Joe's Thirsty Lizard / The Iron Horse - Bar Rescue Update - Open or Closed?

Bar Rescue Joe's Thirsty Lizard Bar & Grill

In this Bar Rescue episode, Jon Taffer visits Joe’s Thirsty Lizard Bar and Grill in Horn Lake, Mississippi.

Joe’s Thirsty Lizard Bar and Grill is owned by Joe Scott, a navy vet with experience in the industry.

He got it in 2015, rent free for a year but without a liquor license.

Joe poured in over $80,000 into the business without any profit.

He made Mike, the dishwasher, the manager even though he had no prior experience of managing a bar.

Joe also made a number of other bad hires for the kitchen and the bar.

The bar is in a state, it needs repairs, pest control, replacement of equipment.

Joe cannot afford to keep up with the work needed to be done at the bar.

Jon recons the bar with expert mixologist Sean Ford and expert chef Michael Ferraro.

They see the exterior and think that it looks abandoned.

They see Joe and Jon fills his team in on his situation and the staffing decisions.

They see the cook Dirty Red mismanage the kitchen with a bad attitude.

Kari, Katie, Jen and Starr are bartenders.

Smoking is permitted in the bar and the staff constantly smoke on the job.

Jon sends in locals to spy on the bar and their services.

The bar patrons are quick to notice that they are not bar regulars.

A keg of beer finishes and on putting a new keg they have to toss a glass and a half of foam to get new beer.

The spies find the beer flat and order some food.

The cook is rude and he takes a smoke break before starting to cook their food.

The spies give up on their beers and order cocktails.

The bartender makes the bloody mary in a back room, away from the customers eyes.

The cook cross-contaminates the food he is making, along with the bartender who made the cocktails.

Jon and his team go in to stop the service of the food and drinks.

Sean and Michael toss the food and drinks before they are served to them.

Jon meets Joe and lets him know how dirty the process is and how disrespectful the cook is.

Dirty Red is unapologetic in the kitchen and says he is too busy to clean up the kitchen.

Jon also calls out the manager Michael for sitting around while this is all happening around him.

He tells them to go clean their kitchen and Dirty Red works all night to scrub up the whole kitchen.

As the staff arrive the next day, Dirty Red showers in the kitchen to clean off.

Jon arrives and calls a staff meeting.

He gets Joe to tell his staff how close they are to closing to motivate them to give their all to their jobs.

Jon introduces his experts to the staff and then they go to inspect and commend Dirty Red on the work he did in the kitchen.

Sean takes the staff on how to make a bloody mary then has them practice.

In the kitchen, Michael refined two of the food items on the menu from the night before.

For the stress test, the bar is split in two for Mike and Joe to both manage a side each.

Customers come in for the stress test and Mike’s side is off to a good start, making several cocktails at once.

Joe’s side is only making one drink at a time.

In the kitchen, Dirty Red is so nervous that he is sweating and is having glove problems.

Mike gets flustered and steps away for a bit.

He is not supporting his bartenders and while Joe is confused by the tickets Mike’s team steps in to help.

Mike comes back but he is falling apart with the POS system slowing him down, putting him under further pressure.

The kitchen is also overwhelmed with tickets and cannot trace the owners.

The system is bad and most customers have received drinks without paying.

The bar is shut down because it is a disaster.

The feedback that night is Mike was reactive but he is not experienced enough to be a manager.

Joe is to blame for that as he gave him the job despite the lack of experience.

Joe is given time to think about how to resolve it.

The kitchen staff are taken through making some steak dishes.

In the bar, they make a twist on a whiskey and cola cocktail.

Jon sits with Mike and Joe to get Mike’s role carved out.

Joe decides to take on more of the work he had given Mike and he had failed at.

Mike won’t be the face of management any more and will be taking a reduced role.

On relaunch night a new bar is revealed and it has been renamed to The Iron Horse.

The exterior has been redone so the sign is visible from afar.

Inside the bar has been properly set up with sinks and soda guns.

Smiths Plumbing Services worked on the plumbing.

There are two Harbour Touch POS Systems and an Orange Door Entertainment System.

There is a new Manitowoc Ice Machine in the back.

There is Side Car room with lights that dim for a romantic setting.

They also have a lifetime subscription to Partender for inventory.

They have passes for Serve Safe for training on cleanliness of their establishment.

Last is a chef’s jacket with the name Clean Red stencilled on it to show Dirty Red has turned a leaf.

On relaunch, the customers are let into the bar.

At the bar, the bartenders are confident and making drinks and are meeting up with the orders.

In the kitchen, Dirty Red is nervous but isn’t sweating or fumbling and the food going out is well received by the customers.

What Happened Next at Joe's Thirsty Lizard Bar & Grill?

Six weeks later, sales are up $10,000.

Mike is doing great as the daytime manager.

Dirty Red left the bar for personal reasons.

Joe's Thirsty Lizard Bar & Grill / The Iron Horse closed in October 2019.

They closed after Joe sold the bar to new owners.

The bar reopened as The Lazy Lizard but this closed in February 2020 after the building was alledgedly condemned by the city.

Click for more Bar Rescues

Previous episode - King's Duck Inn

Next episode - Club Platinum

This post was last updated in March 2022.

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