Sunday, April 5, 2020

Playa Island Bar (Sandbar) - Bar Rescue Update

In this week's episode of Bar Rescue, Jon Taffer and crew are in Albuquerque, New Mexico to rescue Sandbar Brewery & Grill.  The bar opened in 2017 and was purchased by a group of investors.  The bar is currently owned by Mike Martinez and it is under dispute if Sean Colwell owns any of the bar.  When Jon asks Sean to produce paperwork to prove his ownership, he finds that the documents were never submitted to a lawyer.

During the Bar Rescue makeover, Jon Taffer decided to change the name of The Sandbar Brewery & Grill to Playa Island Bar and the bar went back to The Sandbar shortly after, but has already closed. Let's take a look at some information, reviews, and updates for Playa Island Bar (The Sandbar) since Bar Rescue came and made all of the changes to the bar (All reviews are post-Bar Rescue):

Positive Reviews:

  • "Always a great place to be. The food is good and the bloody Mary's are great. I have to say, the House DJ is one of the best DJ's ever. The DJ never disappoints and always gets the party going. Enjoy the nights out here as well as the game days."
  • "Football Sunday is where it's at here! I love the vibe and our server Elizabeth was outstanding! Let's not forget to mention that the carne asada quesadilla was on point. And the seating is 10x better than it was before! And huge shout out to the DJ for keeping us entertained in between commercial breaks."
Negative Reviews:

  • "This place used to be very fun but the new management has made this place full of pretentious workers and expensive games."
  • "The customer service is horrendous here! It should be a given to bring plates, silverware and napkins when people are eating. Especially a shared plate like nachos or pizza. Then there was also an issue the ticket at the end. It was one thing after another. Not to mention we came back hoping for a better experience, only to be disappointed."
  • "Cane to have a good time but the bartender was the rudest person I've ever encountered over change me i won't be going back and I will let my friends know this is not the place to go if your looking to have a good time unless you think being treated like trash and ripped off is a good time"
*Reviews from Yelp, Google

Other News and Links:
  • The Bar Rescue for The Sandbar happened in August 2019.
  • Here is the preview video of the episode from the Paramount YouTube page. 
  • Here is The Sandbar website, Facebook page and Instagram.
  • Here are the Facebook pages of Mike (owner), Kenny (general manager)
  • In a story right after the makeover, general manager Kenny Sullivan said they were going to see how their new name was perceived before deciding to keep it or not. He also said they planned more renovations such as painting and adding more TV's.
    • Right after the makeover, the bar posted on social media, "We don't love it. New ownership wants your opinion. Playa Island Bar vs. Sandbar. Leave a comment down below to help us decide. (Link)
    • In September, a month after the makeover, the bar changed their name back to The Sandbar and had a relaunch party. (Link)
  • The location has been a bar for over 50 years and when they bought in 2017, they signed a 10-year lease with options to buy. (Link)
  • Here is a picture from the opening that shows Sean as an owner, but Mike is not in the picture. (Link)
  • The Sandbar is listed as closed on all review sites and the bar's last post on social media was in November 2019.  So, it appears the bar closed in late 2019, just months after the makeover.
  • The Sandbar location is currently available for lease and here is the flyer with current pictures. (Link)


Jon Taffer decided to change the name of The Sandbar Brewery & Grill to Playa Island Bar and the bar quickly went back to the name The Sandbar.  The Sandbar has already closed before their episode of Bar Rescue aired on television.  The makeover took place in August 2019 and the bar closed in late 2019, so it only stayed open for several months after the makeover.  The Sandbar location is currently available for lease.  Playa Island Bar (The Sandbar) has been marked as 'Closed' 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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