Pro’s Sports Bar Before Bar Rescue
In 2007, Tharon Bradley decided to change tracks in his career and resigned from being a railroad worker after more than two decades. He pooled every cent he had in opening Pro’s Sports Bar in Country Club Hills, Illinois. The bar welcomed flocks upon flocks of clientele during the first three months. However, the success didn’t last long as Bradley was caught under pressure. To make things worse, he was hospitalized and had to take some time out to recover.
While he was recuperating, Bradley hired five managers to keep Pro’s afloat. Unfortunately, this proved to be an unwise decision which Bradley found out upon his return to the bar. None of the managers gave him any respect and treated him as if he was an employee. Bradley tried to take matters into his own hands by micromanaging the employees, but the latter were frustrated by his transformation into a control freak.
Pro’s was submerged in a million bucks worth of debt, and all that Bradley had was an insane amount of disrespect coming from his managers. With two months left and a power struggle that threatens to destroy everything, Bradley had no other choice but to call for Jon Taffer and Bar Rescue for help.
Pro’s Sports Bar on Bar Rescue
From the outside, Pro’s Sports Bar resembled a hardware store no thanks to its signage. The interior barely had energy despite being touted as a sports bar. For recon, Taffer deployed two spies hailing from sports website Barstool Sports and who were also Chicago residents. The pair were served with the “Pro’s Punch”, the bar’s signature drink which was a concoction of eight different kinds of booze. The fried catfish they ordered was only microwaved which ensured that its insides were raw. On the other side of the bar area, bartender Nina was arguing with a rude customer, and tensions quickly escalated into a shower of expletives.
Taffer and his experts entered the bar. Mixologist Lisamarie Joyce and chef Tiffany Derry went to their fields of expertise while the Bar Rescue host talked to Bradley. In the bar area, the soda gun was caked with cockroach feces, while in the kitchen the fridge was filled with expired food. The next day Taffer returned and had Bradley admit to his staff all of his problems. The revelations served as an eye-opener to the managers and they pledged their support to the bar’s owner.
While training commenced, Taffer sat with Bradley and two ex-partners. The pair revealed Bradley’s control issues which became the reason why they left Pro’s. They also suggested that Bradley let go of his attitude if he wants to keep the bar’s doors opened. Joyce taught the staff how to create a punch that is not overflowing with alcohol, with a mix of orange and pineapple juice. Derry instructed kitchen staff Irma the right way of preparing fried catfish using the fryer instead of the microwave.
For the stress test, Taffer assigned Bradley to the benches to observe and not do anything. The managers were given 20 minutes each to perform their managerial duties while the others worked as bartenders. Taffer kept tabs of the food and drink sales made by each manager to determine who truly deserved the title. At the end of the test, Bobby made an impressive $627 which earned him the label of general manager. Nina was fired for her attitude problems during the test. She then left the bar after telling Bradley to kill himself.
The next day Taffer was met with attitude problems from Irma, who clearly disrespected Bradley. The bar owner did not hesitate to fire her on the spot as she refused to change. Afterwards, manager Sarah volunteered to replace Irma as the new kitchen staff. Taffer then revealed his blueprints for the bar’s new concept which involved a steak concept with a complementary cocktail program. Joyce presented guest-friendly cocktails like the Cicero Sidecar and the PNPL (an abbreviation of pineapple). Derry whipped out three different beef cuts for the new steak dishes and explained the Maillard reaction. The said chemical reaction occurs when food is cooked at a temperature of at least 300 degrees. This causes the simple sugars and amino acids in the beef to rearrange, giving it a brown color and improving both its aroma and taste.
After the renovation Pro’s Sports Bar was turned into BR Steak Bar & Steakhouse. The signage now showcased white letters against a black background which made the brand a lot more noticeable. The BR stood for whatever the employees thought it should stand for, from Bradley to Bar Rescue. The interior was given a total makeover with dark walls and contemporary furniture. The bar no longer lacked energy thanks to the Orange Door entertainment system in the DJ booth which was packed with around 50,000 songs, coupled by a completely rewired sound system.
Pro’s Sports Bar Now in 2023 – The After Bar Rescue Update
Taffer and his team carried out a thorough evaluation of the bar’s operations, finances, and customer service practices and identified areas where improvements were necessary. The bar’s decor and layout were revamped to create a more inviting and comfortable space for patrons, and a new menu was introduced, featuring a variety of sports bar staples with a contemporary twist.
Not only that but the bar’s staff also received intensive training in customer service and mixology, aimed at enhancing the overall customer experience.
Within a few months, they saw an improvement in their public image. By addressing the issues that were negatively impacting the business, they were able to reestablish its reputation as a popular local hangout. Customers have also praised the new look and feel of the bar, and the improved service standards have been well-received.
At the end of the day, the intervention had a significant impact on Pro’s Sports Bar. With help from Taffer and his team, the establishment was able to turn around its fortunes and they are still in business as of 2023.
If anything, their journey serves as a testament to the effectiveness of professional intervention in reviving struggling businesses. At the end of the day, Pro’s Sports Bar experienced a significant turnaround, paving the way for its potential to once again become a thriving sports bar.