In 2007, Greg Hawkens opened up Mandala Lounge When we first opened, this was absolutely
the biggest thing
going on in San Mateo. We were the only bar
that was providing the custom
cocktail thing. I look
at the cocktail menus at the other
restaurants and bars,
and they’re — Owning his own bar
had been Greg’s dream since his early days
in the nightclub business. I make a —
good bar owner, because
I like people.
I like to schmooze. Unfortunately, Greg’s success
was not long-lived. The economy crashed
in January, ’08. We went from
doing a little
over 60,000 to 24,000. Despite Greg’s experience in other bars
and nightclubs, he couldn’t pull
Mandala Lounge out of the hole
they found themselves in. I don’t know
how to get the place
any cleaner. I don’t know how
to do the customer
service any better. I don’t know how
to be more creative
with the drinks. As the business fell apart,
Greg took out more and more of
his frustrations
on his staff. Why don’t you go ahead
and try to clean and talk
while you’re at it? Like cleaning
the — bottles? Greg is very smart, but very controlling and has
an abrasive personality. Greg’s stepson Angelo took the brunt
of Greg’s frustration. My dad as a boss,
he’s just hard
to work with. I mean, there’s
no better way to put it. Angelo, that would be
— like… – Dude!
– seven ounces of alcohol in an 11-ounce glass,
dude. Start over. Jesus — With pressures mounting
at the bar, Greg’s personal life
began to unravel. There was
nothing left for me. All Greg could
think about or talk about was the — bar. When push
comes to shove, I would like
to think that I’m
not the problem. Greg’s pretentious attitude has left Mandala Lounge with a complacent staff… Don’t you have
something to do? I’m doing it. …a lackluster clientele, and an underutilized space. Honestly,
I’m — terrified. Now losing $5,000 a month and weeks away
from closing for good, Greg has agreed
to pull back the doors, bust open the books, and make a call for help
to “Bar Rescue.” This is not
my first rodeo. I’m a —
good bartender.