The Chicken Bone / The Bone - Bar Rescue Update - Open or Closed?

The Chicken Bone Bar Rescue

In this Bar Rescue episode, Jon Taffer visits The Chicken Bone in Framingham, Massachusetts.

The Chicken Bone is owned by Bill Rodenhiser, the owner of a successful excavating company.

Five years ago, ,he decided to take a risk on a second business venture an purchased his favorite local bar The Chicken Bone.

Bill says that before he bought this bar, he had no experience in the bar industry.

Inspired by the idea of leaving the construction business behind, Bill decided to open a second Chicken Bone in downtown Boston.

He did this before truly learning the ins and outs of the bar industry.

In the beginning, sales were great but they weren’t generating any profit.

The downtown location lost so much money that Bill closed it down after only nine months.

In order to keep the business afloat, Bill was forced to double his hours at the excavation company.

He had to move his wife and children from their beautiful three-story home to a small condo 75 miles away.

Now, Bill has let the original bar spin out of control.

Bill doesn’t trust his general manager Jeff to make decisions that may help the bar.

Desperate to get his life back on track, Bill makes a call for help to Bar Rescue.

Boston Massachusetts, is one of the most historic cities in the United States.

Twenty miles west of Boston sits the town of Framingham.

Jon is in front of the bar in his car with his wife Nicole.

Jon reads through the Yelp reviews.

Jon asks Nicole to do the recon for tonight.

The Chicken Bone is a 4,200-square-foot venue with an L-shaped bar and dining area

There is a small stage in the corner for the local bands that bring in the largest crowds.

Nicole says that the first thing she noticed was the floor.

She says it looks like a children’s playroom.

This floor probably hasn’t been buffed, polished or even mopped in quite a while.

Nicole says the menu was confusing.

She orders buffalo chicken mac and cheese.

Bill made this bar a family restaurant, which drives away customers.

They don’t want to have a nice martini with kids around.

Nicole is having a hard time finding the chicken wings on the menu, which is something they’re supposed to be famous for.

They buried their wings on the back of the menu and it’s barely noticeable.

The word “surprise” was misspelled on the menu.

Nicole got a little sick from the food, suffering from an upset stomach and heartburn.

Nicole sends Jon a text telling him to come inside the bar so she can debrief him.

Jon seeks out the owner, Bill.

They head into his office to discuss the issues of this bar.

Jon tells Bill to take down the sign.

The next morning, Jon has covered the old sign with something that says “top secret” to start generating curiosity in the community.

Jon meets with the staff to get with to the roots of this bar’s problems.

The Chicken Bone is doing $2-million a year in sales yet is losing money.

Some of the cooks don’t know the recipes to everything.

One cook says that Bill says he isn’t entitled to know it.

Jon brings in his experts.

For the bar, Jon has brought in expert bartender Michael Tipps.

For the kitchen, Jon brings in expert chef Spike Mendelsohn.

There are no mats behind the bar, which is a safety issue.

The kitchen appears to be clean but it’s filthy.

There is spoiled chicken in the walk in.

The staff begins to clean the kitchen, which reveals more and more neglect.

The kitchen isn’t ready for the soft opening, so they won’t be making food tonight.

Bill walks out of the bar.

They have so much chicken wings in the cooler.

The bartenders have drinks that contain two and a half ounces of liquor, which is a lot.

The next day, Bill explains what happened yesterday and he apologizes for leaving.

Chef Spike wants to cut the menu down a lot.

Spike has brought in new equipment that will help elevate the chicken wings.

Jon meets with Bill to discuss how the family friendly concept isn’t going to work.

Jon wants to change the name as well.

Bill doesn’t like the idea to change the name.

Jon says if Bill doesn’t come around to it, then he won’t rescue this bar.

Bill has put his trust in Jon.

Jon brings in Nancy Hadley to show her all the things that need to be changed in this bar.

The remodel begins on the bar.

Jon brings Bill to meet someone who helps people going into the bar industry.

Jim Cooke has sent in a brand-new set of pint glasses to the bar.

The day of the relaunch has arrived.

Jon is ready to unveil the new bar and the new name to Bill and the staff.

Jon says that The Chicken Bone didn’t sound like the place where you spend money on high-end liquor and the best wings in this area.

The bar has been renamed and it is now called The Bone: Chicken and Tunes.

Bill loves the name.

The history of this business is still here.

Bill’s wife says that she is glad Bill let Jon go through with this.

She says it takes a lot for Bill to change his mind.

The staff heads inside the bar to see all of the changes.

The bar looks way more mature now and doesn’t look like a playroom anymore.

Jon got them new glasses to help them not pour so much liquor.

He also got them a whole new glycol system to help regulate the temperature of the beer.

Jon gave them a new menu, which is simpler.

Jon tells Bill that he has to trust Jeff.

The Bone opens up for the first time since remodel.

On relaunch, drinks are being poured properly.

The computer is down and this can cause the kitchen to get backed up.

Jeff fixes the issue and tickets are rolling in.

The crowd is enjoying the live music.

Jon says his work here is done.

What Happened Next at The Chicken Bone?

Thirty days later, cost reductions at The Bone have already saved an estimated $60,000.

Bill has fully embraced the idea of trusting his employees.

The Chicken Bone / The Bone closed in November 2014.

They closed after failing to reopen after closing for the summer due to low trade.

They delayed the reopening many times before the business was put up for sale for $175,000, confirming that it was closing.

They blame the closure on the economy.

Click for more Bar Rescues

Previous episode - The Blue Frog 22 / The Local

Next episode - Champs Sports Pub

This post was last updated in February 2022.

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