(keep reading to learn what happened)
Season: 4 | View All Season 4 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: October 12, 2014
The Bar's Original Name Was: Undisputed Sports Bar & Grill
SoYo Craft Bar Address: 38 Main St Yonkers, NY 10701
Undisputed Sports Bar & Grill, later renamed to SoYo Craft Bar, was a Yonkers, New York bar that was featured on Season 4 of Bar Rescue.
Though the Undisputed Bar Rescue episode aired in October 2014, the actual filming and visit from Jon Taffer took place before that.
It was Season 4 Episode 2 and the episode name was “Thugs with Mugs”.
In this episode, Jon visits Undisputed Sports Bar and Grill located in Yonkers, New York.
If you’re not familiar with Yonkers, it’s on the Hudson River, just north of Manhattan in New York City.
The owners are Miguel Torres and Brian O’Shea, both former boxers.
They opened the bar in 2009. Soon they were a popular spot in the city.
However, the place became unsafe as standards dropped.
Miguel and Brian are now losing thousands monthly, which is why the Undisputed Bar Rescue episode exists.
To rescue the bar, Jon Taffer brings in expert bartender Russell Davis and chef Aaron McCargo.
Ray, Brian, and Matt go into the bar as Jon’s spies.
They see undercooked wings and the owner drinking in the bar when they enter.
After the owners begin fighting in the bar, Jon decides it is the right time to enter.
The bar staff tells Russell they put cheap liquor inside the expensive bottles.
The temperature of the fridge is off by twenty degrees.
Jon makes the team collect plates from the customers before they get sick.
Jon calls the owners thieves and leaves.
Brian and Miguel are forced to shut down the bar for the night.
Suddenly a fight breaks out at the bar, and the Bar Rescue crew gets assaulted.
The bartender calls the cops to diffuse the situation, which is a regular situation for the bar (as you’ll see later in this update).
Jon returns the next morning. He meets with Miguel’s wife, Tanya, who says her husband’s partner isn’t pulling his weight.
Brian and Tanya begin arguing, and Jon has to tell Brian to shut up and listen to Tanya.
Jenny, an old staff member, is brought into the bar by Jon.
Jenny says the bar is unsafe, so she no longer works there.
She thought she was in danger. Brian does take accountability for the lack of safety at the bar.
Jon then brings in his two experts.
Aaron takes the cooks and shows them how to make chicken wings.
The bar is taught three different drinks: mojito, manhattan, and a cosmo. These are all pretty basic drinks, so I’m surprised the bartenders didn’t already know them.
Blue, the bartender, tells Russell he is excited about the drinks.
Before the stress test, Jon meets the security staff and the owners.
He wants Brian to manage, and Miguel will work behind the bar.
As soon as the doors open for the stress test, the staff is overwhelmed.
One customer consumes a piece of glass through her straw, which is incredibly dangerous.
Jon says the stress test was a disaster, and I can’t say I disagree.
Jon wants to change the bar’s theme to a more upscale bar like the city.
This will also help them ditch the problematic clientele who are always fighting.
Jon takes Miguel and Brian to the gym to work out their issues, and the two boxes each other.
They believe the experience has brought them closer together.
Russell teaches the staff new drinks like Soyo Tea and Eclectic Blue.
Jon then begins construction.
He has also changed the bar’s name to SoYo Craft Bar, which is short for South Yonkers.
The bar looks and feels much safer (spoiler alert – it wasn’t safer lol. Keep reading).
Jon installed new appliances and equipment.
Communication is better during the relaunch and things seem to be looking up for the bar.
So was the Undisputed Bar Rescue episode a long-term success? Keep reading my update to learn what happens to this Yonkers, New York bar and whether it’s still open in 2023 and beyond.
SoYo Craft Bar Update - What Happened Next?
Now that we’ve recapped the SoYo Bar Rescue visit, let’s talk about what happened after Jon Taffer and his crew left Yonkers, NY.
Things started off much better for the SoYo Craft Bar. Sales were up and things were going much better.
However, the Bar Rescue bump didn’t last long. A few months later, the sales had crashed down by 60%, which caused them to ditch some of Taffer’s changes.
Torres had this to say in an interview:
“A month later, the sales went down incredibly, more than 60 percent.
If we kept their system going there was no way we would be able to stay open.”
Miguel also disagreed with Jon Taffer’s concept in general, saying that the idea of targeting young professionals wouldn’t work:
The professional (living) here that works in the city is going to have his drinks and eat in Manhattan and then come home to the waterfront.
I also found this behind the scenes video from a local publication about the episode if you want to see how the show is made – pretty cool! Keep reading for the full update, though.
SoYo bar reviews after Bar Rescue
Overall, SoYo Craft Bar had a 3 star rating on 21 Yelp reviews, which is actually surprising given some of the issues that I’ll detail in the next section.
Here’s a quick sampling of reviews that were written after the visit from Jon Taffer…
2 star Yelp review from June 2015:
What a disappointment.
I’ve been here several times after the show Bar Rescue and enjoyed every visit.
Last night (June 4 ) was like a blast from the past when it was called Undisputed.
Customers @ the bar wearing hoodies & baseball caps, music so load that ordering off the menu talking came to pointing to what I wanted.
Although the food was good (SoYo Sandwich & fries), the wait staff was constantly at the opposite end of bar smoking a hooka with the DJ & other customers.
I finished the sandwich & went across the street to another restaurant to have dessert & relax.
Not a good experience at all.
2 star Yelp review from November 2015:
First time here tonight. I think they need to call bar rescue again.
Food was not good, my bf returned a horrible drink. The music was really loud our waitress could not hear us.
Our food took forever to get and when we did get it we got one by one not all together.
There were about 6 other people there all at the bar not eating, the place was empty no reason for slow/bad service and loud music so early.
I wont b back. I only give it two stars bc i could see the knicks game
4 star Yelp review from April 2015:
My husband and I went to visit So/Yo after watching “Bar Rescue”.
The bar was a little smaller than we expected. We waited almost 5 minutes after we arrived to get a drink.
I ordered the So/Yo tea and it wasn’t a good drink. It was very strong. Then I ordered a berry mojito and it was amazing.
Music was good. A mixture of hip hop and Latin music. There was a young crowd but a good one. I did notice that the bartender was smoking hooka.
We saw one of the owners but he didn’t say hello. He was attentive to others. It wasn’t so crowded, which we didn’t mind.
Overall it was okay and will definitely go back.
Is SoYo still open after Bar Rescue?
Undisputed / SoYo Craft Bar closed in March 2018 after a troubled time with lower sales and issues with the police. While the Bar Rescue changes initially had a positive effect, they weren’t enough to save SoYo Craft Bar from closure.
The SoYo Craft Bar owners initially listed the bar for sale back in 2016. The asking price was $150,000, but it seems like there were no offers at that price.
The owners wanted to sell because of the bar’s issues with “rowdy” patrons, which was causing them to get fined by the local officials almost weekly.
There were an incredible 65 visits by police to the bar between July 2015 and April 2016, which the local officials considered “excessive”.
That resulted in 17 results, with six of them being felonies.
There was even a shooting outside the bar in August 2015.
Two men were shot outside/near the bar at around 2:30 AM.
You can find more details here in an article from a local publication.
Here’s a video about the shooting in August 2015:
And here’s a separate video about a SoYo bar stabbing incident in front of the bar from 2016.
In the SoYo bar stabbing, a man walked into the hospital around 4 AM and reported that he was stabbed in front of SoYo bar.
This article has more and you can watch the video below for some live footage.
You never want to have multiple videos of violent events at your bar…
With all of those issues, it’s really no surprise that SoYo Craft Bar closed after Bar Rescue.
Actually, the only surprising thing is that it managed to survive for almost four years.
Overall, this is one where Jon Taffer had the odds against him and, unfortunately, the bar wasn’t able to succeed.
For a time, the old SoYo Yonkers NY location was occupied by an El Salvadoran restaurant named Kalaan Mul Bar & Grill.
However, that’s also marked closed on the Yelp page, though a Google Maps street view from June 2022 stills shows it occupying the old SoYo Yonkers building:
If you know anything about that location, please let me know in the comments.
If you want to see some other nearby Bar Rescue New York episodes, you can check out my updates for Jack’s Ale House / Jack’s Fire Dept. in Sunnyside, Tres Cuartos / Laguna Lounge in Jersey City, and Artful Dodger / P’s and Q’s Autobody in Huntington.
Thanks for reading!
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Last updated: 2022-11-11 10:46