(keep reading to learn what happened)
Season: 6 | View All Season 6 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: August 11, 2019
The Bar's Original Name Was: Buffalo City Bar & Grille
BCBG Address: 5631 Park St N Saint Petersburg, FL 33709
Buffalo City Bar & Grille, later renamed to BCBG, was a St. Petersburg, Florida bar that was featured on Season 6 of Bar Rescue.
Though the Buffalo City Bar Rescue episode aired in August 2019, the actual filming and visit from Jon Taffer took place at the beginning of 2019.
It was Season 6 Episode 42 and the episode name was “Doreen’s Dilemma”.
Buffalo City Bar and Grille is in St. Petersburg, FL. Yes – you saw that right. Despite the name, the Buffalo City Bar is actually located in Florida.
So why is it named Buffalo City? Well, because the bar is Buffalo-themed, with lots of local Buffalo dishes like the beef on weck sandwich and plenty of Buffalo Bills memorabilia.
If you’re not familiar with Florida geography, St. Petersburg is located on Florida’s gulf coast right near Tampa Bay.
The original owner was Frank Sukiennik, who opened the bar in 2014.
That’s about five years before the Buffalo City Bar Rescue episode.
Unfortunately, Frank passed away during surgery. Doreen, Frank’s daughter, was left the bar.
It’s a sad situation that reminds me of the G Willickers Pub Bar Rescue episode from Season 8.
The bar has declined since she took over, and Doreen is overwhelmed.
She doesn’t know how to open a tab at the bar or make simple cocktails.
The bar is in mounting debt, and Doreen’s husband is recovering from multiple strokes.
Chef Vic Vegas and mixologist Alex Goode help Jon Taffer with this ’emergency’ rescue.
The hidden camera footage shows bartenders Lindsey and Angel shaking drinks with plastic cups.
The manager, Bob isn’t using any gloves in the kitchen while the cook, Graham, has one glove on.
To spy on the bar, Jon Taffer recruits Jim Norton and Sam Roberts, of the Jim Norton & Sam Roberts show on SiriusXM.
You might also know Jim Norton from the Opie and Anthony show.
First, they order a Bloody Mary, but it’s served in the wrong glass. They also order a beer.
Both drinks are terrible. It’s hard to make a beer terrible, but Buffalo City somehow made it happen.
The spies order food, and the hidden camera footage shows the unhealthy practices in the kitchen.
Doreen is sitting at the bar, but she is disinterested and not interacting with her staff or customers.
The food finally arrives thirty minutes later and is too greasy to eat.
Jon Taffer finally enters the bar after he’s seen enough.
Sam and Jim give Doreen their negative feedback.
Doreen and Jon talk, and he tells her to start holding her staff accountable and being a leader.
Jon Taffer leaves but watches Doreen admonish her bar staff.
One customer comes to the defense of the bartenders and starts a fight with Doreen.
It gets pretty awkward, even to the point where the customer is flipping off Doreen.
I’m sure the Bar Rescue producers encouraged the drama, but I still thought that it was funny.
Here’s a picture of that moment:
Jon Taffer returns the next day to get to work.
He tells the staff they have to try harder to make Doreen’s dream a success as she has a lot to lose.
However, Bob will not take accountability for the bad food he served yesterday.
The experts come in and look at the bar and kitchen.
Jon tells Bob to clean the kitchen or leave.
Bob leaves but comes back after Doreen asks him.
Now, it’s time for experts to start prepping the staff for the stress test.
Alex trains the staff on making a blue Mai Tai.
Chef Vic Vegas teaches the kitchen team to make a panini.
The stress test starts and Doreen has a hard time keeping up.
The food is waiting too long in the kitchen because there are not enough runners.
Customers wait as long as twenty minutes for their food and drinks.
That’s not the worst delay that you’ll see on Bar Rescue, but it’s still pretty bad.
After the stress test, the experts further work with the Buffalo City staff to get them whipped into shape.
Alex shows the staff how to make attractive drinks targeted towards women.
In the kitchen, Chef Vic shows them simple chicken tenders.
Jon Taffer introduces Doreen to someone interested in buying the bar, as he knows she’s not all-in on the business.
While all of that is happening, Jon Taffer’s crew has been hard at work on renovating the bar.
Jon Taffer kept the bar’s original Buffalo City Bar and Grille name to honor Frank’s legacy.
However, he did improve the branding somewhat by shifting it to BCBG, which is easier to say and remember.
There is a picture of Frank on the newly renovated walls.
There are three new sections, a club area, a parlor area, and a pub area.
Bob is gifted a new red chefs jacket.
Drinks go out quickly during the relaunch, and the customers are happy.
So was the Buffalo City Bar Rescue episode a success?
Keep reading to find out what happened next and if this Saint Petersburg FL bar is still open in 2023.
BCBG Update - What Happened Next?
Now that we’ve recapped the BCBG Bar Rescue episode, let’s talk about what happened to the bar after Jon Taffer and his crew left Saint Petersburg, FL.
Things started off well for the bar as sales were up.
However, it seemed like Doreen wanted to get out of the bar business, as you’ll see in a second.
Is Buffalo City from Bar Rescue still open?
Buffalo City Bar & Grille permanently closed at the end of February 2023.
I’m not sure exactly why Buffalo City Bar closed, but I think at least part of it had to do with a lease issue.
In early February 2023, I found out that the bar will be closing soon as another local business is moving into the Buffalo City St Petersburg FL location in May.
Thank you to a commenter below for alerting me to this – you can see the Facebook post here and I’ve taken a screenshot:
A Yelp review from February 28 2023 confirmed that the bar is permanently closed:
This place is permanently closed.
There are signs in the window indicating this.
A new business is planned for this spot but it is not open.
At least for now, I don’t see any sign of it reopening at a different location.
The bar just generally has a pretty confusing post-Bar Rescue history.
First off, it was already operating under slightly different ownership as Doreen sold the bar to her brother Frankie in August 2019.
That is the same month that the BCBG Bar Rescue episode aired on TV.
On Frankie’s page, he was also still listed as the Buffalo City Bar owner.
However, because the bar is still in the same family and using the same name/branding, I still kept the bar marked as open.
It is possible that the bar was sold again some time in August/September 2022.
I see a few reviews mentioning new ownership and changes at the bar.
The bar also deleted its Facebook page.
Finally, someone also messaged me on Facebook in early May saying the original Buffalo City owners went into receivership.
However, I can’t find any authoritative information to corroborate any of this, so I’m not sure exactly what’s happening.
I am confident that it’s still open because it’s receiving reviews on multiple platforms. I just don’t know anything about the ownership.
Here’s what the Buffalo City Bar St Petersburg Florida location looks like in the most recent Google Maps street view update, which was from early 2022:
If you know anything about the ownership status of Buffalo City Bar & Grille before it closed, please let me know in the comments.
Buffalo City Bar reviews after Bar Rescue
Reviews for the bar seem a bit mixed, as it has just a 2.5 star rating on Yelp, though a 4.2 star rating on Google Reviews.
A lot of the recent Yelp reviews are very negative, though you’ll also find a lot of positive reviews on Google Reviews.
Here’s a sampling of some of the reviews that were written after the BCBG Bar Rescue episode.
1 star Yelp review from February 2022:
The daughter I watched try to fight a guest at the bar also witnessing the same night, the father involved, who is the owner, in a fight.
Food is too salty, but one Positive was a gentleman named Paul who made sure we were well attended too throughout the evening and felt safe and kept us safe during all the fighting and screaming.
Very scummy and unprofessional establishment.
1 star Yelp review from March 2019:
Was interested in checking this place out because they were recently on Bar Rescue.
We went in the bar and not greeted at all, eventually we sat down and a waitress came to us.
We got a menu and then waited on her to come back to place an order, which she never returned.
This is a decent looking place if they cleared out all the of regulars that glared at us the entire time we were there.
And the smell of cigarette smoke is still strong because they allow people to smoke while being visibly intoxicated, laughing and shouting right outside the door you come in.
We witnessed a few people walk in and walk right back out.
From first impressions this is a bar for 60 and up due to the surrounding area.
Good for them but we will not return, ever.
3 star Google Review from April 2022:
Tina the bartender is absolutely amazing.
She is friendly and a super hard worker.
Food was average.
Salad was better than expected.
Fries were excellent.
Drink prices were cheap.
They don’t have a huge selection of liquor.
Large indoor area of seating with two bars.
Lighting inside is dingy and really makes the place feel like a low class dove bar.
There is an outdoor patio.
Bar is in a strip mall, so the outdoor patio isn’t the best ambiance.
Bathrooms are absolutely disgusting.
They make a highway rests top bathroom look high class.
This is the home for Buffalo Bills fans during football games.
5 star Google Review from March 2022:
Best beef on Weck sandwich!
Mett 2 great workers there as well Jessica 1 and 2
5 star Google Review from January 2022:
If you’re from WNY, you’re going to love their beef on week, curly fries with malt vinegar, sahlen hot dogs.
Watch a Bills game on one of their many TV’s, or just go to meet other WNYers.
They also televise bucks games.
All new bar also
Overall, it kind of seems like people from Buffalo like the bar because it reminds them of home, which makes them willing to overlook some issues.
People not from Buffalo don’t seem to have the same positive feeling.
The bar also did big business during the 2022 Super Bowl, as the Buffalo Bills made an appearance.
Buffalo City also regularly posted events on its Facebook page before its closure
For example, they had karaoke on every Monday, trivia on Saturday nights, live music, and more.
Overall, it seemed to have a mixed run after Bar Rescue.
But as of March 2023, I can confirm that the Buffalo City St Pete location that you saw on the episode is now closed.
If they decide to reopen the bar at another location, I will update this post.
If you want to see some other Florida Bar Rescue episodes from the Saint Petersburg / Tampa area, check out these posts:
- Cayman Cove / Dale 1891 update
- Freaki Tiki’s / Frankie T’s update
- The Bridge Lounge update
- Lucky Leprechaun / Lucky’s Corner Pocket update
To see even more episodes, you can check out my full list of all 26+ Bar Rescue Florida episodes.
Thanks for reading!
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Last updated: 2023-03-18 05:05