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 An application for another liquor license for the business was withdrawn Dec. 13.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Both the surrendered liquor license and the withdrawn application were under the name of Killkenny's—the Irish pub that closed to make way for Breakwall.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."


TRAVIS November 20, 2012 at 01:27 AM
No sense of urgency???? these ladies are on the hook for nearly a million and your not going to get into a hurry...Really...And to admit it on national television????What does that say about your degree of integrity, Carlos..Ill tell you...U have none...Me me me!!.U may not be evil but you have NO INTEGRITY...NONE..ZERO...
Channer December 28, 2012 at 11:21 PM
I'm sorry but the yelp review by Stefany Sherman stated at the end of the article really pissed me off. She felt Taffer might have had a hand in the business' failure? Are you high? Whats in the water in Redondo Beach? Taffer gave two owners and manager that didn't deserve a 2nd chance to succeed a 2nd chance, and they blew it. The ship was beyond repair and his efforts only delayed the inevitable. Not to mention they didn't mention him in their thanks you's listed in the article. Sherman mentioned Taffer didn't seem to understand the Pier business. Really? Did you see the other Yelp reviews? All the criticism was directed towards the crappy management and no one complained about what Taffer did. I say again, what's in the water in Redondo Beach? Unless Sherman is really Carlos under the guise of a random Yelper.
Hector January 10, 2013 at 04:11 PM
No matter what was done to change the bar it would inevitably fail. The underlying problems that were not dealt with by Taffy were the emotional problems faced by the trio. Similar program's deal with owners insecurities and behavioural problems before they overhaul the business.
Juan Lee January 15, 2013 at 06:35 AM
So right! It's tough to run a business with three people without one focus. I know... I've been there.
Mark Mywords January 15, 2013 at 11:12 PM
Carlos is a no talent, leach, bum. He treated the place like his very own "man cave" giving out free drinks and acting as if he owned the place. Walking around, constantly texting and totally mismanaging everything he came into contact with. All it meant to him was a source of status and a hunting ground for "skanks". He obviously was skimming profits and bamboozling the sisters. Where you at now Carlos? Washing cars? Dealing coke? You suck.
Wolfman February 03, 2013 at 08:07 PM
it was party hearty Carlos fault the Breakwall Bar closed
John February 13, 2013 at 05:27 AM
Did you hear what Carlos said when one of the sisters said their will be no employee drinking on the job opening night or your gone. Carlos right away said "what" with this look of confusion. Dude I bet that was a long night for ya...
Jean smitj March 03, 2013 at 08:13 PM
Carlos acted unprofessional and lazy. The girls were clueless and wonder how they had money to buy that property/business. Too bad they didn't care about the business, or it would still be open.
Michael Downey March 03, 2013 at 11:51 PM
Living off her and her sister, anyone remember him telling the staff not to use the POS system!! He didn't want a money trail.
Albe March 04, 2013 at 01:17 AM
the right tools right concept not the right people to run the place
Kenny Barrev March 12, 2013 at 01:47 PM
Please don't buy a bar with your inheritance just to have a place to party! Somebody earned that money the hard way.
Kenny Barrev March 12, 2013 at 01:52 PM
I can see that Carlos had some personality. I wouldn't like outsiders tearing up my bar either. Too big a price for a free makeover! Some people shouldn't own bars.
Larry White March 12, 2013 at 03:31 PM
In a nutshell, the girls blew an inheritance. They had no business becoming business owners. They should have gone back to school and pursued careers that matched their abilities and invested their inheritance in securities. I guess the old adage is true - Easy come, Easy go ...
Lara Orange March 12, 2013 at 09:26 PM
Hi, I'm from Argentina and this episode of "Bar Rescue" was aired today. I thought It was a really interesting episode so i came to google if the "Breackwall Bar" was going fine... I'm so sad that they had to shut it down, but 900,000 $ was a lot of money, in my country you could buy an entire franchise with that figure. I think that Carlos was manipulating the sisters, and that Allie was in his control. He made her believe that she couldn't handle anything on her own. But he wasn't the problem, the biggest problem was that they didn't had a book or an inventory. Come on, at least put everything in Quicken, how can you possible pay such a big debt without keeping control of your bussiness? Maybe Carlos wasn't the right manager, but the owners had the freedom to make the decision to kick him out, and had the responsability for the numbers.
Don Z March 31, 2013 at 07:19 PM
It seemed that the women were afraid of Carlos more than anything and he just took them for a ride. I love the show and Jon Taffer knows his shit. Don't blame him. The only thing I fault him for is continuing to help them out after dealing with Carlos for the first time. Sometimes the show should really show them pulling the plug on the deal and going somewhere else. Don't blame him for your failure. In my opinion, they waited too long for help and then didn't follow through with his advice.
israel rodriguez April 01, 2013 at 12:20 AM
one of the partners was a party girl and did not want to work.
Steve May 05, 2013 at 06:29 PM
When I watched the owners of Kilkenny's/Breakwall, Allie and Alexis, on Bar Rescue, I said to myself that these women must be the dumbest people in all of Redondo Beach. Carlos Cable appeared to be the con man that had taken Allie and Alexis for a ride and no matter how much Jon Taffer proved that Carlos was a con man (or dead weight), Allie and Alexis would not fire him. Sabotage after sabotage and they still wanted him as an employee. This is one of the main reasons that banks don't want to lend money to people. I kept telling myself that Allie and Alexis must be "poop headed" business people. It doesn't really get dumber than them. Why didn't you immediately fire Carlos Cable? What personnel connection did you have with him? Did you have sexual relations with him that made it hard to fire him? No bank should ever lend money to Allie and Alexis unless they want to see their money up in smoke!
Jack Charles May 05, 2013 at 08:56 PM
...but I'll bet Allie and Alexis knew the difference between "personal" and "personnel", huh, Stevie?
Jay Kimbrough May 05, 2013 at 09:38 PM
I have watched the episode talked about on this thread. And I do not know why everyone is upset with Carlos Cable. He is an up and coming politican. The type of person the United States Congress is looking for. The John Taffer guy is the problem. The guy is smoking something. He actually want's results, and record keeping and stuff. Carlos was doing his job by not doing anything just like congress. On a serious note. You can show people how things should run. But if you own a business and you do not have the passion to work at it and run it. Or you do not hire a real manager to do it in your place. Your chances are Zero! Great Business do not run on luck.
Reese Bradford May 06, 2013 at 12:07 AM
Working in the bar business 30 plus years I can tell you Carlos knows only how to manipulate people and nothing about the bar!!...PEROID
Chuck Hutchinson May 06, 2013 at 02:11 AM
You can’t make a business work when you start $900,000 in the hole. I am sure this place went back to its old ways that lost money in the first place. Funny how everyone wants to blame anyone but the owners and manager. I am watching the show of the bar now and it is disgusting mess, I am sure the bar was a disgusting mess 6 months after the bar reopened.
Tosha May 07, 2013 at 05:57 AM
What a waste of time and money! They had the perfect location but the wrong management (Carlos and Alex). You can't let two ALCOHOLICS run a business!!! And what kind of cash register was that, something from the 1950's??? LOL. The place was already doomed... it wasn't Jon's vault!
Tosha May 07, 2013 at 06:12 AM
I meant to say Carlos and Allie (not Alex). Allie was a party girl. You should never mix business with pleasure! Drinking with your customers (your profit) is one of them. Go get sober!
Tim McDermott May 29, 2013 at 02:13 PM
Some people just dont get it. maybe they'er all smoking crack or something. The 2 sisters spend the whole show looking scared and confused. what else was expected. if your drinking on the job you might as well be smoking crack. The results are the same and the effects are much greater. Funny how we can all waste our time posting comments on a subject that really doesnt matter much at all.... is everyone on this god forsaken planet on crack?
Tiffany Simeral July 28, 2013 at 07:56 PM
i just looked up last week the breakwall to see how it was doing and called several of my friends after it said it closed . They all said after it was reopen under new name and the first time and only time under its old name, because now they now his name carlos kept hitting on them and even tried to get one to go home with HIM. then they heard of new name and went back to the bar. they thought it was great especailly without carlos hitting on their girls they went back and the first week they spent over 400 doller witch is average for them per week. they went for months until they saw carlos back and of course he was only there 10 minutes before he hit on one of the girls at the table but this time she happened to be his wife . It made him very mad and wanted to go back home and get his nine milemeter and shut him but his buddy stopped him. they stopped going back to the bar and in a few weeks their friends did too. I asked my buddy to go aroundto his friends and ask them how much they spent the toltal came to just over 4500. a week. SO it show that any person with a mind bar rescue didn't cause the bar to close it was those incompeted onwer that cause the bar to FAILLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Kenneth L August 07, 2013 at 08:09 PM
I'm catching up on old episodes. You just have to see if these places succeed! It's funny that the quotes blame Taffer or him not knowing the area's likes. First, they were almost a mil in debt, they were going to get their water shut off during the show's filming. So who's fault is that? Some places are worse off than others when Taffer shows up. They all can't succeed. This place was run by the same people it used to be, and that dude really should've been gone way before Taffer showed up. They weren't keeping proper account of their money, and now they had some liquor license mix-up? They must still be paying debts, but maybe it was better off that the place closed.
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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