Bar Rescue - Ripper's Rock House / Tim Owen’s Traveller’s Tavern - CLOSED

Ripper's Rock House Bar Rescue

In this episode of Bar Rescue, Jon Taffer visits Ripper's Rock House in Akron, Ohio.

Ripper's Rock House has been owned by Tim Ripper Owens since 2013.

Ripper was the lead singer for popular rock band Judas Priest from 1996 to 2003.

In 2012, he settled back home with family and opened a bar with local businessman Micah Posten.

Micah put down $170,000 while Tim allowed his name to be on the bar and they agreed on a 60:40 split.

In 2013, the bar opened and they were taking $90,000 monthly with customers coming from all over the world.

They did not factor in the expenses and they didn’t focus on delivering good service.

The prices were cut but that brought people in for the cheap food and they began to lose $4,000 a month.

Tim is worried about having his name associated with a failed bar and Micah will lose the money he has invested.

Jon recons the bar with Tim in his SUV and he gives him the lowdown on the bar.

Tim does not know the financials but he knows the bar is failing.

Alex is a former bartender who left two months ago and says she did not get paid her wages.

She goes with friends to spy on the bar and services

Danielle is a bartender and they make a nasty looking cocktail that looks like dish water.

There is a world wing tour with different sauces but it is priced far too cheap.

The spies order a Bloody Mary and a cheese dish.

They see people served in baskets and paper and it looks tacky but Tim was told it is cheaper and better for the customers.

Jon tells Tim Micah is using his brand and tainting it with all the cut corners.

Jon and Tim go in to confront Micah.

Micah complains his ideas are not embraced.

They are told about everything wrong with the bar from the wings to the drinks.

Jon drives the point home that they are losing money on every sale they make.

Jon comes back the next day with his experts, expert mixologist Phil Wills and expert chef Chef Pink to meet with the staff.

The staff and the experts point out all that is wrong with the bar from the plastic glassware to the small space.

Phil is not impressed with their menu and they have no specials, which is money down the drain.

The kitchen is filthy with the fryer in a total mess and there are some clear health hazards.

There are no dates on containers, mould in the fridge and crusty frying pans that are caked with old food.

The staff clean the whole bar and kitchen before sitting to speak to the staff.

Tim cannot define what he brings to his bar apart from his name and brand.

Micah has blown off staff when they have come to him with ideas.

The training starts with Chef Pink elevating the sauces for the wings with a simple but tasty sauce.

Phil asks the bartenders to make their regular drinks and they taste very sugary.

He trains them on something similar that they can serve for stress test.

For the stress test Phil has buckets out and no bad drink is going to the customers.

Any bad drinks will be dumped into the buckets.

Lots of customers show up for the stress test and the bartenders have to make multiple drinks at once.

They struggle to do this and the customers are left waiting.

The customers like the wings and that is all about all they like.

They soon find lots of tickets at the bar unattended to and they run out of glasses.

A bartender breaks down and she wants to walk out but she comes back into the bar.

The bar is shut down and they have a staff meeting to give feedback on the night.

It is a productive learning experience for the staff and owners.

The next day Jon is full of praise for all that went right at the stress test.

He tells them that they need to charge full price for the food.

The training continues with Phil training them on making a martini inspired cocktail and a twist on an old fashioned.

Chef Pink trains the staff on a deboned chicken wings dish that they think would be popular with women.

Jon meets with the partners to structure their business relationship and partnership.

The bar is renovated over two days and the staff are gathered at night to reveal the new bar.

The bar has been renamed to Tim Owen’s Traveller’s Tavern.

They love the new name and Tim is proud to have his name on the bar.

Inside, the bar is classy enough for a lunch crowd but it is still a Rock n Roll bar with a stage.

The world tour of wings is prominent with a menu on the wall and passport stamps to show which countries are represented.

There are three new 2touch POS systems and the bar has been built so bartenders can connect with their customers.

The staff put the bar together so they open for the relaunch.

On relaunch, the bartenders are confident and playful with their customers while making great drinks.

In the kitchen, they get besieged by tickets but they are on top of things with great food going out.

Jon is happy they are where they should be.


What Happened Next at Ripper's Rock House / Tim Owen’s Traveller’s Tavern?

Six weeks later, it is revealed they grossed $113,423 in sales.

The two partners are working to keep the brand standards up.

The community are happy to pay full price for the new menu.

The bar was broken into in early 2016 and beer was stolen.

Ripper's Rock House / Tim Owen’s Traveller’s Tavern closed in August 2016.

They closed the bar as their wanted to focus on their full time jobs, Tim was on tour and Micah had a landscaping business to run.


Click for more Bar Rescues

Previous episode - Martini Brothers Burger Bar

Next episode - Filling Station Pub / Off Base Bar

This post was last updated in September 2021.

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