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Monday, March 09, 2015

The Sandbar Grill Bar Rescue episode

Albert Borrero, courtesy Bar Rescue
Did you see the Sandbar saga on Bar Rescue on Sunday night? If not, you should be able to see the full episode called, "Bromancing the Stone," here:

I never realized what a mess the place was before the show stepped in - bugs in the liquor, frozen food, filthy surfaces, mold. I'm surprised I'm alive to write this, as I have eaten there so many times. People on social media are saying it was staged, so makes me wonder why they would allow this to be shown on tv. If none of that was real. Why say you have tainted food if you don't. 

I loved where they put down the City of Miami at the beginning of the show, explaining how the college kids were driven out of town and of course the bar closing times being unfair compared to the rest of the city. I also never realized that co-0wner Albert, was clueless and more into fantasy football than knowing how to run the bar. Is this made up for tv, too? If so, why would you allow yourself to be portrayed like that?

When I went over a few days after filming, Albert explained to me that Bar Rescue did not do what needed to be done, like renovating their bathrooms and fixing the wobbly tables rather than only doing cosmetic things for tv like covering the table tops. I don't think he understood the fact that the bugs in the liquor bottles and the frozen, terrible food and the syrupy fake fruity drinks were the real problem, not the wobbly tables and bathrooms. And his mental absence from the business seemed like a major issue. I think he thought he was on Love it or List It and not Bar Rescue.

What did you think? Did you enjoy the show? Do you hang out there? Was the whole thing just a set up for tv? I think Coconut Grove itself came out appearing excellent by the way the show described us.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Compared to some of the other episodes of Bar Rescue, this was the tamest one I've seen. The kitchen itself wasn't terrible, which honestly shocked me.

Its hilarious how they reverted back to "Sandbar" shortly after filming.

March 09, 2015 12:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a former employee I can tell you what you saw on the show was actually real.and it was clean compared to some days.the food and conditions have gone back to that.which is sad.I think the show was a bad hit for the grove as the talk around the water cooler today is how boring the grove has become.and how many of the old regulars have moved out and elsewhere.I do think it was a huge wake up call for the grove.

March 09, 2015 12:39 PM  
Blogger Brian Breslin said...

I wonder if the hot stone stuff would have worked long term?
The decor in the show was ripped out within days of it filming.
We all have to be honest with ourselves, the Grove isn't as hip as it was 10 years ago. More competition from other areas have taken that crown away from us. The host made some great points about the changing demographic of the area.
I'm a local, and never go out for drinks in the grove anymore. I end up taking uber/lyft to brickell or wynwood/midtown.

March 09, 2015 5:30 PM  
Anonymous Andrew M said...

The Sandbar was exactly as advertised, a dive bar. I don't know why no one appreciates that. I realize that there are a few others in the grove, like the Tavern, Barracuda, and Mr. Moe's, but that's what I, and I think may others appreciate about the grove. It's a lack of pretentiousness in a city that seems to thrive off of it. Leave the "Hot stone" and new décor for Brickell and the Beach. I'll take a heavily lacquered table and fried frozen appetizers any day.

March 09, 2015 6:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So the place lost all its laid-back Grove charm, the food is still crap and the bathrooms still stink? Way-to-go!

March 09, 2015 7:20 PM  
Anonymous Bryan said...

No big surprises with this; eating at that hole should only be attempted when you've consumed enough booze to have a belly full of parasite-killing alcohol. Big surprise however that Sandbar SuperCrusader (Layng?) has not come to the rescue yet.

March 10, 2015 9:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought the episode was so staged that it was hilarious. The city did not drive the College kids out of the Grove. I doubt that College kids can afford or are willing to drive to Brickell or Miami Beach on a Thursday night. Even though U.M. is much closer to South Miami than the Grove the Grove has always been the place where U.M. students hang out. The problem with the Grove is that there are only about four bars that cater to the College crowd (Mr. Moe's, Sandbar, Tavern and Barracuda's). Five or six years ago there was also the Improv, Oxygen, Cielo and Flavour. The 3:00 a.m. closing time hurt the Grove, but it didn't kill it. Places like Mr. Moe's are still open until 5:00 a.m., but the problem is that people just don't go to the Grove anymore. I also don't think that Wynwood is to blame for the Grove's demise since their most popular bar (Wood Tavern) closes at 3:00 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. The Grove could really use a pool hall, a nightclub/lounge like Oxygen and it would be great if the Improv returned.

March 10, 2015 8:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How are there not more comments about this subject?! It's SANDBAR-a Grove staple. I do believe a lot was staged but yes why would go onto a show knowing that's what they do? I thought the drama between the owners was great (and accurate) They thought they were going to get a cheap fix with free publicity and renovating the bathrooms and such. This is where the unreality tv comes in-all the "fixes" were just cover ups. What they need to do is fire everyone and start from scratch. The food takes WAY too long even when the place is empty and when you do get it, it taste like crap. You can only blame the owners for the decline in business. Yes the grove ins't the same as it used to be but put money into the place, bite the bullet and pay for new bathrooms, hire all new people and revamp the place. Change something and don't rely on a TV show to fix it for you. Anyone agree with me?

March 10, 2015 10:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

AGREED. An owner with deep-pockets + another 5 or 6 co-owners should be able to pool enough $ together to bring the place up from the gutter, but they obviously do not care about doing so & now they get a biz lesson the hard way.

March 11, 2015 9:39 AM  
Anonymous AM said...

Lokal has great food, great service and great beer. That place is always busy.
If you do the basics well, customers will come....even to the Grove.
Offer crap and customers will avoid....even in Brickell or Wynwood.

March 11, 2015 2:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bring back the Hungry Sailor! :)

March 16, 2015 2:23 PM  

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