Bar Rescue - Win Place or Show / America Live - CLOSED

Bar Rescue Win Place or Show

In this episode of Bar Rescue Jon Taffer visits Win Place or Show Sports Bar and Grill in Fairfield, Ohio

Win Place or Show is owned by Navy veteran Barry Rogers, who bought the biker bar in 2010.

After buying the bar he turned it into the sports bar it is now.

He used his life savings of $50,000 to buy the bar but only changed the name and nothing else.

Potential new customers did not come to the bar because of the reputation of the previous bar.

Rudy Garcias is a friend of Barry and he is also co-owner of the bar.

He started performing at the bar to try to bring in new clientele but it did not help the business.

His wife, Tracy, became a bartender in order to help out but she doesn’t have any prior experience.

Barry is $100,000 in debt, he has never turned a profit and they are three months from closing.

Jon recons the bar with Chef Aaron McCargo and Jason Bran, a speed bartending expert.

They see the bar is in a good location but the bar sign is misleading and confusing.

It looks like a horse betting place rather than a sports bar.

Jon gives the experts the low down on veteran Barry and his friend Rudy.

Jon sends in an unidentified spy, who orders a long Island ice tea from the menu.

However there is too much alcohol in the drink.

He then orders a platter that has been cooked in the microwave.

It is greasy, rubbery and the cheese is congealed.

Rudy is sitting at the bar oblivious to all of this while Barry is in his office working.

Jon goes in to talk to Barry and Rudy and finds out Barry never did a grand opening to introduce the new brand/bar.

He then confronts them about the bar chasing customers away and Rudy says a new drummer was being tested.

Jon thinks that Rudy has no respect for the business, doing that when they are supposed to be making money.

Jon and his experts along with the owners tour the bar and kitchen and see a number of problems.

There are old limes, dirty soda guns, grease in the fryer, griller and on the pipes and floor and bad chicken thawing on the counter.

Rudy defends his cooks but Jon points out the kitchen would be clean if they worked hard.

They are tasked with cleaning the bar after they close and Tracy refuses to join in.

Jon has a meeting with the staff the next morning.

With a Tap Dynamics and Bevintel report on their bar he tells them they gave away $600 worth of Liquor on Saturday.

Rudy owns up and says he has given away lots of free beer and staff are not to blame.

But Rudy is exposed as not caring about the business along with his wife Tracy.

The experts train the staff on a new menu for speed and quality.

They have been given an electric smoker to cook barbecue on.

At the bar a new whiskey and bourbon menu is introduced to compliment the new food.

The staff are trained on simple drinks, the BLT and a Tennessee Apple.

They open for the stress test after finishing the training.

The bar staff quickly forget the drinks they are offering and make lots of mistakes.

Tracy is the most problematic and is pulled to taking orders on the floor.

In the kitchen tickets pile up and Tracy messes up again as she is missing when customers want to make food orders.

Barry has to run food and do so many other things because everyone is busy and Rudy is only greeting guests.

Tracy makes a major mistake that sees drinks abandoned at the bar.

The service soon breaks down and customers start to leave.

The bar is shut down early and Jon gives them feedback.

Tracy is called out for not being good at bartending or serving customers.

Rudy and Tracy are told to consider if they really want to work at the bar.

The next day everyone is present but Tracy who has given up and doesn’t want to work there.

Jon has placed a big banner over the sign outside that reads TOP SECRET so cars on the highway passing by can see.

It is part of his plan to unveil a new brand and bar and actively promote it.

Aaron trains the kitchen some more on cooking at speed and has them cook the new recipes without his help.

At the bar Jason teaches the staff speed techniques at free pouring then tests them making some basic drinks fast.

Jon sits with Rudy and Barry to talk about stopping Rudy from playing at the bar.

He thinks that Barry needs a real partner who wants to grow his business.

Jon recognised Amber, the bartender, for being passionate every time she has spoken about the bar.

He has the idea to offer her part ownership in the bar.

Amber is happy to and buys into the business writing a cheque on the spot.

Rudy is to take a backseat and focus on his music.

Barry makes the announcement to the staff and they are ecstatic for her, while Rudy bows out.

The bar is renovated for 36 hours and Jon and Amber go to a local radio station to promote the new bar.

In the afternoon all the staff are gathered and a new bar is revealed.

The bar will be called America Live Bar and Grill and there is a logo and sign with a guitar head.

Inside, the bar is more cohesive with the theme and furnishing.

There is a shot station separate from the bar, Touch Tune sound system for karaoke and an inbuilt photobooth.

The kitchen has been deep cleaned, there is sound proofing in the main bar and new music equipment.

There is a big bird mural that is from Barry’s Navy background.

There are also Turbo taps for efficient drinks serving and two new 2Touch POS systems behind the bar.

It is relaunch night and the customers are let in.

The bar staff are nervous at first but begin serving with more confidence.

Tickets pour in in the kitchen and they are slow at first but manage to keep up sending out quality food.

The customers are enjoying the new drinks options and the new barbecue food.

Halestorm shows up for a live set to play tracks off their new album.

The customers love the atmosphere and respond to the music.



What Happened Next at Win Place or Show / America Live ?

Six weeks after Bar Rescue, sales increased by around 25% and many lives acts performed at the bar.

They had to close for days after the TV crew left and Amber said it was a nightmare due to loss of earnings.

America Live closed in July 2012.

They closed after the landlord locked them out of the building and finished the lease due to non payment of rent.

A now deleted Facebook post claimed that they "were ambushed by two members of the community who schemed to take our bar out from underneath us."

The bar later became Mango’s Tropical Oasis and the building was declared a total loss after a fire in November 2020.

Click for more Bar Rescues

Previous episode - Weber's Place / Weber's Rum Bar & Grill

Next episode - Rocks / Power Plant

This post was last updated in April 2021.

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