(keep reading to learn what happened)
Season: 1 | View All Season 1 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: July 31, 2011
The Bar's Original Name Was: Kilkenny's Irish Pub
Breakwall Bar and Grill Address: 100 Fisherman's Wharf Ste H Redondo Beach, CA 90277
Kilkenny’s Irish Pub , later renamed Breakwall Bar and Grill, was a Redondo Beach, California bar featured on Season 1 of Bar Rescue.
Though the Kilkenny’s Bar Rescue episode aired in July 2011, the actual filming and visit from Jon Taffer took place before that.
It was Season 1 Episode 4 and the episode name was “Beach Bummer”.
In this episode of Bar Rescue, Jon Taffer visits Kilkenny’s Irish Pub, which is located in Redondo Beach, CA and owned by Allie Speed.
Allie and her sister Alexis used her inheritance to open Kilkenny’s Irish Pub.
At first, the bar/restaurant was thriving, but they had short-lived success.
Allie made her ex-boyfriend manager of the bar, and since then, sales have plummeted, which is why they’re in desperate need of a visit from Jon Taffer and the Bar Rescue crew.
Jon reads reviews of the bar as he waits in the SUV with his wife, Nicole.
Jon sends his wife in to do recon for the bar.
Nicole Taffer notes that the owner is not working, and she even sits to have a drink with Nicole.
Before Nicole leaves, she sees owner Allie getting massaged by a customer.
Nicole says it is gross.
I gotta be honest – I agree here. It’s a little weird to have a customer massage you, right?
Jon meets with Allie, and they discuss the state of the bar.
He tells Allie that she needs to stop drinking while Jon is there.
Jon takes Allie and Alexis outside and shows them the exterior and what makes customers not want to come in.
Chef Josh Capon and mixologist Michael Tipps are brought in by Jon to help in the recon of the bar.
The experts do a walkthrough of the bar and kitchen.
Chef Josh finds chicken thawing in warm water, which is an extreme health hazard.
Beyond general cleanliness and hygiene issues, the bar is also very unorganized.
Jon wants to meet Carlos, the manager.
However, Carlos is too busy texting to engage, and Jon gets annoyed.
Carlos acts detached from the bar and shows no interest in the bar rescue.
The bar’s financial information isn’t kept at the bar, which is a big issue.
Chef Josh works with the head chef Roberto and asks him to make some of the popular main dishes.
Michael has the bar make drinks to assess their skills.
They are missing essential ingredients needed to make drinks.
Margaritas are on tap, and Michael thinks that is disgusting.
Chef Josh says Roberto has passion and potential and will succeed with training.
He just needs to be trained on the new menu.
Allie, Alexis, and Carlos get together with Jon to discuss the finances.
During the discussion, Carlos gets angry and walks out.
After the financial talk, Jon Taffer and his crew get to work renovating Kilkenny’s.
Jon invests in new glassware for the bar to prepare for the soft opening.
There is a new POS system and a newly designed menu.
Carlos tells the staff to go back to their old ways, and the owners fire him for not getting with the program.
However, they later change their mind and keep him on in a lesser role.
As part of the remodel, Jon Taffer decides to change the name of the bar to Breakwall Bar and Grill.
On the relaunch day, there is a huge line waiting to get into the restaurant.
In just one hour, the bar sold three times as many drinks as they had the week before.
The relaunch runs smoothly.
Now, let’s talk about what happened to Kilkenny’s after the Breakwall Bar Rescue episode…
Breakwall Bar and Grill Update - What Happened Next?
So was the Kilkenny’s Bar Rescue episode a success? Let’s talk about what happened after Jon Taffer and his crew left Redondo Beach, CA.
After 90 days, there are substantial improvements at the newly named Breakwall Bar and Grill.
Carlos is sticking with pretty much all of Jon Taffer’s changes, which is surprisingly rare to see on Bar Rescue.
In an interview with a local publication, Carlos had the following to say about Jon Taffer’s visit:
Business has been great—I’ve seen the changes here, and especially in my pockets.
We got a lot of surfer people who come out, a lot of new customers
However, the changes would not turn Breakwall Bar and Grill into a success.
Is Breakwall still open after Bar Rescue?
Breakwall closed in 2012, which means that it only survived for around a year after the Bar Rescue episode aired on TV.
The main reason that Breakwall closed is because of an issue with its liquor license.
Breakwall surrendered its liquor license on January 25 after having withdrawn an application for another liquor license on December 13.
Allie, the Kilkenny’s / Breakwall owner, had this to say:
Sadly, we had no choice.
We truly thank our patrons, employees and the Redondo Beach community for their support over the past six years.
After Breakwall closed, the old Kilkenny’s / Breakwall location near the Redondo Beach Pier was occupied by a restaurant called Barney’s Beanery for a time.
However, Barney’s Beanery would close close in 2020.
As of 2022, the location seems to be empty for now.
I’ll update when I know more.
And if you know anything about the old Breakwall Redondo Beach property, please let me know in the comments section.
Breakwall reviews after Bar Rescue
At the time that Breakwall closed, it had just a 2 star rating on 28 Yelp reviews, which is obviously pretty bad.
So, in addition to the lost liquor license, it seems like poor reviews played a role.
Here’s a sampling of a few reviews that were written after the visit from Jon Taffer…
3 star Yelp review from February 2012:
I am really sad.
I walked by this place earlier & it seemed closed.
I called the number later & it is disconnected, Kilkenny’s was the first place that the bf (now fiance) & I stopped when we arrived in Cali 4 years ago.
They have a GREAT view of the ocean, and the food was good.
Throughout the years I noticed less & less Irish fare on their “Irish Pub” menu & I had high hopes when Bar Rescue came in.
…(review continues – I cut some text because it’s long)
Honestly, I think that Bar Rescue killed Kilkenney’s/Breakwall.
I’m sure that Jon Taffer would blame it on something else, but he had a hand in it’s demise. 🙁
2 star Yelp review from August 2011:
Went here with my peeps after several hours at Naja’s.
Saw this place on Bar Rescue and thought, why not give it a try.
Not impressed . Sorry.
Nachos-not enough cheese and mixed up beers…no bueno.
Expected a more lively atmosphere. Waiter did an okay job.
Unfortunatly there wasn’t a live band playing that night.
However they did have a DJ doing the old school thing so there was a lil’ dancing on the floor.
My overall experience was aight’.
This place needs another Bar Rescue……or Bar Rehab!
1 star Yelp review from August 2011:
Dive Bar! If you watch the show Bar Rescue, you will see how these people dismissed the wise counsel of John Taffer and went back to their old ways.
Don’t know how they can afford to keep the lights on.
First three beer choices we asked for, they did not have.
Place was 1/3 full on a Saturday evening while El Torito next door had an hour wait.
We were afraid to eat there.
AVOID AT ALL COSTS!
1 star Yelp review from August 2011 (this person predicted things perfectly):
I saw the makeover and hoping for the best I went in for lunch.
The Irish pub wasn’t great but was OK, basic bands and booze place.
The new place was awful.
What was wrong, it would be shorter to list the things I liked.
The view is great.
The food was bad, the service was slow, the wait staff was inattentive and seemed to be annoyed that they had customers.
In fact I was careful to pay in cash because the whole crew seemed a bit shady.
I happened across the Bar Rescue TV show and the episode for this place a few weeks later.
It was interesting to watch and see how these things fail.
I doubt that they survive the season.
I certainly hope they don’t so that someone else can get a try at this location.
Sadly though, the way Redondo Beach manages the pier, it is a surprise that anything survives.
Overall, Breakwall was definitely not a long-term success because it only survived for around a year after Taffer’s visit.
If you want to see some other nearby California Bar Rescue updates, you can check out my updates for Black Light District in Long Beach, Liquid Lounge / Tidal Bay in Long Beach, and Brix / Pacific Cost Wine Bar in Sunset Beach.
Thanks for reading!
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Last updated: 2023-03-06 06:44