On tonight’s Spike “Bar Rescue,” Jon Taffer and his crew came to Southfield, Michigan, on this episode titled, “Boss Lady Blues.” Dr. Tamika Scott was a psychologist for many years, but when faced with several tragedies in her life, including the loss of a daughter, she decided to take a different path. She always loved jazz and decided to open a jazz club. In 2014, she opened Jazz Katz and brought in her parents to cover for her weakness in business experience. Tamika’s lack of business experience reverted back to helping people rather than her club stay in business. Her employees’ lack of experience drove the customers away, and her feeling that her mother was too hard on the employees; while she was much too soft. Now losing $8,000 a week, she is about one month from losing it all, so she agreed to bust open the books and put in a call to Jon Taffer and “Bar Rescue.”
As Jon sat in the SUV, he told veteran mixologist Phil Wills and expert chef Anthony Lamas about the venue and neither identified with the lack of enthusiasm the exterior lacked. He also told them that there were five other jazz clubs in the Detroit area, and that jazz was only responsible for two percent of the music sales.
For the recon, Jon brought in Robert Hurst, jazz bassist and seven-time Grammy winner. Robert could not see or hear the music and when the bartender finally paid attention to them, their drinks were horrible. When the bartender was about to throw punches with another patron, Jon came in. When Jon confronted the bartender, he got the same crappy attitude. He then confronted Tamika and told her that as a psychologist, she knew how to treat a patient with something toxic in their lives by cutting it out. Jon then told her that the bar was her patient, and she had to remove all toxicity from the bar. She then fired the bartender, who gave her the same attitude.
The next day Jon met with the rest of the staff, and they all gave their opinion as to why they were failing. Jon asked why they were failing, and the staff had several reasons. When they went into the kitchen, it was a haven for bacteria and Isaac; the cook stated that he was not a dishwasher. Behind the bar, there was very little room to work and nothing was being done correctly. No wonder why people waited 45 minutes for a drink.
Phil started bar training immediately. The problem with the kitchen caused food to not be served for the stress test. Jon was only bringing 25 people in for the stress test that would last just a half an hour. With no food, some people were disappointed, but after the test was over and the bar was closed; Jon sat with Tamika and her parents. With her mother bickering at Tamika in front of the staff and customers, it demeaned her credibility. Jon convinced her that whatever she had to say would be done in private.
Phil made some new drinks and gave them appropriate names, and the bartenders liked them. When Jon introduced them to the new name Back Beat, and explained that the back beat of a song is what hooks one on that particular melody. When they saw the interior, they all were thrilled at the new lounge. There was a piano that was the focal point and could easily be adapted for a jazz ensemble, blues or just a piano player. Jon’s work was done and he kissed Tamika goodbye.
Six weeks after the relaunch, Back Beat has grossed only $7,614 in food and beverage sales and continues to struggle. Tamika fired an employee in an effort to hold her staff accountable. However, Karen and Tamika continue to struggle with communication. However, thanks to Jon and his crew on this episode of “Bar Rescue,” they have a beautiful venue may be able to work it out and make a go of it.