Sunday, March 3, 2024

Bay Street Sports Grill (Wildkat Records Bar & Grill) - Bar Rescue Update

In this week's episode of Bar Rescue, Jon Taffer and crew are in Jacksonville, Florida to rescue Wildkat Records Bar & Grill.  The bar is owned by Julian Garbaccio who bought the bar in 2015. The bar was initially a success but Julian's job relocated him to Texas, which pulled him away from the bar.  Without Julian around, sales started to decline and he brought in a managing partner Kyle.  Kyle was the one who changed the name to Wildkat Records Bar & Grill and Julian thinks that is part of the reason for the decline.  Julian is now supposedly $300,000 in debt and the bar is in danger of closing.


During the Bar Rescue makeover, Jon Taffer decided to change the name of Wildkat Records Bar & Grill to Bay Street Sports Grill and the bar has kept the name.  The bar was previously named Bay Street Bar & Grill when Julian purchased it, so the name change was not too drastic. Let's take a look at some information, reviews, and updates for Bay Street Sports Grill since Bar Rescue came and made all of the changes to the bar (All reviews are post-Bar Rescue):


Positive Reviews:
  • "Great little bar. The service was okay. We came back a few nights to play pool. We had a good time."
  • "Wings were A+ highly recommended. The drink selection is great, and the service is top. The bar and pool tables is where is at. Why 4 stars? All our chicken strips were salty, so I will comeback to update this place. Great atmosphere and plenty of seating. Parking is on the street or use the p├║blico parking building in from of the Hyatt hotel ."
  • "Cool sports bar with great beer selection and wing sauce, try the Thai Chili"
  • "We love this place!!! So eclectic. We're more into hole in wall places than fancy. And the food is so yummy and great price!"
  • "It was great first time there after Bar rescue has done there thing. Food was great. There shrimp was different but was really tasty. An megan the bartender never let's u go without something to drink. If u are near Jacksonville it's a must try."
  • "A great bar and grill in the downtown area. The staff make you feel right at home, and the weekly specials are always great!"

Negative Reviews:
  • "This establishment uses SHADY TACTICS to coerce patrons into undeserved TIPPING"
  • "Charging for water while ordering other drinks is absurd. Even more absurd is a bartender being surprised when a customer isn’t happy about it"
  • "Way understaffed. Waited an hour + for food to come out. Never got a 2nd round due to line. Burgers were ok but other food came out cold. Felt bad for the one guy working the floor/bar."
  • "We came here the afternoon of a Jags game and they had one guy behind the bar taking food and drink orders and one person in the kitchen. They didn't have any waiters to help out and we sat there for 40 minutes and didn't see a single plate of food come out of the kitchen so we walked out. It's a very bizarre business model."
  • "Food like fast food and extremely dry and dull very very pricey"
  • "Food was greasy and lacked appeal. Basic frozen food dropped in some warm grease. Drinks were strong and staff was cool."
*Reviews from Google



Other News and Links:
  • The Bar Rescue for Wildkat Records Bar & Grill happened in November 2023.
  • Here is a preview video of the episode from the Bar Rescue YouTube page.
  • Here is the Bay Street Sports Grill website and Facebook page
  • They are having a watch party for the episode and they seem to be having fun with it by saying, "Come watch Jon Taffer get all pissy with us. Bar Rescue party at Bay Street  Sports Grill this Sunday."  (Link)
  • Here are the Facebook pages of Julian (owner), Kyle (managing partner), Jasmine (general manager)
    • Jasmine commented about the episode on her Facebook page saying, "We got a free face lift so we endured. We weren’t really struggling, they just made us pretend like we were. It was an interesting experience to say the least."  (Link)
  • Here are the reviews for Bay Street Sports Grill from YelpTripAdvisor, and Google.
    • The recent reviews before the makeover were pretty negative.
    • The bar takes the time to respond to reviews on Google.


Conclusion:

Jon Taffer decided to change the name of Wildkat Records Bar & Grill to Bay Street Sports Grill and the bar has kept the name. Bar Rescue pretty much changed the name back to what it was previously, so no surprise they kept the name.  The reviews since the makeover are mixed with people liking the wings and the dive bar feel.  The negative reviews seem to complain about the service and that they are understaffed.  Based on the comments from the general manager, it seems like the bar decided to do the show for the free makeover and not because they were struggling.


*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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