Bar Rescue

Okay, so I don’t know if any of my readers have ever actually seen this show, but I have a hard time watching it. Mostly because the guy who does the show, host Jon Taffer, seems to be a complete misogynist. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I understand why he is the way he is – he’s trying to make money – but come on.

He has this saying that comes up in every episode of the three season show on Spike TV – “More women mean more men means more money.” (Not necessarily verbatim, but the major idea of what he says.) And whenever Taffer says it, I’m just done.  It comes across – to me – as very condescending, but whatever. Taffer clearly knows what he’s talking about because he’s done well for himself in his business.

Each episode of “Bar Rescue” focuses on a single bar that is doing so poorly that the manager (or owner) feels as though their last resort is Jon Taffer, who will come in and renovate the bar and also teach the staff whatever they need to know.

Anyway, the video I put on here is a preview for one episode that was fabulous. “Spike TV” aired an episode of “Bar Rescue” that focused on a themed bar in Silver Spring, Maryland called Piratz Tavern. When Taffer came in, the owner was $900,000 in debt and living in her parents’ basement with her husband and 17 year old daughter.

Taffer comes in and totally revamps the entire bar, but not before having it out with the owner (over her bad choices), her husband (because he is the chef and a terrible one at that), and an employee (because he wants to keep the bar pirate themed so he can continue dressing up). It’s completely ridiculous – there’s yelling involved and it’s just embarrassing. I mean, these are adults behaving like children. You’d think that because the owner put so much money into the bar, she would be open to suggestions, but we’ll get to that in a bit.

The bar formerly known as “Piratz Tavern” is transformed into a corporate bar for the businesses that surround the area. Unfortunately, the owner doesn’t see it as a new opportunity and proceeds to change it back to its original pirate theme within a few days.

Now, here’s the catch. As I was watching this and subsequently writing this post, I was looking up Piratz Tavern. And what I found was surprising.

Yeah, the bar is (was) supposedly failing, but if you look at the reviews for it, you’ll find that a majority of them are positive. And I found another blog post that talks about the claims Taffer made on the episode of “Bar Rescue” where Piratz Tavern was featured. I’ve linked it because I couldn’t have said it better. (Plus the fact that the writer of The Murphyverse blog actually visited the bar, something I have not done because I don’t live in or near Maryland.)

Before I wrap this up, I want to say – if you watch this episode of “Bar Rescue”, don’t be fooled. Not every episode features owners who actually don’t want help. I kind of want to compare it to “Restaurant Stakeout” but with more focus on the physical bar than the staff. I just picked the Piratz Tavern episode because it stuck with me.

But time to lay down the verdict – sink or swim? I actually have a hard time saying either way. The idea of the show is great – it’s always interesting to see someone make-over a space, but at the same time I can’t stand Taffer and his condescending manner towards women. Then again, Spike is a network geared towards men, so that kind of factors into the whole “women equal profit” thing. I’ll leave it for you all to decide and let me know in the comments.


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