Bar Rescue - The County Line Lounge and Grille / The Billy Bar - OPEN

Ninja Karaoke Bar Rescue

In this Bar Rescue episode, Jon Taffer visits The County Line Lounge and Grill in Tucson, Arizona.

The County Line is owned by couple Denise and Billy.

They bought the bar in 2018 as it was Billy’s dream to own a bar.

Their best friend Paul invested the money and in return for 49% of the business.

Three months after opening, Billy got a blood clot in his heart and sadly passed away.

Denise kept working on the bar in his memory but the pandemic in 2020 disrupted their business.

Denise now drinks to cope and the bar standards are slipping.

The customers and money is no longer coming in and they are in $48,000 debt.

Paul is worried for his retirement due to the investment but still supports the business and Denise.

Jon recons the bar with expert mixologist Phil Wills from the command center.

Jon fills him in on the ownership of the bar.

Paul lost his wife at the same time Billy died and a bartender Melissa lost her husband as well.

Jessica is a bartender and Zik is a cook.

Jon has two young radio personalities Porkchop and Shannon and Austin a skin board expert as his spies to check out the bar.

They enter the bar and are greeted with hugs by Denise, who gives them free shots to drink with her.

The bartenders are making drinks without any making any measurement.

Phil goes in too and orders two margaritas from both bartenders and Melissa has an attitude.

The drinks are both so different and so horrible he sends it back.

The spies order burgers that arrive looking disgusting.

Jon decides to go in and confronts Denise.

They then sit in a corner to talk and Jon asks her why she drinks.

He tells her she needs to be more present to get her business back on track.

Jon announces to the bar that Denise has given up drinking.

The next day, Jon has Denise breathalyzed and she is a zero on alcohol levels.

Denise’s daughter Matilyn used to work for the bar some time ago.

She joins the staff meeting to give Jon insight into the people and business.

Jon calls all of them out on how their misbehaviour is disrespectful to Paul’s money.

Jon shows them a Partender report showing they lost $1297 in drinks money.

Paul is shocked as he would have got his investment money back in a year if the money had not been lost.

Zik the cook was hired and not trained and Denise says she does not know how to run a kitchen.

Jon warns Denise not to drink or else Paul will stop writing checks for the bar.

Jon introduces his experts including expert chef Anthony Lamas.

Training commences and Phil trains them on their bartending skills and making a basic fresh margarita.

Anthony teaches Zik, Paul and Denise on making a great spicy burger.

For the stress test Denise will be managing the space.

Jon has set up balloons on the darts board so anytime they mess up he will pop a balloon.

A limited number of people are let in and they will make multiple orders.

The bartenders start to become flustered.

They make mistakes, including messing up the first drink by forgetting ice.

They are reminded to make multiple drinks at a time as many tables have incomplete orders.

Denise is reminded to keep that in mind.

Jon wastes no time in popping several balloons.

Jessica soon walks out as she is overwhelmed and Paul has to talk to her to take it one task at a time.

Jon also joins her outside encouraging her to push through with the service.

Zik is having troubles in the kitchen and charred two burgers but decides to send them out the way they are.

Melissa gives Phil lots of attitude.

The burnt burgers are sent back and the last balloon is popped and the stress test is shut down.

After the service Denise gives the staff feedback.

The next day training continues and Anthony trains them on some Tucson flavoured meals to match a lazy margarita theme.

Phil trains them on easy cocktail shots for their signature drink.

The bar is then renovated over thirty-six hours.

The staff are gathered at night to unveil the new bar.

Denise still has not had a drink and everyone is proud of her.

The bar has been renamed and is now The Billy Bar.

The bar is named in memory of Billy, with a new exterior that is less bland with a blue eye-catching awning.

Inside has been brightened and warmed up with elements of Tucson and a wall dedicated to Billy.

There are Onestone table tents, Skytabs for orders and POS systems from Harbour Touch.

They have a subscription to Partneder for inventory, Compeat for accounting and AtmosphreTV for ambience.

There is a Bluezone system for air cleaning and a Pathspot unit for hand scanning for bacteria.

The staff all love it and they are ready to get started.

Customers are let in for the relaunch and they all love the space.

On relaunch, the bartenders are all calm, doing great and engaging with customers.

Zik is also calm and sending out good food to the guests.

Jon gives Denise and Paul a plaque from Bar Rescue that is signed by him.


What Happened Next at The County Line Lounge and Grille / The Billy Bar?

The Billy Bar is open.

They have kept the new name for the bar.

Paul told the local press that the makeover was a success.

Reviews after the rescue are very positive with praise for the atmosphere, bartenders and food.


Click for more Bar Rescues

Previous episode - Ninja Karaoke

Next episode - True Grit Tavern

This post was last updated in September 2021.

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