Sunday, August 11, 2019

Bar Rescue - BCBG (Buffalo City Bar & Grille) Update

In this week's episode of Bar Rescue, Jon Taffer and crew are in St. Petersburg, Florida to rescue Buffalo City Bar & Grille.  Buffalo City Bar & Grille is owned by Doreen Levy whose late father opened the bar.  The bar is losing about $5,000 a month, revenues are down 25% and the bar has supposedly given away $90,000 worth of liquor in the past year.

During the Bar Rescue makeover, Jon Taffer decided to slightly change the name of Buffalo City Bar & Grille to BCBG and the bar has kept the name. Let's take a look at some information, reviews, and updates for BCBG since Bar Rescue came and made all of the changes to the bar (All reviews are post-Bar Rescue):

Positive Reviews:
  • "Great service, clean place and pretty good food. Seemed to be a decent crowd, lots of tv's and music."
  • "Great food, drinks, and a great bar staff! Atmosphere definitely improved after they started not allowing smoking. Miss some of the old character of the bar, but still love coming here."
  • "Great food, great bartender and great specials. Our go to being in the service industry."
  • "It's a pretty slick looking joint! Different t than what it used to be but aim liking the new place much better now. They dont serve Kettle One but Grey Goise did the job. Still the nicest of people here! Met and Love Doreen... keep up the gr8 work!!"

Negative Reviews:
  • "We were visiting from North Carolina (husband is from Buffalo). We were so excited to try this place. During our first visit in March, we were really looking forward to a great experience after following the Bar Rescue hype. The wings were good; service was horrible. We visited the area again last week, and decided to give it another shot. Bad idea. We walked in the front door (past all of the smokers standing near the front door) and encountered vape smoke everywhere and drones flying throughout the establishment!! There were about 6-8 regulars at the bar- that's it. Oh- and one guy smoking inside near the front door. Nobody was eating; nobody was at the 2nd bar; nobody was sitting at a table ordering food. There was one table being occupied by a drone "club" or something. They were working on their drones and flying the around the restaurant/bar area. Yep. Service was again awful. We were basically ignored for at least 10 minutes. We ordered one drink and left disappointed, and frankly, sad. This place is super nice inside, but is obviously not being utlized to it's full potential. It's really disappointing, especially after being "rescued"."
  • "Even bar rescue could not save this turd...never....never..ever..will I be back. Warm beer. VERY slow service and bland food...rather eat at the gas station across the street...and believe me, I am being nice."
  • "Was interested in checking this place out because they were recently on bar rescue. We went in the bar and not greeted at all, eventually we sat down and a waitress came to us. We got a menu and then waited on her to come back to place an order, which she never returned. This is a decent looking place if they cleared out all the of regulars that glared at us the entire time we were there, and the smell of cigarette smoke is still strong because they allow people to smoke while being visibly intoxicated, laughing and shouting right outside the door you come in. We witnessed a few people walk in and walk right back out. From first impressions this is a bar for 60 and up due to the surrounding area. Good for them but we will not return, ever"
  • "I don't think I have ever written a bad review but I just had to this time. And if I could give it less than one star I would. For starters the place was filthy. The place itself could be really nice, it is large and open with two bars and the owner Darlene was pleasant, but the filth is just too much. The surfaces are slimy, it stinks like smoke, and the bathrooms were gross. We were there for an event so we rode it out."
  • "Changes in the bar look nice but it takes away way from what the bar used to be. New staff not so friendly. I'm a non smoker but was ok with the smokey bar. And as far as the karaoke and the singing their way enough bars in st Pete to do that didn't need another."
  • "Barmaid nice but bar rehab terrible job they did at that place!! I'd be ashamed if that's the best rehabilitation of a bar that they can do? Bar rehab needs a huge rehabilitation itself!!"
  • "My husband and I used to go there all the time but after Kristina and Candy quit and then the only decent bartender was Michelle and then she quit I will never go back there. The food is disgusting and always tastes old and the bartenders are too busy gossiping with each other to take care of the customers especially the one named angel. Trust me save your time and money and go to nickel City instead"
*Reviews from Yelp, TripAdvisor, Google

Other News and Links:

  • The Buffalo City Bar & Grille makeover happened in February 2019.
  • Here is a 6-minute preview video of the episode from the Paramount YouTube page. 
  • Here is the Buffalo City Bar & Grille website and Facebook page
  • Here is a picture of the new menu which was posted after the makeover. (Link)
  • Jim Norton who did recon on this episode has been sober for over 25 years, so he most likely wasn't drinking during the filming. 
  • Bar Rescue made Buffalo City Bar & Grille (BCBG)a non-smoking bar. (Link) According to a few reviews the smoking area is outside the front door, so it still smells like smoke inside. 
  • Here are some pictures of the interior after the makeover.  The comments on that post have people disagreeing on whether smoking should be allowed or not.  Buffalo City Bar & Grille let it be known that they will always be a Buffalo-themed bar and will put up Buffalo Bills decor. (Link)
  • Buffalo City Bar & Grille is under new management according to this Facebook post, which says, "If you have not heard the news, Buffalo City is under new management! With some new specials & new bartenders. Lots of great things coming. & New & improved menu coming soon. Come check us out!"
    • BCBG/Buffalo City Bar & Grille said that the son Frankie is now running the bar.  Judging by the comments, that is a welcomed change by guests who had negative things to say about Doreen. (Link)
    • Here is Frankie's Facebook page


Jon Taffer decided to slightly change the name of Buffalo City Bar & Grille to BCBG and the bar has decided to keep the name.  One of the big changes done suggested by Bar Rescue was to make the bar non-smoking, which BCBG has also kept.  However, some reviews say it still smells like smoke inside because the smoking area is by the front door.  The reviews for BCBG since the makeover have been pretty negative with people complaining about the food, the service, the Bar Rescue makeover and the staff that is no longer there.  BCBG is now under new management and Frankie III is now running the bar.  Frankie is Doreen's brother and this seems like it is a welcomed change by customers of the bar.

UPDATE - Since the update at the end of the episode said Doreen sold the bar to Frankie, I will mark this bar as 'Sold' on the Bar Rescue Updates page.

*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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