Saturday, May 14, 2022

The Loft (Cerealholic Cafe & Bar) - Bar Rescue Update

In this week's episode of Bar Rescue, Jon Taffer and crew are in Ybor City, Florida to rescue Cerealholic Cafe & Bar.  Cerealholic opened in early 2021 as a cereal themed cafe/bar that uses different cereals to help create menu items. The bar is owned by Darrell and Lisa Lawson and their son Brandon is helping run the place.  Part of the reason for starting the bar was to honor their son Alex who passed away in 2019.  The cereal theme seems to have fallen flat and never took off.  The bar/restaurant is now losing about $9,000 a month and Darrell and Lisa's life savings are in jeopardy.

During the Bar Rescue makeover, Jon Taffer decided to change the name of Cerealholic Cafe & Bar to The Loft Elevated Bar + Food and the bar has kept the name. Let's take a look at some information, reviews, and updates for The Loft since Bar Rescue came and made all of the changes to the bar (All reviews are post-Bar Rescue):

Positive Reviews:
  • "Amazing show Love it . And will go again.. Food, drinks and shows on point"
  • "Anyway 3 stars on the atmosphere alone. I randomly chose this spot on a Sunday morning as I googled for brunch spots. This place use to be a cereal bar (apparently) and now it's a bar you need to go to for the drinks and drag queen brunch. The service was attentive and the DJ was good. They also have flash back Fridays beginning at 8pm. I wasn't in love with my dish(the farmhouse brunch) but I also didn't hate it. All in all I'll be back to give the food another chance but the vibe is nice."
  • "The food was delicious, the service was absolutely the best! We took our niece there for her birthday to see the Drag Queen show. We ate almost everything on the menu and everything was so good.... The Show was fantastic! Price were just right as well. We will be going back again."
  • "The new concept the Loft was nice. Much more elegant decor vs the kitschy that it was before. Service was better than before the relaunch but still slow. I get if I have to walk to the bar to get drinks. But you served me at the table to begin with. It should continue the way it began"
  • "Only reason i'm giving this 5 starts is because Rachel gave me the best experience I had in awhile. Even though the food was mediocre. The new design is nice and a lot better then the last one but i feel they need new management at least or events to make this place more attractive.."
  • "Only got to check out downstairs for an event so far, but it was amazing. And drinks were delicious"

Negative Reviews:
  • "Came to this place for a brunch crawl with friends. The food was below average, but the drink was really good. Unfortunately, the star rating I’m giving this place isn’t due to the drinks/food, but the service. This place was not busy during the time we came and the waitress we received was not great at all. My friends never receive their drinks, which we asked for twice. And she did not give us the water we requested twice! She didn’t even give me silverware. It was just so disappointing to experience. I’ve never receive bad service before or I’m pretty chill considering the circumstances. This was by far the worst that I had to write a review. Cute ambience but I won’t be recommending this place at all, if anything I’ll be warning people."

*Reviews from Google

Other News and Links:
  • The Bar Rescue for Cerealholic Cafe & Bar happened in February 2022.
  • Here is a preview video of the episode from the Bar Rescue Facebook page
  • Here is The Loft Ybor City Facebook page
    • It seems that their weekly Drag brunch is the most popular event at the bar or at least they advertise it the most on their Facebook page.
  • The tagline under The Loft says "Elevated Bar + Food" and here is their latest menu which has no cereal themed items. They refer to themselves as The Loft Ybor City on social media.
  • Here are the Facebook pages of Lisa (owner), Darrell (owner), Brandon (son/manager), Grant (bar manager), Tanner (bartender)
    • Tanner says he no longer works there. (Link)
  • The hours for The Loft Ybor City are Wednesday and Thursday 4:30pm - 10:30pm, Friday 4:30pm - 1am, Saturday 10am - 1am, and Sunday 10am - 7pm.
  • The bar is having a 1 day only Cerealholic menu takeover on June 1st and the event says, "Do you miss, Cereal Infused Menu, and Drinks, Nostalgia Decor, Milkshakes, the games and Board Games? SO DO WE! BAR Rescue gave us a beautiful new bar, but we know we have DIE HARD Cerealholic Fans that need their FIX! We heard YOU, We Listened! We know you miss your Cereal fix! Reserve your spot today! There will be a wait for tables! Bringing Back your favorites One Night Only! Cereal infused handcrafted milkshakes, Bedrock Chicken Tenders, Captains Cannonballs, Cerealholic sauced Chicken Wings, and our ever Favorite Hit the Road Jack Burger and many more menu items, AND CEREAL. THIS IS ONE NIGHT ONLY!
  • Here are the reviews for The Loft Ybor City from Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Google.
    • Cerealholic actually had pretty positive reviews before the makeover.


Jon Taffer decided to change the name of Cerealholic Cafe & Bar to The Loft Elevated Bar + Food and the bar has kept the name.  The bar has also kept the theme and has not gone back to cereal related items on the menu despite having a one day menu takeover. Their social media and other articles refer to the bar as The Loft Ybor City. The reviews for The Loft are pretty positive and reviews before the makeover were also pretty positive.  It seems that people like the food, service, and the drag queen brunch.  

UPDATE - The Loft closed in August 2022 - More information on the closure.

*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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