St8 Pub before Bar Rescue
Sean Al-Bawwab, a resident of Englewood, Colorado, always wanted to open his own bar after working as a bartender for 15 years. His dream was fulfilled in 2015 when an individual handed him the keys to a failing bar, along with a $10 grand loan to help him get started in the business. All he had to do was pay the $10k and the bills on time.
State Pub, or St8, was highly profitable when it opened its doors. However, Sean turned the establishment into his personal playground and drank obscene amounts of liquor instead of doing his job as an owner. He even proudly proclaimed that no one will ever see him sober. To make matters worse, he never paid even a cent for his drinking spree. He was also unable to pay for the rent and the $10 grand he owed as he just drank away all potential profits. Moreover, the owner’s drunken behavior not only drove away customers and staff with tons of F-bombs, but also led to the neglect of the bar.
With his lease unpaid for 13 straight months, Sean’s landlord has finally had enough. He was given five weeks to pay everything he owed or else St8 Pub will be closed for good. With no other option left, the owner decided to summon Jon Taffer and Bar Rescue for help.
St8 Pub on Bar Rescue
Taffer arrives at St8 Pub along with his experts, namely mixologist Shawn Ford and chef Vic Vegas. They examine the bar from the outside and notice that it doesn’t have anything that could entice customers into entering the establishment. The food and drink menu was also placed on the corner of the building for no rhyme or reason. Inside, the place also lacked any personality thanks to conflicting colors and the absence of décor. Also, Sean’s mother Pamela was working hard while her son was goofing around in a drunken stupor. Their lone employee Caitlin manned the bar as Sean axed her colleagues beforehand.
For the recon, the Bar Rescue host deployed two beer aficionados considering that St8 Pub focuses on that kind of beverage. Sean showcases irresponsible vending by serving an Imperial IPA in a mason jar instead of a snifter, thus over-portioning the beer which has a strong alcohol content. The owner also practiced habits unfit for a hospitality professional like refusing to wash his hands after taking out the trash and being well-groomed. When the recon spies ordered sloppy joes, Sean prepared the food with mystery meat placed in a container that was obviously not replaced for several days. Not to mention the disgusting amounts of grease dripping on the kitchen appliances.
Seeing that the food was a glaring health hazard, Taffer and his experts entered the bar before the spies could eat the sloppy joes. Sean still insisted that nobody got sick because of his unhygienic food preparation methods which earned him some verbal lashing from both Taffer and Vegas. In the bar area, Ford revealed dead fruit flies inside the liquor bottles in front of the customers. The master mixologist was also furious at Sean’s extreme irresponsibility in serving draft beer. The Bar Rescue trio left the premises after instructing Pamela to talk some sense into her son.
The following day, Taffer returned and sat down with Sean, Pamela, and Caitlin. After making Sean realize the gravity of his situation, Taffer suggested that the owner talk with the landlord to ask for an extension on the lease, and fortunately the latter agreed. Afterwards, Sean hired a couple of staff on the spot to fill the gaping void in manpower. To prepare for that night’s stress test, Ford trained the new bartenders with basic cocktails since they cannot use the beer tap as it was too filthy. In the kitchen, Vegas stressed the importance of wearing gloves in preparing meals. He also introduced salty snacks that are also quick to prepare which goes well with the beverages.
During the stress test, Sean was having difficulty in communicating with the staff. Some of the new bartenders also performed poorly, no thanks to a lack of confidence and proper training. The kitchen was swamped with orders since the staff assigned there were crippled with disorganization and slow cooking times. Eventually, some of the customers walked out of St8 Pub since they didn’t get their orders on time, and Taffer had no other choice but to shut it down.
The next day, the Bar Rescue host met with Pamela and Sean in the bar to give the owner some pep talk. Ford then tested Sean and the bartenders by making them identify beers through smell while blindfolded. He also taught them how to create beer cocktails like The Stop and Look Around Shandy. In the kitchen, Vegas introduced a spanking new and delicious chip topper that doesn’t use expensive meat.
After the renovation, St8 Pub was transformed into Downstairs Bar and Kitchen. The exterior now had bright orange colors that make the bar pop and will surely attract people passing by. The interior was built to exude a feeling that you are in your basement with adult magazines posted on the walls, cozy furniture, and rugs on the floor. Tabletops matched the wall paneling, cocktail bottles situated above a pile of bricks, and retro decorations adorn the shelves. The host also gave them a lifetime subscription to the bartending app Partender and Taffer Virtual Teaching.
St8 Pub Now in 2018 – The After Bar Rescue Update
The bar received only a handful of reviews in 2017. Most of them praised the laidback atmosphere, the selection of craft beers, and the food.
However, around August 2017, there were comments on the bar’s Facebook page that mentioned the arrival of new management. Later on, Downstairs Bar and Kitchen closed its doors and was replaced by The Englewood Tavern.