Bar Rescue - we checked one out; Cheviot Ohio (Public House)
last Sundays Bar Rescue show was about a bar in Cheviot Ohio, about 45 minutes drive. So Yvonne and I decided to visit this "reformed" bar out.
The principal owner was there and we got a chance to chat with him in detail about the Bar Rescue experience.
First; I have to comment about the food. IT WAS FANTASTIC !!! The bar owner kept John Taffer & Chef Brian Duffy's recipes. Yvonne had the Bratwurst Reuben; I took a few bites and it was absolutely scrumptious. It was the best tasting reuben I have ever had.
I ordered the Guinness Burger, with Guinness-braized onions and Irish Stout Cheddar;
yum... yum... yum !
Get this though; neither of us bought any alcohol !!! Though we thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
here is their new menu: The Public House
interesting that some of the bars existing menu items were still on the new menu. Not everything from the bars past was thrown out. Since Yvonne and I were wanting to try some of the Chef Duffy items, we asked the waitress to point out which menu items were Duffy's recipes.
Here are some of the behind-the-scenes info we found out:
*the application process to get the Bar Rescue "treatment" took six months; from the first written application - to when the crew showed up. One of the reasons the bar owner took out those expensive credit card company loans was to stay afloat during that six months.
*the shows crew totaled about 45 people total. The Black Sheep Pub (later to be renamed The Public House) had a downstairs party rental room; the production crew filled the entire space with equipment.
*The trip to Ireland and the Guinness factory - didn't happen until 2 months later. Taffer said that they could of gone right then & there; and the trip would be two days total. But if the bar people were willing to go a few months later, they would make a week long trip out of it; and that's what they decided on. The cook didn't have a passport, and if they had gone immediately as shown, someone else would of had to go instead.
*The owner said that business was up a solid 20% right after the grand opening (back in late March of this year); and business is up an additional 200% since the show aired last Sunday. He knew that the 200% jump is temporary though... and will smooth-out in time. He seemed very gratefull about having the Bar Rescue'd.
The principal owner, Scott Scherpenberg, is a Captain on the Cheviot Fire Department. I work with police and fire/EMS people every day at work.... and they can develop BIG EGO's... especially if they are in a command position. I must say that Scott was an extremely nice guy. If... if he had an ego... he no longer does; apparently John Taffer can humble a guy out - pretty quick .
Scott seems to be a great person; I'm certain the bar will do well.
I know we'll be back; not to drink.. but to have another chance at the great food. We asked Scott to be in a picture with us; and he presented us with an official Guinness beer glass.
Last edited by Mike Mercury; 09-02-2012 at 05:55 PM.
I have done a lot of internet searching about it; here's some things of interest:
* the renovation budget limit is $250k per location; that includes promotion expenses.
* If you noticed, the show tends to "freshen-up" the bar - and doesn't move things around very much within the building. This is because they only have 4 days - and there's no time to get permits, and then pass inspections. That's why the work done to remodel is carefully chosen as to avoid having to get permits in the first place.
Only one episode so-far has there been permits required, and that was the Murphy's Mess - J.A. Murphy's Pub Fells Point, Maryland episode where the main floor beam was rotted. They spent an additional 10 days at that location.
*the applications are carefully screened to weed out bar owners that simply just want to get a free renovation. Applicants must show financial statements that prove the bar is near total failure.
Here's John Taffer discussing the episode: Yo-Ho-Ho and a Bottle of Dumb - Piratez Silver Spring, MD
"It was probably my most difficult episode, no question about it," Taffer said. "I was working with a bunch of people who'd rather starve and be pirates than make money and not be pirates. It was far from your typical business situation."
"Bar Rescue" host Jon Taffer has an important question about one of the D.C. area's most quirky businesses, an establishment that revolted against the Spike TV host's best make-over efforts.
"If you had a pirate concept that had failed for five years and had a new concept, would you go back to the concept that failed for five years or try something new? It defies logic that someone would go back to a concept just because they don't like the new name."
The second season of "Bar Rescue" startedwith an episode profiling Piratz Tavern, a pirate-themed bar on Georgia Avenue near Silver Spring's Red Line Metrorail station.
Viewers of the show witnessed a drastic renovation. What was once a pirate-themed tavern was transformed into the "Corporate" bar and grill. But not for long.
Soon after the filming was complete, the renovations and rebranding were tossed aside to let the pirates back in.
Taffer told The Huffington Post that he disagrees with the bar's decision to revert to its pirate roots.
"I think it defies logic. Whether one likes the asthetic or concept I created, there are certain logical, indisputable points that one can't argue with."
"I built them a business, and they wanted to go play in the sandbox," Taffer said. "I hope they have a great time playing pirates."
Last edited by Mike Mercury; 09-02-2012 at 10:42 PM.
so where are they getting the 250k an episode for the renovations?
I read that - on the internet - so the accuracy is questionable. But the total also includes the value of any any donated items.
Does Taffer take an ownership stake in these bars?
Originally Posted by Sparticus
Just saw the pirate episode last night. Holy crap are those guys dumb.
I think that lady owner (who lives in the basement of her parents house... SERIOUS) is an anti-establishment type. I think the simple thought of professionals coming there - repulsed her. I imagine she would feel right-at-home in the middle of an "Occupy" protest.
I read that the very weekend after Bar Rescue left, she had the outdoor sign removed; and within a month had the eitire inside decorations switched back to the pirate theme.
That husband of hers - needs his azz kicked. It would be easy to do; maybe by a 9th grader.
Then why the hell would she petition the show to get them in there and fix things?
I know a person that hates people that wear suits, ties, and office related attire. They are out there.
I found quite a few discussions about that episode.
If you remember, she stated twice that she wanted someone to come in and help with her Pirate themed restaurant.
Once Taffer saw the books... he knew it was a lost cause; and changed the theme.
Also, the lady lied about that "mixed drink machine"... (which I heard was an expensive device). She was lucky to have it given to her.
One person visited Piratez after the make-over (and then the un-makeover). That free (and expensive) mixed drink machine was unplugged and a sign on it said "out of order". The patron asked about it and was told: "the show screwed up; it's illegal to have a self serve mixed drink machine in Maryland".
While you can't have a self serv alcoholic drink dispenser in Maryland - that you pay at the actual machine (an important distinction) - this machine required the person to go to the bar and pay there - and ID's would be checked at that time. You were then given a key-fob (RF-ID) that was programmed to the amount of drinks you paid for. You could not pay directly at the machine. Taffer knew about the law in Maryland, and went after that specific type of machine that would be legal.
The truth is that the finances at Piratez continued to be soooooo bad that the lady owner could not affort the bagged refills that are required to refill the machine. Instead of being honest & upfront about it... she made up a lie to cover her wacky decision making.
I gotta believe her parents are somewhat wealthy... and are handing her money all the time.