Bar Rescue: The Brixton, Austin, TX

Having moved to the United States from Ireland just over two years ago, I have come to realize a few things about bars across the country. A lot of bars have stock control problems due to staff over pouring or just giving away free drinks to help increase their tips. This is a major problem for bar owners who have invested thousands of dollars in order to live out their dream of owning a bar only to see it fail, due to untrained staff and poor management. Jon Taffer is an expert and the best in the country at spotting the failings of a bar then correcting it. Over the past year and a half I have worked with Jon on a number of occasions on Bar Rescue, but none have been more trying than the bar we went to in Austin Texas.

Jon Taffer was called to a local Hipster bar on East 6th Street in Austin Texas to help it from complete failure. Jon asked me to come down to Austin and help him with the training of the staff and to design a unique drinks theme that would not be found anywhere else in Austin. I had no prior knowledge of Austin or East 6th street in general…. Was I in for a shock!

The bar is a small corner bar with nothing really going for it, located in a growing neighborhood at the east end of 6th Street.  To me the bar looked like an abandoned house with no distinction or appealing aspects. The owner had no interest in serving customers and the whole area seemed to have a weird vibe surrounding it.

I have spent over 15 years in the catering industry, from running top cocktail bars in Ireland and Australia to training bartenders around Europe and the US on both Whiskey and cocktails. However, I knew that this was going to be one of the hardest establishments that I would work with. Jon and I discussed different ways on how we can motivate this staff and introduce a drinks theme in a bar that thought it was “Too Hip” to have a drinks list.

Over the years I have learned one very important thing. A bar without a drinks menu and a theme is not going to achieve its full potential no matter how hard they try. We decided on an infusion drinks theme and now it was time for me to do what I do best and create unique, quirky, hip drinks that would suit the consumer base of this Hipster area of East 6th Street.

If you’re looking for ideas on how to drive sales and increase a unique idea within your bar, this is a must see show to watch. I have one major tip for all cocktail bartenders out there who what to create and serve quality drinks to their customers… ALWAYS use top quality spirits when making cocktails. Poor quality cocktails are mixed using poor quality brands; top quality cocktails are mixed using top quality brands.


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