The Wanted Saloon / The Dickson - Bar Rescue Update - Open or Closed?

Bar Rescue The Wanted Saloon

In this Bar Rescue episode, Jon Taffer visits The Wanted Saloon in Dixon, Tennessee.

The Wanted Saloon is owned by couple Ashley Warewicz and JD Deforr.

They have had to go without a home or even a family because their bar is losing money.

They say they bought the bar almost on accident.

JD bought the saloon after playing there and they thought it would be a new and exciting chapter of their lives.

They were not planning to buy a bar at the time.

Jon struggles to find the restaurant which is in a rural area.

It is located twenty-five miles west of Nashville in a sparsely populated area with a low income.

Jon worries the owners are not willing to fight for the bar.

The bar has no liquor license, just a beer license and Jon doesn’t know anything about their food service.

JD is a struggling musician and Ashley works for the Air Force.

Jon decides he will talk to the couple one-at-a-time at first.

When he does find the building, in an area with no stores, no gas stations and not much of anything.

Jon arrives at night and doesn’t see a sign for the bar.

He finds it painted on the front The Wanted Saloon, the Last Honky Tonk.

He calls out Ashley and has her watch the bar through the show’s cameras.

The draft system is out of place.

Ashley says it’s in and out and Jon says he can fix it in ten minutes.

Jon watches the kitchen, which is using residential cooking machines and he points out it’s all illegal.

Ashley says it was always the plan to put in a kitchen.

Jon tells her if they had one, they could get a liquor license.

The staff consists of Tammy, a bartender/cook, who acts as the manager and a mother figure to the owners.

Lexie is another server and Crockett, is a friend and not employed by the owners but is there all the time and helps out a little.

The bar barely breaks even in the good months.

Ashley is forced to prop it up with her earnings from her day job and she says there is a lot of stress.

Jon says JD is telling her screw you with his behavior including sleeping late while she goes to work.

Jon says Ashley has no idea how to fix the bar or her husband.

He says they need the same vision to succeed.

Jon leads Ashley to meet JD and explains that he is here to help JD, and that he is a voice of honesty.

He tells JD that Ashley wants stability with a house and a family.

JD tries to say he was up in the morning getting ready to come to the bar, but Jon and Ashley call him out on that.

Jon accused JD of being a freeloader and lacking desire to work and he has Ashley tell JD how disappointed she is.

Jon even tells JD his wife is thinking less of him than the day they were married.

He calls JD a failure and tells him he needs to own it.

Jon also makes Ashley tell JD that she agrees with Jon.

Ashley wants stability, a home and a family and Jon says JD struck out.

Jon says they both need to own their failures because Ashley has enabled JD.

Jon returns the next day with his experts, Kevin Bloodsoe, a barbeque chef and Shawn Ford a well-respected bartender with expertise in craft beers.

Jon says they need to come up with a solution for a bar with no liquor license, no kitchen and located in the middle of nowhere.

Kevin unveils a new smoker, outside because the kitchen is too small to even fit it.

Kevin shows them how to make a smoked sausage sandwich.

Shawn shows the staff their newly installed draft beer system.

He demonstrates how to pour draft and Lexie struggles with pouring.

As they prepare for the stress test, he calls out Crockett and tells JD and Ashley they are basically paying him to do nothing.

JD tells Crockett he needs him out of the bar, for the sake of the bar and his family.

Crockett accepts this, and Jon calls him a class act.

Jon tells JD that, as a guitar player and if his strings break he’s in trouble.

So, Jon places a guitar on the wall behind the bar.

He tells JD that every time something goes off the rails, he is going to cut a guitar string.

If all six get cut, Jon shuts them down.

As the stress test begins, Shawn notices the staff are mixing warm and cold beers in the same ice coolers.

Jon cuts two strings from the guitar and notes the two easiest things to do in a bar are bottled beer, and draft beer.

The staff has blown them both shortly after the stress test has begun.

JD struggles to even read orders or figure out who wrote them in the first place.

Jon cuts another string after twenty minutes when much of the bar hasn’t received a beer yet.

Customers find it odd that, despite only having beer, drink service is slow.

The kitchen is disorganized and tickets are unclear.

Jon cuts the fourth and fifth string for mistaken orders coming in and going out and this leaves just one string.

Jon says the staff all care but have no idea what they are doing.

Jon can’t believe a bar that only serves beer can fail this much.

Jon shuts the bar down with one string remaining.

Ashley tells Jon she thinks they did great tonight.

Jon tells her tonight sucked and JD tried but it was chaos.

Jon meets the experts and tells them he spoke to Mill Creek, a local brewery about contracting a private brew for the bar.

The next day, Kevin teaches the staff to make seasoned chicken that can be prepared in advance and smoked when needed.

At the brewery, the brew master explains how he makes different types of beer.

Lexy is blown away by how much they need to learn.

Jon says he needs JD to step up and Ashley to hold him accountable.

He meets with the couple, Ashley tells JD he needs to be more hands on with the bar and he promises he will.

Jon lays out major changes to the bar to his builders, including a name change.

Just before the reveal, Jon tells JD and Ashley he wasn’t sure they cared enough at first but now he thinks they do.

He tells JD he has fire in his belly now.

JD says he learned a lot about being accountable.

The saloon’s new name is revealed and the name is now The Dickson.

The staff love the new interior and JD especially likes the new stage.

The one-string guitar is still on the wall.

The kitchen has been expanded and remodelled.

There is a cosmetic fake smoker that releases fake smoke, that can be used to signal new batches of food.

They now have their own custom beer, the Swinging Dickson.

There is a player piano too.

Kevin complains Ashley is still moving too slowly.

JD is doing far better than the stress test and has grabbed the bull by the horns.

Jon tells the owners he left the guitar up because, when he got there, the place was hanging by a string and he signs it.

He asks JD if he’s willing to fight for the bar and he says that he is.

Jon leaves, telling them he wants to see a picture of their house one day.

Jon says failed businesses can lead to failed marriages.

He says JD and Ashley caught it in time and now they have a new bar to protect their future, and their marriage.

What Happened Next at The Wanted Saloon / The Dickson?

Six weeks later and sales have doubled.

The smoked chicken is popular and is constantly selling out.

Tammy has taken over as manager as JD prepares to release his first album.

The Dickson closed in August 2018.

The bar closed so they could focus on their newborn son and they also bought a home.

The bar was sold and reopened using the original name The Wanted Saloon.

Click for more Bar Rescues

Previous episode - Fatballs

Next episode - Britestar Tavern

This post was last updated in March 2022.

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