The Chalk Horse bar will reopen Wednesday, July 22nd as The Clydesdale with a new menu and new look.
During the past three years, Michael Tipps has been in Pocatello for a few weeks at a time helping train staff and remodel the bar. He also enlisted some help from the likes of food and beverage analyst Homan Taghdiri, Mark Diaz of HGTV’s “Design Stars,” David Foss from the Manhattan wine bar Anfora and chef Chris Ennis, who has worked in New York and L.A., and came in to help revamp the menu and train the kitchen staff. “Our goal was to have the best bar food in the state of Idaho,” said Tipps. “We want to raise the bar of what’s expected in this town.”
Michael Tipps is a reoccurring co-star of Bar Rescue on Spike TV. He consults across food and beverage industries. He works in a variety of locales, spanning the East Coast, the West Coast, and Middle America.
By the time Michael turned 20, he had his sight sights on New York City, and has been a trailblazer ever since. He has worked in every position within the hospitality and service industries. Starting as a barback at the prestigious Soho and Tribeca Grand Hotels (for Grand Life Hotels), Michael consistently proved himself and his abilities, working his way through the ranks of becoming towards becoming the Bar Manager at the Soho and Tribeca Grand Hotels.
Michael was responsible for the management and oversight of businesses making over $7 million in annual revenue, while also being responsible for creating multiple food and beverage programs intended to increase revenue, yet also provide cost savings. Michael relished the challenge of creating innovative ways to improve guest services while at the same time creating the ways to get the most out of employees. Michael was also fortunate to be taught the essentials of classic mixology by the person responsible for bringing the classic cocktail craze back to the United States, Sasha Petraske of Milk & Honey fame.
Although Michael loved big hotels, he also wanted to learn the smaller side of business as well. He took on multiple challenges in smaller New York Venues, ranging from the Grace Martini Bar and Lounge, to Spread (a small late night hot spot on the east side of Manhattan). With a strong handle on managing a range of hospitality venues in New York City, Michael looked for new inspiration, and began consulting for venues in Los Angeles.
While residing in Los Angeles, Michael’s resume includes multiple appearances on Spike TV’s “Bar Rescue” as a master mixologist and bar expert, Michael has also traveled across the country with renowned bar expert, John Taffer, on the “Nightclub & Bar University Rescue Tour”. Michael has also been a contributing writer for Nightclub & Bar’s website. Michael also gives seminars to hospitality industry owners and employees, to energize them with a focus intended to change the way they think, in order to improve their businesses, the bottom line, and customer experience.
Michael is fueled by creativity, innovation, and a challenge – to fulfill unmet needs in this hospitality and service industries. As the Roman poet Horace wrote, “The purpose of art is to both delight and instruct.” Michael believes this is the key element to shifting the perspective we currently have of hospitality, and elevating the industry.
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Taxi Service runs from 6am - 3am
Discounts for rides to and from the Clydesdale Bar & Lounge.
Nicole Ikalina and Homan Taghdiri take a break from training staff members at Clydesdale
From the lighting to the dancefloor, former Chalk Horse is being remodeled to better
accommodate the social needs of their customers. The old dancefloor is now a
lounge and social area. The former lounge area is now the dancefloor. Now that the two areas are completely separated, patrons have more room to socialize and room to dance.
The person taking the lead of redesigning the former Chalk Horse into the new Clydesdale is Mark Diaz. Mark is a fan favorite on HGTV Design Star. He is owner of MAD Design and has built everything from high-end homes in Miami to bars in LA. His is an expert in custom fixtures, furniture, and lighting. He also manages build-out teams, among other ventures. He is more than excited to redesign the old Chalk Horse into a masterpiece it will become.
Tipps sits and interviews with Idaho's channel 6.
Tipps meets with Pocatello's Mayor, Brian Blad, as he looks to improve relations with
Homan Taghdiri is no stranger to the hospitality and service business. He is another another expert & team player involved in transforming Chalk Horse to Clydesdale.
“We are now focusing on top notch customer service,” said Angelina Guzman, co-owner of the new Clydesdale. “We are constantly training our staff on customer service and emphasizing that we need to raise the bar on customer service.
To the rescue on customer service training is Nicole Ikalina. Nicole is a maître-d and bottle service expert.She runs the nightclub floor at The Standard in Hollywood. She is an expert in staff training and negotiates consulting deals with bar experts.
She is also a choreographer for nightclub dancers and floor shows.
Nicole has been instrumental in training Clydesdale staff on the
essentials of providing the utmost customer service and experience to get patrons returning.
Taking the helm at introducing the new food menu is celebrity Chef, Chis Ennis. Chris opened Rolling Stone restaurant in Hollywood. He opened Crown Bar in Los Angeles. His skillset focuses on small town menus and big city expectations. He is part of Michael Tipp's team of revamping failing bars and restaurants. He manages all types of kitchens and staffs.
The new menu is small but will use more fresh, never frozen, ingredients, and will be sourced from local farms and businesses, like Butcher Block, who will provide their meat selection. The new bar will also feature blended drinks and drinks made with fresh fruit juice, but Tipps said it won’t be anything too fancy.
Tipps trains staff on new mixes
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Mark Diaz moves a bungalow out in The Cabana
Clydesdale simplifies its food menu to fewer items that will include fresh ingredients. “We want to stand out. We want to have food items with a distinct taste that you won't be able to find in Pocatello,” said Sylvia Hernandez, co-owner of Chalk Horse. “Right now our kitchen is closed to make way for kitchen upgrades and our new menu items. Before we were cooking or grilling the same stuff you would find at any other bar & grill in town. Our new food items will be exclusive, healthier, and something Pocatello will rave about.”
Mark Diaz tells his helpers what they will be working on next.
Chris Ennis trains the new cooking staff on the new menu