(keep reading to learn what happened)
Season: 6 | View All Season 6 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: March 3, 2019
The Bar's Original Name Was: Shibo
Shibo Address: Calle Loíza 2012 San Juan, Puerto Rico 00911
Shibo was a San Juan, Puerto Rico bar that was featured on Season 6 of Bar Rescue.
Though the Shibo Bar Rescue episode aired in March 2019, the actual filming and visit from Jon Taffer took place before that.
It was Season 6 Episode 25 and the episode name was “The Lights Came Back in Puerto Rico”.
Shibo, also spelled Shibō, is in a bar in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
It’s a Latin Asian fusion bar/restaurant that features a little bit of everything, including Thai, Vietnamese, Ramen, etc.
This is the second time Jon Taffer has found himself in Puerto Rico, after previously doing another special episode for three separate bars in the Operation: Puerto Rico episode.
Brother and sister Jonathan and Gabriella Cruz own the bar.
Jonathan cooks the food while Gabriella and her sister invest in the bar.
Shibo, an Asian fusion restaurant, was successful at first.
Then Hurricane Maria, a category five hurricane, slammed into Puerto Rico.
The impact devastated the bar, along with the rest of the island.
The owners cannot afford to open the bar, which is why the Shibo Bar Rescue episode exists.
This gave the bar a rather unique circumstance, as it was failing because of issues outside the owners’ control rather than the normal incompetence that you see on Bar Rescue.
You’ll see this appear again in Bar Rescue Season 8, when Jon Taffer was helping bars that were hurt by the Covid-19 pandemic and health closures.
For example, you can see that Shibo’s windows are still covered up at the beginning of the episode:
To help get Shibo back on track, Jon Taffer has set up training at another location to sample Jonathan’s cooking.
Chef Anthony Lamas and mixologist Robert Floyd join Jon Taffer to help the bar.
The experts and Jon order one of every item on the menu.
The first drink they are served, a sangria, is tasty and colorful.
A sushi meal comes out next, and Chef Anthony is impressed.
Gabriella is confident as she explains the drinks and dishes to Jon and the experts.
Jon calls Jonathan from the kitchen when they finish eating.
The owners tell Jon about their success before the hurricane and how they can’t afford to reopen.
Everyone goes to visit the site of Shibo.
The bar is messy but has very little damage from the hurricane.
The food in the kitchen has rotted and is infested with insects and vermin.
Jon Taffer stays to help them clean, which is a nice thing to do.
The next day Jon Taffer and the owners meet to discuss the bar’s finances.
The bar is in serious debt. Gabriella’s husband also has a loan out in his name.
The experts are introduced and begin training the employees for the stress tests.
Chef Anthony advises Jonathan to hand out tasks to other employees in the kitchen, so he has time to visit the dining room and speak to the customers.
Rob tells the bartenders their drinks were good, but they can make more exciting ones.
The bartenders begin making drinks too slow during the stress test, and many have to be dumped.
Maria, a server, helps the bar make drinks. Jonathan makes time to meet with guests.
After the test, Jon Taffer gives feedback to the staff.
He calls out bartender Brian and tells him he needs to make more than one drink at a time.
The next day training continues on high-end drinks and cocktails.
On relaunch, a newly renovated Shibo is revealed.
Because the bar was already successful before Hurricane Maria, Jon Taffer kept the original Shibo name.
The interior is more modern and looks great.
There were some issues during the renovation, though…
Jon informs the owners that the power went out for over five hours during renovation, and they almost didn’t make the deadline.
To stop them from losing electricity in the future, Jon has gifted them a generator.
The bar opens for the relaunch.
Brian is doing great at the bar as he makes more than one drink.
Jonathan does excellent in the kitchen and makes time to meet with the customers.
Jon Taffer is proud of the owners and it seems like Shibo is back on track to survive.
Shibo Update - What Happened Next?
Now that we’ve recapped the Shibo Bar Rescue visit, let’s talk about what happened after Jon Taffer and his crew left San Juan, Puerto Rico.
At the six-week check-in with the Bar Rescue producers, it seems like things are getting back on track.
The bar still isn’t doing quite as well as it was before Hurricane Maria, but at least it’s open and growing the business.
Is Shibo from Bar Rescue still open?
As of 2023, Shibo is still open and serving customers in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
However, it’s doing so under new branding as the bar changed its name to Yumbootik International Cuisine in late September 2022.
I’m not sure why they changed the name, but Jonathan Cruz is still the chef there which is why I’ve left it marked as open.
I’m not sure if Gabriella is still involved, though.
Additionally, it still has the same Latin/Asian fusion concept, just under a new name.
I also found this Facebook post on the Yumbootik page where Jonathan confirms that it’s the same as Shibo, just with a new menu.
Additionally, here’s the description of the bar from the Yumbootik website, where it says that Yumbootik was “formerly known as Shibo” and confirms that Jonathan Cruz is still the chef:
If you are reading this, you are looking for somewhere NEW and SPECIAL to eat.
Although we may be new to many, we’ve been around for a while.
Formerly known as SHIBO, we now bring you a whole new concept created by our very own Chef Jonathan Cruz.
If you disagree and think that I should mark Shibo as closed instead of open, let me know in the comments.
Either way, reviews for Shibo generally seem quite good, as it has a 4 star rating on Yelp and TripAdvisor, as well as a 4.3 star rating on Google Reviews.
Most people compliment the food and drinks.
Many reviewers also note that the bar is very busy on weekends, so reservations are required.
Let’s take a look at a few reviews from when it was still using the Shibo Puerto Rico branding…
Here’s an example from a February 2022 review:
Came as a party of 4 in the early evening and were lucky enough to be seated right away.
The place is BUSY so make sure to make a reservation before you come.
I think the service could’ve been better for sure; we did stand around waiting for the host, food did take a while to come out and our server didn’t come check in with us after we received our food.
The food, however, was AMAZING.
I got the lemongrass chicken and I’ve been thinking about it ever since.
That’s great for Shibo, as it seems like they’ve been able to fully build back their business after Hurricane Maria.
One Yelp reviewer did complain about the reservation system, though:
This is the only place in Puerto Rico that I know of that requires a $25 fee for reservations which would be credited to your meal bill.
We arrived 20 minutes early (if you arrive more than 10 minutes late they do not guarantee your table and your $25 will not be reimbursed!!)
Maybe Shibo was having a lot of no-show reservations so they implemented this system.
It doesn’t seem like a huge deal because the deposit is credited to your bill, but I guess some people don’t like it.
Overall, the Shibo Bar Rescue episode seems like a real success story.
It’s great that they were able to recover after Hurricane Maria and rebuild a thriving business.
They have changed the name from Shibo to Yumbootik, but the same people you saw on the Bar Rescue episode are still involved, which is why I’ve left it marked as open.
If you find yourself in San Juan, Puerto Rico and you want to visit Shibo/Yumbootik, you can learn more and see the menu at the official Yumbootik website.
If you want to see another Puerto Rico Bar Rescue episode, you can also check out my update for El Krajo Beach Bar.
Thanks for reading!
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Last updated: 2023-02-04 07:19