This year, over 6,500 failing bars nationwide will close their doors for good. If things don’t change soon for Molly Malone’s in Ramona, California will become just another statistic. In 2006, long-time bartender Bob Isaacson bought Molly Malone’s. Lacking the finances, Bob convinced his parents to cash in $350,000 of their retirement to buy the bar. The first year in operation under Bob, the bar made $700, which he promptly blew to throw an employee Christmas party. Struggling to make the transition from bartender to bar owner, Bob was unable to make Molly Malone’s profitable. As it stands now, Bob’s parents are now in debt to the tune of $680,000 and will have to close the bar down in just 6 months. Seeking additional help, Bob hired his girlfriend Rayne to manage the bar. Bob’s refusal to behave like an owner and operator, make the bar a profitable business, and his constant drinking, is putting a strain on the couple’s personal relationship. As Bob and Rayne’s relationship sours, sales continue to plummet and the staff began to take their frustrations out on each other. With a dysfunctional staff and a lack of leadership, Molly Malone’s is now losing $6,000 a month. Unable to move their relationship forward and fearing for their financial future, Bob and Rayne have agreed to pull back the doors, bust open the books and make the call for help to Bar Rescue.
Jon Taffer performs recon on Molly Malone’s with 2 top Bar Rescue experts. For the bar, Jon calls in Mia Mastroianni, head mixologist at the world famous Soho House. Mia’s sharp knowledge and expertise can bring a touch of class to any bickering bar staff. For the kitchen, Jon brings in Irish chef Gavan Murphy. This rustic-rooted chef can crank out dishes in a hurry, transforming mediocre bar food into money making cuisine. At the time of recon, the trio feels as though the bar looks like a used car lot from the outside, with Gavan noting that nothing about it indicates that it’s an Irish pub. During recon of Molly Malone’s – a 2,300 square-foot Irish bar that features 21 beers on tap, 2 service stations in the middle of the bar, and a tiki-design back patio – two of the bartenders (Tara and Danielle) got into an ugly shouting and name-calling match in front of the bar’s guests. Rayne attempted to step in as bar manager while Bob drank and refused to engage with the situation.
- Under Bob’s ownership and at the time of Molly Malone’s rescue, the food costs were at 44%. Food costs should be at 30% at the very highest.
- For the first time ever, whiskey is trending higher than vodka among women.
- Excessive foam pouring from beer taps, which was happening at Molly Malone’s, indicates that the C02 pressure is off or that the beer lines are dirty.
- The wells behind the bar at Molly Malone’s were located in the middle. Service stations should always be located at the ends of the bar to maximize seating capacity.
- During recon, Mia noticed that the supposed exclusive signature drink, Purple Rain, was prepared by the staff by marrying ingredients inside a brand’s vodka bottle. Marrying bottles is illegal. Use a separate vessel labeled with the date the beverage was created for signature, pre-batched cocktails.
- Gavan noticed that the kitchen placed weights atop the burgers on the grill. Weights on burgers push the juices out and produce a dry burger patty.
- The human eye scan threshold for reading and retention is 7 to 9 characters. The words on signs should not exceed 7 to 9 characters for safe and effective reading when people are driving.
Because Ramona is a blue collar area with a country western demographic, Jon decides to tap into the roots of the area and do away with the Irish bar concept. Instead, he creates a weight station concept and theme. To avoid a disconnect between the bar concept and the food and beverage menus, cocktails and a whisky stew are served in mason jars. Molly Malone’s is renamed Way Point Saloon. Bob and Rayne are engaged and have set a wedding date. Just 6 weeks after the relaunch of Molly Malone’s as Way Point Saloon, food sales are up 40% and beverage sales have increased by 25%.