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Tres Cuartos
« Reply #1 on: 09-15-2014, 10:40am »
Jersey City bar 'rescued' for TV
By Steven Rodas | For The Jersey Journal
on September 13, 2014 at 3:00 AM, updated September 14, 2014 at 5:33 PM

A Jersey City bar was running low on both luck and business, until Spike TV’s “Bar Rescue” rolled into town and intervened.

Tres Cuartos, formerly known as “Laguna Lounge” at 1007 Summit Ave., received a new look courtesy of nightlife expert and host of the Spike TV series, Jon Taffer.

“I didn’t believe it at first, I thought it was a joke and so I gave the phone to my son,” said Ivan Arroyo, 49, who has owned the establishment since 2008.

“When the producers and Spike TV (camera crew) came to interview my employees for the show, I knew it was real and I was overwhelmed,” said Arroyo, who is known by some members of the community as “El Comandante” or The Commander in Spanish.

The TV show takes struggling bars and in a “docu-reality” style tackles the their most glaring problems, making changes to help improve the businesses.

Tres Cuartos, which was still known as Laguna Lounge when the episode was filmed, was one of five bars chosen from a list of 150 in the New York and New Jersey area to be featured on the show, Arroyo said.

Arroyo, who lives in Jersey City, said the episode filmed at his bar from Aug. 22 to 29 and will air in late October or early November.

The owner says it’s well worth the watch.

“Your jaws are going to hit the floor when you see the show,” he said. “I had the Mayor of Salines (of Puerto Rico) here for the Jersey City Puerto Rican Festival (and) people aren’t going to believe what happens.”

After about six one-hour interviews with several of Arroyo’s employees — including his sons, Jeremiah, 21, and Joshua, 27 — the camera crew set up 15 cameras throughout the bar capturing everything that took place.

In addition, a cameraman followed Arroyo around for 12 to 14 hours each day, beginning at 8 a.m., he said.

“Taffer called me ‘El Moron-dante’ at one point and got in my face, but I have to admit ... the man’s smart,” said Arroyo.

Besides management counseling, the bar also got a makeover.

Tres Cuartos received a new kitchen, two point of sale units with touch-screen capability, a bar facelift, new stools, chairs, sofa couches, fans, candle-style lighting and small palm trees. Arroyo’s bar was also outfitted with new soda guns, new glassware and five flat-screen televisions.

Taffer’s team also added a new red and sea-green awning, which makes the bar recognizable from blocks away. The name, “Tres Cuartos,” refers to the three rooms which make up the bar.

“I think people will walk in here and think of it as a kind of Ol’ San Juan,” said Arroyo, referring to the capital of Puerto Rico.

Bar Rescue also added a food component to Arroyo’s bar in an effort to attract more customers. The food items, which focus on Arroyo’s family and heritage, include “Abuela’s Empanadas,” “Puerto Rican Mofongo,” “Jeremiah’s Tostones,” “Island Shrimp Ceviche,” and signature drinks including the “JonFire” shot.

Arroyo said business has improved by 30 percent since the makeover and he will look at updating the bar’s online presence as well.

“It’s an overwhelming feeling to have this happen to me and I hope the community backs me up and comes to enjoy this beautiful bar,” Arroyo said.

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Tres Cuartos
« Reply #1 on: 09-15-2014, 10:40am »