Celebrities Sports Grill before Bar Rescue
Brothers Max and Ryke Zahir were both enlisted in the U.S. military and were deployed overseas as an attachment with Special Forces. In 2012, Ryke was injured in Afghanistan after an enemy grenade blew up and damaged his eyes. The brothers returned to America afterwards and, since they find it hard to go back to the force, Max decided to open his own bar as he already had experience in restaurants and bars. Celebrities Sports Grill in Yucaipa, California, then opened its doors with Ryke as co-owner. The bar easily raked in $200,000 on a monthly basis as the patrons consistently flooded in, and Max decided that he should share his blessings to the community.
In 2015, Max uploaded a video on the Internet where he was shown giving food to a homeless veteran. He also started a fundraiser to help homeless vets and raised around $20 grand. Unfortunately, the man on the video was not actually a veteran and this attracted lots of negative online backlash. A lot of people also demanded that their donations should be returned. Max insisted that he was targeted by false accusations, and eventually he fought back with harsh words both online and offline. This resulted in a dip on their sales as patrons didn’t return to the bar. To make matters worse, they were also running out of food and drink items to sell.
Celebrities Sports Grill accumulated a massive debt of $750 grand. Max also tried to sell the bar online but to no avail. With no other choice left, the brothers decided to call for Jon Taffer and Bar Rescue for help.
Celebrities Sports Grill on Bar Rescue
From his SUV, Taffer inspected the interior of Celebrities Sports Grill and found the décor to be very confusing. He also read some of the insults that Max made on social media which of course did not bring a very good reputation to the bar. Taffer summoned the people who were insulted by Max online and sent them as the recon spies for that night. They were served awful drinks made by bartenders who seemed to be unaware on how to properly mix cocktails. The employees were also continuously serving cocktails without even getting the payment of the customers first, so most of the patrons were basically drinking for free. As some of the customers were bailing, Max comped their orders just to make them stay. The owner’s temper was also steadily rising as the complaints piled up, forcing Taffer to go into the bar and teach Max a lesson on how to be a proper manager.
The Bar Rescue host was very vocal about how much of a failure Max was. He also ordered the owner to apologize to everyone but Max thought that it would be better to hurl profanities at everyone, including the ladies. The next day, Taffer returned for a meeting with the staff and learned that they all had very little love for Max. Eventually, he humbled up to his staff as Taffer made him realize how much he was hated, not to mention that he was barely making any money as well.
After the meeting, the training with the experts commenced. Master mixologist Rob Floyd taught the bartenders how to properly mix by using a mixer filled with rice so they can listen to the rhythm indicating that they are properly shaking. In the kitchen, master chef Ryan Scott introduced the concept of great food that is also good for the customer’s pocket. He taught the cooks how to create a scrumptious burger that does not cost too much.
During the stress test, Taffer instructed the clientele (including Yucaipa mayor Denise Hoyt) to vote if the bar was worth rescuing or not. The staff earned negative comments from the customers no thanks to the sluggish pace in serving the drinks. The tickets on the bar piled up due to the lack of an efficient system. Max was trying his best to be calm as he helped around, thus earning him some praise from his workers. The owner was also actively making amends with the community as he shook hands with the customers and interacted with them. At the end of the test, 85% decided that Celebrities deserved to be rescued.
The next day, Floyd introduced cocktails such as The Podium Punch and The Overtime. Both of the drinks took advantage of perceived value as they looked fancy, but they are actually affordable. In the kitchen, Scott whipped out dishes tailored for customers during non-peak hours like bacon fondue. Taffer sat down with Max and had the owner put the donated money in the Semper Fi Fund.
After the renovation, Celebrities Sports Grill was turned into The Victory Bar & Restaurant. Taffer decided that a new brand was fitting for the bar so the not-so-colorful past can be finally put behind. The interior was decked with new furniture and warm colors on the walls. The bar area looked a lot better with shiny wooden countertops and fresh fruit on display alongside bottles of liquor. Five new POS systems guaranteed that there will be an efficient system from now on.
Celebrities Sports Grill Now in 2018 – The After ‘Bar Rescue’ Update
Unfortunately, the bar closed even before the Bar Rescue episode aired, and only lasted a month after the makeover.
The Victory Bar & Restaurant amassed a lot of bad reviews without even any positive ones. Many commented that the place had a negative vibe and it felt that only the outdoor sign was changed. The workers looked unhappy and some were even unfamiliar with the menu. Some of the employees left comments on Facebook that they were unpaid and suddenly “terminated”. A lot of the locals too mentioned that the bar got what they deserved.
The brothers own another bar named Celebrities in San Bernardino, California. It is still open and has many positive reviews, although there are still negative remarks every now and then about the owners. A comment on the Facebook page of this branch mentioned that the Yucaipa branch closed as Max wanted to focus his energies on a single location so he could be with his family.
Click here to visit the Facebook page of Celebrities in San Bernardino.