Episode Recap: Bar Rescue Season 4, Episode 2
Welcome to Alcohol Professor’s weekly recap of Bar Rescue, Spike TV’s reality show that gives desperate liquor purveyors a chance to turn themselves into beyond visitable venues. Hosted by nightlife guru Jon Taffer, this week’s episode, is set in a sports bar in Yonkers that doesn't quite live up to its original name.
So, you know what you probably shouldn't yell at a packed bar in Yonkers?
“You're getting ripped off! They're ripping you off!”
However, Taffer does just that in this latest episode of Bar Rescue, but I'll get to the aftermath of that in a second. Undisputed Sports Bar & Grill is owned by two former boxing bros: Brian O'Shea and Miguel Torres. At least Torres has the good graces to try, traipsing around the bar and trying to fix things with misplaced angry sincerity. O'Shea takes to shooting cheap booze and singing Turn Down For What.
The issues range from sanitation to safety. Cook Marcos leaves the fridge open for a prolonged period of time, causing things to get a little too hot in the kitchen. In addition to the spoiled food, vermouth sits on the shelf for months. As 2012 Nightclub & Bar's Bartender of the Year Russell Davis points out, you cannot leave fortified wine open for months on end. Talk about getting turned, O'Shea!
Back to Taffer telling a bunch of people they're getting ripped off...
Right! So Undisputed has been putting well liquor in top shelf bottles. Needless to say, Taffer ain't too pleased. When he tells the clientele what they're not drinking, a fight breaks out. I lost track of who was assaulting whom, but the Bar Rescue crew takes a beating, leading the Yonkers Police Sargent to assure everyone the Yonkers PD will make sure this won't happen again. I can only imagine what that guy's morning was like.
Capitalizing on the fact that South Yonkers is apparently going through an economic renaissance of sorts, Taffer decides to rename the dive SOYO (get it? South Yonkers. Like SoHo. Or FroYo. Or Yolo. Oh no.) and gear the menu and cocktail list toward the mecca of all things sophisticated: Manhattan.
Look, I loooove Manhattan. I live in Manhattan. I get that Manhattan has an amazing, beautiful cocktail scene. But shouldn't a Yonkers bar embrace its Yonkerdom? Can't a sports bar remain a sports bar, albeit a much better one, instead of turning into a craft cocktailier?
On the bright side, I was pleased to see the kitchen didn't swap burgers for bone marrow. Chef Aaron McCargo teaches poor Marcos how to blanch wings and make quesadilla burgers. Here's another thing I wondered about. There were like five bartenders, a new security dude, and still only one cook. Someone help out smiling, affable Marcos!
The new drinks were super fruity, but fun (gin cocktails with jelly are my jam), so no major complaints there. However, I was not as keen on the décor. SOYO looks like an alcoholic internet cafe, with plastic chairs, cheery colors, and super bright lighting meant to, paraphrasing Taffer, “keep the ladies feeling safe and the thugs out.” Are bright colors a convict's vampiric garlic?
Actually, an alcoholic internet cafe doesn't sound so bad. I should probably visit Yonkers at some point. SOYO. YOLO.
38 New Main St, Yonkers, NY 10701