Tag Archives: Steve Smith

Jon Taffer Brings Rescue Tour to New Orleans July 17

Jon Taffer (center) with Spirits on Bourbon owners Steve Smith (left) and Brad Bohannan (right).

Jon Taffer (center) with Spirits on Bourbon owners Steve Smith (left) and Brad Bohannan (right).

Anyone who studied Jon Taffer’s bar rescues knows there is a method to the madness. If numbers are any indicator of success, 77 of 128 bars (including four that were sold to other owners) Taffer rescued are still open, including Spirits on Bourbon.

See: Spirits on Bourbon is Wildly Successful (Video)

And that’s just for the Spike TV show, “Bar Rescue.” His experience goes far beyond the statistics, though. In reality, Taffer has “opened, operated, and conceived” of more than 800 bars in 30 countries. Complies sucha s Hyatt Hotels, Hilton Hotels, TGI Fridays, Subway, Wolfgang Puck Express, Anheuser-Busch, and others have utilized Taffer’s know-how.

“This is what I do,” Taffer says.

Now Taffer is taking his expertise on the road with his Rescue Tour. Starting on July 10 in San Jose and concluding in Long Island, New York on August 24, Taffer will take his tour across America with a series of four-hour keynote seminars on how to be successful in the hospitality industry, particularly in the bar business.

The seminars will cover a range of topics within Taffer’s “bar science” philosophy, enhancing bar food, developing beverage programs, and perfecting guest experiences.

Jon Taffer at Spirits on Bourbon in 2014.

Jon Taffer at Spirits on Bourbon in 2014. Picture by Brad Bohannan.

The tour is intended for anyone who either owns, operates or manages a small business within the hospitality industry. Businesses don’t just include bars, but also restaurants (quick service, casual dining, etc.) and any small business that wants to increase revenues and gain more customers. New entrepreneurs and hospitality business students are also welcome.

Specifically, Taffer will teach his “sales trifecta”, which includes growing new customer traffic, increasing guest frequency, and building guest spend (basically getting people to buy more of your stuff). Also, he’ll give some advice on hiring the right people for your business.

Taffer’s Rescue Tour will be in New Orleans on July 17 from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside located 2 Poydras Street. Tickets are still available at several price and access levels. Go to www.rescue-tour.com for details. 
10:30 a.m. – VIP Ticket holder check-In begins at Registration Area
11:00 a.m. – VIP Ticket holder Meet & Greet with Jon Taffer promptly begins
11:15 a.m. – General Admission ticket holder’s check-in begins at Registration Area
12:00 p.m. – Rescue Tour Starts
1:30 p.m. – 30 Minute Break
2:00 p.m. – Rescue Tour resumes
3:30 p.m. – Rescue Tour ends

More information about the events and future tour dates can be found at rescuetour.com. Here’s a video of Taffer’s upcoming Rescue Tour:

Jon Taffer’s Rescue Tour from Bjorn Wallman on Vimeo.

And be sure to stop by 615 Bourbon St. before and after the seminar.  You might be able to catch Jon hanging out at Spirits on Bourbon. In any case, at least drop by and hang out for awhile.

Spirits on Bourbon is located at 615 Bourbon Street in New Orleans and is open 24 hours. Follow Spirits on Bourbon on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

-Written by David Minsky-

Fifth Annual End Alzheimer’s Event is October 9th

Spirits on Bourbon  and Turtle Bay is looking forward to the fifth annual ‘End Alzheimer’s’ event planned for October 9th from noon until five at Turtle Bay 1119 Decatur.

  “The event has grown every year and we are hoping to beat Last years total of over $3800 raised to fight Alzheimer’s,” said Brad Bohannan.  

 “I have seen Alzheimer do its work devastating lives, and would like nothing more to see the end of Alzheimer’s,” added Steve Smith. This years event will feature many raffle items with 100% of every dollar going to Alzheimer’s research. We hope you can help us to beat last years total and continue to grow this annual event!

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Spirits on Bourbon Takes on Cancer at Reality Rally

Brad Bohannan  and Steve Smith attended Reality Rally for the third year representing Spirits On Bourbon! They joined over 100 reality TV stars to make Reality Rally  was a huge success. Over thirty television shows were represented!  

     Spirits On Bourbon owners, Steve Smith and Brad Bohannan, raised close to $10,000 this year, giving a three-year total of over $25,000 for Michelle’s Place. Michelles Place  is a Temecula-based nonprofit that provides support for breast cancer survivors and their families. The weekend started with a visit to Michelle’s Place and hearing the story of Michelle’s dream to provide a place for people to go when dealing with breast cancer. 

  awards were given to the start to raise the most money with Steve and Brad both top fundraisers. 

  Then they had a red carpet event and casino night   where Guest start vying to win prizes with all proceeds going to Michelle’s Place.

  The Rally includes an Amazing Race style competition in which the stars are paired up with fans and sponsors. Brad and Steve were lucky enough to have the same teams they had last year select them once again. Brad’s team, the Tata Sisterhood, finished third last year and worked hard strategizing and raising a ton of money. Together they were able to improve and finish first in the Amazing Race style competition! 

  Steve’s team, Blame it on the Bankers, only finished five of the fourteen stations last year but where the first team to the bar! Wanting to improve from last year, they finished six stations and made their way to the Bank Bar and Grill for some set a celebratory drinks. “We may not finish first in the race but we finished first to the bar for the second year in a row. I think that’s something to be proud of!” said Steve Smith.  

  Later that day, they had an autograph session with fans could meet and mingle with their favorite reality stars. Spirits on Bourbon  was honored to participate in Reality Rally  2016.  

 “We have raised a lot of money for a great cause and have made a lot of life long friends along the way,” said Brad Bohannan . “We hope to come back next year to raise more money for Michelle’s Place, see some old friends and gain some new friends in the beautiful city of Temecula

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Turtle Bay’s 4th annual Alzheimers fundraiser collects close to $4000.

The Saints had their bye Sunday but there was still plenty to cheer about at Turtle Bay‘s,Spirits sister bar on Decatur St). As part of  the Walk to End Alzheimers, fund raiser organizer Mardi Johnson held her 4th Annual Fund Raiser Raffle.

award winners

Mardi teamed up with  Turtle Bay again,  to raise money and awareness for Alzheimers. The fund raiser consisted of  individual raffles every hour, on the hour. Great prizes were donated from friends and local business, as well as some national organizations. The big prize of the day was a signed Jimmy Buffet guitar which was awarded at the end of the day.

“Mardi does an incredible job getting donations and hustling the raffle tickets. She works at the fund raiser all year. It has grown and raised more money  each year we have done it. We are proud to work with her on this” said Turtle Bay owner  Brad Bohannan

The event has grown each of its four years. Sunday’s fund raiser was a great success raising nearly $4000 for the charity. It is not too late to donate to the Mardi/Turtle Bay team page. Please go to this link and add to the total here.

“Thanks to everyone who helped in any way with our Alzheimers event. I’m amazed at the outpouring of love! The day flew by because of the laughter and caring from all of the Turtle Bay community. It really does take a village and we have a great one. See ya next year!” added Johnson.

sharon and mardi

 

“It’s such a great day for a great cause that is near to my heart” said Turtle Bay owner Steve Smith “I’m proud to be a part of it and we will do everything we can to help the fund raiser continue to grow every year! Not only is it for a great cause but the customers love it and thanks to the many donations from local businesses, very few people leave empty handed”.

sharon

  

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Charles Grant and Spirits on Bourbon Team Up to Feed Hundreds in Need

Charles Grant is a Super Bowl hero and New Orleans Saints legend. Spirits on Bourbon is a French quarter hotspot with philanthropic owners. When the pair teamed up, they created a team that would rival the New Orleans Saints themselves!  

  

 The idea started when Charles Grant wanted to help his community. Founder of SACK Success Foundation, Grant is no stranger to giving back. Given the holidays, his goal was to pass out hundreds of turkeys to families in need. When he reached out to Brad Bohannan and Steve Smith, owners of Spirits on Bourbon, the idea grew into something much larger.

“I thought that Charles Grant was onto something wonderful! But the more we thought about it, I knew that the turkeys would only help someone who had the ability to cook them. Owning a restaurant, it may have been a lot easier to just cook the meal and drop it off at the mission or the homeless shelter.  

 Instead, I thought that I wanted to give them more than a meal. I wanted to give them an experience,” said Brad Bohannan. Steve Smith was on board from the beginning, “I thought it would be wonderful to open the doors to our restaurant, have live music, and make it an experience that they would remember.”

In no time at all, between the three of them had volunteers, donations, and lots of helping hands. Several Saints players put smiles on many faces when they surprised everyone by showing up at the event!  

 A local baseball team, the Château chargers, even volunteered to serve all the food!  

 Charles Grant started the day, with a bowed head blessing to help everyone remember those who are not so lucky during the holiday season. Every age, creed and story passed through the doors of Spirits on Bourbon and were greeted with open arms and a hot meal. 

Today’s efforts served over 200 people in need, and provided over 150 turkeys to families!

“This is just the beginning, giving back is what we should all do. We look forward to growing, and growing these types of opportunities for our local community in need,” vowed Charles grant. 

 

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Very Bad Santa, Half Way to Christmas Pub Crawl.

No, you weren’t drinking too much Saturday when you saw all the Santa Claus’ and his bad Elves roaming Bourbon Street.  

  It was the Very Bad Santa…Halfway to Christmas Pub Crawl! In fact, every December you will see the French Quarter filled with very bad Santa’s and His very bad helpers. The event has grown so much that people couldn’t wait until December so now they do a Hal-Way to Christmas Pub Crawl to hold everyone over. They stopped at Spirits on Bourbon  and had some great drinks and took a few spins in the Barber chair. 

  “Watching the people’s faces and all the Santa’s coming rolling in always makes me smile!” says Brad Bohannan. After hitting the Quarter and enjoying many cocktails and being ‘very naughty,’ the group ended up at Turtle Bay and enjoyed some of the great food.  

  “We look forward to the Very Bad Pub Crawl and are happy to have them and are excited to have them in July now also,” said Steve Smith. So if you are lucky enough to get put on the naughty list this year, come join the Pub Crawl this December!n You will have so much fun you may never be good boy or girl again!

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Speaking at The Intuit Quickbooks Conference

Spirts On Bourbon was lucky enough to host the corporate function for Scaling New Heights Conference on Monday night! By all accounts it was with great success.  

 
  Spirits welcomed the capacity crowd with food, entertainment and drinks for all tastes.   

  On Tuesday night, we were were honored to be invited to speak at the Intuit Quickbooks conference along with Jon Taffer and Joe Woodward.  

  We advised the group of over over 1000 ProAdvisors on our thoughts as to what would help them better understand the struggles their clients face every day. We are also going to be working with Revel Systems to help test and modify a new POS system for Spirits on Bourbon.  

  We look forward to coming back next year to the Scaling New Heights conference and tell you all about our experience with this new POS System. Thanks for including us Intuit!

Mayweather Pacquiao Fight

It was billed as the fight of the century, as undefeated Floyd Mayweather took on top contender Manny Pacquiao Saturday night, May 2nd 

 Many will argue the fight didn’t live up to the hype, but one thing is for sure,  Spirits on Bourbon was the unanimous decision as best place to watch the fight.

Patrons gladly paid the $25 cover charge to watch the title bout at Spirits. The energy and excitement inside Spirits rivaled that of the MGM Grand as the fight approached. 

  Spirits was filled from the front door to the courtyard with a standing room only crowd  

 that included NFL stars Golden Tate and Fred McAfee. “The crowd has been great, and the addition of the NFL players makes Spirits the best place to watch the fight this side of Vegas”, said coowner Brad Bohannan 

 

As the fight grew closer, bar management was forced to deny entrance to any new patrons. Coowner Steve Smith explained, “We were at absolute full capacity. For the safety of our customers, staff, and per the fire marshal we couldn’t let anyone else through the doors. We must have turned away over 300 people.” That didn’t stop huge crowds from growing on Bourbon St. to peek through the doors and windows trying to get a glimpse of the action. The mob outside rivaled that of a Mardi Gras crowd. 

 


  management decided two weeks prior to the fight to delay its nightly Dueling Piano show and drop down the 10ft big screen to show the huge Pay Per View event.  “We were getting calls up to a month in advance, inquiring about the fight.  Mass appeal events like this don’t come around too often” said Bohannan. With its huge TV on stage, 8 high definition Tvsinside, and 3 more in the courtyard, Spirits can easily transform from live music venue to sports bar and back for such a special event. 

When the night was over, the judges awarded Mayweather the win. It was another great night at Spirits on Bourbon.

Half Way 2 Halloween NOLA Horror Film Fest was held at Spirits On Bourbon.

  Spirits on Bourbon was honored to Host the 5th annual Half Way 2 Halloween NOLA Horror Fest.   

The group of filmmakers, actors, authors and fans  

 joined us at Spirits to screen three horror movies, including Timothy, Grave Shivers, and Blood Punch. Johnny Rock was the MC for the event with his Wolfman costume, keeping everything on track! 

  They had many local venders showing off some local goods. We also had some local authors signing books.  


  The costume contest was a big success with prizes from CD’s to a grand prize of a Mr. Binky’s shopping spree! Steve Smith said he thought about going home and getting his halloween costume on to win some of the prizes!
The event was a huge success and Spirits on Bourbon looks forward to making this a yearly event! Brad Bohannan.

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Spirits on Bourbon attended Reality Rally for the second year growing the total raised for Breast Cancer to over $15,000

Reality Rally was a huge success, with over 100 Reality TV Stars representing over 30 shows!  Spirits on Bourbon owners Steve Smith and Brad Bohannan attended and raised over $9000 this year and over $15,000 for a two year total for Michelle’s Place.  Michelle’s Place is a Temecula based non-profit that provides support for breast cancer survivors and their families.

The weekend started with a red carpet event and casino night with reality stars vying to win prizes and all proceeds going Michelle’s Place. The second day included an Amazing Race Style Competition in which The Stars paired up with fans.  Brad Bohannan’s team TaTa Sister Hood finished 3rd   place while Steve’s team, Blame it on the Bankers, was 1st to the bar after some strategic pictures of staged activity!  Brad Bohannan said, “The team took a chance with me with all the young and in shape stars to choose from!  I wanted to improve from a 16th place finish last year and I’m pretty happy with finishing 3rd!  Still, I feel like we learned some thing’s to get us in the 1st place finish next year.”   Steve Smith said, “I think my team had a blast and couldn’t of ask for a better team.   We may not of finished but I think we finished first in having fun.”    Later on in the day they had an Autograph session where fans could meet and mingle with their favorites Reality Stars.

Spirits On Bourbon was honored to Participate in Reality Rally 2015, and hope to come back next year raising even more money for Michelle’s Place.