Air date: June 21, 2015
Season 4, Episode 20: Sticky Situation
Location: Park Merced, CA
Description: A family-owned bar risks shutting down when a son’s excessive drinking creates bad management decisions that sends their profits down the drain and attracts some x-rated characters.
It all started in 2011, when Tano Basso, an electrician decided to open Park 77 and take back up the family tradition of owning a bar and restaurant business. For help with funding, he asked his older brother Wayne – and nephews Angelo and Tommy, to help run the bar. Each has an equal 25% share, making Park 77 a true family affair.
Park 77 is a 4,5000 square foot facility that features 4 pool tables, a bar, and large outdoor patio. It is located in the coveted Park Merced neighborhood, just south of San Francisco State University Park. Park 77 experienced success in its beginning stages but soon started to fail after Tommy and Tano pulled back their involvement due to other business responsibilities. They turned the day-to-day management to the inexperienced Angelo.
Angelo made some bad decisions (giving away free drinks, being drunk on the job, etc.) and the bar is now in almost 200,000 worth of debt. Additional issues that have caused this bar to fail include:
- An ugly bar sign
- An underutilized and uninviting patio that can be seen from the street
- An incident involving an adult movie being shot on premise during business hours in front of guests
During the Recon, Jon sent in two young women, Gabrielle and Krista, to get their opinion on the bar. They ordered a margarita and Mai-tai; both of which were made incorrectly. When Angelo came over and gave the women a shot, he took one also, without thinking twice. Jon noticed that he drank the entire time they were watching.
The next morning, after Angelo slept out his bender in the bar, Jon assembled the staff to give his critique. He showed Wayne the video of what occurred the night before, which visibly disappointed him. Jon also told Wayne about the adult film and called Angelo pathetic; poor guy didn’t even understand why.
Next, Jon mentioned the statistics from Bartender which said that, in the past three days, they’d poured approximately $16,000 worth of alcoholic beverages and gave away about $7,500; that’s almost half of their potential revenue. In a year, the total for this deficit equals to a staggering $360,000!
To turn things around, Jon recommended a renovation as well as the rebranding of Park77 to the The Lister; so named for the founder and first president of San Francisco State University. Jon also updated the venue with new signage that can be seen from the street, added atmospheric lights to throughout the establishment, and renovated the back bar.
These new changes were designed to provide the failing bar with the perception of being contemporary and sophisticated. To attract the target demographic of The Lister, women between the ages of 21 and 27, Jon added a dance floor. He also introduced the concept of the Triple Butt Funnel, the first ever seen on Bar Rescue, to create a situation where patrons are forced to interact with each other.
Featured cocktail: The Mister Lister Mai Tai
Expert mixologist Russell Davis named the Mai Tai as the Lister’s signature drink due to its origin in the Bay area from Trader Vick’s in Oakland, CA.
¾ o z. Captain Morgan’s Original spiced rum
¾ oz. orange curacao
¾ oz Myers Dark Rum
¾ oz lime sour
½ oz orgeat
1 fresh lime squeezed
1 mint sprig
Combine all liquid ingredients in cocktail shaker. Shake well and pour over ice. Add mint sprig for garnish
The Result: After the Relaunch
Opening night was a massive hit. The dance floor was packed with women and the bar was extremely busy. In addition, Angelo was sober and Tano and Tommy were more organized than they’d been. Fast forward to six weeks after the relaunch and the revenue of The Lister shot up 20%; making almost $74K during that time. Angelo is still sober and Tommy is now the assistant manager.