On tonight’s special episode of Bar Rescue, Jon Taffer and crew are in Denham Springs, Louisiana for the rebuilding of Big Mike’s Sports Bar & Grill – which took in 64-inches of water during the “Great Flood” in August 2016. The rebuild and subsequent grand reopening took place in October, 2016. Taffer did not change the name of Big Mike’s.
You’ve probably already figured out by now that this Bar Rescue isn’t going to be your typical episode featuring a dysfunctional bar operation with a delusional, inexperienced bar owner. In Big Mike’s case, owner Mike O’Neal has 37 years of experience in the bar business, and his wife Jocelyn has worked in the food service industry for more than 25 years. Together, they’re a pair of astute and well liked business owners that know how to be successful while giving back to their community. But the flood in August left them unsure what to do next.
According to a report published in Livingston Parish News, Big Mike’s Bar & Grill bartender Emily Ashford started the ball rolling when she wrote about the the plight of the flood on the Bar Rescue website.
Mike told The Livingston Parish News that he’d always been a fan of Bar Rescue, “but I never dreamed they would come here.”
During the rebuild, which according to Tafffer cost approximately $750,000, with $300,000 for the kitchen alone, Big Mike’s was expanded from 6,200 square feet to more than 10,000 square feet. For the redesign, Taffer brought in a whopping crew of 50, and hired 20 local laborers. Together, they worked for five-days straight in a barnstorming effort to rebuild the popular bar and grill. Taffer retained the existing name and signage as well as the popular menu – but added five new dishes.
Meanwhile, business at Big Mike’s is reportedly up 30 percent over last year, which was previously the best year in the bar’s seven year operating history.
A Closer Look
- You can check out Big Mike’s at their website, Facebook page, and over at Instagram.
- Here’s the Facebook page for co-owner Jocelyn O’Neal –
- Here’s the Facebook page for bartender Emily Ashford – she of course started the ball rolling with her note to Bar Rescue
Here’s a video with John Taffer, Mike O’Neal and Jocelyn O’Neal as Jon announces that he will rebuild Big Mikes Bar and Grill.
Bar Rescue Episode At Big Mike's Sports Bar & Grill
Bar Rescue - Bar Over Troubled Water
A special Bar Rescue episode where Jon Taffer helps a family rebuild their successful bar and grill after a devastating flood. A real departure from a typical Bar Rescue episode.
“Bar Over Troubled Water” Episode Promo Videos
Flood Waters Devastate Louisiana Bar
Big Mike’s Sports Bar & Grill was the pride of Denham Springs, LA. It has been rebuilding since a fateful flood on August 12, 2016.
Taffer Talks With Flood Victims
“Big Mike” O’Neal and wife Jocelyn emotionally recount the storm which filled their house and business with 4.5 feet of water.
Image – YouTube Screengrab