Libad’s before Bar Rescue
Libad’s opened its doors in 2005 under the ownership of Jessica DeMelo and with financial help from her father Barry. To help with operations Jessica took in her brother David as a co-owner and their cousin Lenny was assigned in the kitchen. During its early years Libad’s raked in $40 grand a month as it had no competitors in New Bedford, Massachusetts, and Lenny’s signature pizza was a hit among patrons.
Things took a nosedive when Lenny, plagued by personal problems, unexpectedly committed suicide. Jessica closed the kitchen for good after the tragedy, and the sudden lack of food options drove customers towards other establishments. Also Jessica ‘s decision of hiring friends and family to work at Libad’s brought more harm than good as the employees took advantage of the owner’s trust.
To save the bar and his children, Barry sent a distress call to Jon Taffer and Bar Rescue before time ran out.
Libad’s on Bar Rescue
Outside the bar Taffer and Diageo mixologist Peter O’Connor conversed with Barry and the latter revealed his additional investment of $40 grand into Libad’s to keep it afloat plus his feeling that the establishment was more of a social club than a business. For the recon Taffer sent in chef Tony Gemignani and bartender Brenna to get a customer’s perspective of Libad’s. The two were served cocktails with too much alcohol and Brenna tried riding the mechanical bull which was as energetic as a dying animal. One of the bartenders named Eddie took out his shoe and drank a shot out of it, and the disgusting practice was met with nothing but smiles from the owners and employees.
Taffer and Barry went inside Libad’s and sat with Jessica and David, and the Bar Rescue host was surprised to learn that the DeMelo children barely knew anything about the bar business. Afterwards O’Connor had the bartenders pour on black glasses to test their pouring accuracy and surprisingly they all did well, thus revealing their habit of intentionally overpouring booze. Eddie defended their ways by saying that the excess alcohol was to keep the patrons from leaving but Taffer showed the massive losses incurred by this practice through the BevIntel report.
The following day Taffer and O’Connor returned to train the employees. Given the importance of rum in the state’s history O’Connor introduced the Captain’s Choice cocktail which utilized the said alcoholic beverage. The kitchen beneath Libad’s basically served as a mausoleum in Lenny’s memory and Taffer made the DeMelos realize that they needed to move on and serve food again. That night Taffer opened the bar for a stress test and implemented a three-strike rule on erring employees with the use of colored stickers.
The bartenders were overwhelmed by the huge influx of customers and the barrage of orders outnumbered the bar’s supply of glassware, forcing them to use plastic cups as the sinks weren’t set up to wash the used glasses. Eddie moved at a snail’s pace while his colleagues did not crack under pressure and the boot-drinking employee was booted from the bar area after receiving three stickers. Libad’s also struggled in terms of transactions as the two decades old cash register complicated the supposedly simple process, while the credit card machine was situated far from the counter. The bull mechanical bull on the back was nothing but BS as it alienated patrons and failed to generate a good amount of income. After the test Taffer praised bartender Shannon for her performance behind the counter and noted Jessica’s vain attempts in lending a hand.
Two days before the relaunch Taffer discussed the profit and loss statement of Libad’s with Barry and his children. The bar had a staggering 45% beverage cost which was way above the usual 21% and to better manage the numbers Taffer had Jessica take on the mantle of managing the expenses of Libad’s. Taffer then brought the two to the resurrected kitchen decked with new equipment and with every nook and cranny cleaned up by professionals. Taffer encouraged the two to see the kitchen as a way to honor Lenny’s memory. Tony G returned to Libad’s not as a spy but as the bar’s expert in bringing back their legendary pizza menu.
Tony G and Taffer came up with oval-shaped pizzas to take advantage of perceived value, or the way of making products look more expensive despite their actual production costs. Tony G also taught the cooks the importance of placing pizzas in the same spot inside the oven to ensure consistency. O’Connor whipped out a whiskey cocktail that perfectly complemented the luscious pizza items.
After the renovation Libad’s Bar & Grill was now known as Libad’s Seaside Tavern. The bleak white façade was given a new paintjob and sea-related murals while the bar’s name now perfectly matched the seaside community. The interior was filled with maritime décor and the failing mechanical bull replaced with a grey whale. Three new POS systems ensured efficient handling of transactions and a new set of glassware replaced the bar’s plastic cups. Jessica and David welcomed customers in the grand reopening and the patrons loved the new food and drink menu and the mighty mechanical whale. Eddie again succumbed to pressure and made a mess in the counter, forcing Taffer to fire him on the spot. The employee however expressed his determination to stay in Libad’s and Taffer had him work as a server where he excelled.
With the rescue now done Taffer left the family and the bar on calmer waters.
Libad’s Now in 2018 – The After Bar Rescue Update
Libad’s is still open with a consistent amount of five-star reviews on their Facebook page. They acknowledged the efforts of Bar Rescue in their website especially the biggest change wrought by the reopening of the kitchen. Customers praised the friendly bartenders, the excellent food items, and the atmosphere. Eddie still worked as a server and sometimes he served drinks during slow nights, despite Taffer’s advice of keeping him away from the bar area.
The establishment has upgraded their menu to include burgers, fries, and salads. They also host events like live comedy and music.
Libad’s has both official and unofficial Facebook pages, each with positive reviews. You can also visit their official website at http://libadstavern.com/main/. The Yelp page doesn’t have a lot of reviews but if you still want to check it out then click here.