On tonight’s Spike season premiere episode of “Bar Rescue,” Jon Taffer and his crew returned to Second Base Bar and Grill in Orange, California. Here he converted the bar called Extremes into Second Base making it into a viable operation. Now on this episode titled “Second Base, Third Strike,” Jon returns after over two years. Since that original show aired, several sports bars popped up close to Second Base, detracting from their booming business. The owner was again at odds with his manager; the place was deteriorating and the cute uniforms Jon instituted were discarded for the original bikinis. With all the work that Jon put into the place, would he be willing to take that chance another time?
Bar Rescue Will Jon Taffer give Second Base a Second Chance?
Photo courtesy of Spike used with permission
Jon is on the way to Second Base with his good friend, actress and comedienne Sarah Colonna and his mixologist that worked on the first rescue, Joe Brooke. When they pulled up, the sign Jon gave them was not even lit, and there was no sidewalk presence. So Jon sent Sarah and Joe inside to order all the drink items and food items they initiated and see what the result was. He had owner Terry Bryant sit in the car with him and see what went on when Gary, the manager was there. Terry told Jon that Gary just about gave up on the operation, and pointed out the staff that was there when he did the original rescue. One bartender Terry could not name bothered Jon, who never met an owner who did not know his staff, but Jon had all the names and relayed them to Terry.
Sara remembered Joe and knew she was in trouble when she saw him. She knew he was going to ask for the items they put in place; however, she could not supply him with them, and it was not her call. The margarita she made tasted awful and Sarah did not drink it, but the smell inside was awful. As Gary came to talk with Joe, the things he told him were all refuted by Terry. So Jon and Terry went inside to clear the air. Jon immediately noticed the smell and the filth and knew it was Gary’s job to run the place, including keeping it smelling good and clean. As Jon questioned Gary, he slapped a light that was full of dust. Sara stood up for Gary, but it was to no avail. She stated that he had too much work to do. Jon then asked where the stink was coming from and took a rag and wiped the floor. The rag was full of filth and bacteria, and he threw it on Gary’s shoulder and told him it was where it belonged; on him. Jon then called in one of his crew to cut the floor open; and sure enough, the smell nearly knocked everyone out. He showed them where the smell was coming from as everyone at the bar was ready to puke.
Jon told them the only saving grace they had was his reputation is on the line for the bar. The next day when Jon arrived, he asked about the side of the bar that Gary kicked down and was livid because they did not even clean after he left. The piece of the floor was still on the bar where Jon left it. He blamed Terry this time, because he is the owner and should have directed his staff to clean up knowing Jon was coming back. After Jon left the first time, their sales increased 400%, and he paid off $180,000 in debt. Now he is back where he was. Jon originally thought it was Gary’s fault, but now he sees the blame shifting to Terry.
Suddenly, as Jon was blaming Terry, he started getting arrogant towards him. He told him that his other bar was doing fine, and then Jon realized that he was using money from this bar to keep the other going, leaving this bar to die. He continued to bring in new bartenders while the loyal ones who have been there all along felt no longer necessary. Jon will give Terry one chance to own up for his sins and then, and only then, will Jon re-rescue this bar. Jon then brought in Lisamarie Joyce to train the bartenders. Before any training could be done, the bar had to be cleaned. When Lisamarie told Terry to put on some overalls and help, he was a disrespectable douche to her, and then he lashed out at Jon.
Back in the bar, Jon truly liked the staff and brought back Lisamarie and Nick Liberato to train kitchen staff. They will do the stress test, but if Terry does not change after that, Jon will not go any further. Jon told the staff that the last time he trained everyone it was for there; this time it is for them so if they leave there, they will do just fine somewhere else. During the training, Terry seemed engaged in the place, so Jon may re-rescue the place.
During the stress test, the drinks were coming too slowly and too strong and Terry did nothing to help his crew. When Jon confronted him about it, he told Jon it was because he didn’t know the girls too well. Jon told him he did not know anything, and it was because he did not care and called him a loser. Jon then addressed Terry and the staff. Jon felt that doing the bar over, Terry was just pimping himself to get at his checkbook, and once he was gone; it would return to its former state.
Jon then explained what he planned to do, no name change, but a change in the exterior with a new sign, changes to the broken plumbing and a boost in the energy of the interior. Jon also explained how five percent should have been put in a special account for POM, which stands for property, operation and maintenance. Jon’s estimation should cost $100,000, but because Terry has not committed to caring for his staff and his bar, Jon will demand he puts up $30,000 towards the redo. However, Terry stated he did not have that kind of money and for that reason, Jon walked out because he just did not trust him. Jon met with the staff in the parking lot before he left. He told them that Terry did not deserve their loyalty and promised he would try to find them jobs elsewhere. Gary was a good guy who worked 60 hours a week there and had nothing to show for it. Six weeks later, the sales were still on the decline; Gary is working hard as the manager, but he and the staff are seeking jobs elsewhere … and Terry still hasn’t invested any money back into the bar on this episode of “Bar Rescue.”
Diane Zoller-Ciatto
Edison TV Examiner