Monday, June 24, 2024

Dirty Rooster Update – What Happened After Bar Rescue

Dirty Rooster before Bar Rescue

In 2013 best buddies Steve Mallman and Rob Hoffman each invested $40 grand and, with an additional $25 grand from mutual friend Scott Lopes, kickstarted Dirty Rooster in Antioch, Illinois. The bar’s location next to Lake Marie spanned 1,750 square feet and could accommodate 20 boats and a hundred cars, and in winter snowmobiles roar on the frozen body of water. Locals and visitors from faraway areas flocked into the bar and Hoffman celebrated Dirty Rooster’s overflowing success by partying and drinking hard with the clientele, and once he’s done he simply went upstairs as he also lived on the second floor of the bar.

bar rescue dirty rooster owner
Taffer with Hoffman, Lopes, and Mallman

Hoffman’s irresponsibility and rowdy behavior became increasingly uncontrollable and Dirty Rooster suffered the consequences, much to the frustration of Mallman and Lopes. The bar’s negative reputation spread far and wide which repelled patrons and made the income sheet bleed red. In Hoffman’s defense the two other owners didn’t even lift a finger to save Dirty Rooster.

Unable to get their investment back on its feet the three men decided to call for Jon Taffer and Bar Rescue before their goose is cooked.

Dirty Rooster on Bar Rescue

Taffer and his experts namely chef Nick Liberato and bartender Raul Faria approach Dirty Rooster via boat and immediately notice the establishment’s uninviting atmosphere. The interior was just as equally flat thanks to the gray paint from ceiling to floor which made the place more of a prison than a watering hole. Dirty Rooster’s current menu only had $2 shots and $1 beers – a kind of pricing that only resulted in diminishing profits. Hoffman was easily coerced into buying free shots for virtually everyone in the bar and he also had a habit of lying on the counter and letting people pour alcohol on his belly while the two other owners only looked without doing anything. Not even a cent went into the cash register considering the huge volume of alcohol flowing freely.

bar rescue dirty rooster old outside
The old exterior

Hoffman’s intoxicated ways almost cost Dirty Rooster the rescue as Taffer refused to work while the owner was bombed out of his mind.  The Bar Rescue host returned the next day and relieved Hoffman of his duties as manager while giving Lopes and Mallman full responsibility of Dirty Rooster. He then revealed how Hoffman’s actions in the past two days cost almost $7,000 in losses, but despite these blunders Taffer assigned the erring owner to the kitchen as he had faith in the man when sober.

For the stress test Liberato introduced a fish and chips recipe that utilized fresh ingredients so the Dirty Rooster kitchen won’t resort to canned cheese anymore. In the bar area Faria had the bartenders wear “anti-coordination goggles” to simulate the effects of intoxication on one’s motor skills to make them aware of the losses incurred by heavy drinking while on duty. The test uncovered problems in guest assessment, multitasking, and the struggle of Mallman and Lopes in the front lines due to inexperience. The staff succumbed to pressure and the patrons eventually walked out as orders piled up and service crawled.

The Bar Rescue host saw Hoffman’s dedication in keeping Dirty Rooster afloat while the two other owners considered selling their stock to two white knight investors. Taffer’s blueprint for the establishment’s new concept involved turning it into a lakeside lodge that doubled as a snowmobile haunt during the season of cold.  Faria whipped out the raspberry fueled Lake Marie Daiquiri and the cinnamon House Lodge Cider; while in the kitchen Liberato provided the food menu with seasonal options like warm bowls of chowder and stew that work well with both summer and winter clientele.

bar rescue dirty rooster new outside
After the renovation

After the renovation the Dirty Rooster’s feathers were plucked, turning it into the Lake Marie Lodge. Its prison-like blandness was now given life with maroon-splashed walls painted with wood-like details which went well with the roof’s dark hue. Upon entering the bar patrons were immediately greeted by the sight of the promotional area designed like a boat. The walls were decked with boating-related décor like a boat wheel and paddles, and the bar area expanded to accommodate eight more seats and two POS systems. The sight of these promising changes changed the minds of Lopes and Mallman and they decided to stay with Hoffman for this fresh beginning.

Dirty Rooster Now in 2018 – The After Bar Rescue Update

Six weeks later Lake Marie Lodge reported a 70% spike in their food and drink sales.

During the Back to the Bar episode of Bar Rescue Hoffman revealed that Lopes bailed out on him as the two didn’t see eye-to-eye. Hoffman was also back to his old ways of downing numerous shots and he justified it by saying that it was his place.

The post-rescue reviews on Yelp were mostly negative with one patron pointing out an intoxicated owner who partied with friends and controlled the jukebox, while the other reviews mentioned the untidiness of the place. The bartenders also dropped the cocktails presented by the show. As for the reviews on Google there were criticisms towards the bar’s premade food specials, expired beer, beat up furniture, and lackluster service.

Lake Marie Lodge closed its doors during New Year’s Eve 2016. Based on Hoffman’s Facebook post where he was trying to sell the Bar Rescue POS systems, he was sued by Lopes for $125,000 plus $12,000 worth of taxes from the state of Illinois because he gave away alcohol while televised.

bar rescue dirty rooster bait shop Now a bait and tackle shop named MuskyTales took over Lake Marie Lodge’s place. Based on this Facebook live video they’re using the boat-shaped promotional area installed by Taffer.

Anthony Coyle
Anthony Coyle
I write about anything and everything that catches my fancy, but mostly I try to provide the answers to the questions our readers ask every day. I'm also the guy who's always glued to an LCD screen of some sort.


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