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Bar Rescue


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#181

whirlingdervish

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Posted Oct 10, 2012 @ 5:36 PM

Finally caught the Piratz Tavern epi from the beginning of the season, and wanted to chime in with the other Silver Springer who've commented so far. I'm not a Piratz fan by any stretch, but what I was really struck by was how far off the mark Jon was in assessing the area's demographics. Yeah, there are some corporate buildings up the way on Georgia Avenue (not right up next to Piratz as Jon asserts), but the corporate thing is a tiny part of the Silver Spring whole, which is a lot more ethnically and economically diverse than Jon implies. It makes me wonder where Bar Rescue gets their demographic info and how they assess each bar's target markets. Because they really didn't do their homework on Silver Spring, if the thing that pops up for them is, "Hey! There are these buildings here. They're corporate buildings. That must mean that this whole area must be totally a middle class corporate area. I know! Let's make a Corporate Bar!" (cue sad trombone)

I feel like that episode also really shows that Jon is no Gordon Ramsay. Sure, Gordon yells and screams and gets exercised, but you can also tell that he really cares about trying to help the people in each episode, and you see that he really is trying to start where they are and elevate it. I think in a similar situation, Gordon would have worked with the pirate theme, and found a really great way to elevate it...I think the end result would have been the same, because the owners are chuckleheads, but still...I thought it was completely tone deaf of Jon to completely bulldoze the pirate theme--which was the A-number-one thing these folks care about, and then be outraged at the result. Even a first year psych student coulda predicted that reaction. When you watch his "talkback" clip on Spike, it's pretty clear from the beginning that he hated the pirate concept and there was no way he was going to let any remnant of that stay. I kinda think if that's how you feel going in, maybe that's not the best bar for you to try to rescue. Cause then basically you're trying to teach a pig to whistle--you're not going to get the result you want, and you're just gonna piss of the pig.
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#182

ubi

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Posted Oct 23, 2012 @ 5:28 AM

I caught the Extreme/2nd Base ep over the weekend. The original concept was just sleazy. There was something odd about the owner that made me think he was an alcoholic famewhore.
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#183

Lola1616

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Posted Nov 15, 2012 @ 12:13 AM

The Second Base owner didn't deserve the make-over. He was juvenile and an addict.
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#184

psychoticstate

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Posted Feb 11, 2013 @ 1:32 PM

I caught a marathon of this show yesterday and my mind is still blown by the dumb bitch at Piratz and her screechy husband who apparently jumps on his Huffy bike and rides off whenever he hears something he doesn't like.

I don't know the area of Silver Spring but based on what Jon said, I have worked in corporate areas that he was describing. No way would I or anyone in my office go to lunch, or take a client to lunch, at a place like Piratz. Maybe if the food was actually good and the pirate theme only came out during happy hour or preselected times . . . but otherwise, just no.

I think the remodel was gorgeous. The name was a bit stiff but I understand the demographic Jon was trying to entice. Maybe if they had named the bar The Corner Office or The Conference Room it would have gone over a little better. But it's pretty clear that the owner was determined to have a pirate themed bar, whether it succeeded or not. The fact that she, her husband and her 17 year old daughter were living in her parents' basement should have been enough incentive to change but the woman is a moron and has absolutely no place running a business or raising a child. Her parents really need to just kick her out. Let her live at Piratz if she loves it so much.

And was she the one to call BR? If so, why? She's living in her delusional fantasy land where anyone and everyone secretly wants to be a pirate. Did she think Jon was gong to come in there and declare the decor and food perfect and blame the economy or the patrons?
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#185

misterbfd

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Posted Feb 12, 2013 @ 12:03 AM

I think the makeover of the Bourdon Street turtle bar may be the best I've seen on this show. I think the new place, new theme, new name, and new specialty drink cups were terrific.
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#186

hunterhunted

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Posted Feb 12, 2013 @ 12:42 AM

Finally caught the Piratz Tavern epi from the beginning of the season, and wanted to chime in with the other Silver Springer who've commented so far. I'm not a Piratz fan by any stretch, but what I was really struck by was how far off the mark Jon was in assessing the area's demographics. Yeah, there are some corporate buildings up the way on Georgia Avenue (not right up next to Piratz as Jon asserts), but the corporate thing is a tiny part of the Silver Spring whole, which is a lot more ethnically and economically diverse than Jon implies.


I think the show might be conflating corporate with government, which explains some of the misinformation about Silver Spring. And yes, Silver Spring is quite diverse, but not diverse enough for a pirate themed restaurant/bar.
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#187

SmithW6079

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Posted Feb 17, 2013 @ 10:08 AM

I got sucked into the marathon last week. Who knew there were so many sleazy dive bars in the US?

The Piratz bar episode and their inability to grasp reality was disturbing.
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#188

catrina

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Posted Feb 17, 2013 @ 8:11 PM

I've been sucked into the marathons Spike has been running on Sundays. I've been to Piratz Tavern several times since the show and the new decor is great (they bar has been improved, although not by the show). Knowing how some of the "behind the show" was to Piratz makes me distrust what's going on in other episodes where I don't personally know some of the staff or the establishments, but I have to say I've been enjoying the show. Taffer's screaming is apparently just what he does. That said, I was impressed that Piratz Tavern had NO cleaning issues. That's almost a standard in Bar Rescue...the filthiness of the kitchen, and at Turtle Bay one of the experts got sick trying the food!
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#189

Ktwo

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Posted Feb 17, 2013 @ 8:49 PM

This guy's attempt at recording Taffer's success rate.

Loved the Turtle Bay episode. My husband is headed to New Orleans next month and said he would be sure to check it out.
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#190

h1joly

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Posted Feb 18, 2013 @ 12:36 AM

I had to laugh at the makeover for the Austin bar in the new episode tonight. I think it looked cool, but all I could think of was how annoyed the Piratz lady would be that this bar got MADE INTO a costume-themed place.
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#191

Mysteris

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Posted Feb 18, 2013 @ 2:44 PM

I never watched this show, but I caught last night's episode by chance. That owner of the Headhunters bar really pissed me off. He was such an idiot child, BSing his sorely abused staff and trying to coast by with freakshows and strippers.

I felt bad for the workers. They really deserved better. I was glad to see that they at least put effort in and tried to make the steampunk bar concept work, but sadly, I was not surprised to hear that the owner didn't change and his staff were leaving for greener pastures. Good for them. Let the fool go under.
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#192

LoneHaranguer

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Posted Feb 18, 2013 @ 6:16 PM

I'm glad the staff was smart enough to pick sticking around for the training over Jon's offer of helping find new jobs. Can't blame them for moving on afterwards; the owner's a bigger jackhole than Taffer.
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#193

catrina

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Posted Feb 18, 2013 @ 8:37 PM

I really wanted to know more about the non-payment of employees. I tried to find any news articles that might have followed up about labor and health code violations but didn't see any. The employees might have been better served if they had walked off en mass.
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#194

hunterhunted

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Posted Feb 18, 2013 @ 8:58 PM

While the owner of Headhunters seemed like a dillweed, a steampunk themed bar on Red River (in Austin) is quite possibly one of the most wrong headed themes/ideas Taffer has ever had. The real problem that Headhunters has is that it is a punk dive bar with a stupidly small performance space. And there are far too many nicer bars with decent performance spaces next door, across the street, down the block, etc. The steampunk theme is far too specific for Austin. I think the redo could also have worked with a speakeasy theme, which could work in Austin.

Austin is infested with roaches, but this place was really dirty. And it doesn't look like the owner was fumigate the place. Every office or apartment complex I've ever worked in the city of Austin has always had to fumigate monthly and none of these were food service/bar type businesses. I imagine that a bar or restaurant would have to fumigate every other week.
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#195

BennieHannah

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Posted Feb 18, 2013 @ 9:04 PM

Just about every restaurant/bar fights with vermin of some sort. You have to train your staff, clean constantly and schedule regular visits from a pest control company -- you know, give a shit. My boss used to say, "If you can lean you can clean." And she wasn't a leaner herself! There's just no excuse for filth like that.
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#196

beekabeck

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Posted Feb 20, 2013 @ 1:13 PM

Douchiest owner yet. And having staff work for tips only, not on payroll? How is that even legal?
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#197

psychoticstate

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Posted Feb 20, 2013 @ 1:48 PM

I could barely watch the Headhunters episode for all the filth. Roaches floating in bottles of alcohol? Leaving a cat in the bar overnight because of the rats? Unbelievably disgusting.

I hope the head bartender (can't remember her name) takes what she learned from Jon's reboot and opens her own bar. And takes the Headhunters staff with her.
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#198

LoneHaranguer

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Posted Feb 20, 2013 @ 7:10 PM

And having staff work for tips only, not on payroll? How is that even legal?

I think he was relying on there not being any proof that they were employees. Apparently he trashed the paperwork Jon insisted on having. Now that what he's doing has aired, the case ought to be a slam dunk for any state and federal law enforcement agents who want to pursue it.
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#199

Numtini

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Posted Feb 21, 2013 @ 10:20 AM

It's not just salaries, and they should have been paid the tipped wage salaries, it's also tax evasion because you need to pay payroll taxes.

I really was not happy with how little attention was paid to this in the show and I'd have preferred seeing him do an episode where he trained the employees and found them jobs.

The steampunk theme was dumb, fwiw, but I think they were basically dialing it in. They had to know the owner wasn't going to fix things.
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#200

ubi

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Posted Feb 25, 2013 @ 1:15 PM

This week, I learned why bouncers use a flashlight to check for phony IDs (if they are, that is). I wasn't thrilled by the new name "The Annex" or how John Taffer thought that would have some special meaning to the local students, unless there is something in New Orleans about which I am not aware, but Tallahassee used to have a great bar called "Late night Library" which would have been a better name and served his purpose (making the credit card receipt look like it came from a book store).
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#201

psychoticstate

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Posted Feb 25, 2013 @ 1:25 PM

I actually liked the name "The Annex" (much better than Quill's or whatever it was called) and I loved the idea of naming the drinks after classic literature.

I liked that they did add food but they didn't get crazy and brought it a giant Easy Bake oven to make simple stuff.

Glad they fired Spillman. That guy was an overgrown frat boy who needed to put back on his damn clothes and then go. Four shots in 20 minutes? It's clear that guy was intoxicated all the time.

Very surprised they fired Lyle. I thought for sure they would move him to the mini-kitchen, where he wouldn't have to deal with the patrons that much. Or he could always take Nate's place as an ID checker, since you don't have to be smiley and super friendly there.

Speaking of Nate, either the guy didn't care too much about his job or he was dumb as a bag of hair because common sense would tell you that if Taffer sent a fake ID through the first night there, he would do it again during the stress test.

"Late Night Library" is a great name.
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#202

DementedDaisy

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Posted Feb 25, 2013 @ 1:26 PM

http://austin.cultur...tail/BarRescue/

Minor spoilage on next week's episode. (But it's hardly surprising.) The owner is a friend of mine and he told us that the show wanted to film in Austin, so they contacted 5 bars and offered to "rescue" them. He never contacted Taffer or the show. I don't know why Headhunters or The Brixton were selected -- perhaps because they had the worst problems. I had to laugh at the preview ("I have to save their bar and their marriage!") because the owners are still newlyweds and are having a great time being married and running a bar.

In other words, next week will be full of fake drama for the cameras. Surprise surprise.
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#203

psychoticstate

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Posted Feb 25, 2013 @ 1:58 PM

he told us that the show wanted to film in Austin, so they contacted 5 bars and offered to "rescue" them.


So were there really no bars that needed genuine help? I mean, besides Headhunters/Metal and Lace but that owner is such a fuckwit, it probably doesn't matter.

I can't believe there is no one that is suffering in this economy or having management issues, etc.

Darn reality tv!
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#204

DementedDaisy

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Posted Feb 25, 2013 @ 2:57 PM

I assume that plenty of establishments are in dire need of help (especially when it's a sound/electrical/foundation etc problem), but he made it sound like they toured Austin, looking for bars to help and the 5 selected were the worst off. Sorry if I didn't word my original post well.

ETA Austin would, presumably, be an exception to the current financial problem the country is having. The town is full of college students with plenty of disposable income to blow in bars. As far as I can tell, sales are not the issue with the bars selected. The problems with Headhunters were blatantly obvious and the direct cause of dismal sales. From what Tim (the co-owner of The Brixton) has said, their problems were electrical. Their sales are not bad, but they would not be able to afford the needed repairs for some time.

Edited by DementedDaisy, Feb 25, 2013 @ 3:03 PM.

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#205

psychoticstate

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Posted Feb 25, 2013 @ 4:51 PM

Austin would, presumably, be an exception to the current financial problem the country is having. The town is full of college students with plenty of disposable income to blow in bars.


Which is another reason why the douchebag owner of Headhunters/Metal and Lace has no business well, running a business. If you can't run your business decently well in that kind of market - - and your bar is known as a stinky, smelly bar to college kids - - you should just go ahead and close up shop.

For what it's worth, I don't like Metal and Lace as a name for a bar. A lingerie store, sure. I do like their idea of changing the name to Clockworks. Much better.

Shows like this - - and I'm including Restaurant Impossible, Hotel Impossible and the like - - piss me off because it seems as though by the second season they get more into the people and their issues than the bar/restaurant/hotel. I don't care about the owners' personal issues. I want to see the location and management transformed. I want to see how they update the interior. I want to see how the revitalize the food and drink menu. If I wanted personal growth, I'd watch Dr. Phil.
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#206

aimistrue

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Posted Feb 25, 2013 @ 4:58 PM

Umm, Steve? All those hard-working Japanese workers whose work-ethic so impresses you work on the books (unless it's for the Yakuza). They make a minimum wage, have benefits, and are obligated to the corporation because it's obligated to them. You might want to think about that.
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#207

halucidad

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Posted Feb 26, 2013 @ 12:03 AM

There are a lot of real management and business science concepts mixed in with the television aspect of the show. However the real problem is that you really can't fully change a business owner in a few days. Most of these people shouldn't be in business and need to follow up the show by continuing to be educated/trained.

Given the troule most of these places are in before, the level of incompetence many of the owners have, and the limited time Taffer and crew have to change things, I'm surprised the failure rate isn't higher than it is post-show.

The pirate and headhunter shows were the worst example of this.

From my experience with people and business, and given some of the statements on the show and in post show interviews, I'm guessing the pirate lady owner has parents with deep pockets that keep their little darling afloat. No way any bank or other investor is touching her or that business with a 10 foot pole. Suddenly they had money to shut down for six weeks and re-pirate the place a week after the show?
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#208

ubi

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Posted Feb 26, 2013 @ 6:08 AM

I saw the Headhunters ep last night. Holy crap! I am so tired of steampunk, so I'm not sure just how popular it would be for a bar, but the owner's a real scumbag who deserves to go out of business and get investigated for his unlawful business practices.
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#209

LoneHaranguer

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Posted Feb 26, 2013 @ 1:00 PM

I actually liked the name "The Annex" (much better than Quill's or whatever it was called) and I loved the idea of naming the drinks after classic literature.

If you go by the signage, it's actually "Anne X", with the "X" being particularly prominent. I didn't hear an explanation, but presume they're trying to imply an "adult" venue, as when they renamed a bar next to a strip club "Racks".
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#210

icouldntresist

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Posted Mar 3, 2013 @ 6:32 PM

The Texas roach bar owner probably is indictative of the industry as a whole. I've known people working for corporate bar/restaurants and they tell me stories that indicate even many of the corporate bar and franchises are similar. They said in the bar/restaurant industry it's common not to file for unemployment or file complaints against the owner because incompetence and ignorance is so common. And all the cash that changes hands helps keep the taxman away. Most I've known who work in the industry accept the conditions as is and find another place to work if they don't like it because their are so many food/drink establishments out there.
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