Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Rhythm & Brews Update 2018 – What Happened After Bar Rescue

Rhythm & Brews before Bar Rescue

Twin brothers Erik and Steve Lachow purchased Rhythm & Brews in 2003 and the locals of Staten Island loved every bit of the bar. $80 grand a month was a norm and the brothers took in their younger sibling Stu to help run the bar.

The brothers

However their fortune changed in 2009 when a biker club decided to make Rhythm & Blues their headquarters, an act that took a toll on the bar’s squeaky clean image and repelled its young frequenters. The owners were too afraid to kick out the rowdy bikers and as time passed these interlopers cooked their own food using the bar’s kitchen and poured their own drinks as if they were home.

The three brothers spent every last bit of money they had into the bar in a futile attempt to keep it afloat. $700 grand worth of expenses plus numerous sacrifices were not enough to save their business so the trio decided to call for Jon Taffer and Bar Rescue for help.

Rhythm & Brews on Bar Rescue

Bikers roamed around the outside of Rhythm & Brews while their motorcycles took up most of the parking space at the front. For the recon Taffer sent in expert chef Josh Capon’s wife Lori as she best represented the market of the bar. Rhythm & Brews lacked any selection of wine and spirits which was the alcohol of choice for the market and the cocktails they served weren’t very delectable. While the spies were on the counter the bikers moved around the place even into the kitchen despite an “employees only” sign, and sadly the owners were just getting stepped on and couldn’t even do anything to stop them. It was basically a free for all with bikers grabbing food out of the freezer and tossing them into the fryers, and this act stalled the food orders of legitimate patrons as the kitchen ran out of ingredients to cook with.

The old exterior

Capon entered the bar and went straight into the kitchen and no one, not even the owners, paid him any attention. He was able to cook an entire pizza and deliver it along with the pan into Taffer’s car. One of the bikers tossed a firecracker behind the counter which prompted Taffer and the experts to rush into the bar. In the confrontation with the owners the Bar Rescue host told them that they basically bent over to the bikers, and when tasked to dismiss the patrons the trio took six minutes to get people out as they weren’t taken seriously. The following morning the trio returned in better spirits than last night. Expert bartender Kate Gerwin inspected things behind the counter and found filth deep inside the cooler, and in the kitchen the freezer was just as worse.

During the stress test the bar’s lack of an efficient POS system slowed order delivery to a crawl as Stu struggled to find the right table, and the patrons also outnumbered the bar’s stock of glassware. Some of the bikers returned and Steve successfully kicked them out, although he was left with a dire warning from the men.  After the test Taffer was infuriated at the trio’s lack of confidence and at the next day he brought in Erik’s son Jessie and the trio’s father Joey, and this meeting managed to spark the fire inside the brothers.

The bar’s new concept focused on sophistication like wine and small dishes. Capon introduced appetizer plates like flatbread and calamari and, to go along with the concept’s focus on perceived value, placed the plates on an elegant-looking tiered stand. Gerwin came up with the bourbon and wine cocktail named 3 Sons Sour that went well with the new food.

The new exterior

The Bar Rescue renovation turned Rhythm & Brews into 5th & Vine with its former black and blue façade splashed with white and red. The interior’s walls were fitted with cherry wood and illuminated with soft white lights. The bar area was even classier with new furniture, elegant overhead lighting, and a smooth new counter. A wine system not only displayed the bar’s premium bottles but also kept them in a proper serving temperature. Three Revention POS systems ensured that there will be no more confusion when it came to orders.

In the grand reopening night the brothers and the employees provided service with utmost class, and the patrons loved the cleaner and sophisticated incarnation of a previously-notorious bar. Taffer and his experts left the place with the owners basking in renewed confidence.

Rhythm & Brews Now in 2018 – The After Bar Rescue Update

5th & Vine gathered a good amount of mixed reviews throughout 2015 and 2016. Patrons praised the atmosphere and the drinks while most of the criticism went to customer service and the food items.

The notice posted during their first closure

On April 2016 the bar was shut down by the City’s Department of Health and Hygiene after an “ungraded” health inspection revealed the existence of filth flies and mice, and the lack of a thermometer to monitor food storage and cooking, to name a few. 5th & Vine opened again shortly afterwards.

On November 14, 2016 the bar posted a video on their Facebook page (click here to watch it) which was a slideshow of pictures depicting the bar’s extensive history and, days later, the doors were closed down for good. Some have commented that the bar’s location wasn’t very ideal for the new concept and its intended target demographic.

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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