Saturday, June 10, 2023

Latitudes Island Bar & Grille - Bar Rescue Update

In this week's episode of Bar Rescue, Jon Taffer and crew are in Denver, North Carolina to rescue Latitude's Bar & Grill.  The bar was opened in 2019 by Patti and Steve Merkel.  Patti always dreamed of opening a business and Steve was able to help fund it due to a sale of his previous cookie business. Patti is at the bar 7 days a week, while Steve tries to stay away as much as possible. Their son Travis takes on a lot of roles at the bar and butts heads with Patti.  Steve has put about $275,000 into Latitude and the bar is supposedly losing $3,500 a month.

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

Positive Reviews:
  • "Food was good, but the menu items were not always available. The phone mailbox was full so I went to the restaurant only to discover the ingredients for what I wanted to order were unavailable. Service was fine. It has been remodeled and has a pleasant atmosphere."
  • "Stopped in for a late lunch. The food and service were outstanding. I had their mushroom swiss burger. Hands down one of the best burgers I've had. It was nicely seasoned, juicy, large, and very flavorful. My girl had the smoked pork sandwich and that was equally tasty and filling. We would highly recommend this establishment."
  • "Improved since our last visit. Food was good, not exceptional. I had the Reuben and fries which was good. Friendly service and nice drink selection available."
  • "Jessica was our bartender/server and she did an amazing job! She asks your name and makes sure that you are satisfied throughout your visit. The atmosphere is so cute and the food was great, fresh and portions were good. We’ll definitely be back."
  • "Good food with a nice atmosphere. The waitress and host were friendly and attentive. They even went as far to make sure we had a fresh cookie at the end of dinner. Will be going back soon."
  • "Amazing food, cool people and good cocktails...Recommend it"

Negative Reviews:
  • "Worst service I've ever experienced. Waited well over an hour for food at 1:30 pm. The staff was very rude and imcompetent. Avoid this place at all costs."
  • "this place was better prior to their remodel. they don't have enough help. food service is slow and wait service is very slow. i don't know if they can't afford to hire more wait staff, can't get more wait staff, don't know how to train the wait staff they have or if they just don't care."
  • "We were forgotten outside. We watched one other person outside and others inside who arrived after us order, eat, and leave before us. It was blamed on being slammed, but the inside looked half full at best. Left cash for drinks and app, and won't be coming back."

*Reviews from Yelp, Google

Other News and Links:
  • The Bar Rescue for Latitudes Island Bar & Grille happened in August 2022.
  • Here is a preview video of the episode from the Bar Rescue YouTube page
  • Here is the Latitudes Island Bar & Grill website and Facebook page
  • Due to the slight name change, it seems like they use Latitudes Bar and Grill, Latitudes Island Bar & Grille and Latitudes interchangeably. 
  • The bar has been counting down on Facebook to their episode airing and they have commented to people that they will love the new Bar Rescue drinks and menu items.
  • Here are the Facebook pages of Patti (owner) Shonnel (bartender)
  • This is the season finale and when Patti learned they were going to be the season finale, she said, "When the producers told me I’m going to be the finale, I thought to myself: ‘Either we’re that bad or they saved the best for last."  She also said, "We’re very happy with all the changes that are in place,” Merkel said. “We’re doing really great now." (Link)
  • The cookie company that Steve co-owned with his brother was called the Chippery and they specialed in frozen cookie doughs.  They were bought in 2005 and in 2002 they had $23.7 million in net revenue while in 2004 they had $34.5 million in net revenue. (Link)
    • Based on SEC filings, it looks like they were purchased for $37,105,000. (Link)
  • Here are the reviews for Latitudes Island Bar & Grille from Yelp and Google.
    • The bar takes time to respond to reviews on Google.


Jon Taffer decided to slightly change the name of Latitudes Bar & Grill to Latitudes Island Bar & Grill.  The bar seems so use both names and also refers to themselves as just Latitudes.  The reviews for Latitudes Island Bar & Grille are mixed with people liking the food and drinks while there are some complaints about service. Based on comments from Patti, she is very happy with the changes and they are doing great now.  They also seemed to have kept the Bar Rescue drinks and menu items and are still serving them at Latitudes.  The cookie business Steve founded with his brother sold for $37.1 million back in 2005, so they are probably not struggling financially as much as other people that have appeared on the show.

*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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