This week on Bar Rescue Jon Taffer and the crew are in Florida to rescue the Freaki Tiki Bar – a “neglected,” rundown Clearwater tiki bar. During the rescue, the name of the bar was changed to Frankie T’s.
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The new signage says Frannkie T’s, but the owners also promote the Clearwater drinking hole as Frankie T’s Dive Bar.
Frank Theriault originally purchased the Freaki Tiki Bar back in 2008. Theriault’s longtime friend Shawn Trimpe was brought onboard and took out out a 2.5 percent stake in the business. Combined, the pair have invested about $500,000 in the business. Initially, the bar was a huge success, but that all changed when the owners joined in on the party. With the bar being treated like a frat house, maintenance took a backseat and the bar quickly fell into disrepair. No amount of free booze could keep the customers from calling it quits. With the bar losing $6,500 a month and majority owner Frank Theriault facing bankruptcy, Frank and Shawn made the call for help to Bar Rescue.
According to the official episode teaser, when Taffer arrived he discovered a used condom in the bar.
Co-owners Frank Theriault and Shawn Trimpe pushed back against Taffer over his assertion that the bar suffers from “owner neglect.” The following post appeared on the Freaki Tiki Bar Facebook page on April 6.
Owner neglect? Cleaning crew comes through 5 nights a week, sweeping and mopping behind bar, so if you buy this I have some swamp property for sale, cheap in the everglades. Join us Sunday for the TRUE story with question and answer session after the episode. Dance party after with Matt the Bratt. Come party with us. LOL.
Since the rescue, Frankie T’s has been maintaining two Facebook pages – the new Frankie T’s page as well as the original Freaki Tiki Bar page. According to Frankie T’s Facebook page, the bar’s new website is listed as “coming soon.” Chew Boom can report that on March 25, 2016 bar co-owner Frank Theriault registered the domain name FrankieTsDiveBar.com. In the meantime, you can still check out the Freaki Tiki Bar website, which is still live.
Over on Twitter, the Freaki Tiki Bar Twitter account is still available but hasn’t been active since March 10.
We always like to take a look at recent online reviews of the establishments featured on Bar Rescue, and in Frankie T’s case, very few are currently available. We found one positive review on Yelp, under the bar name: Frankie T’s Dive Bar. We were also able to find a few – mostly positive reviews on Yelp – under the bar’s former name Freaki Tiki Bar. The owners appear to have difficulty fully embracing the new name – which could be detrimental to turning the bar around. Renaming the bar was an important part of the process to rebrand the bar and disconnect from the Freaki Tiki Bar’s reputation. Embracing the new brand will be essential if the owners want to right the ship. Referring to the establishment as a “Dive Bar” is somewhat cheeky, given its location, but it also sends the wrong message. We have a feeling Frankie T’s will be featured on a Back to the Bar episode for all the wrong reasons.
“Getting Freaky at the Tiki” was shot back in December 2015, and airs on Spike on April 10, at 9:00 p.m. ET.
Florida’s Freaki Tiki Bar Is In Disrepair
Water and sewage flow through this Florida bar as it loses $6,500 a month
Jon Taffer Accepts No Excuses!
Jon Taffer gives the owners of Freaki Tiki a lesson in accountability.