Saturday, September 24, 2022

Packy’s Pub Update – What Happened After Bar Rescue

Packy’s Pub before Bar Rescue

In 1986 Patrick Campbell bid Ireland goodbye and immigrated to the United States. He managed Steny’s, a renowned bar in Milwaukee, for 14 years straight before trying out his luck in owning an establishment of his own.  With the help of fellow Irishman Guppy Packy’s Pub was opened and the first six years of the bar was met with success.

The owner Patrick “Packy” Campbell

In 2006 Campbell stepped away from the bar to focus on his budding family and as the saying goes, “When the cat’s away the mice will play.” The staff eventually ran itself during the owner’s absence and rowdy behavior became a norm. The sudden change in behavior had Packy’s Pub lose money instead of earning it and as the income sheet bled Campbell found himself buried in debt.

Everything was on the line for Campbell and he wasn’t going to give up the place so easily, hence his decision to call for Jon Taffer and Bar Rescue.

Packy’s Pub on Bar Rescue

To help reinvigorate the Irish bar Taffer brought in two experts in the field namely whiskey master Gerry Graham and Irish chef Gavan Murphy. From the outside Packy’s Pub lacked any kind of Irish identity and the signage strongly suggested that the place was a sports bar.  The interior lacked the authenticity, warmth, and coziness of a real Irish bar as such establishments were supposed to be like an extension of one’s house. The food menu only had chicken wings which were absolutely not Irish and some of the drinks had fruit flies in the bottles. The bartenders freely drank behind the counter along with Guppy who chugged down insane amounts of booze, and as the employees partied Campbell was busy working hard in the kitchen.

The old exterior

The two experts entered the bar for the recon and the dirty martini they were served with was literally dirty thanks to the presence of dead insects, while the overcooked chicken wings were dry. Guppy was bombed out of his mind and despite heavy intoxication he still helped himself to a couple more shots. Taffer then went into Packy’s Pub and disposed the bottles that had dead bugs inside. The kitchen was in no better state as the stock of raw chicken was stored in incorrect temperatures which could get someone sick. Taffer walked out of the bar with ambivalence towards the notion of continuing the rescue and Guppy had an eye-opener after being kicked out by Campbell.

Taffer returned the next day and was infuriated upon learning that Campbell still had some faith in the now-sober Guppy. Colleen, one of the bartenders, revealed the bar’s other problems like overpouring, an incomplete stock of liquor, and underpaid employees. Taffer’s wrath was directed towards Campbell himself upon learning that none of the works were properly paid and the Bar Rescue host threatened to end the rescue prematurely unless the workers were paid within the hour. The owner managed to right his wrongs which stopped Taffer from walking away.

The experts walked in to start working on the Irish authenticity of Packy’s Pub. Graham corrected the overpouring ways of the bartenders by teaching them how to exercise control with a jigger, while in the kitchen Murphy tutored Coleen on how to cook mashed potatoes with Irish sausages and how cooking with alcohol helped in locking flavor into the dishes. During the stress test Campbell was assigned as bar manager and the bartenders had problems in mixing multiple drinks at once. Food orders remained undelivered until they became cold and Campbell was all over the place without properly fulfilling his managerial duties. On a positive note Guppy showed promising effort which earned him praise from Taffer after the test.

The new exterior

The next day Taffer brought in Jerry Steny who was Campbell’s former boss and mentor. The reunion helped reignite Campbell’s dead spark and he emerged with renewed confidence towards his pub. Graham introduced Irish coffee and the Auld Fashioned which was an Irish twist on the popular cocktail Old Fashioned while Murphy’s Irish addition to the menu of Packy’s Pub was the beef and Guinness stew.

After the renovation Packy’s Pub was turned into Campbell’s Irish Pub with the exterior painted in brown, yellow, and green and a signage that now screamed Irish. The interior was as Ireland as it could get with the warmth of wooden walls and soft lighting, private rooms called “snugs”, and appropriate decor. The bar area was decked with hanging pendant lights, a wooden counter top, three new POS systems, and Guinness Blonde taps.

Packy’s Pub Now in 2018 – The After Bar Rescue Update

Six weeks later Campbell’s Irish Pub reportedly had a 70% spike in food and drink sales. They also brought back the chicken wings into the food menu due to overwhelming popular demand despite not fitting the Irish theme. The Back to the Bar episode featuring Campbell’s Irish Pub showed consistent improvements in the establishment and Guppy being a changed man.

Campbell’s Irish Pub amassed positive reviews on both Facebook and Yelp. Many sang praises towards their famous Irish breakfast served every Sunday. Other positive feedbacks were aimed towards Campbell himself, the customer service, and the truly authentic ambiance of the bar.

The new tent

The bar holds trivia nights, taco specials, and live sports on the telly. They have also expanded outside the bar with a deck and a tent.

The bar maintains an active Facebook page which you can visit by clicking here, and here’s the Facebook page for Packy’s Irish Pub which is still being maintained. Finally you can check out their official website at http://www.campbellsirishpub.com/ which is just a menu.

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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