Despite 'Bar Rescue,' Breakwall Closes

Breakwall on the Redondo Beach Pier has closed. The bar became famous after appearing on an episode of Spike TV's "Bar Rescue."

Breakwall Bar & Grill. Photo credit Marcus Bockman.
Breakwall Bar & Grill. Photo credit Marcus Bockman.
This article was originally published March 2, 2012.

Breakwall Bar & Grill, the former Irish pub on the that was transformed into a surfing-themed bar on an episode of Spike TV's Bar Rescue, has closed its doors for the last time.

Records from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control indicate that the establishment surrendered its liquor license on Jan. 25. An application for another liquor license for the business was withdrawn Dec. 13.

"Breakwall, like many businesses, closed its doors in early January because it was impossible to keep it open," Allie Speed, who owned the bar with her sister Alexis, said in a statement. "Sadly, we had no choice. We truly thank our patrons, employees and the Redondo Beach community for their support over the past six years."

Both the surrendered liquor license and the withdrawn application were under the name of Killkenny's—the Irish pub that closed to make way for Breakwall. A search of the ABC license database did not return any results for businesses operating under the name Breakwall.

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The bar drew national attention after the "Beach Bummer" episode of Bar Rescue aired. The episode tracked the transformation of Kilkenny's Irish Pub, which according to the episode was $900,000 in debt, into a surf barbecue joint.

Host Jon Taffer revamped the menu, redecorated the venue and retrained the staff, including then-General Manager Carlos Cable, who appeared to sabotage Taffer's efforts to improve the establishment throughout the episode.

The changes appeared to be beneficial for the business.

In an August interview with Patch, Allie Speed, who co-owned the bar with her sister Alexis Speed, said Breakwall's customer base was younger and more "surfer-type" than Kilkenny's.

"We get people anywhere from 21 to 60 that like the beach, that are happy, that are hanging out," Allie Speed said. "We have awesome people come here that like to drink and party and have fun."

Bartender Carlos Lara said Taffer's changes appeared to be effective.

“Business has been great—I've seen the changes here, and especially in my pockets,” said bartender Carlos Lara. “We got a lot of surfer people who come out, a lot of new customers.”

Nevertheless, reviews on Yelp show that the bar's fortunes appeared to be faltering.

"It is like watching a slow death," wrote Yelp user Scott C. "Someone just needs to pull the plug."

Other Yelp reviewers and Patch commenters noted empty tables and underwhelming food.

Customer Stefany Sherman, who first alerted Patch to Breakwall's closure, said she was disappointed the bar had closed. She and her boyfriend had been going to Kilkenny's and Breakwall since they moved from the East Coast four years ago.

"I had high hopes for them when they appeared on Bar Rescue, although the debt they were facing was scary," Sherman told Patch in an email. "I watched the show, and it seemed to me that Jon Taffer really didn't understand the Redondo Pier business."

In a review on Yelp, Sherman expressed the same sentiment.

"Honestly, I think that Bar Rescue killed (Kilkenny's)/Breakwall," she wrote. "I'm sure that Jon Taffer would blame it on something else, but he had a hand in (its) demise."


democratnomore September 08, 2013 at 03:25 PM
It didn't surprise me Carlos is a parasite a lazy loser and bum that prays on weak minded individuals like Allie and Alexis. I'm sure he regained control once the camera's were gone, and things went to normal. Carlos doesn't want them to be successful he want them dependent on him so he can control them just like obama and the democrats want for the american people.
Jack Charles September 08, 2013 at 03:59 PM
Wow, democratnomore, that's quite a dumbed-down stretch--comparing a bar manager to Obama & the Democrats. Are you yelling at the walls again, too?
Brandi Nemer Mastain September 29, 2013 at 01:29 PM
What bar rescue should of done was brought in an life coach, to find out why these girls allowed Carlos to sabotage the place. If he REALLY cared about them and the bar, he would of stopped being such an a**, and jumped in to help do WHATEVER it takes to look and act like a actual general manager. He didn't want ANYONE to tell him what to do. He is a fat, lazy, manipulative person, who really had NO CLUE to what it takes to run a business. The only people who do that to someone they once cared about is selfish, self centered idiots. Yet those two bobble-heads cared about him. Tsk Tsk. My guess is they still had SOME TYPE of relationship, but he wanted to keep the door open for something better. Anyone with brains can figure that out. Life lesson....When someone who has a proven track record comes in and gives you their time, listen and learn. Many years in business, folks learn how things work. Before I looked it up, to see it closed, I said to my husband, this bar will tank. Carlos only cares about Carlos, and he is going to destroy the business. He was going to go out of his way to sabotage the place, to prove that Carlos was right and the host was wrong. Too bad the girls have zero self esteem, cause had they had an ounce, they would of tossed his hide out the door.
Brandi Nemer Mastain September 29, 2013 at 01:40 PM
Democratnomore-wow. Just when one thinks they can go to one site and not see some stupid remark about Obama, then wella! I find one. #1 Ross Perot predicted in 1992 that NAFTA would hurt the US, and he was right. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJonc5X9M28 http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/labor/news/2012/07/09/11898/5-facts-about-overseas-outsourcing/ #2 Corporate greed has assisted the 1% to widen the gap from the middle class/poor. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPKKQnijnsM Why would they keep the production in the US, even at minimum wage? Sensata technology moved operations to China (after a 140 Million profit, up 10% from 2011-owned by Bain), where wages are 99 cents an hour, no labor laws. Mexico average wage 82 cents an hour. Learn facts before taking another jab at Obama. He is just the puppet and the top 1% control the strings. How-Lobby for what they want, with big campaign donations. The same for past presidents, and future presidents. How do you not get that?


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