Monday, March 27, 2023

The Underworld Update – What Happened After Bar Rescue

The Underworld before Bar Rescue

In 2011 rock musicians Jaz Bender and Kristy Kaos retired from the band life and opened The Underworld Grill and Bar in Las Vegas. The bar was stocked with horror décor as if every day was Halloween as the owners wanted to establish a unique haunt although it was poorly executed, and their macabre displays were flaccid at best.

The two owners

The Underworld dug its own grave with a handful of other problems namely a severely understocked liquor shelf with no draft beer, bad pizza, and customer-turned-bartender Jesse making inappropriate remarks towards the female patrons. To make matters worse the owners kept a close eye on the employees and this blatant display of mistrust aroused animosity between the two groups.

With the bar’s future becoming darker in each passing day the owners have decided to call Jon Taffer and Bar Rescue to help save The Underworld from sliding into the abyss.

The Underworld on Bar Rescue

Las Vegas is well-known for a lot of brightly-lit signs that draw in patrons and tourists to many destinations. The Underworld however lived up to its name and kept its façade as bright as the nether regions. Taffer sent in three ladies into the bar for the recon and the trio immediately became the target of Jesse’s abrasive attitude and his deduction that all girls are “the same”. The owners visited the cash register almost every half hour to check on the bar’s earnings and this paranoia put nothing but pressure on the staff.

From The Underworld

Taffer then entered The Underworld and first convened with the employees, and during this meeting Jesse accused the two owners of stealing tips from them. When Taffer met with the owners next the pair contradicted what the employee said and instead put the blame on the workers for the bar’s critical state. Afterwards Taffer made Jesse realize that his money wasn’t being stolen and instead he wasn’t being tipped because of his sex-crazed attitude. Jaz Bender and Kristy Kaos were reluctant to fire Jesse as he was a valuable asset to The Underworld despite his demeanor.

The following day Taffer introduced his experts namely pizza pro Tony G and mixologist Russell Davis. Tony G taught Kristy Kaos and the kitchen staff how to properly make pizza that’s both tasty and presentable, while Davis demonstrated efficient mixing procedures and three easy-to-make cocktails to Jesse and bartenders Eli and Tracy. Jessse’s skill was tested and the green-haired bartender proved to be slow and difficult to teach. Before the stress test Taffer showed, in his own words, the “worst” BevIntel Report he has ever seen which had a grade of F, meaning there was more liquor given away than sold during the night when Jesse was behind the counter. Taffer then challenged Jesse to utilize his skills in bringing people to The Underworld for the stress test or get fired.

The bartenders worked hard as the customers flocked the haunt until The Underworld ran out of glassware, while in the kitchen the lack of table numbers and horrible handwriting on the tickets made serving an arduous guessing game. The dance floor was devoid of people as the lights and the music failed to rouse energy. Jesse was hounded by pressure and Davis’ words almost pushed him over the edge but the bartender slowly regained his confidence and he also survived Taffer’s challenge as the girls he invited showed up that night. Afterwards Taffer surprisingly praised Jesse and pointed out the fact that management was to blame for the errors during the stress test. Taffer then convened with his experts and the trio established the blueprints for a post-apocalyptic theme that will bring The Underworld out of the deep pit it’s falling into.

When the staff returned the next morning they saw the bar’s signage with a white X mark on top of it. Inside the faux skeletons and the other haunted décor were placed on the floor and the owners eventually accepted Taffer’s plans of bringing about a zombie apocalypse on the bar. To pair with the “end of the world” concept Tony G whipped out a pizza that used canned meat on top as, according to Taffer, fresh foodstuff is virtually impossible when the world is on its knees. Davis introduced two cocktails namely the ultra-sweet The Apocalypse and the Zombie Antidote which was squirted into the mouth with a syringe. When Jesse was again tested he now showed considerable improvement and confidence.

To The End

After the renovation the undead came for the bar and brought The End to The Underworld. The outside was now bright thanks to backlighting so the place is more visible to passing vehicles. Inside the bar the cheap Halloween décor on the walls were replaced by zombie arms, nuclear symbols, metal sheets on windows, and a mural of a devastated Vegas on the bar area. The dance floor now aroused energy thanks to the new lighting and a computerized DJ booth, and the new POS system now ensured security and peace of mind for the owners who worried about the cash. A floating TurboTap system now provided The End with mugs of beer that were consistently cold, and the Thundergroup indestructible glassware will no longer have the bartenders use plastic cups for the patrons.

The new concept was a hit during the grand reopening with the staff working hard and cohesively, and Jesse showed major improvement in both attitude and mixing ability. Taffer left the bar rescued, its staff better than before, and its patrons geared for the end of the world.

The Underworld Now in 2018 – The After Bar Rescue Update

Two months later The End reported a 40% increase in sales. The reviews on Yelp were mostly positive with people loving the concept and the menu items especially the unique Zombie Antidote, although of course not everyone loved zombies hence some negative feedback on the atmosphere. The bar held various events on themed nights like karaoke, live music, and a viewing of the television series The Walking Dead.

Around March 2014 The End moved to a new location that’s only a couple of steps away from its old spot. According to a commenter the reason why the bar moved was due to the collapsed roof of the original building.

Unfortunately last February 2016 The End announced the end of its operations. A post on their Facebook page stated that they were not in agreement with the new terms of their lease extension. Many are optimistic that The End will once again open as a comment from their official page stated that they were looking into such a possibility in a different location.

As for Jaz Bender and Kristy Kaos the pair started a rehearsal studio in Las Vegas named Sound Solutions.

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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