O’Kelleys before Bar Rescue
O’Kelleys was opened in St. Louis, Missouri, in 2011, by businesswoman Andrea Ervin. It was her second business as she already had an Italian restaurant, and owning two establishments proved to be quite profitable. O’Kelleys was frequented by a lot of customers and easily made around $75 grand a month. However, Ervin’s restaurant manager suddenly decided to quit, forcing her to focus her attention away from the bar. Longtime restaurant employee Kim was assigned as bar manager while Ervin’s nephew Cameron worked as head bartender.
Unfortunately, Cameron was best described as a crazy bartender who became uncontrollable when he tasted booze (which he defends by saying customers wanted energy). Cameron also lacked any respect towards Kim, claiming that he would only listen to Ervin. As the two frequently argued with each other, the customers were repelled by their hostilities until O’Kelleys barely had any clientele visiting.
Now, the bar no longer made any income and instead bled money on a monthly basis. Aside from an unruly staff and a failing bar, Ervin was also left with $700 grand worth of debt. Her restaurant risked closure as well as the profits from that establishment were used to keep O’Kelleys afloat. With the clock ticking on her finances, Ervin has decided to call for Jon Taffer and Bar Rescue for help.
O’Kelleys on Bar Rescue
Taffer summons Ervin to his SUV so she could watch what happens inside the four walls of her bar. Her belief that Cameron was a hardworking employee was squashed when Taffer showed her footage of the man’s tomfoolery while at work. When Taffer’s recon spies arrived for a drink, Cameron poured them cups of beer that tasted flat. The bar’s cook Anthony microwaved frozen burger patties for the spies, an act which screamed extreme laziness, while the plate of rib nachos he prepared looked horrendous. Ervin has had enough when she saw Cameron goofing around with another customer, forcing her to walk into the bar and unleash a profanity-laden tirade upon her nephew. She also confronted Kim and told her to establish rules, while Cameron was ordered to respect the manager as his boss.
The next day, Taffer returned to O’Kelleys with his experts namely mixologist Shawn Ford and chef Mike Ferraro. Ford inspected the bar area and found out that the bartenders were using wooden golf tees as a fruit fly stopgap on the alcohol bottles. The tees were also painted which basically made the drinks toxic. In the kitchen, Ferraro revealed that Anthony lacked any formal training as he was using bacteria-infested nacho cheese and also practiced improper food storage. Kim admitted that cleaning up the bar was in her list but she never got it done, while Cameron straight up said that he was drinking hence he was oblivious.
Afterwards, the experts began their training on the staff for the stress test. Ferraro taught Anthony how to create a burger that went well with beer. He also stressed the importance of not refreezing meat as the act makes it dry and gives it a compromised taste. At the bar area, Ford instructed the bartenders how to pour beer properly.
For the stress test, Taffer gave the bartenders a $50 advance tip and instructed Ford to take $5 for every mistake they made. Right off the bat they had one too many mistakes no thanks to pouring beer with way too much head. Kim was moving around like a headless chicken as she didn’t know how she could help. Taffer invited two vice presidents from brewing company Anheuser-Busch who gave invaluable advice to Ervin regarding the importance of clean beer glasses. As for Kim, she was forced to walk out of the war zone after being grilled by Taffer for her erroneous order-taking ways. On a positive note, Cameron showed massive improvement on both his attitude and pours which earned him praise from Ford.
After the test, Ervin sat with her staff members and together they decided that a chain of command was very much needed. The next day Taffer and Ervin agreed that Tina, the bartender who’s working very hard since day one, is eligible as a manager to replace Kim. The Bar Rescue host also mentioned that he wanted to link the new incarnation of O’Kelleys to the history of the city. Ford introduced cocktails like The 1904 and The Cam Slam, while Ferraro taught Anthony a rib dish that incorporated barbecue and Budweiser into the recipe.
After the renovation, O’Kelleys was turned into Pastimes on 4th – A St. Louis Pub. The bar had a brightly-lit exterior thanks to red lamps that illuminated its gray windows. The interior had numerous murals that depicted the history of St. Louis, while the brick walls were given warmth by strategic lighting. The bar area had stools made of custom copper that was aged to make it look antique. Three POS systems ensured that bartenders are even more efficient than before.
O’Kelleys Now in 2018 – The After ‘Bar Rescue’ Update
Pastimes on 4th is still open this year.
Their Yelp page has no reviews whatsoever. They also have no presence on Facebook (apparently deactivated their pages). What little reviews exist online point out that the bar had a good atmosphere, great food, and was a nice place for a pre-game hangout.