TJ Quills / The Annex - Bar Rescue Update - Open or Closed?

TJ Quills Bar Rescue

In this Bar Rescue episode, Jon Taffer visits TJ Quills in New Orleans, Louisiana.

TJ Quills is owned by Darian Blanchard.

He bought the failing college bar in 2012.

Darian bought this bar because he used to come here when he was younger.

TJ Quills gained a negative reputation for serving high school kids.

After being raided by the police and heavily fined.

TJ Quills faces closing down if busted one more time.

Darian’s inability to manage his friends only furthered the bar’s decline.

Darian says that this is like his own little fraternity of brothers so they come here and party.

The staff drink away Darian’s profits, which has only solidified the bar’s failure.

This party energy increased due to Darian being afraid of ruining friendships if he were to say something about it.

Darian has borrowed $20,000 from his mom to keep the bar open.

Darian is $400,000 in debt and has three months left before he has to close for good.

Darian makes a call for help to Bar Rescue.

Uptown New Orleans is just six miles from world-famous Bourbon Street.

This area is 22% students, and 6,800 of them are 21 and over.

These students are in constant search of a place to hang out, yet TJ Quills is struggling to get business.

The door to the bar is broken and it looks as if something was thrown at the glass.

For the recon, Jon brings in Elayne Duke, head mixologist for Diageo.

Jon shows Elayne the surveillance footage from the past few nights.

Jon brings in six sorority sisters to do the recon tonight.

Jon gave one of the girls a fake ID, to see if they notice it is a fake.

TJ Quills is a 2,100-square-foot venue with a rectangular bar in the middle.

They have a full liquor license, eight beers on tap, plastic drink ware and an unused kitchen space in the back.

The girl with the fake ID went into the bar.

Jon says he told the girls to behave badly tonight, to see how the staff reacts.

They’re doing shots with the bartender.

The girls get creeped out by the guys in the bar so they head outside.

Elayne says there is nothing female-friendly about this bar.

Jon heads into the bar to talk to Darian.

Jon goes to scold Darian for letting his staff drink while working.

He tells Matt, the bartender, that next time he sees him drinking on the job he will fire him.

He discusses the fake ID issue.

The guys get very defensive, not really seeing the issue.

The next morning, Jon meets with the staff.

Darian tells his staff how hurt he is and how he’s counting on them.

Spellman says that nobody wants to go to a bar where the bartenders have their hands in their pockets.

Jon shows them the difference between a fake ID and a real one.

Jon brings introduces Elayne Duke.

The staff iact a little sexist, not taking Elayne seriously for a moment because she’s a woman.

Jon bring in expert chef Chef Duffy for the kitchen.

Jon shows them their new kitchen equipment.

Jon says that he wants Spellman and Matt far away from the liquor bottles tonight.

Elayne has the bartenders make a few cocktails but they didn’t make them right.

She shows them how to make a daiquiri properly.

Chef Duffy trains Matt and Spellman on the new kitchen equipment.

TJ Quills opens up for stress test.

Jon sends a customer with another fake ID to see if the security guards catch it.

Within five minutes, they let the fake ID in.

Jon tells Russell to fire that security guard and Russell fires Nate.

Darian says he’s upset about it but can’t afford to keep people like that anymore.

Russell is stepping up as manager.

The bar is struggling to keep up with orders.

Lyle, a bartender, has a bad attitude.

The female customers start to leave because of it.

The guys in the kitchen have no idea what they are doing.

They are unorganized and communication is difficult.

The pressure is starting to get to Spellman.

Spellman leaves the kitchen and goes to drink so Russell fires Spellman.

Russell says it sucks to have to get rid of him but he says it feels good to be the manager he’s supposed to be.

Jon tells Darian to shut the bar down for the night so they can have a staff meeting.

Darian says he can’t afford to keep staff who won’t do this bar any good.

Elayne says that Lyle’s attitude has to change.

Jon says it’s too late and Lyle is fired.

Jon says that he will be changing the name of the bar in order to get rid of the bar’s bad reputation.

The next morning, Jon has a surprise for Darian.

He brings in Darian’s mom to discuss the financial severity Darian has.

Darian says that it’s time to grow up and get his life together.

Chef Duffy gets the staff up to speed with the new menu.

Elayne shows them drinks that will be added to the new menu including The Hamlet and The Odyssey.

Reconstruction begins on the bar.

After 36-hours of remodeling, Jon brings the staff back to show them their new bar.

TJ Quills has been renamed and is now called The Annex.

Russell says he is excited to work hard in this bar.

They head into the bar to see all of the changes.

Jon put in three Positouch terminals.

Jon tells them to set up to open.

The Annex opens up for the first time since remodel.

On relaunch, the bouncer recognizes the fake IDs right away.

The bartenders are struggling a little to keep up with orders.

Same for the kitchen but Russell bounces around to help out where he can.

Jon says his work is done and shakes Darian’s hand.

Jon says that when he left this bar, the staff has become men.

What Happened Next at TJ Quills / The Annex?

Six weeks later, bar sales increased by 12%.

The new kitchen is bringing in an extra $2,000 per month.

Spellman now works at a competing bar down the street.

Darian changed the name back to TJ Quills quite quickly after the rescue.

TJ Quills is open.

Reviews after the rescue are mostly positive with a few complaints about bar tenders and bouncers.

In 2021, they were temporarily closed for alleged violations of coronavirus health restrictions.

This post was last updated in February 2024.

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