The Nifty Pheniz is a gritty romantic tragic comedy written and directed by Dark Seeker Kotsu. It is about a rich young man who takes over his father's titular bar, The Nifty Pheniz after his death, and how he gets caught up in a war between his family and the mafia of Midori Penix, the daughter of his father's former business partner who believes the bar is rightfully hers. Though possessing faint hues of comedic nature, the story gets progressively darker and more tragic due to the fight over the bar.
The story starts out with Braden Reigemann, a rich but depressed young man who lost his wife, Miri Cull, when she died giving birth to his daughter. His father has now died, but in his father's will he inherits The Nifty Pheniz, a bar his father opened in his youth. While searching for people to restaff his bar with, he runs into Monny Thompson, the second-cousin of his late wife. Monny is hired as a barmaid, and a day later Tayler Corbett is hired as the bouncer.
Tayler then introduces Mog Shepherdson, an aspiring young stripper who has just completed high school. Though reluctant at first, Braden hires Mog to be the bar's private stripper. Mog puts on quite a first show and wins a lot of popularity for the bar, and LT Peterson joins the bar as a comedic act.
When a bomb is discovered near the bar, it is revealed that Midori Penix is engaging in an all-out war with Braden Reigemann, as his father refused to sign over the rights to the bar to Midori’s father after they went in separate directions in how to manage the bar. Tayler manages to locate the bomb before it detonates and sneaks it into the back of the car of one of Midori’s henchman after she confronts Braden, blowing up and killing Chigo Ralas, Midori Penix’s on-and-off lover. Braden takes Tayler’s advice and immediately begins building up a family of his own to confront the threat, all the while caring for his infant daughter, Angel.
Tayler has contacts, and manages to get ahold of Joshwa Reaper, a lawyer who is the son of a powerful politician. Braden and Joshwa quickly become friends, and Joshwa hires an old family friend of his, Rebecco "Becky" Yuzu. Becky is an intelligence agent who quickly sets about spying on Midori Penix and her henchmen. Becky manages to poison the next of her henchman sent with a bomb, and cuts off his head, leaving it on a spear in Midori Penix's yard for her to find. He then insists they need more help and Braden allows him to hire Stevie-Ray Savage, a hitman. Stevie-Ray and Becky then set off to apprehend more of Midori Penix's men.
Around this time, Monny points out that Angel has become very ill, and Braden has her put in the hospital. Monny spends much of his time watching over the infant he cared for, bringing her toys. He then recalls how his own brother, Colin, perished because he was ill, and he resolves to be a strong figure in Angel's life and prays for her to live. Braden makes limited visits to the hospital, but wishes to find protection for Angel at the hospital, knowing Midori Penix would use Angel as ransom if she could. Tayler then introduces Braden to Callan Stephenson, a talented sniper who offers to serve as protection with Angel. Braden then seeks out Midori with Josh, Becky, and Stevie-Ray, but is shot and nearly dies of his injuries, saved only by the healing knowledge of Lionel Federico-Davies, aka LFD, a good customer of the bar. Josh spends a considerable amount of time with Braden while he is healing, and the two enter a romantic relationship. Braden survives only to discover that his daughter has died of pneumonia. However, a two-year old boy is discovered by Tayler at the back door of the bar with a letter. The boy is his cousin, Andrew, whose parents have been killed. Braden then vows to protect Andrew and raise the boy as his son.
Two months after Angel's death, Braden visits the graves of Angel and her mother at the graveyard with Joshwa and Andrew. Braden and Josh are trying their hardest to give Andrew a good life, but Braden fears that the worsening conflict between his "family" and the Penix mafia will put Andrew in danger. He is then contacted by Miri's father, Johnathan Drakes-Cull, a powerful mafia boss with a family at his command. He wishes to get revenge at the Penixes, believing they had something to do with the death of his granddaughter. Braden brings Josh and Andrew with him to meet Johnathan, and Johnathan will lend a faction of his mafia family stationed in Puerto Rico if Braden consents to sending Andrew with him to his stronghold for safekeeping. For Andrew's sake, Braden agrees.
Braden and Josh bid Andrew farewell at the airport, where Braden tells him he is going on "vacation with Grandpa Johnny". With Andrew safe, Johnathan sends over a promised faction of Puerto Rican soldiers, among them a soldier named Ivan Vazquez who is a skilled assassin, known as the "Lion of Puerto Rico" for his courage and his killing abilities. Braden is then contacted by his younger half-sister, Bulla. Bulla comes to the bar to join him, and helps him cope with the loss of his wife and daughter, pointing out to him all the friends he has gained, and how he was sent Andrew so that he can be a father after all.
Braden then holds a meeting with Monny, Tayler, Callan, Stevie-Ray, Becky, Ivan, Josh, LFD, Bulla, Mog, and LT. He asks them all if they will help him, and they all accept, with LFD (who was formerly a doctor) taking the position of doctor for the group. It is Becky who lays out plans based on the intel he has gathered, and Braden approves his plans.
Bulla and Tayler go out on a mission to win Midori Penix's trust, so they can uncover her weaknesses. Callan, Ivan, and Stevie-Ray are sent to investigate a bakery running secret drug cartel operations for the Penix family. They uncover the drug cartel and promptly annihilate them as Tayler and Bulla come back with information. Tayler reveals an abandoned apartment complex that the Penixes use as a secondary stronghold, and Bulla uncovers plans to terrorize a children's ballet class. Braden is reminded of Angel and he angrily then plans for them to surround the ballet studio unnnoticed so they can foil the Penix plans.
Bulla and Tayler sneak in, disguised a mother and ballet instructor, respectively, and they are able to conceal weapons all around the studio. When the Penixes come out with guns drawn and order everyone to be still, Braden, Josh, and Ivan begin shooting at them from the lighting stage, with Tayler and Bulla taking the children and parents through a side door outside of the studio. None of them are hurt, and Stevie-Ray, Callan, and LT begin shooting at the Penixes from behind the chairs. The Penixes flee, and the ballet studio is protected, but the media mistakes them for criminals and they are forced to flee through sidestreets. It begins to rain outside of the bar and Becky asks what the point of it was. Braden then smirks and says the point was that they prevented the Penixes from terrorizing innocent people, and proving themselves to be an even bigger threat. As they head inside, Josh stops Braden and they read a letter from Johnathan revealing that Andrew is doing well and constantly asks how his "daddies" are doing. Braden kisses Josh and they head inside, only to discover Callan on one knee and proposing to Tayler, and Braden hints that the family might be on its way to becoming a real family, noticing Stevie-Ray eyeing Bulla.
The season begins with the bar being decorated for Callan and Tayler's wedding. Braden is asked to serve as the best man, and he is elated when Johnathan shows up with the now three-year old Andrew for the wedding. The wedding proceeds without much incidence when a bomb going off in the area alerts them of the Penixes. Braden gives a letter to Callan before he and Tayler follow Johnathan to the roof, where he has a helicopter take the newlyweds, Andrew, and himself away to Europe to lay low for a bit. As they fly by, Tayler and Callan manage to take out some of the Penixes with sniper rifles, while Braden, Josh, and Stevie-Ray then begin throwing grenades at the remaining Penixes, chasing them off for the time being.
Just then, a remaining Penix throws a knife at Braden and it hits him in the face, damaging his left eye while not entirely destroying it. Though he cannot see out of it, it is not in bad shape, so Braden keeps his eye, preferring to have a normal-ish looking but damaged eye than have a "gaping hole in his face". He takes to wearing an eye patch though, saying he always wanted to wear one as a child.
Braden and Josh's relationship has grown stronger in this time, and both miss having Andrew around. Braden thinks about all this while sitting atop the roof of The Nifty Pheniz. He is then summoned downstairs, where it is revealed that Mog is missing. Josh finds a note from the Penix mafia saying they have Mog and that they want Braden to show up at one of their strongholds in exchange for Mog. Josh tries to talk Braden out of it, saying the Penixes will kill him, but Braden has an idea.
Braden shows up at their stronghold, where Midori Penix comes out to get him. Braden demands to see Mog first, and Midori has him brought out. At that moment, Ivan leads the Puerto Rican soldiers in an attack against the Penixes while Josh and Stevie-Ray rescue Mog. The Penixes retreat, but not before Ivan is shot in the shoulder. LFD works on Ivan's wound, but Ivan insists he is okay. Another young soldier was sent to them, under orders from Johnathan. The soldier, Jeff, is from Oregon, and Johnathan gave him a mission. Jeff is to locate a middle-school student named Conner Phillips, the son of a business partner, and have him sent on a plane to Canada to avoid the Penix conflict.
Braden and Stevie-Ray show up at the middle school, but Conner doesn't trust them, and was taught only to follow Jeff. Stevie ends up knocking Conner unconscious and they are chased by police, with Braden commenting how the situation escalated quickly from picking a kid up from school to full-blown kidnapping. They manage to get Conner on the plane and they narrowly escape the police. When they get back, they find Ivan's recovery is being hampered by fever, and Braden is sent with Josh and Mog to steal some medicine for him. The store's alarm goes off and Josh and Mog narrowly escape, but Braden is caught by the police.
Braden thinks about Miri and Angel while in prison, and he is quickly busted out by Harry Howell, who is working for Johnathan. Braden goes with Harry and picks up a supply of weapons, and they head back to The Nifty Pheniz, preparing for another battle with the Penixes.
The fourth season begins with Steve pointing out in a newspaper that the Penixes have opened a new bar, The Stanky Penix. The family believes this means the Penixes are done attacking them, but are proven wrong the next day when the Penixes attack them once again. Braden then has Becky search for former employees of The Nifty Pheniz. Becky locates a former bartender, and Braden and Mog go question him. He then mentions that Braden's father told Midori's father before he left that The Nifty Pheniz had a treasure greater than any bar would have, hidden in it.
Braden and the others search around for a secret, but can't find anything. LFD, however, comments on the wonderful coconut juice. Braden suddenly comes up with the idea to look around by the bar, and there they find a dusty old box, but cannot open it because the key it requires is nowhere to be found. Jeff returns, and with him is Callan and Tayler, who reveal that they enlisted the help of a group of German mercenaries. Braden wishes to talk to the mercenaries but is pulled aside by Bulla.
Bulla reveals to Braden that Stevie-Ray got her pregnant, and Braden calls Johnathan first instead, who has a helicopter arrive. Braden urges Stevie-Ray to go with Bulla, saying she needs him, and so the two board the helicopter headed to Hawaii, where Bulla will have her baby. Johnathan also has sent Braden a letter in the mail, containing pictures of he and Andrew at Disneyland. Braden smiles and thinks about how good of a father he will try to be for Andrew when the boy returns.
Suddenly, Mog rushes in, obtaining word that Becky has been killed. The family holds a funeral for Becky, and in attendance is a mysterious young man known only as "The Sponge". He offers to serve as their new informant, and he sets off immediately. Braden pulls out some wine so they can have a toast to Becky, but Jeff stops them last minute and takes the wine, revealing it is poisoned. When asked how he knew, Jeff explained that the particular bottle of wine showed up as a random gift only days ago, and that it must have been left by the Penixes. Braden is now even more determined to finish off the Penixes once and for all.
Meanwhile, Blaze calls Braden and reveals that The Sponge works for him, and that he is sorry about Becky. He then tells Braden to meet The Sponge at the Honking Goose Inn. At the inn, The Sponge reveals that he located an message encrypted by Becky, and he had already managed to decrypt it part way. Braden takes the message to Josh, hoping he can finish decrypting it, and he answers a call from Jeff saying that Conner had been kidnapped on the way to his father's office from school.
Braden, Josh, LT, Jeff, and Callan head to the airport. They are joined by Gunther Rimmbach, one of the German mercenaries. They fly to Canada, where they quickly locate the Penixes thanks to text messages revealing their location from The Sponge. It is soon discovered that the mercenaries had kidnapped Conner's friends as well, two young boys named Maximillian and Lyndon. Braden recognizes Maximillian as a relative of Miri's and is determined to save the boy. They secretly attack the Penixes, and Gunther grabs Conner and runs, but the others stay behind to rescue the other two boys. As they are running, Maximillian trips and is caught by Braden, who catches the boy and runs. When they reach town, however, Braden realizes that Maximillian is dead and that the boy didn't trip, but had been shot. Someone calls the police, and Braden tells the others to go on without him.
Braden is imprisoned for killing Maximillian, due to lack of evidence at the time. This time in prison, he thinks of Josh, Andrew, and all of his friends. He is lucky, however. The Penixes heard he was imprisoned and blew a hole in the prison fence, where a hiding Braden is able to escape after working in the yard. Braden is found by Harry, who had come to get Lyndon, his cousin. Harry thanks Braden for saving Lyndon, lending him clothes so he no longer has to wear a prison jumpsuit. He then texts the others that Braden has escaped and he and Lyndon head on the plane back with Braden. Braden and Josh embrace one another, and Josh tells Braden how they had Conner and his parents sent to Switzerland for the time being. Braden shares his own story. The Sponge informs them that Maximillian's body went missing, but they were able to convict one of the Penixes, who admitted to the crime after being caught trying to locate Braden at the prison. Johnathan and Andrew have arrived as well, and Braden and Josh both hug Andrew.
Mog then informs them that The Nifty Pheniz is on fire, and they spot one of Midori's henchmen, Squatcho Veras, throwing molotov cocktails at the bar. Gunther perishes in the fire, but everyone else gets out safely. Midori appears then and is enraged that Squatcho would even try to burn the bar down and shoots him, but is shot in the arm while leaving. In the confusion of getting everyone out of the fire, Johnathan is burned and Andrew is nowhere to be found, but a black car pulls away. Monny then reveals that the man inside the car took Andrew. The Sponge then is seen chasing after the car on his motorcycle as Braden falls to his knees, feeling like he has failed Andrew.
The season begins in Josh's apartment, where Braden is now living and where they have meetings. Josh owns a big apartment, so they can fit the entire family in it. Callan receives a letter from the former leader of the German mercenaries, Die Werwölfe, that Braden's father was the creator of the elite team. As the current leader, Gunther died, but not before passing on a message that named Braden the new Führer of Die Werwölfe in the event Gunther perished. As such, the German troops begin referring to Braden as "Mein Führer".
Braden gets a call from Stevie-Ray, who reveals that Bulla has just given birth to a healthy son, Benja. Braden informs him of the current events over the phone,. Stevie-Ray wants to come help, but Braden shoots him down, saying that being with Bulla and Benja is more important. Braden carries word of the birth at the family's next meeting, where Tayler reveals that she is pregnant. Braden immediately calls Johnathan and has him send a helicopter to bring Tayler to Bulla and Steve in Hawaii. He tries to get Callan to go, but Callan refuses to leave Braden in his time of need, as he knows Braden is preparing an attack on the strongold of the Penixes.
The Sponge arrives with the whereabouts of the stronghold Andrew was taken to, and identifies his kidnapper as Vesendio, a mysterious henchman of Midori Penix's that seems to hold the highest rank among them all. The Sponge reveals that an attack can be launched from the neighboring hills, and Braden plans an invasion.
News is brought to them from Johnathan, who has informed them that The Stanky Penix has burned down. Braden believes that the accident was fate, or perhaps Miri assisting him from "the world beyond". He looks up at the stars from atop the roof and smiles, and seems to have finally recovered from losing Miri and Angel. Just then a helicopter lowers someone down on the roof, and Braden realizes it is Stevie-Ray. Stevie-Ray has come back to assist in the siege.
Monny strikes a deal with Harry and has a large amount of guns distributed among them. With guns and ammo, the team is preparing for the siege. The Sponge delivers a map, and also reveals that he found something curious at the ruins of The Nifty Pheniz. Braden, Josh, and Ivan accompany The Sponge to the wreckage of the bar and locate a trapdoor partly buried under the rubble. They uncover it, and down below Braden finds a series of journals and a key. They head home, and Braden stores the journals away, calling the group together so he can open the locked box. He opens it, but finds the "Great Secret" to be a coconut juice recipe devised by Braden's father. Tears run down Braden's cheeks as he realizes that all the trouble Midori has been giving him has been due to a coconut juice recipe. That night, Josh convinces Braden not to lose his resolve, as Andrew still needs their help. Braden agrees.
Later in the night, they all set off in armored trucks to the neighboring hills. Callan leads the first wave of Die Werwölfe into the yard, beginning the firefight between the Penixes and the family. Stevie-Ray then leads in a second wave, with Ivan leading a wave of Puerto Rican soldiers in. LT and Mog infiltrate the building with Braden at different entry points. Mog locates Andrew and leads him out of the room he is in while Vesendio shoots at Braden's party from the window. Vesendio catches them just as Braden and Andrew are reunited, but before he can shoot either of them, he is shot in the head from behind by Josh. Midori Penix sees them escape and attempts to throw a molotov cocktail at them, setting the house on fire. As most of the Penixes have perished, Braden has Josh get Andrew and the others away from the house while he prepares with his trusty Beretta 92FS. Midori Penix is badly burned when she emerges from the house. She asks what the secret was before Braden kills her.
"You died for a fucking coconut juice recipe."
Braden shoots Midori and walks away from the burning Penix stronghold, embracing Josh and Andrew. With some casualties, Braden's party has survived the night and Andrew is safely returned. The Sponge has also found a bodybag in the shed on the premises that contains the remains of Maximillian, and phones Johnathan to have the body returned home for a proper burial. The remaining members of the family gather in Josh's house and Stevie-Ray reveals that Bulla and Tayler will be coming back the next day. Braden lies down with Josh and Andrew and glances out the window and smiles one last time before falling asleep.