The Holding Company before Bar Rescue
The Browne sisters combined their savings in 2014 and purchased The Holding Company, a 40-year-old bar located in San Francisco, California, as its owner was no longer making money. Despite being initially confident towards their new business, the four sisters clashed with each other due to their conflicting plans for the bar. Their business meetings usually ended up in heated arguments. This resulted in The Holding Company having conflicting themes which left patrons confused as to what kind of bar it really was.
With customers repelled by the ambivalent watering hole, the sisters were steadily losing around $6 grand a month, and accumulated a staggering $600 grand worth of debt. With one wrong move, all the hard-earned money the ladies invested into the bar will no doubt go down the drain, hence their decision to call for Jon Taffer and Bar Rescue for help.
The Holding Company on Bar Rescue
The Holding Company is situated in the Embarcadero Center, a commercial complex in the midst of San Francisco’s financial district. The Center alone was populated by roughly 17,000 employees, yet the bar was barely visited by people. From the outside, The Holding Company hung signs that broadcasted being a saloon and another which indicated that they were an Irish bar. Taffer’s experts namely chef Tiffany Derry and mixologist Mia Mastroianni performed the recon and got a taste of the bar’s sour cocktails and bland dishes. The sisters refused to accept the criticism on their products and even defended the mediocrity of their bar.
To let the sisters cool off after another fiery argument, Taffer decided to return the next morning instead of entering the bar that night. He had them open the place for lunch to test how the bar fared in serving many customers in less than an hour. The ticket times in the kitchen took too long which wasn’t ideal for lunch, not to mention the plates they served didn’t look appealing. The sisters also lacked experience in such a fast-paced which resulted in confusion when the orders piled up. To try and set a working system, Taffer assigned the eldest sister Marissa as the manager since she’s the only Browne with experience in managing a bar.
Afterwards, Taffer subjected The Holding Company to a happy hour stress test. The bartenders were unable to create more than two drinks at a time, and the glassware was not sufficient for the large volume of customers. Marissa couldn’t stop herself from working behind the bar despite being assigned as manager, and she was also unable to communicate effectively with her sisters. Taffer gave her an ultimatum: if she didn’t stop bartending, he will cease the rescue. On a positive note Danielle, the youngest of the Browne sisters, showcased an improved performance. Seeing that the stress test was obviously headed towards failure, Taffer had the bar shut down prematurely.
The next day the Bar Rescue host sat down with the sisters to create a working system for The Holding Company. He removed Marissa from the managerial position and put her as the director of operations, while Danielle now served as general manager. Second oldest sister Leona was assigned as an assistant general manager, and middle sister Natalie was tasked in the financial part of the business. The sisters then promised to stop fighting each other and respect the decisions of one another.
For the new concept, Mastroianni introduced cocktails that used egg whites. The egg whites contain proteins that unravel when shaken in a cocktail mixer. Air bubbles attach to the stretched-out proteins which results in foaming, and as a result the cocktail becomes creamier and smoother. In the kitchen, Derry whipped out a fresh salad dish that can be prepared in a matter of minutes.
After the renovation, The Holding Company was turned into a gastropub named Patriot House. The bar boasted an all-American brand with a matching logo that got rid of The Holding Company’s inconsistent identity. The interior screamed sophistication with new furniture, carpeting, and smooth wooden countertops. Décor related to American history hung on the walls like paintings and artifacts. Patriot House now had two areas namely an event space with its own counter and tables, and the main bar featured a classic colonial theme with state seals of the thirteen colonies featured at the top of the bar area.
The Holding Company Now in 2018 – The After Bar Rescue Update
Patriot House is still open with a decent amount of positive reviews on their Facebook and Yelp pages. For 2018, their reviews on Yelp were mostly four to five stars, with only three low ratings. People noted that the atmosphere was lively, the customer service was good, and there were days when the bar was jampacked with clientele. However, some noted that the concept did not fit San Francisco and better suited a location somewhere on the East Coast.
The bar holds events like Pub Quiz Wednesdays, and viewing parties for sports events. They also host food and drink specials in certain days.