Sydney Bar Rescue Update (Bluewater Oyster Bar) – Still Open in 2023?

Is Sydney An Australian Beach Club still open today?

Status: >> CLOSED <<
(keep reading to learn what happened)

Season: 6 | View All Season 6 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: July 15, 2018
The Bar's Original Name Was: Bluewater Daiquiri and Oyster Bar
Sydney An Australian Beach Club Address: 205 1st St N Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250

Sydney Bar Rescue Update (Bluewater Oyster Bar)

Episode Recap

Bluewater Daiquiri and Oyster Bar, later renamed Sydney an Australian Beach Club, was a Jacksonville Beach, Florida bar that was featured on Season 6 of Bar Rescue.

Though the Sydney Bar Rescue episode aired in July 2018, the actual filming and visit from Jon Taffer took place before that.

It was Season 6 Episode 18 and the episode name was “Fish Out of Blue Water”.

In this episode of the Bar Rescue, Jon Taffer visited the Bluewater Daiquiri and Oyster Bar in Jacksonville Beach, Florida.

Jacksonville Beach is, unsurprisingly, the beach part of Jacksonville.

The bar has a great location right by the ocean.

The owner of Bluewater Daiquiri and Oyster Bar is Chung Ong.

Bluewater owner on Bar Rescue

Chung migrated from China to America in 2006.

He’s originally from Malaysia but permanently moved to the USA at 17.

The bar is mostly handled by the manager Charlie, after hiring him Chung didn’t visit the bar for eight months.

When Jon asked him about the issues, Chung blamed the management.

The bartender Brigette is Charlie’s girlfriend who didn’t seem to know much about her job.

Chung told that he has already invested $300,000 in the bar and currently he was at a loss of $10,000 per month.

That huge loss is why the Bluewater Bar Rescue episode happened and why Chung needs so much help from Jon Taffer.

To help rescue the Bluewater bar, Jon Taffer was accompanied by rapper Lil Jon, which adds a fun dynamic.

Lil John on Bar Rescue

Both of them had the same thoughts about the exterior of the bar looking quite outdated.

Even the inside didn’t go with the theme of a party bar.

Lil John also didn’t like Brigette’s attitude specifically.

Lil Jon’s first advice was that they should focus on selling it as a daiquiri bar.

When Lil Jon checked only three daiquiri machines were working.

How can it be a daiquiri bar if the machines are always broken?

The spies asked that same question:

Broken daiquiri machines on Bar Rescue

Even the food wasn’t that good only shells oysters were made well. 

Jon first decided to sort out the communication issues.

He decided to talk to Chung and Charlie together.

When he asked Chung about Charlie’s performance, Chung said he wasn’t as efficient as before.

They told him that Charlie had to clean up his act and fire Brigette since she was extremely incompetent.

Charlie even gave his leaving notice to Chung but then returned the next day. 

The same day Jon told Chung that the bar has suffered a loss of nearly $3,225.

Upon hearing this Chung accused Charlie of stealing which the latter quickly declined.

Jon had to intervene and tell Chung that Charlie looks like he wants to improve.

In the stress test, the employees fail to impress Jon who keeps noticing all the mistakes.

After the test is over, Jon questions Charlie about what he thought happened.

Charlie tries to justify their massive failure by saying they were underprepared.

This explanation got Charlie the nickname “Mr. Excuses” by Jon. Lol – classic Taffer move.

After everything, Jon concluded that Charlie was the biggest reason that the bar wasn’t working.

His managerial skills were extremely poor which needed to change.

His shortcomings aside, he really showed eagerness to improve and had a good working relationship with Chung.

Jon advised Chung to keep Charlie around but train him properly.

Then Jon called some experts for advice, who said that the location was great.

While the experts worked on training up the staff, Jon Taffer and his crew got to work on renovating the bar.

After the whole décor renewal, the bar was unveiled with the new name Sydney: An Australian Beach Club.

So – would the Sydney Bar Rescue episode turn out to be a success? Let’s talk about what happened after and if this Jacksonville Beach FL bar is still open in 2024.

Sydney An Australian Beach Club Update - What Happened Next?

Now that we’ve recapped the Sydney Bar Rescue visit, let’s talk about what happened to this Australian Beach Club after Jon Taffer and his crew left Jacksonville, FL.

Things started off strong for Sydney.

In the standard six-week check-in from the Bar Rescue producers, we learn that sales at the bar have doubled, which is a great sign.

Chung kept on visiting it regularly and Charlie stayed as the manager.

Unfortunately, the good times would not last and the bar started experiencing some issues.

In their October 2018 health inspection, they bar had very poor results.

The health inspector found dead birds and mice, which is obviously a pretty big issue.

If you want to see the gory details, the actual health inspections are public record – you can see the bar’s results here.

Sydney health inspections after Bar Rescue

Given that information, it’s probably no surprise what the answer to the next question is…

Is Sydney from Bar Rescue still open?

Sydney: An Australian Beach Club closed for good in January 2019, well less than a year after appearing on Bar Rescue.

On his LinkedIn, Chung said that the Sydney bar closed because the bar’s lease was up and the landlord sold the building.

The new landlord demolished the building and rebuilt it as a condo – more on this below.

Lease was up and the landlord sold the building.

Building was too old and falling apart.

The new landlord decided to tear down the whole building and rebuild a brand new resorts.

Why the Sydney bar closed

At the time of the closure, the reviews aren’t great as the bar had just a 2.5 star rating on its Yelp page.

Here’s a sampling of a few reviews that were written after the visit from Jon Taffer…

2 star review from February 2018:

We came in a few weeks after bar rescue was there.

There doesnt appear to be much done besides some paint.

The specialty drinks they have are only downstairs, the upstairs bar says they cant make them but have a full bar, weird huh?

We had the kiwi drink and the shark attack.

The kiwi one was nice, the shark attack was so sweet and didnt taste like it had any pineapple it was just a ton of blue curaco.

So we go upstairs to check it out, its about the same really.

We asked the curley haired bartender if he could make a Manhattan, he said he can but he is out of olive juice…

…yeah thats not a Manhattan.

We got a canned beer after he said that!

2 star review from February 2018:

It’s better than it was but still not too good.

The daiquiris aren’t done very well and that’s what they’re supposed to do well.

It’s really sad because it’s in such a good spot.

Definitely a Bar Rescue fail.

1 star review from July 2018:

We’ve been to this location as different places over the years and thought we would try it as the Sydney incarnation when we saw the Groupon.

We came in and sat down and sat and sat and sat.

Several staff members were hanging around the bar area, and it became apparent there was no table service; we needed to go to the bar for beers.

We were the only people in the dining area at this time – beautiful day/middle of the afternoon.

Someone could have actually called over to us that there was no table service, but the policy seemed to be figure it out folks.

As we sat there, a few other people came in and sat down and we were laughing watching the same thing happen over and over.

We were going to get lunch, but after our beers decided to go somewhere else where they wanted our business.

We couldn’t believe this was after a “rescue”

For a time, the old Sydney Jacksonville, FL location was empty because the new building owner demolished the property.

When I looked at it on street view in 2021, it was just a big empty lot (at least at the time of the street view picture).

Sydney Bar demolished

I checked again in early 2023 and it still seems to be vacant, at least according to Google Maps street view.

However, I did search on Compass and it seems like there may be apartments at that location now?

For example, this Compass page for 205 1st St North says that it’s a 10-unit condo building named The Oceanic in Jacksonville Beach.

So my guess is that the new owner re-built the property as a condo complex, given what Chung said on his LinkedIn.

I’m not 100% sure though. If you live near Jacksonville Beach and know what’s happening, please let me know in the comments.

Overall, it seems like there won’t be a bar at this location again, at least not in the near future.

I’ll embed the Google Maps street view shot of the old Sydney Beach Bar Jacksonville FL location so that you can see if if anything changes:

What happened to Chung Ong (Sydney bar owner)?

According to his LinkedIn page, Chung Ong is now working as a real estate investor with his own business.

He also worked as a business broker at Amerinvest Group.

As part of his investments, he also owns a second-hand store in Plantation FL named Plato’s Closet.

Overall, even though Sydney Australian Beach Club closed, Chung Ong seems to be succesful in his other businesses.

If you want to see some other nearby Jacksonville Bar Rescue episodes, you can check out my updates for Cap’N Odie’s Lounge from Season 6 and The Bayou / Fat Balls from Season 6.

Or, you can browse my full list of all 26+ Florida Bar Rescue episodes. That list includes the status of every Florida bar as of 2024.

Thanks for reading!

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Last updated: 2023-03-20 06:18

9 thoughts on “Sydney Bar Rescue Update (Bluewater Oyster Bar) – Still Open in 2023?”

All comments are the sole opinion of the commenter and are not endorsed by RealityTVUpdates.

  1. Just watched a rerun of this episode. After a couple mins of digging I hit Chung’s LinkedIn page which listed:

    “Lease was up and the landlord sold the building. Building was too old and falling apart. The new landlord decided to tear down the whole building and rebuild a brand new resorts.”

    • Thanks! That makes sense given what I saw on Compass. It seems like the landlord demolished it and re-built it as a condo building named The Oceanic in Jacksonville Beach.

  2. The guy that cried and said “I have sooooooo much passion. For this place. For my customers.” 24 hrs before he said “I gave up, checked out, didn’t care.” During an 8 month period of
    Time, collected a paycheck while running the joint into the ground. Yet when he sheds a few crocodile tears, as his employees roll their eyes, seeing through the act., Taffer buys it wholesale. Taffer, he swallowed the hook and believed every bit of BS. If you feign crying, Taffer will believe anything out yer talkhole. Makes him a good probably, and easy to manipulate.

  3. I used to live pretty close to blu water and went there frequently. Came back today after 10 years to find an empty lot. I had no idea it was on bar rescue! But unfortunately it’s still a vacant lot as of Sept ’23 with no signs of anything even beginning to be built.

  4. How does Taffer get the blame for staff not following training they were given. The guy seemed to be a flake. Taffer knew that but the show must go on!!!!!!!!

  5. Address for Oceanic Condos is 205 1st St S; this place was at 205 1st St N about a quarter mile up the shoreline.

    Rick’s description is accurate. It was right behind the speed limit sign.

  6. Still a vacant lot As of October 23 2023. I was working across the street at surfer the bar when this was going on. When I saw what they did was really not much but left the upstairs the same was a let down. The upstairs bar at surfer is always packed out and popular with everyone. its a shame there was a lot of potential for that bar just could never find the right people to run it.


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