(keep reading to learn what happened)
Season: 4 | View All Season 4 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: March 20, 2016
The Bar's Original Name Was: Dale 1891
Cayman Cove Address: 11742 Dale Mabry Hwy Tampa, FL 33618
Dale 1891, later renamed Cayman Cove, was a Tampa, Florida bar that was featured on Season 4 of Bar Rescue.
Though the Cayman Cove Bar Rescue episode aired in March 2016, the actual filming and visit from Jon Taffer took place before that.
It was Season 4 Episode 45 and the episode name was “Paradise Lost”.
In this episode, Jon Taffer visits Dale 1891 in Tampa, FL, the biggest city on Florida’s Gulf Coast.
The bar is located on the Dale Mabry Highway, which I assume is where the name comes from. The highway is also named after a local hero, so it has two connections.
Howard and Gonen own the bar, as well as a cinema.
However, Howard’s son Scott actually runs the bar and has invested $80,000 of his own money into the enterprise.
Howard and Gonen let Scott run the bar as they focused on their cinema business. It’s obviously not going great, however, which is why the Dale 1891 Bar Rescue episode exists.
To help save the bar, Jon Taffer brings in expert BBQ chef Kevin Bludso and mixologist Daniel Ponsky.
Jon and the experts are confused because the bar’s name, named after a local hero, does not match the bar’s tiki theme.
The interior is just as confusing because there is a motorcycle in the middle of the room.
Stephanie, Scott’s wife, also helps at the bar.
Howard does not do much work at the bar, and Gonen clashes with Scott often.
Jon uses locals as spies on the bar. The spies order a mojito.
As they watch the bartender make the drink, they notice him overpouring. Personally, I don’t mind a little extra booze in my drinks, but some people don’t like that (and it’s not good for the bar’s finances).
They also order burgers, but the bartender has to go across the street to the cinema to drop off the order.
He has to go back for the food even though Dale 1891 has their own kitchen.
The owners have a meeting in the bar and start raising their voices even though customers are there.
Jon then enters the bar to start whipping things into shape.
Scott is in charge of the books, but he has no idea how to run them or the costs of the beverages.
Jon tells Howard and Gonen that they have to take control of the bar as majority holders.
Jon returns the following day to speak with Scott.
He also commends the staff on their service skills.
The owners tell Jon how much debt they are in and bring out their bank statements.
Scott has a lot of personal expenses on the reports, which is a fraud since Howard and Gonen didn’t know.
Scott claims he does not get a salary despite spending a lot of money.
Howard and Gonen ask Scott to sign over the business account, but he won’t do it.
Jon reuses to remodel the bar if the owners can’t decide.
During the stress test, Scott will have to step up to change the mind of the owners and Jon.
Daniel, the expert, trains the staff to make a strawberry and coconut mojito.
Kevin shows Stephanie how to make sandwiches in less than five minutes.
The stress test begins, and customers are let into the bar.
The bartenders start by breaking glass into the ice bin, which needs to be cleaned out. This is a huge no-no in a bar – you never put glass in the ice bin! It’s such a huge risk because you can’t tell the difference between glass and ice.
The kitchen is succeeding, but there is no one to serve the food.
Scott brings out a shrimp dish but has no idea what table to bring it to. They need better systems if they’re going to be successful.
Scott is unorganized, and the customers begin chanting for mojitos.
Scott jumps in behind the bar to help.
He makes many mistakes but eventually gets them correct.
Jon is impressed by the work Scott has put into the stress test.
Jon meets with the owners the next day and finds out that Scott has handed over financial control.
The staff is then trained on how to make cocktails using Captain Morgans.
Stephanie is taught how to make a skewered marinade with rum sauce.
Jon Taffer and his crew also get to work on renovating the bar.
As part of the changes, the bar is renamed from Dale 1891 to Cayman Cove.
The interior has also been updated with bright colors.
The bar is packed for the relaunch, but the staff is doing well.
So was the Dale 1891 Bar Rescue visit a long-term success? Keep reading to learn what happened next and if this Tampa, Florida bar is still open in 2024.
Cayman Cove Update - What Happened Next?
Now that we’ve recapped the Cayman Cove Bar Rescue visit, let’s talk about what happened after Jon Taffer and his crew left Tampa, FL.
At first, things seemed to be going quite well, as the bar’s sales were up around 20% after appearing on the show.
They also seem to have stuck with the changes that Jon Taffer made and kept using the Cayman Cove name.
It’s surprising how many bar owners go back to their old names after Taffer leaves – but Cayman Cove wasn’t one of those bars.
Unfortunately, the good times would not last for the bar.
Is Cayman Cove from Bar Rescue still open?
Cayman Cove closed for good in June 2019, a little over three years after appearing on Bar Rescue.
At that time, reviews were generally negative, as the bar had just a 2.5 star rating on Yelp.
The Cayman Cove owners posted the following message on the Cayman Cove Facebook page when they closed the bar:
That’s how we END cayman cove.
We wanna thank you all for the loyalty all those years.
It was an amazing 9 years.
But today our family is growing and we wanna be able to stay together and the bar was a great time but the hours are crazy and we’ve decided we want time for us and do things together.
We will keep you all in our hearts and prayers as we move onto a new chapter of our life’s.
Here’s a screenshot of the Facebook post in case it gets deleted:
It seems like the reason that they closed the bar had to do with wanting to focus on family instead of running a bar.
I hope they’re happy with the new focus!
As of 2023, the old Cayman Cove Tampa Florida location is occupied by a new bar named Green Parrot Tiki Bar and Grill.
Reviews for the new bar are not very good, with a 2 star rating on its Yelp page (though only one 3 reviews).
It does better on Google, though, where the Green Parrot Tiki Bar has a 4.2 star rating.
Here’s the most recent picture of the old Cayman Cove Tampa location in Google Maps street view – you can see the sign for the Green Parrot Tiki Bar:
Cayman Cove reviews after Bar Rescue
Before its closure, reviews for Cayman Cove were not very good, as I noted above.
Here’s a sampling of a few reviews that were written after the visit from Jon Taffer…
3 star Yelp review from July 2016:
We did not like this place prior to the makeover.
Since we have tried it twice once for drinks and once for drinks and food.
Jon did a great job on the makeover and tying the theme together.
Service has been just okay.
We noticed that have a few regulars that get a lot of attention, which is great if you are a regular!
However we had our food dropped off and the bartender ran over to hug a regular and talked to him for 15 minutes, while we waited for salt and some drinks.
Now for the food………..
Awesome concept however flavor is missing huge! I had the burger with pineapple on it, it was good but not great.
We also had the skewers and the fish, they were awful and pretty much not edible.
Jon Taffer this place has a ton of potential, but it may be time for a follow up. We will return for drinks.
1 star Yelp review from January 2016:
Sooooooo disappointed… Had such high expectations after Bar Rescue came through.
Tried 3 items off the “new island style menu”…
Steak skewers (microwaved meat on a stick) Devil crab that was straight out of a box and still frozen in the middle.
But the capper was the jerk chicken. Seriously, dry and bitter! How do you make chicken bitter???
Bartender was same old rude guy that’s been there forever.
I hate writing negative reviews but this rescue was an epic fail.
It sucks because the owner and his family are good people and I want them to succeed but the changes that needed to happen where the most glaring and stayed exactly the same.
1 star Yelp review from September 2018:
This place needs a lot of work in so many areas.
To begin with, the whole area had a dank smell.
The service is slow and not great at all.
One person had our table ordered and drink and had to remind the server 3x before she remembered it.
The food is mediocre.
I’m sorry to have to write such a bad review but I can’t find one redeeming quality.
They are right by the movie theater so if they got their act together, I’m sure they would do well.
But alas, I’m just now reading that Bar Rescue tried to help them and if that didn’t work, I don’t know what will??
Sorry to have to put this business on blast and I asked the two other people at my table what they thought and they said they’re never coming here again.
Overall, Cayman Cove seems to have had a solid ~4 year run, but it’s now closed for good so that the owners can focus more on their family.
If you want to see some other Tampa Bar Rescue episodes, you can check out my updates for The Loft / Cerealholic Cafe in Tampa, Jerry’s Dockside Bar / AJ’s on the River in Gibsonton, Crowne Irish Pub / The Forge in Brandon, and JF Kicks / Jimmy’s in Valrico.
I also have a post that lists all of the Florida Bar Rescue episodes.
Thanks for reading!
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Last updated: 2023-02-05 11:27