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Gulielma

Bar Rescue

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Maria might have been a user, but Taffer pissed me off they way he went after her.  He accused her of just sitting around and drinking the ex-pilot's liquor and gambling his money, but you know what, she was an equal partner so it was every bit as much her liquor as his.  He seemed to be sitting around drinking and gambling too. Doesn't matter how she got her partnership stake, I hope her first call was to her lawyer.

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She's entitled to a cut of the profits. She's not entitled to a job, or to free drinks and the run of the till.

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Didn't that loon sign a contract stipulating that she wouldn't put up any wunderbar signage for a year? Sign's up (not just that little crayon drawing in the window). Jon, call your lawyer!

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There seem to be a lot of recent rescues where the update says that sales have increased 20%. That doesn't seem to me to be a big return on what must be an investment by the show of at least $200K in some scenarios.

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If I saw a sign that said "Money Bar" I would think it was a payday loan outfit. I think that's the worst new name since Corporate Bar & Grill.

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I agree ktwo!  It seems to me like his bar names have been seriously going downhill. I think "Money Bar" is even worse than Corporate. My first thought when I heard it was "we want to take your money."  Which I suppose is true, but not necessarily the message you want to send to customers.

 

Then there was that place last time where he slapped "A Great Neighborhood Bar" (or something like that) under the name.  If you have to tell people it's "Great" it probably isn't, in my experience.

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Sales up 70%! That is what the makeovers on this show should be producing. Although I still wonder how Dan managed to blow $14 million. And that is a lot of money for a journeyman reliever who played on more than half a dozen teams plus Japan and Mexico.

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Sal certainly ran hot and cold throughout the show.  I hope he doesn't sink the place with his old gravy.  Because the gravy seemed to be on everything.

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I feel like this show is really, really staged. The switch from degenerate drunk so lost to reason that they're bombed and stealing from the register in front of a camera crew (often with bonus "slutty" behavior) to the contrite, reasonable people buckling down or giving calm departure interviews about how they understand that they've let their friend down is just too stark.

 

No kidding. These people didn't start drinking yesterday. I always feel like they honestly probably need (truly need) a detox program in order to quit safely and stay quit. Maybe they quit for a day or two taping but I have my doubts that they were able to just quit cold turkey because Taffer showed up.

 

Sales up 70%! That is what the makeovers on this show should be producing. Although I still wonder how Dan managed to blow $14 million. And that is a lot of money for a journeyman reliever who played on more than half a dozen teams plus Japan and Mexico.

 

So true! I don't understand how the places they show are practically dead, they throw a couple $100k at the place, it seems a lot nicer, and sales are "only" up 20%.  20% is good and all but you'd think a pro makeover would help a place that was such a mess would turn out better.

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This show is even more formulaic than the last time I watched it! So now there's a storming-out-in-disgust segment each week?

How convenient of Lonie to have her change of heart when Tapper produced a contract saying they wouldn't change the name of the bar but did it anyway.

Oh yeah, the new bar theme (we use clean ice!) was lame.

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Yeah, it kind of is, but at the very least it beats out not being able to talk over your vegan bar snacks because a raging narcissist aging hippy is ululating like an acid casualty, er, "live jazz."

With dirty ice.

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That makes sense. You're unlikely to undo years of bad practices in a week. The 20% probably comes from curious people who don't return and then the management reverts to their old ways because the new way didn't work.

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That was one BIG bar/restaurant!  They must be out in the suburbs to get a space that big for so little money.  (They're losing $10k/month, but JT never mentioned the rent as being part of the problem.)  Even after the make-over, the place seemed cavernous and bare.  Were they planning on having weddings/performances on that giant dance floor?

 

This is one make-over that I don't expect to succeed.  The main owner never seemed to really buy-in to JT's expertise or ideas for the food, the drinks, or the management of the place.  I'll bet they bring back those dancing girls in no time flat.  Plus, if Penny Davidi (a well-known "Next Food Network Star" former contestant) is the "culinary expert" in charge of fixing your food choices, you're pretty much dead in the water.

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I'm just a little confused that he chose an actor from the Sudan and a second-generation persian "chef" whose professional experience is managing pizzerias as the consultants for a moroccan restaurant. Does all the food look alike?

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That was one BIG bar/restaurant!  They must be out in the suburbs to get a space that big for so little money.  (They're losing $10k/month, but JT never mentioned the rent as being part of the problem.)  Even after the make-over, the place seemed cavernous and bare.  Were they planning on having weddings/performances on that giant dance floor?

 

This is one make-over that I don't expect to succeed.  The main owner never seemed to really buy-in to JT's expertise or ideas for the food, the drinks, or the management of the place.  I'll bet they bring back those dancing girls in no time flat.  Plus, if Penny Davidi (a well-known "Next Food Network Star" former contestant) is the "culinary expert" in charge of fixing your food choices, you're pretty much dead in the water.

 

You have the same thoughts and questions I did!  I assume that giant floor was for their bellydancers, but I've been to a number of Moroccan places that had a MUCH smaller space for the dancers. I thought they should have at least addressed that somehow. Did they plan to add late night DJ dancing or something?

 

And yes, their "culinary expert" had me going "whaaaat?" too. Although I did like her better on this show than on her Food Network Star appearance, so I guess that's something.

 

Out of curiosity I checked out barrescueupdates and apparently they basically kept both the new and old names, so now it's a bar with two names. They mostly go by the old one but they left Taffer's sign up too. It apparently had mostly positive reviews both before and after the 'rescue.'  After seeing several other shows in the past week that all seem to be thinly veiled ads for that Tut miniseries, I'm thinking they did this show to try for that same tie-in.

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Spike was promoting the hell out of Tut, they had actors from the series on Inkmaster and this show. To me, this place was a banquet hall and restaurant, not a bar. They chose this as the closest they could get to the movie setting.

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I thought it was appropriate that Penny pointed out the cross-contamination in the kitchen, since cross-contamination is a perfect description of her "career."

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What I took away from this episode is that Rod clearly has no business being in the bar business.

 

According to barrescueupdates.com there have been some complaints about the makeover and the new name.  And the sign has been vandalized at least once.

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I must have missed the "O Face" ep b/c that's not the bar I recall Taffer walking out of. How exactly did he get their sales numbers when his spy asked about thenir sales?

The Canyon Inn owner was an asshole, but we've discussed the ramification of Taffer's name changes, so I'm not sure I can judge him restoring the original name.

I remember the makeover of Spirits but cannot recall if the name was changed or not. It looked like it has done well, however.

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This helps a little bit with keeping up with the various bars: http://www.barrescueupdates.com/

 

O'Face basically looked like a double wide trailer turned into a bar. I didn't see this "Back to the Bar" episode so I'm not sure what they showed. I don't imagine you could've missed the original episode on this one though as it was so overhyped - Taffer really DID finally walk out. I had a hard time remembering many of the rest of them too, but the O'Face trailer kinda stood out.

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In this ep, they revisited the bar from "Hostile Takeover", "O'Face", Canyon Inn (renamed by Taffer to Canyon Saloon) and the one if New Orleans whose signature drink was a bad copy to the one across the street. I am a bit confused about Taffer saying they lied to the owners about returning to do a follow-up segment for the show, but isn't that what this is? I'm not sure which walkout I saw, but I noticed he does that much more frequently but is "convinced" to return and give them another chance.

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What a surprise nothing's changed at OFace. The worst owners ever, they assaulted and encouraged assaults on their employees. Hope they end up belly up soon. Glad Spirits is doing well, but how could they not with that location. Obviously they can afford to invest in NO real estate, impressive. Don't care about Canyon Inn, bye.

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I am a bit confused about Taffer saying they lied to the owners about returning to do a follow-up segment for the show, but isn't that what this is? 

 

I think maybe they told them they were filming a follow-up, just maybe not an asshole owners who can't be helped and don't deserve to own a bar-themed follow-up.

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I was disappointed to see that, after all those radical changes Jon made to this place (dying sports bar turns into an upscale steak restaurant/bar), sales had only increased by 20%!  

 

Previously, the only food being served was frozen catfish from the microwave.  Now, they serve premium steaks.  Sales would HAVE to increase, wouldn't they?  Maybe not profits, but definitely sales.

 

Something smells fishy about this, and I don't mean the catfish.

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I was disappointed to see that, after all those radical changes Jon made to this place (dying sports bar turns into an upscale steak restaurant/bar), sales had only increased by 20%! 

 

Previously, the only food being served was frozen catfish from the microwave.  Now, they serve premium steaks.  Sales would HAVE to increase, wouldn't they?  Maybe not profits, but definitely sales.

 

Something smells fishy about this, and I don't mean the catfish.

Haven't seen this ep, but I live in Chicago, and noticed that this place is in a burb called Country Club Hills and judging by the view from google street view, not the greatest location. This area might not be the best market for an upscale steak house.

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I always think the percentages look way off on this show.  How does that work - our food sucked, our alcohol was terrible, Bar Rescue made everything 1000x better and woo-hoo sales were up 20%?  I don't get it. Especially the food when they go from no food menu at all to "food sales were up 20%."  Up 20% from what?  0?

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I generally assume that what they're saying is that they still have nobody coming to their bar, but the few stragglers who do buy food now.

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This may officially be the stupidest hour of television I've watched on purpose.

I can't believe John indulged that stupid ghost story...and brought in a medium (I.e. Charlatan)....

Ridiculous....

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I saw this as a rerun yesterday and epis like this piss me off.

 

If you have NO intention of following Taffer's suggestions and changes, don't sign up for the freaking show.  It's that simple.   This woman obviously thinks she knows what's best, despite her bar being an epic failure.  She's also obviously BSC. 

 

I loved what Taffer did with the bar.  The name is short, concise and cool, the new interior was fantastic and the food seemed right.  Funny to me that the owner was so concerned that a vegan might be offended by the menu but not thinking that someone looking for chicken or a burger might be offended by a menu missing those items.

 

Regarding the contract - - both signed that they would not change the name for a year but nothing was said about not taking the new sign down.  So I guess they skirted that issue.

 

The son should leave the business.  His mother is going to drag him down.  This is definitely one "rescue" that didn't deserve it.

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Funny to me that the owner was so concerned that a vegan might be offended by the menu but not thinking that someone looking for chicken or a burger might be offended by a menu missing those items.

Do they get a lot of vegans in bars? It's kind of a charnel house for yeast.

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Well, that was easily the worst episode of this show I've ever seen. It's getting close to removing from DVR territory.

 

So obviously a bar not in need of rescuing. They came up with a good story, knowing that the producers wouldn't be able to pass up that particular brand of crazy. Yay! Free renovation!

 

Joke's on them though. This was a ridiculous concept. Like The Corporate Bar, it makes me wonder if John is trolling people who are signing up for this show who aren't really interested in his help.

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I love to read, but when I go to bars its to socialize or sometimes to watch a game. I really cannot imagine going to a bar, taking a book off a shelf and then sitting by myself with a cocktail. It also doesn't seem like the kind of bar to attract lots of readers. I was surprised Taffer didn't dig deeper into the absentee owner, something more was going on than the ghost thing. Then of course, the ghost leaves in two seconds when the medium shows up. 

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The ghost part was silly, but I liked that the staff (for once) was competent and honest.  Lisamarie had that argument about pouring size, but basically everyone was there to do a good job and in a conscientious way.

 

Did they really travel to Holland, tour the Vodka factory, and return in 2 days?!?  That's harder to believe than the ghost story!

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Jon goes back to bars that had some delusional owners.  The bars revisited were:

 

  • Dimples in Burbank, CA
  • Taza Nightclub in Omaha, NE (formerly known as Oasis Hookah Bar)
  • 22 Klicks in Hope Mills, NC (formerly known as Cliques)
  • Metal And Lace in Austin, TX (now closed, formerly known as Headhunters)

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Love the owner of 22 Klicks.  Crowded on a Wednesday night tells you he's a smart cookie who knew John was giving him a winning formula.  

As for the others, the owner of Dimples should be grateful he hasn't been stomped on by a group of angry female patrons; the owner of Taza should keep the Hookah at HOME, and if it weren't for the fact that the really great employees got screwed, the sad state of affairs of the douchebag owner of Metal and Lace gave me some serious Schadenfreude for a Sunday night.  

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As a person who lives in Austin, a complaint about property taxes isn't ridiculous. Though I think the bigger issue is that that area of downtown is overloaded with venues.

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I'm still baffled how that Austin jackhole was able to get away with NOT PAYING employees.  There are State & Federal labor laws and that guy must have violated every one of them!  I don't fully understand the laws as they relate to working for a restaurant/bar, but I believe they are paid something (very meager, but an hourly wage) and their tips are supposed to bring them up to or over minimum wage at least.  I don't think it's legal to tell someone to work for "tips only".  That idiot probably doesn't have enogh money to pay everyone back pay or to pay the fines for breaking the laws, but I would file as many complaints as possible and keep that jerk in court for the rest of his miserable life.  Austin is a big city with lots of bars and night life so I hope those ex-non-employees land work in a legitimate business.

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I'm still baffled how that Austin jackhole was able to get away with NOT PAYING employees.  There are State & Federal labor laws and that guy must have violated every one of them!  I don't fully understand the laws as they relate to working for a restaurant/bar, but I believe they are paid something (very meager, but an hourly wage) and their tips are supposed to bring them up to or over minimum wage at least.  I don't think it's legal to tell someone to work for "tips only".  That idiot probably doesn't have enogh money to pay everyone back pay or to pay the fines for breaking the laws, but I would file as many complaints as possible and keep that jerk in court for the rest of his miserable life.  Austin is a big city with lots of bars and night life so I hope those ex-non-employees land work in a legitimate business.

 

I hope the employees and others he owes money to take him right to court.  If nothing else, they can get a judgment against him that should be good for awhile - they'll be able to take a cut of any income he gets.  Not only that, I'm sure a judgment against him is going to mean NO investors are going to ladle out some gravy to get him started up in another bar.  No doubt he would employ the same illegal policies, and the investors might very well find themselves on the hook for any lawsuits.  

 

I know John can be a douche, but I tell you - if I were opening a bar, he'd be my first phone call for planning, budgeting, theme, etc.  What he did with Spirits on Bourbon is fantastic!

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I think the best thing Taffer could have done at that Austin bar is to give each and every one of the employees a reference and then put asshole on TV breaking federal employment law in the middle of his filthy roach nest of a "venue".

 

Oh, wait...

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I saw the reno and all those books and all I could think of was the dusting that's going to be needed!

 

One big ad for Ketel One.

Edited by deSchenke

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So let's send these two big personable guys to Ketel for free to get cool training. Ten bucks says they ain't working in no library bar with ghosts but got hired in more tipworthy bars, like two months after the show.

Seriously stupid bar concept, too.

Edited by MakeMeLaugh

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On again last night. Hilarious that the truly skanky drunk stripper "waitresses" are now going to be sophisticated late night servers. Sure, leopards change their spots all the time.

Oh wait, no they don't--update shows Ele closed in August 2015 after reverting back to some of its old ways.... http://www.barrescueupdates.com/2015/08/ele-lounge-from-bar-rescue-has-closed.html

Edited by MakeMeLaugh
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Beyond formulaic. I was shocked that Tapper didn't give it a lame name change, as per normal. I couldn't help notice how they heavily glossed over the moronic brother(?) who ineptly got in everyone's way instead of actually helping anyone. I am half-expecting to learn that the owner did this for a free pre-sale make-over.

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