In 2008, lifelong DJ Ivan Arroyo decided it was time to bring his Puerto Rican heritage and DJ rep to the Jersey City nightlife and opened Laguna Lounge in Jersey City, NJ. Ivan ran the bar with his two sons Josh and Jeremiah attempting to make it a hot spot for Latin music. Ivan focused all of his attention on being a DJ; but while he spun bar sales dropped.
Ivan’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde personality swings behind the bar were also contributing to the plummeting bar sales. One minute he is smiling and handing out shots to the entire bar and the next he is reprimanding a staff member publically for over-pouring an ounce. The challenges, struggles and personality swings go even deeper when Ivan’s sons try to work with him to make the bar more successful.
Ivan is underutilizing his son’s talents. Therefore, Taffer’s first task in turning around the bar is proving to Ivan that his sons are valuable to the business. Taffer brings in Lisa Marie Joyce, and Chef Anthony Lamas to work with the staff and improve upon their hospitality skills in order to succeed. In addition, Taffer utilizes the science of place making to make the bar more interesting and inviting. Not one area is the same as the other.
Taffer and his team turn the rundown Laguna Lounge into a stunning Puerto Rican inspire haven called Tres Cuartos. Six weeks after the re-launch Tres Cuartos drink sales are up 20% and food sales are up 100%. Ivan is still treating the staff and his sons with respect and Tres Cuartos is becoming known as the Latin hot spot in “The Heights”.