Can Taffer Turn Around this Bar? Y-Not?



Milwaukee, Wisconsin has a phenomenal bar market with one bar per 1,800 people. While in America as a whole, there is one bar per 4,800 people. Lower East Side is young and progressive with a median age of 27. It is also home to the Y Not bars.

There are three Y-Nots born from a legacy of bar owners. Tony opened the first Y Not in 1970 and the second in 1971. With the bar business in their blood, Tony’s daughter Monica followed in her father’s footsteps by opening her own bar called Monica’s.  When Tony’s son Nick graduated college, Tony gave him the keys to Y-Not 3 hoping Nick would take to the bar business like his sister did.

Nick lacked the skills his sister had to run a bar and Y-Not 3 quickly became the black sheep of the Y-Not brand.  Nick turns a blind eye to all problems at his bar; customers grab their own beers, act reckless and Nick does nothing to stop it. Tony is in his 70’s and cannot afford to retire because his son owes him half a million dollars. He also owes his sister $20,000 and is currently living with his mother. Y-Not 3 is losing $65,000 a year and Nick has run out of ideas and time. The bar is now only 6 months away from closing.


Nick has not changed anything on the outside or inside of the bar since he inherited it ten years ago. It actually looks like someone’s house and struggles to stand out against the 11 other bars on the street. In addition to the rundown appearance of the bar, Y-Not 3 does not carry popular spirit brands behind their bar. It is important to list the spirits you have available in hopes to upsell. However, if they’re nonexistent, then obviously there is no chance at all of upselling especially if you’re giving away the liquor that you do stock.

Chapter 125 of Milwaukee law allows businesses with a Class B permit to provide free alcohol samples to persons of legal drinking age. Y-Not 3 takes full advantage of this law by constantly giving away free shots. Artificial scarcity encourages impulse buying by decreasing production in order to increase demand of a product. When there is an abundance of a product, sales decrease because customers lack urgency in purchasing decision. This is experienced in bars when owners regularly give away shots because customers buy fewer drinks in anticipation of receiving them for free.

Even though Nick is giving away the bar, Y-Not has a solid bartending staff, including Nick’s cousin Angelica. However, Nick’s lack of management skills and leadership is bringing down the rest of the team, making Nick the bar biggest problem. It seems that Nick just doesn’t care and his most frequently used term is, “I don’t know.”

Nick's House A Y-Not Bar


Mia Mastroianni, expert cocktail engineer, was brought in to brush up the bartenders skills and give practical advice regarding spirits and cocktails. Mastroianni also work with Nick to evaluate his skill behind the bar; however, it’s evident that he is not cut out to run the bar. This lack of skill and leadership was even more prevalent during the stress test. Taffer assigned Nick to bar back during the stress test and was hoping to promote him to bartender and then manager throughout the night; unfortunately, Nick was an epic failure and it became clear that Nick is not the right person for the job.

After the stress test, Taffer decides to take the keys from Nick and hosts a family meeting to discuss next steps. Monica explains to their father that Nick simply cannot manage the bar because he lacks the proper training and drive to make the business a success. Therefore, all members of the meeting agree to promote, Angelica, to General Manager providing Nick the opportunity to explore other opportunities and strengths. Angelica gladly accepted and is willing to take on the challenge.

With the management adjustments made, Taffer then transformed Y-Not 3 to Nick’s House allowing the family to keep Tony’s legacy is still alive and Nick’s future bright. The entire bar is reminiscent of the 70’s – when the first Y-Not was opened. To bring the theme full circle, Mastroianni concocted a 70’s inspired cocktail menu that is sure to please gue


Nick's House on Bar Rescue THE RESULT

Nick and Angelica both have to step up to the plate as they settle into their new roles if they want Nick’s House to succeed. Six weeks after relaunch, under Angelica’s leadership, sales at Nick’s House are up 400%. Nick has repaid Monica the $20,000 in full and paying back his father Tony is next on Nick’s list.