Established as New York’s 5th Burrow, Staten Island is home to a community of over 55,000 with housing prices ranging from $600,000 to $1.5 million. Occupying a corner on one of Staten Island’s busiest boulevards rests Rhythm & Brews, a beat down bar boasting little bravado or appeal to the wealthy breed on the Island.
Twin brothers and co-owners, Steve and Erik bought Rhythm & Brews for $50,000 and after a few months, the twins quickly realized they hit the jackpot; on average the bar was making $80,000 a month. As their stroke of prosperity continued, Erik and Steve brought in younger brother Stu to help manage the bar’s success.
The brothers rode their wheel of fortune until 2009 when a rowdy biker club took over the bar as their headquarters causing the bar’s image to suffer which forced the young Staten Island locals out leaving Rhythm & Brews in the dark. Lacking the courage to take back their bar, Erik and Steve were run over by the bikers creating a total free for all.
After $700,000 went into the bar, car repossessions, foreclosures and Stu’s strike of homelessness, the three brothers finally made a call for help.
There are many problems Taffer faces when attempting to rescue this bar. The bartenders lack training; there is no drink list or wine at the bar. Without sophisticated options like wine and other spirits, it is impossible to appeal to the market.
The kitchen is completely unsanitary. There is insolation latched onto the freezer, which contains open food products. Insolation is made out of fiber glass. Fiber glass is made by melting glass and drawing it into strands. Those fibers get into the food and then they serve it to customers, they could kill someone. Pablo, the cook, lacks training and while there is a pizza oven, he does not know how to correctly make a pizza. There is no ticket system and no communication.
The two main problems with Rhythm & Brews are the complete disconnect between the market and the bikers who have caused said disconnect. The bar is not welcoming to women due to the bikers consistently out and inside. The customers have no respect for the owners or staff; people go into the kitchen and behind the bar without anyone saying anything.
The three brothers need to toughen up; they lack the confidence to run a successful bar. Taffer has to make them care about themselves and their business.
Taffer brings in renowned bartender Kate Gerwin to hold trainings behind the bar. Due to the wealthy market, wine and spirits are a necessity to survive. Gerwin brushes the staff up on their wine knowledge and introduces several cocktails that customers will love.
The unsanitary cooler was removed from the kitchen and Chef Josh Capon was brought in to train Pablo. In order to utilize the pizza oven, Capon introduces Pablo to the flatbread, high profit, easy and delicious.
Erik, Steve and Stu were instructed to keep the bikers out of the bar and with difficulty; the three manned up and did just that. In addition, the couch, which Stu had been sleeping on for the past two years, was removed from the basement in order to further motivate the youngest brother.
Taffer transformed Rhythm & Brews into a high class cheese and wine bar called 5th & Vine. The bar was redone so that guests will perceive value which makes it easier to get them to spend more. 5th & Vine has a lengthy wine selection, cocktails and a menu of small bites that is to die for.
Six weeks later, things are going great for 5th & Vine. The bar now fills up every night. Sales have increased by 60% and no bikers that are let into the bar enforced by a dress code was implemented. The guests of 5th & Vine are nicely dressed and classy. Stu is no longer homeless and the brothers have never been closer.