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Grow Some Meatballs!

The Tailgate in Santa Clarita has been in a tailspin since extended family members joined its team.

So Bouquet Canyon Road,which is that majorroad there--

42,000 cars a day.

- Think about that.- Wow.

Jon: You want a national franchise, you only need 20,000 a day.

That's a great street.

Look at that sign.

The sign on the side of the building there is out.

So when you're driving past,all you see is "The."

- The what?- ( car horns blaring )

The windows areall boarded up.

Jon: Almost like you don't want people looking inside.

So let's watch a little bit.

Let's see what's going on in the inside of the bar.

Narrator: Jon, Phil, and Brendan observe The Tailgate,

an 1,800-square-foot space

with two speed wells, no P.O.S. system,

and a kitchen in the back.

Look at this.Look at the dollarbills everywhere.

You know how tacky that is?

Narrator: In addition to the cameras following the staff,

Jon has placed surveillance cameras around the bar

to capture the action and watch it live.

Jon: Almost everybody who works here

is connectedto the family somehow.

There's Pops.He's our manager.

He's the only onein the whole family

that actuallyhas experience.

- There's Mike.He's a co-owner.- Mm-hmm.

- It's my turn?- Jon: And there's Diane.

She's Mike's sister and she's a co-owner.

Hoot! Hoot!


( sighs )

Jon: Chef. Is that money on the cutting board?

How many fingershave been touching those notes?

- It's unbelievable. - ( laughs )

I guess they'regetting their cut, huh?

Look at it. You can see there's food residue on there.

There's blood right there.

Normally, I'm worriedabout eating the food in a bar.

Here I'm worriedabout taking the money.

- So there's Robert,our cook, Brendan.- Yeah.

So he's a godbrother to the Millers.

Part of thatextended family.

Oh! What the...?

He's cutting the lemons on the same board she cut the money on.

Straight in.No messing about.

Jon: So imagine cutting up lemons,

wrapping themin money like that,

gettin' the dirtfrom the money all over them,

and then putting them ina garnish tray and droppingthem on a drink.

- Oh, jeez!- Brendan: That's exactly what he's doing.


Jon: Look at this. Raw chicken.

On the same cutting board.


Now he's got the raw juiceall over the handleof the fryer.

This guy isa health hazardand a half.

- Pops!- Oh, what the --?

I'm Jon Taffer.

I've been watching thisfor the past hour.

What the hell isgoing on in there?

You know, Jon,you got me.

I don't want our bartenders--get on the bar--

taking off your shirt.You don't do that!

You're exactly right.

I was just embarrassedby my kids in there

because I told themto get Christina out of there.

- And they didn't.- And they didn't!

Let's go inside together.Come on.

This family isa fricking mess!

Mike won't stand up against his sister,

Diane won't stand up against the staff.

And they all are failingas a result of it.

( bar chatter )

Jon: Let's get your kids together. Let's all talk.

- Where are they?- Mike! Diane!

And you need to getthat bitch out of here, too.


You say acrossthe room, "bitch"?

Is that the professionalyou want to be?

- It's not.- You got suckedinto saying it.

Jon!Don't yell at my dad.

- I'm talking to your father.- That's my dad.

It doesn't--that's my dad!


- Are we good?- You're absolutely right...

- and we're good.- That's my dad.

We're fine. The problemis the three of you.

What's goingon here, Mike?

Say something!

Here's what happens--I fight with her

because half the peoplehere don't belong here.

She can't fire nobody.

We've been telling herso-and-so needs to go--

- Why can't she?- He told her 20 times.

No! They're tryingto fire people

that they haven't trained or told them what the rule is.

Rules are different every other week--

- How does it changeevery other week?- Because--

How does it changeevery other week?!

- Tell me!- It's like a soap opera.

I got one extreme,the other extreme,

- I'd rather--- Who doesn't belonghere? Say it!

( background chatter, laughing )

Say it, Mike!

- ( indistinct bar chatter )- --.

- It's not fair for Miketo single people out, Dad.- Robert...

Robert: What the --?

- Really? You want to cook?- ( overlapping shouting )

- Diane: Robert! Robert!- Robert: Fire my ass!

I do more -- thanall you --!

- Pops: You're fired!

Come on, look around.Let's go!

That last burgercame back?

Look, Robert.How is that burger medium?

Add another one on,quickly.

Let me get this out.Move, man!

I need these orderspicked up, Pops!

Order up, table six! Table six!

Both of these,no problem. Robert?

Is that a -- fire?

Turn this fryer offimmediately.

We need to pull thatoff there quickly.

- Phil: There you go, that's it.- Jon: Now we're talking. Zusie.

Make those drinkssix at a time, let's go!

What the hellis going on here?

I might need toclose this down, Jon.

That's what happens when youdon't clean your kitchen.

You get a grease fire like this.

You need tostarve it of oxygen.

Salt, give me salt,a lot of salt.

Go dump it.Come on, guys.It's getting worse.

There we go.

Except it's inside the vent.We got a problem.

And here we go.One, two, and one, two.

Man: There you go, there you go.

- This is getting worse, guys.- Get me a fire extinguisher.

This is what happens, Robert.This is your fault!

This is what you did!

You gotta do it. Extinguish it out.

Do it, kill it.

You're -- joking me,are ya?

The fireextinguisher's dead!

Your fire extinguisher is dead,for Christ's sake!

Give me that -- thing,quickly.

It's gonna flare up.You gotta do it.

( smoke alarm beeping )

( coughing )

Guys, we havea dangerous situation.

We need to shut this bar down.

So, I got us two great expertsto help me with this bar.

Come on in, guys.

- How you doing?- How you doing?

Robert, how are you?

One of the best bartenders in the country, Phil Wills.

He's here to workwith you guys.

He's gonna give you his heart and soul.

Brendan Collins, he's notonly an award-winning chef,

he has an unbelievable style and an approach to flavors.

So, I want to go to work.

If there's anything thatyou need to say or you needto say, do it today.

- I would like to actually saysomething, if you don't mind.- Of course, of course.

First of all, I would liketo apologize for my behaviorlast night

because I normallydon't come to this bar

and have beers like that

or drinks or run around acting crazy.

What I'm not gonna apologizefor, though, is havinga big heart.

You guys sat thereand watched Jon call mea failure

when I would never allow that to anybody in this bar.

Any of you.

Dad, your people skills,they -- suck.

- First of all--- Diane: Mike, Jon jumps on me and puts me down...

you didn't say --.

Mike: All I said was you're too nice

and you give everybodytoo many chances.

Did you guysstand up to Jon?

Yeah, but somebody messes up,they gotta go!

I let you guysall talk last night,now let me have my piece.

- No, you shut up now.- No, I'm not gonna shut up.

- Before you finish talking--- I listened to everybody talklast night.

None of you -- people stuck up for me,

and I'd take a bulletfor all of you guys.

You just reamed them all!

- And I've got--- Diane: You know why?

'Cause I was -- shocked that nobody stood up for me!

You know what?Nobody in this -- barhas any balls.

Let me give you some balls.Here are some balls, Zusie.

Get some balls.Here, I stuck up for you guys.Get some balls.

'Cause you know what?-- you, Mike.

All right, so,we're targeting

the 21-to-34 demographicsof this area.

So we createda fun package of shots

that introduce flairto you guys as well.

We're gonna get awayfrom the body shots.

The first shot that we came upwith for you guys

is called a"California 3 Party."

Remember, you neverdo shots alone.

You're not gonna sit thereand order shots all by yourself

and just sitat the corner of the bar.

That's not fun.

This truly is somethingthat you wanna do socially,

so with this one,you have three or four peoplesitting there

and you could pour them alla shot at one time.

We're gonna poura half ounce in each.

The first one thatwe're gonna do is yourSmirnoff No. 21 Vodka.

Just an ounceof cranberry juice.

For the second one,Smirnoff Orange Flavored Vodka,half ounce.

One ounce of orange juiceon this one.

Half ounce of melon liqueur,one ounce of orange juice,

barely a scoopof ice in each.

Give it justa couple of shakes.

Stack our tins.

Now slowlybring up your pour

so you can get them all fallinginto the same shot glass,all right?

There it is, guys, the California 3 Party.

You see how pretty that looks?

Okay, so this last oneis a super fun one,

and it's gonna beone of your specials.

You said, "Let's go aheadand make one of these shots

named after Jon Taffer."

- So the name of this drinkis the Jonfire.- Nice.

We're gonna useWild Honey Vodka,

one and a half ounces.

We're just gonnashake this over ice, okay?

Pour that in there.

Just an ounceof ginger beer in there.

But the catch iswe have an atomizerwith mint bitters in it.

Now we're gonna light this on fire.

We're gonna have a little bitof a smoky flavor

right as it goesto the nose.

You're gonna light your lighter,put it down on the glass.

You see that littlegreen color on top?

There it is, guys, the Jonfire.

This is really good.

- Wow.- Oh, wow.

Brand-new fryer,so the grease fire daysare over.

And of course we had itprofessionally cleaned,top to bottom.

- Look at this place.- I wanna get started.

The idea for the food right now

is to do kind of like smallplates, small bites.

I'm gonna do some really beautiful little shots of food

that's gonnaset these guys apart.

All right, so the first dishthat I'm gonna show you--lamb sliders.

So, this is ground lamb.It's really trendy right now.

People love it. We're gonna dotwo-ounce patties with this.

Instead of puttinga pile of cheese on it,

we're gonna putyogurt on it.

Just simple, plain yogurt.

Yogurt is probiotic,so it helps you digest,

so as you're eating thoselamb burgers, you want more.

A little bit of our beautifulyogurt dressing that we made.

Look at that.

- See the height on that?- Yes.

Brendan: We named them after you-- they're Pops' Chops.

Pops: I like that.

We're gonna havea big day tomorrow.

And we're gonna get you guysback to being profitable.

Mike: Sounds good.