Bamboo Beach Tiki Bar before Bar Rescue
In 2004 Frank Talerico purchased the struggling Ocean Manor Hotel in the shores of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. His acquisition of the property was indeed a jackpot as the hotel was constructed in 1957, three years before the city’s zoning laws banned beachside bars, hence making his establishment among the very few that stood in the sands.
The Bamboo Beach Tiki Bar enjoyed waves upon waves of customers with a good amount of profit raked in every week. However things started to go downhill due to inclement weather and management issues, thus dragging down the bar’s reputation from being a hotspot to a storm-swept neglect. Finally the establishment’s focus on the tourists made the bar only profitable during vacation season and leaving it on a dry spell through most of the year.
As his earnings went down the drain Talerico turned to Jon Taffer and Bar Rescue for help before the Bamboo Beach Tiki Bar is finished off by this perfect storm.
Bamboo Beach Tiki Bar on Bar Rescue
Contrary to his usual operation wherein Taffer sends his wife Nicole to do recon, this time he first observed the bar from afar through CCTV cameras along with his two experts namely chef / restaurateur Josh Capon and Diageo mixologist Terrelle Treco. Treco then fills Nicole’s role of recon and through her surveillance she learns about the bar’s improper beverage mixing and storage practices which of course led to a very unsavory drink. As for her order of fried mahi mahi appetizer it took the server too long to deliver the order due to tardiness, and to make matters worse Treco finds strands of hair on the meal no thanks to the server’s habit of fidgeting her strands. Taffer saw everything through the cameras and decided to take action.
Taffer met with Talerico and brought him to Treco who then relayed her experiences to the owner. Treco investigated the bar area and notices its unsafe and unsanitary conditions, not to mention the habit of using equipment that are in need of repair. Capon visited the kitchen area and was met with one disrespectful staff who was trying to defend the same unclean practices that were seen in the taproom.
During the staff meeting Taffer learned from the head bartender Alyssa about the lack of authority in the establishment which resulted in the staff frequently coming in late as they had no fear of being reprimanded. Talerico had to learn how to handle things the hard way by firing Mia, the employee who was constantly tardy. He also gave Alyssa the authority to suspend or fire misbehaving employees.
Capon worked with the kitchen staff in constructing a menu that focused on fresh ingredients and tapas style dishes (hot or cold appetizers and snacks). The strategy in serving food in small portions was to entice customers into ordering more of it, and the variants on sticks ensured that patrons won’t be having a hard time eating it especially while walking on the sands. Treco taught the bartenders the art of muddling which is the act of crushing leaves or citrus in a beverage to produce an alluring aroma that can help encourage purchase when customers smell it. Aside from that the bartenders were also taught a handful of specialty mixes with premium alcohol.
Taffer subjected the bar to a stress test to see if things go smoothly. The staff was overwhelmed by the huge number of patrons and faced a huge number of orders while not being completely familiar with the new menu. The mounting pressure stirred a profanity-laden encounter in the kitchen between one of the line cooks and the short-tempered head chef Barry. Fortunately, with the help of Capon, Barry cooled down and learned how to lead by example which expedited the process in the kitchen. One of the bartenders named Abbie gave in to the anxiety and was advised by Taffer to walk out of the bar to regain her composure. She returned to the front lines minutes later and tried her best to work despite the pressure.
The next day Treco trained the bartenders in improving their serving speed and Abbie displayed a commendable performance as if she was a completely different girl during the stress test. Taffer discussed to Talerico the importance of making the bar independent from the hotel and that it should attract both the visitors and the locals to ensure a good flow of income throughout the year. Talerico was not on the same boat with Taffer when it came to changing the bar’s name, a decision that the Bar Rescue host knew would attract the customers, but the owner eventually relented as the staff made him realize that it was a good idea after all. Taffer called for designer Nancy Hadley for the total revamp of the bar which was delayed by a sudden downpour.
At the day of the relaunch Taffer revealed the new incarnation of the Bamboo Beach Tiki Bar which was now named as Bamboo Beach Club + Tiki Bar. The ancient television sets that hung inside the establishment were replaced with flat screens and the furniture of the bar were replaced with thick flooring made of non-absorbent material to better protect it from the elements. The nonfunctional cooler was replaced by a new one and the plumbing of the bar was completely replugged. The tables and chairs outside the bar were replaced and Taffer was confident that these new furniture will draw in more customers. As Talerico cut the ribbon customers poured in and their numbers were greater than during the stress test. Despite being busier than before Barry and the kitchen staff worked cohesively and kept the orders flowing, while in the bar area the bartenders were not cracking under pressure and Abbie’s confidence shone brighter than the beachside sun. The bar reported an increase in sales and a lot of positive reviews from customers a month after the rescue.
Bamboo Beach Tiki Bar Now in 2018 – The After Bar Rescue Update
Bamboo Beach Tiki Bar and Café is still operating up to this year and the reviews on Facebook and Yelp were pretty much positive. The bar was also one of the recipients of the 2015 Certificate of Excellence given by travel website Tripadvisor, an accolade that rewards establishments with consistently good reviews.