Jazz Katz Needs Serious Therapy

This year, 6,500 failing bars nationwide will close their doors for good. If things don’t change soon, Jazz Katz in Southfield, Michigan will become just another statistic. For years, psychologist Dr. Tamika Scott had made a career out of helping others. Despite Tamika’s good will towards others, she was faced with several tragedies in her personal life. After the death of her 3-month-old daughter, Tamika’s health was negatively impacted by stress. During her second stay in hospital, she took stock of the things she wanted to do and, as a passionate jazz aficionado, decided she wanted to own a jazz club as a form of therapy for herself and the community. In 2014, Tamika opened Jazz Katz, bringing in her parents to help cover her lack of business experience. Jazz Katz took off and was an immediate success with the locals, at one point generating $30,000 a month. Unfortunately, Tamika’s attitude towards hiring employees was geared more towards helping them than her business. Soon the staff’s inexperience drove customers away. As business struggled to recover, Tamika and her mother disagreed on how to rectify the problems with their staff. Now, Jazz Katz is losing $8,000 a month, Tamika is in debt $335,000 in debt, and she’s only one month from calling time’s up on this therapy session. Out of time and out of options, Tamika has agreed to pull back the doors, bust open the books and make a call for help to Bar Rescue.

As part of his expert team, Jon Taffer brings in Phil Wills. Phil’s experience working in jazz venues and expertise in training bartenders makes him the perfect fit to get this staff in tune with the art of refined cocktails. For the kitchen, Jon brings in Chef Anthony Lamas. This award-winning chef, known for his innovative dishes, is the ideal candidate to jazz up any lackluster food program. As his spy, Jon sends renowned musician Robert Hurst into Jazz Katz, a 3,600 square-foot jazz club grossing only $16 per square foot in sales, $134 less than the industry’s break-even point. Robert Hurst is a jazz bassist with 7 Grammy Awards, 4 Emmy Awards, and 3 platinum-selling albums to his name. During recon, bartender Dre ignores Robert, pours from a bottle with no pour spout that was being kept in a sink, and makes Robert’s order with his back to him. Dre also walks out from behind the bar to argue with an unhappy guest. When Jon enters the venue to confront the bartender about his unprofessional behavior, Dre argues with him. Tamika ends up firing Dre for his unacceptable and unprofessional behavior.

The Sciences

  • Jazz music accounts for only about 2% of the marketplace. That 2% goes roughly only twice a month.
  • Guests like to know what’s going into the creation of their cocktails. A bartender should never turn his or her back on the guest when making their drink.
  • When taste buds register a bitter flavor, the brain sends warning signals triggering increases in the secretion of saliva, gastric acid and digestive enzymes in preparation of combating potential toxins. Today’s bitter aperitifs rely on the same primal reflex – The Bitter Reflex – to stimulate a person’s digestive system in anticipation of consuming a meal.

The Relaunch

Jazz Katz Café is renamed Back Beat Piano Bar & Cocktails. With jazz representing such a small portion of the marketplace, the name and piano bar theme allow the venue to offer multiple types of music, appealing to more potential guests. The piano acts as a centerpiece: the pianist can interact with both the bar and the dining room. Six weeks after relaunch, Back Beat has only managed to gross $7,614 in sales. Unfortunately, Tamika continues to struggle with inexperienced staff members and poor attitudes.

To find out more about Bar Rescue episodes make sure to check out Spike TV.

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