(keep reading to learn what happened)
Season: 4 | View All Season 4 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: March 8, 2015
The Bar's Original Name Was: Sandbar Sports Grill
Hot Rock Bar and Grille Address: 3064 Grand Ave Coconut Grove, FL 33143
Sandbar Sports Grill, later renamed Hot Rock Bar and Grille, was a Coconut Grove, Florida bar that was featured on Season 4 of Bar Rescue.
Though the Sandbar Bar Rescue episode aired in March 2015, the actual filming and visit from Jon Taffer took place before that.
It was Season 4 Episode 15 and the episode name was “Bromancing the Stone”.
Note – there was another bar named Sandbar that was featured on Bar Rescue in Season 7. If you’re looking for that update, check out our The Sandbar Brewery / Playa Island Bar update.
The Sandbar Sports Grill is located in Coconut Grove, FL.
Coconut Grove is an upscale area in Miami, FL – right along the water.
Albert Borrero is the owner of the bar.
After visiting the bar for years, he decided to buy it in 2007. That means he’s been the owner for about 8 years at the same of the Sandbar Sports Grill Bar Rescue episode.
In 2010 their sales dropped after legislation drove out the nightly crowds.
Matt Gentile is Alberts’s friend and co-owner of the bar. Currently, the Sandbar Sports Grill is losing money and months away from closing.
Matt is upset that Albert pays himself a high salary as a manager yet doesn’t manage the bar well.
He is nervous because he has started a family and has a lot to lose, so he calls Jon Taffer for help.
For this rescue, Jon brings in Mia Mastroianni and Gavan Murphy.
The area is quiet by 11:00 PM, so Jon says it is essential to focus on happy hour, lunch, and dinner.
Mack and Nick from a local radio station spy on the bar.
The pair orders a Category 5 Hurricane, one of the Sandbar’s specialty drinks.
The juice used makes the drinks too sweet. Shakira, the bartender, is shaking an Old Fashioned.
She has to be reminded that you do not shake an Old Fashioned; she serves it in the wrong class without ice.
The fish tacos the spies order do not even look as if they were cooked.
Albert is playing games instead of working at the bar.
Jon Taffer enters the bar after the rest of the food is brought out inedible.
Mia says she feels she needs to shower after entering the bar.
There are bugs in the liquor bottles, and everything in the bar is unsafe. It’s all super gross.
Jon makes them shut the bar down as he goes into the kitchen.
The kitchen is just as gross as the bar.
Jon tells the staff to clean and come back when it is.
The next day Jon asks the team to tell him about the bar’s theme as it is confusing.
Matt shares with Jon that he is nervous Albert doesn’t care about the bar.
Albert is forced to apologize, although he is hesitant to do so at first.
Mia is training the bartenders, but Albert is on his phone texting, and because of that, he can’t make the Hurricane drink Mia trained them on.
In the kitchen, they are taught how to cook seafood.
The bar is opened for the stress test, but they fall behind right away.
The cooks aren’t cooking the food properly, and the bar is behind on drinks.
Mia tells Albert that he has no business being behind the bar.
Here’s a picture of Jon Taffer holding up two glasses that are supposed to contain the same drink:
He responds by saying that he doesn’t care what Jon Taffer thinks. If that’s the case, why bring Taffer in to rescue the bar?
Jon closes out the checks for the night and tells Albert he is cancer to the bar.
Albert threatens to leave, and Jon says that he probably should.
Jon meets with the owners the next day and promises that he will make the bar something to be proud of.
The next evening he shows the staff and owners the newly remodeled bar.
As part of the renovations, Jon changed the name from Sandbar Sports Grill to Hot Rock Bar and Grille.
Jon put into POS systems and a subscription to Partender.
The bar is packed during the relaunch.
Shakira does a great job behind the bar.
So would the changes lead to success? Let’s talk about what happened after the Hot Rock Bar and Grill episode stopped filming…
Hot Rock Bar and Grille Update - What Happened Next?
Now that we’ve recapped the Sandbar Bar Rescue visit, let’s talk about what happened to the bar after Jon Taffer and his crew left Coconut Grove, FL.
Things started off well, as the revamped bar was quickly earning hundreds of thousands per month.
However, they didn’t like the new Hot Rock Bar and Grille name that Jon Taffer gave the bar.
They quickly reverted back to the Sandbar Sports Grill name and removed the new sign.
So was the name change a good idea? Well, it seems to be working so far…
Is Sandbar Sports Grill from Bar Rescue still open?
As of 2023, Sandbar Sports Grill is still open and serving customers in Coconut Grove, FL.
They’re doing so under the original Sandbar Sports Grill name, after having rejected the new Hot Rock Bar and Grille name that Jon Taffer gave the bar.
The bar also isn’t that active on Facebook, only posting sporadically every few months.
They do seem to have regular specials and events, such as Taco Tuesday and trivia.
Here’s an example of a Facebook post advertising the trivia night:
And then here’s what the bar looks like in the most recent Google Maps street view update from June 2022.
In this street view shot, you can see that the bar has gone back to using the old Sandbar Grill branding.
They also have flags out front for the Miami Dolphins and the Miami Hurricane.
The bar did have some temporary issues in 2020, though. Let’s talk about it…
A Temporary Closure Due to Covid-19 and Fire
While Sandbar Sports Grill is still open now, the bar was closed for around a year from 2020 to 2021.
It started as a closure because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Like a lot of other businesses, SandBar closed in-person service and only did takeout.
However, a couple of days into offering its takeout service, there was a fire in the kitchen that forced the bar to stay closed for about a year.
In an interview with a local publication, one of the Sandbar Grill owners said the following:
Our kitchen was incinerated and there was smoke damage throughout the restaurant.
My heart just sank to the floor, but it would have been a lot worse if the pipes hadn’t melted.
Our building is one of the oldest in South Florida
Sandbar Sports Grill was able to fix the fire damage and reopen in April 2021 and it remains open since then.
They were even able to use the fire as an opportunity to improve the bar.
They improved the design of the interior and added some new outdoor seating.
Sandbar Sports Grill reviews after Bar Rescue
After Jon Taffer’s visit, Reviews for the bar are ok but not great – it has a 3.5 star rating on Yelp, 4.2 stars on Google Reviews, and 4.1 stars on Facebook.
The positive reviews seem to generally compliment the low prices and good value, while the negative reviews seem to focus on the service quality.
Here’s a sampling of reviews that were written after the visit from Jon Taffer…
4 star review from April 2017:
This is another landmark in the grove.
I like what they did with the renovations even thou I was there when bar rescue took over and changed the name to the hot rock.
John Taffer was smoking some hot rock thinking he could change the name of the sandbar.
Fish tacos are fire.
1 star review from March 2015:
Last night I saw an episode of Bar Rescue that featured a make over/ rescue of this establishment.
Today since I was near the Grove, I went over to this place to see the “rescue”.
What a disappointment.
They changed the name back to Sand Bar Grill from Hot Rock Grill.
Apparently either the owners of this bar or the producers of Bar Rescue were short changed.
After seeing that episode last nite and how un sanitary that bar was depicted as, I decided it was not worth eating there!
If you really want to know how well a place is taken care of, always check their bathroom.
This place has a disgusting bathroom.
I guess Bar Rescue decided not to invest in a bathroom remodel as this place is not worth it!
Don’t go. Run away!
3 star review from September 2018:
Best bar in the Grove to watch the Canes games!
This bar has evolved over the years and they now have a great beer list.
The tacos and burritos are good, and service is typically pretty fast.
Expect sports bar food.
Make sure to get there early on game night if you want a table.
It’s a fairly big bar, but it gets packed!
The bathroom leaves something to be desired, as it was the one thing not remodeled when the show Bar Rescue was there.
There are a few tables outside, where dogs are welcome.
Centrally located in a Coconut Grove. Street parking.
Final thoughts on Sandbar / Hot Rock
Overall, even though the Sandbar Sports Grill didn’t keep Jon Taffer’s name change to Hot Rock Bar and Grille, it does seem to be doing well in Coconut Grove.
It did have some issues with a temporary Covid closure that turned into a longer closure because of a fire.
But since reopening in April 2021, it seems to be going strong.
If you want to see some other nearby Miami Bar Rescue updates, you can check out my updates for Ele Lounge / Heat Restaurant in Hollywood, Bonny and Read’s / Toucan’s in Hollywood, and Bamboo Beach Tiki Bar in Fort Lauderdale.
And if you want to see the other bar named Sandbar that Jon Taffer rescued, you can check out my post for The Sandbar / Playa Island in Albuquerque NM.
Thanks for reading!
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Last updated: 2023-01-31 06:50