt. With everything at stake, the two had decided to call for Jon Taffer and Bar Rescue for help.
YNot Sports Pub & Grub on Bar Rescue
Taffer, along with expert mixologist Phil Wills and master chef Sean Olnowich, arrive outside YNot right on time as the bar was starting its bizarre game of goldfish racing. It involves “encouraging” the fish to swim to the finish line by spritzing them with a spray bottle. Barely anyone paid attention to the game and it even made a lot of people feel uncomfortable.
Since the bar is situated across an events arena, speed and efficiency were critical as the workers needed to fulfill orders for patrons who were in a hurry. To test this, Taffer deployed ten customers for the recon who were instructed to only stay for 30 minutes. The food orders arrived exactly at the end of the time limit, much to the frustration of the owners and the employees. Taffer and his experts entered the bar and tasted all of the dishes the recon team ordered, and not a single food item passed their standards.
The Bar Rescue host and the experts visited the kitchen area afterwards. They were shocked at the accumulation of grease and filth. Also, the walk-in freezer had a wooden door that looked like something meant for a bedroom. This affected the quality of the ingredients stored inside and was also a major health violation. Taffer had the owners and the employees clean up the place which they did the whole night.
The next day, everything was spotless and the goldfish race track was disposed of. Taffer summoned the staff members for a meeting and had the owners realize that they were set towards failure. After the verbal lashing from Taffer, Otto took things more seriously and began axing her drinking and tardy employees. This led to a domino effect which led to YNot losing three workers in a matter of minutes.
While Otto and Ellis tried their best to look for two bartenders for tonight’s stress test, Olnowich began training Gerald in the kitchen. Luckily, the owners managed to get three bartenders and one server, and all of them showcased positive attitudes. Taffer decided to subject the newcomers to a “bartending audition” as part of the stress test where they will be tested one by one by Wills. During the test, the food items had a lot of complaints from customers ranging from undercooked to just plain disgusting. The new bartenders struggled under pressure and made a lot of mistakes. After seeing the things that must be worked on, Taffer shut down the stress test.
The Bar Rescue host and his experts then discussed the blueprints of the bar’s new concept. Given the area’s Asian influence, Taffer wanted a pub that focused on that region’s food and drink, but with some mix of American flavor. The next morning, all of the three new bartenders were hired after showing some potential during the test. Wills introduced cocktails that focused on sweet, spicy, and sour flavors namely The Zen Dragon. He also made The Shiso Fine, a cocktail with a drop of saline solution which is proven to make the citrus flavors burst. In the kitchen, Olnowich gave the bar’s burgers a Chinese twist by molding it into a steam bun which was not only delicious, but also fast to make.
After the renovation, YNot Sports Pub & Grub was turned into The Forbidden Pub. The façade featured red and black tones which was guaranteed to pull the eyes of prospective clientele towards the establishment. The Asian influences were evident inside with lanterns on the ceiling and Chinese characters on the walls. The fish made a comeback, but this time they were inside a large aquarium. Behind the bar, Taffer added another station and three new POS systems to speed up serving times. The walk-in refrigerator’s doors were replaced with an actual steel door, thus ensuring that the food will no longer be in horrible quality. Finally, the owners received a lifetime subscription to Partender, a mobile app that makes inventory a lot easier.
YNot Sports Pub & Grub Now in 2017 – The After ‘Bar Rescue’ Update
Three months after the rescue, The Forbidden Pub went back to the YNot name after Otto claimed that the changes brought by Taffer failed to gather any positive feedback. The customers were confused at the bar’s actual theme and even thought that the place had a change of owners. The new food and drink only attracted curiosity for a brief period of time, and eventually not even the regulars returned.
Otto and Ellis brought back a lot of the old menu items and décor as the watering hole again became a sports pub. However, the goldfish racing track was retired as a wall art in the beer garden patio. The owners were grateful of the show’s intervention which motivated them to make changes in their managerial duties.
The bar received lukewarm reviews on their Yelp page after they went back to being YNot. The site also lists them as permanently closed. Judging by their deactivated Facebook pages, it seems that the bar has shut its doors for good.