Mary's Outpost is Thirsty for Some BusinessMay 4, 2014 By: Mary-Kate Dunphy
In 2009, Bill Klingbeil teamed up with his long term friend Joe Reina to buy Mary’s Outpost in Grand Prairie, TX. At first, Bill’s outgoing personality drew customers to the bar; Mary’s was making $4,000 a month without even trying. Bartender Kimmie Brown was instantly smitten with Bill; in 2012, the couple married and Kimmie took over as the bar’s General Manager.
The honeymoon did not last long, soon after the marriage, Bill began to ignore Kimmie and pay attention to his female customers and workers. Kimmie soon grew uncomfortable with Bill’s antics and cocktail waitress Nicki became Bill’s new partner in crime. Kimmie gets no respect at Mary’s; whenever an employee, specifically Nicki, does not want to do something, they simply go to Bill and the problem is ignored. Kimmie has no authority to make decisions at the bar she is the manager of; Bill does not allow her to hire or fire anyone.
Bill and Nicki often invite female customers to private after hours in the back office where questionable behavior is ‘secretly’ displayed. Rumors of the back office mischief scared people off and the income drop off left Mary’s interior to decay. The owners are now $250,000 in debt, two months away from closing and Bill does not know how he will send his 17 year old daughter to college if he doesn’t get out of this hole he has dug himself in.
From the outside, Mary’s Outpost basically looks like an abandoned fast food restaurant. The front door actually has a sign that says “Not an Entrance”. Aside from the exterior being completely unattractive and the parking lot being uninhabited, Mary’s has far deeper rooted issues. There is also no food or drink running systems or POS system at Mary’s.
The beer at Mary’s is warm but it’s okay, because they supply their customers with frosted glasses, right? Wrong! Any beer expert will explain the last thing they want is a frosted mug; it puts water in the beer. The beer should be cold, the glass should not be.
There is no employee who is designated to the kitchen (or utility closet with a microwave that serves burgers out of a bag) and the food has been expired for over a year. Female employees actually do their hair where food is prepared. The small closet space is filthy and in no way suitable to serve food out of.
Bill, also, drinks with his customers giving them free drinks. Failing bar owners think that when they drink with their customers it causes people to come back, it doesn’t and is irresponsible. Bill has given away 675 bottles of beer and 1,325 mixed drinks adding up to a total of $8,810. Bill continuously takes girls to his office right in front of his wife; he is the most offensive owner Taffer has ever seen. Bill actually asks Taffer’s recon females to take their tops off in his back office, one of whom happens to be Lisamarie Joyce - Taffer’s mixology expert during this rescue. Fifty percent of Grand Prairie’s population is married; Mary’s scandalous reputation deters couples looking for a local hangout. If something goes wrong with Bill’s inappropriate closet lounge, he could get sued for harassment or worse.
Kimmie is serving tables, there’s a volunteer named Elena working for free and all Bill and Nicki do is flirt with customers. Bill is arrogant and chauvinistic; drinking with customers, degrading woman and embarrassing his wife. Kimmie does not feel that the business can be run peacefully and successfully with Nicki as an employee.
The staff cleans the repulsive filth throughout the bar and then Taffer gets to work. With guidance, Bill makes the executive decision to let Nicki go in order to make his wife comfortable in her working environment, and rightfully apologizes by claiming that his questionable behavior will come to halt. He also gives Kimmie the managerial authority she should have had in the first place.
Volunteer Elena is brought on as a fulltime, paid staff member. Elena and Joe have been appointed official kitchen staff. Taffer brings in Tiffany Derry to train the new staff in the kitchen. Derry brings in an actual oven for roasting so Joe and Elena can serve food that is edible. Roasting creates a brown exterior that enhances the taste of meat due to the amino acids and simple sugars becoming rearranged in new and complex ways. These flavors can’t be achieved by boiling, poaching or steaming meats because the external temperature never gets hot enough to cause this internal, chemical reaction.
Lisamarie Joyce educates the bar staff with intensive training. The staff also is being trained in communicating, due to the fact there is only one speed well, it gets hectic behind the bar.
Taffer, Joyce and Derry decide to go after the couples market of Great Prairie and create a road side concept since 13,000 cars go by Mary’s every day. American Heritage is so much about highway trips and the culture of being on the road. People want salty snacks and comfort food on the road, with coffee in large mugs; Taffer will work off of these ideals when creating the new bar.
Taffer transforms Mary’s Outpost into Thirsty’s Roadhouse Bar where the front door is actually utilized. There are bright colors surrounding the front door with LED lighting around the building so passersby cannot ignore it.
There are two complete work stations behind the bar with their own back bar, ice bin, soda gun and POS system, in addition to three new POS systems. The refrigerator behind the bar was eliminated because Thirsty’s does not do frosted mugs and a brand new draft beer system was implemented.
During the relaunch, Kimmie is a rockstar; she has a new confidence after being put in a position where she has the ability to lead and Bill finally starts interacting with the customers in an appropriate. Mary’s Outpost is long gone to make way for the neighborhood bar that’s friendly for singles, couples and everyone in between. Two months after the relaunch, Bill is hands off with the business and no longer scares off female guests. Kimmies continues to shine as full time manager and food revenues have doubled. Thirsty’s Roadhouse Bar now hosts a regular lunch crowd.