Mandala Lounge - San Mateo, CA
On the season 4 finale this week, Jon Taffer and master mixologist Mia Mastroianni rescued Mandala Lounge in San Mateo, CA. Owner Greg Hawkins opened this custom cocktail lounge in 2007. After the economy took a turn for the worse in 2008, the business went down with it and Greg was soon losing $5,000 each month and he reached out to the Bar Rescue team for help.
While doing recon in the car, Jon's first impressions of the bar were that it had a dark and dreary exterior and a stark pink interior. Mia became outraged at the chauvinist comments made by Greg about female bartenders. When confronted by Jon, Greg remains arrogant and stated that female bartenders are not as fast as him. Unbeknownst to Greg, Mia walks in and Jon puts Greg up against Mia's skills behind the bar. When asked to make five well known drinks, Mia slays the competition by making all five drinks perfectly before Greg can make three flawed cocktails, changing Greg's opinion of female bartenders.
During the training session the next day, Mia shows the staff the BarProducts.com patent pending V-Rod® bottle opener. During the stress test the previous night, a bottle had broken because a sticky pour spout got stuck in the bottle. She demonstrated the use of leverage, combined with the V-Rod®, to release the vacuum between the pour spout and liquor bottle. On the cocktail menu, five new whiskey drinks were introduced using flavored whiskey instead of vodka. The drinks introduced with this rescue are: Bay City, Golden Gate, Horizon, Top Floor, and High Rise Collins.
The bar was completely renovated with a new theme meant to attract the young demographic from nearby San Francisco. The new name is 38th Floor Bar, and with the new name comes a sophisticated and contemporary look. The bar was equipped with "windows" which are actually live feed scenes of city-scapes. The previously unused patio was also renovated with comfortable furniture and heaters meant to make customers want to stay a while. Six weeks after relaunch, sales were reportedly up 40% and Greg now has two female bartenders on staff.
- 1.5 oz Bulleit Bourbon
- 0.5 oz Orange Juice
- 1 oz Grenadine
- 0.75 oz Lemon Juice
- GLASS: 7 oz Coupe Glass
- GARNISH: Cherry
- Combine ingredients in mixing glass. Shake and strain into coupe glass. Garnish with cherry.
- 1.5 oz Crown Royal Regal Apple
- 0.75 oz Pineapple Juice
- 0.5 oz Lemon Juice
- GLASS: Rocks Glass
- GARNISH: Fresh Cinnamon
- Combine ingredients in mixing glass. Shake and strain into rocks glass over fresh ice. Garnish with fresh grated cinnamon.
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