On tonight’s Spike episode of “Bar Rescue,” Jon Taffer and his crew have rescued over a hundred bars across the nation. Tonight’s is episode called “Back to the Bar: Hot-Headed Owners.” It recalls some of the shortest fuses in “Bar Rescue” history and what happens after Jon departs from the bar that he just staked his reputation on.
Jon is returning to the bars with the most hot-headed owners, and they believe it is just for a simple follow-up, but Jon is sending in his spies to drink the drinks, taste the food and get the overall experience. Jon will then judge if it is a failure or success. First up, Solids and Stripes in Denver, Colorado appeared on the episode titled “Empty Pockets,” was originally called Zan Z Bar Billiards. When first they arrived, people were grossly over-served and drunken people were crashing all over the place. “Ami” was a former Israeli soldier who came to America to live the dream, but his temper got the best of him and his employees. Jon knows that bar owners are on their best behavior when he is there, but this time, he is sending in his army of spies to find out the truth. Jess, Ian and Timmy are his spies for this night. They found the bar was run very well and there were more games besides billiards. Ami learned not to yell free sex to entice people into the place, but the name was back to Zan Z Bar, and Jon explained why a bar should not have two names; it confuses the marketplace; he has kept the Americana theme that Jon added with Solids and Stripes, and Zan Z Bar had a terrible reputation that scares customers into wondering if all the old baggage returned. Some of that baggage was over-serving, so Jon gave a guy named Zach $100 and a free cab ride to see how many drinks they would give him before cutting him off. Zach ordered four drinks at once, and the bartender served them. When he ordered the next drink, Ami spotted it, cut him off and made him drink water. As far as Jon is concerned, other than the name change, the jury is out on Zan Z Bar.
In the episode titled, “When Life Doesn’t Hand You Lemons,” Jon turned a neglected bar into a mixology bar. Both manager Jimmy and owner Ray stated that everything was running smoothly, but Jon wanted to see for himself if it was true. Russell Davis was sent in to see if the mixology concept was being followed. Jon took a liking to bartender Vivian and wants to be sure her future is secure. Russell immediately noticed that the bar was nearly empty and a pool table returned, where it was not a concept of the makeover. Vivian knows the truth, that Jimmy does not care as much and owner Ray is a ghost. Russell noticed that some of the essential tools were missing that were given to ensure drinks were made properly. Manager Jimmy stated that the edible flowers cost too much, and he does not have the means to get them. Russell’s visit proved that both Ray and Jimmy could not care less about their employees, who depend on tips and return customers to earn their living. Jon gave it a grade of Failure.
In the episode titled, “Characters Assassination,” Jon came to Garner, North Carolina to Characters Quarters; a misguided character themed bar filled with family drama. When Jon left, the place was called MoonRunners Saloon, with a moonshine theme and conflict resolved. So in went a trio of food bloggers to see if things are as they were over a year ago. Elliott, Johanna and John went in to check the place out. When they placed their food order, they started the timer to see how long the food would take. A few new concepts to their drink menu made Jon very happy, and the menu used the original items Chef Brian Duffy helped them create. The food arrived in twelve minutes. When Guy, the owner asked how everything was; they gave it rave reviews; the catfish, ribs and chicken-fried steak were all delicious, and the bloggers could not wait to go home and send the reviews over the web. Now that they want to open another restaurant, Jon gave them his seal of approval and marked this rescue as huge Success.
However, Characters Quarters was not the worst costume theme he ever encountered, so he went back to the Corporate Bar & Grill in Silver Spring, Maryland, to revisit what was Piratz Tavern where everyone, including some customers donned pirate gear. This bar appeared on the episode titled, “Yo-Ho-Ho and a Bottle of Dumb.” What Jon found was the name was back to Piratz Tavern, in fact, Tracy the owner admitted the name remained only for the grand opening. Tracy and husband Juciano did not even give the corporate concept a chance, even after Jon Taffer showed them that they could make lots of money for lunch because the place was surrounded by corporate office buildings. They believed they were smarter than Jon, so he wants to see what the locals think. They interviewed several people who live and work in the area; either they never heard of the place, or did and would never go in. He sent in two young professionals, Erin and Alexis to get their opinion. It was 6 p.m. on a Monday evening, and the place was empty. One-Eyed Mike served them their drinks, so sweet that one tasted like cough syrup and the other like straight rum. When one of the women noticed a fruit fly in her drink, Tracy came by to ask how everything was. When she heard about the fruit fly, she sloughed it off like they were making it up and walked away. Mike, at least gave her another drink. So they ordered food, Mike told one the salmon was fresh, which it most certainly was not, and the other ordered a steak. As a rule, restaurants in Maryland have more seafood on their menu than meats, but there is only one on theirs … and it isn’t even fresh. The spies would never return to this place and would not recommend it to their friends. They felt the place was silly and from the food and drink perspective, Jon considered it an epic Failure. At the end of the episode, Tracy was begging Jon Taffer to return; he felt that the way they disrespected him after just a few hours after he left and returned to their failing ways was a slap in his face, and he would have to think long and hard about ever returning to this place again, as he stated on this episode of “Bar Rescue.”