Jon Taffer and his crew find themselves at a struggling Tampa sports bar this week for the latest episode of the popular Spike TV reality series Bar Rescue. In this week’s episode, titled ‘Paradise Lost,’ Taffer has to deal with a business that’s $400,000 in debt, has three owners locked in a hostile feud – one of whom is siphoning off the profits. Taffer describes it as fraud.
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Dale 1891 co-owner Howard Edelman told the Tampa Tribune that he felt like he was signing his life away when he agreed to turn over the bar-restaurant to Taffer and his team. And the terms of the contract are tough – he had no input or the right to say no to Taffer.
After operating the business for more than four years, the owners were dealing with new competition and declining business. Taffer and his team became aware of problems at Dale 1891 after Edelman’s son Scott Edelman, also a co-owner, wrote to Taffer requesting a makeover. Taffer chose Dale 1891 among a field of ten finalists, according to the Tampa Tribune.
As fans of the show know, Taffer is fond of rebranding, and part of Taffer’s rebranding usually includes a name change. In Dale 1891’s case, Taffer renamed the bar Cayman Cove, and rebranded it as a tropical island-themed bar.
A few weeks after the makeover, Scott told the Tampa Bay Times that he has already seen a 15 to 20 percent increase in revenue. The bar is also attracting more women and couples, and he told the Tampa Bay Times that he’s also seeing an increase in people coming from Villagio Cinemas, a movie theater in the same plaza co-owned by his father Howard.
Dale 1891, now renamed and rebranded the Cayman Cove underwent the Jon Taffer treatment in December, 2015. The owners celebrated with a grand re-opening on January 16. The Cayman Cove bar is active on Facebook, but still uses the Dale 1891 FB page.
We always like to take a look at online reviews since makeovers, and in Cayman Cove’s case, only a few reviews are available. Among the three posted on Yelp, two are very positive and one is very negative. It would probably be premature to make a final judgement on Cayman Cove based on these early reviews.
Bar Rescue’s “Paradise Lost” episode airs Sunday, March 20, on Spike TV. Check local listings for times.
Here’s a 2012 commercial for Dale 1891.
Here’s a look at the Cayman Cove post-makeover:
Here’s a look at some menu items now available at Cayman Cove.
Cayman Cove now features cuisine by inspired Food Network chef Kevin Bludso and features new colorful cocktails, including he Cayman Cooler and the Jumping Shark.