Sunday, March 3, 2019

Bar Rescue - Shibo Update

On this week's episode of Bar Rescue, Jon Taffer and crew are in San Juan, Puerto Rico to rescue Shibo.  Shibo is a Latin-Asian fusion restaurant that was destroyed during Hurricane Maria.  It has been closed for seven months and the owners do not have the money to fix up the restaurant to reopen.  When Jon is there, he finds that Shibo doesn't have damage that is that bad and thinks the owners may not have even tried to fix it up to reopen.

During the Bar Rescue makeover, Jon Taffer decided to keep the name of Shibo and it was able to reopen.  Let's take a look at some information, reviews, and updates for Shibo since Bar Rescue came and made all of the changes to the bar (All reviews are post-Bar Rescue):

Positive Reviews:
  • "Coming from NYC to PR came to this restaurant for a 3rd time.I must say one of the best in PR , amazing ambiance, cocktails and Chef Jonathan Cruz puts amazing detail into each of hes dishes.I highly recommended for a date or group of friends!"
  • "Potential to be a top class restaurant, just need to work out a few kinks with the menu and service. Loiza will really benefit from a great place to get sushi and Asian fusion."
  • "Really enjoyed this place and their food. Very cool vibe with tropical/Asian decor which is what their food is themed. Wasn't too sure when we heard of it but decided to give it a shot and was extremely impressed with it..... Definitely try this place!"
  • "Great food, nice music and pretty deco!! We decide to stay in the bar, and was a great decision because we were able to see and taste great cocktails!! Sake Sangria is highly recommended...Pork Tacos are a MUST if you order appetizers, Cali Sushi (good! not ouststanding), singapure vermicelli amazing!..My new fav place in San Juan!! Love it!!!"

Negative Reviews:
  • "The service from the minute we got there was horrible. Our server Gia was very nasty and rude to everyone. She asked for us to order something to drink without even having a menu. Every single time we had a conversation with her to order something it was like she was annoyed and bothered by it, rolling her eyes all the time. We were a group of 9 and she gave us 2 menus for the whole table, no utensils or plates. We had to asked other servers to get us water and help us because she was nowhere to be found. When she finally took the food order she rushed us to do so cause the kitchen was about to close. Which we had no idea cause she never said anything until last minute. At the end of the night we just wanted to pay the bill and leave cause honestly this Gia person was very confrontational and plain NASTY! I can honestly say that she ruined my favorite restaurant for me. Cause I don't think I'll ever come back."
  • "Visited twice this restaurant. The food is really good. However, it takes forever to be served. The service starts off great but eventually the servers stop coming by the table, it is my impression that they are aware of the long time it takes for orders to come out and get nervous.....Chef Cruz, you should really improve your customer service, it was harsh to hear that as well as leaving (both times) with a partially empty stomach when you pay so much for food there."
  • "Excellent food. It is such a shame having to give it 3 stars because the food is delicious, but the service is extremely slow. We had to wait almost an hour for the appetizer and the food and we had to call the waiter 4 times."
  • "The product is great the service is awful. I hate when waiters who don’t write down the order if you want to impress me bring my order out correctly. There is no manager at least the day I was there if the manager is the chef and owner it’s not good. Multiple errors in our table and others around. No dessert available at 8:00 pm that’s bad. Product is great try it before they close because don’t see them for long if they don’t change."
  • "Was here with friends who raved about Shibo. For our first visit, nothing positive after the scotch. Service was slow as molasses, all of were served at different stages and the food was average. Had high hopes based on menu descriptions which were well written and honestly deceiving. Lots of stuff starch like rice and noodles with protein hard to find. Restaurant was dark and music loud. The waitress then had the audacity to demand 18% tip. Really? Total turn off. I would need a gift certificate to return."
*Reviews from Yelp, Tripadvisor

Other News and Links:

  • The Bar Rescue makeover happened in April 2018.
  • Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico in September 2017, so the makeover was seven months after the storm.
  • Here is an 8-minute preview video of the episode from the Paramount YouTube page.
  • Here is the Shibo Facebook page.
  • Here is the Facebook page of Jonathan (chef/owner)
  • A local article (translated by Google) said that Bar Rescue paid for all of the permits, brought their own power plant and covered costs that insurance would not cover.  


The reviews for Shibo since the Bar Rescue makeover are mixed with people liking the food and having complaints about the service and wait times.  Shibo seems like more of a restaurant than a bar, but I guess their story was compelling enough to get Bar Rescue to pick them for a makeover.  If they want to succeed, they may have to get their service issues fixed.

*To see how all of the bars from Bar Rescue are doing, go to the Bar Rescue Updates page, and also Like us on Facebook or Follow Us on Twitter to stay up to date with all things involving Bar Rescue.

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