Sunday, April 6, 2014

Bar Rescue - The Shot Exchange (The Tailgate) Update

On tonight's episode of Bar Rescue, Jon Taffer and crew are in Santa Clarita, California to try to rescue The Tailgate bar. The bar is owned by a dysfunctional family, which is causing most of the problems at the bar.  The dad aka Pops is an in your face type of guy who co-owns the bar with his son Matt and daughter Diane.  Some of the problems Jon encounters at the bar besides the family are the exterior, tacky dollar bills on the walls, money being counted on a cutting board, a kitchen fire, and raw chicken contamination in the kitchen.

During the Bar Rescue makeover, The Tailgate was renamed The Shot Exchange, and has a menu featuring 50 shots.  Let's take a look at some information, reviews, and updates for The Shot Exchange since Bar Rescue came and made all of the changes to the bar:

  • "Things I liked -6 bucks for a beast of a shot...-place is nicely redone -shots were tasty -beer selection on tap was nice -bartender chick was super cool....Things I didn't care for -clientele is ghetto fab -Dj fucking sucked..he is playing bossy by whoever the hell sings that song...And other awful shit... Let people just use the jukebox"
  • "The remodel is very nice and airy (a big change from Tailgate's cave feel), the budget did not seem to extend to the bathrooms but they were clean....Everything tasted home made and I was very satisfied for $9....The service was good but in fairness there were only 2 other guys in the place so no challenge.  It is nice to have another option up here in Saugus for craft beer/ good bar food, beyond Wolf Creek.  I definitely will be back."
  • "I used to be a bartender here so my review might not mean a whole lot to everyone but there are a few misconceptions that should be cleared up. We were remodeled by bar rescue on spike and the new decor is beyond amazing. Our demographic has changed from the occasional fights to girls and couples at night and sports fans and locals thru the day"
  • "4 stars up from a 2 before the makeover. Interior is cool and comfortable but it is one LOUD ASS Place.  Maybe 8 people in the bar and you can't hear yourself think. Drinks were good and the bartender was friendly."
  • "New name, new decor, same place with SAME HORRIBLE DJ!!!  So really, this complaint is about the DJ!  What DJ on this earth #1 when you request a song or 2 tells you he doesn't have it and #2, plays the same song 5 times in one night!!"
*Reviews from Yelp

Other News and Links:
  • Here are 3 preview videos on the Spike TV website for Bar Rescue, including the most dramatic small grease fire you will ever see.  There are slow responses to extinguish the fire, and the editing shows the biggest flame possible.  When they are actually using the fire extinguisher, you see the flames are very small, followed by big flames being shown, then back to the actual small flame.  Some flour might have done the trick.
  • First Attempt at extinguishing fire
    Fire shown in between
  • Here is The Shot Exchange Facebook page and the website with a menu that has the food and the 50 shots available.  They are pretty much normal shots that most bartenders should be able to make.  Also, here are the beers that are available at the bar.  
  • Here are the Facebook pages of some of the employees, Diane (Co-Owner), Carmen (bartender and Mike's wife), Christina (bartender), and Zuzana (bartender)
  • According to a local article, Co-Owner Diane wrote Bar Rescue FIVE times to try to get the bar onto the show, and I guess succeeded.  Diane's sister also wrote on the bar's Facebook page "I'm so proud of my sister and how hard she worked just to get the tailgate on Bar Rescue and transform it into the classy bar it is today ( Shot Exchange). It is a huge difference. Beautiful environment and good people to converse with!"  So apparently she tried hard to get onto the show.
  • That article also stated they were getting the wrong crowd in there and it was being run down.  She was quoted as saying, "It was originally a sports bar, but all these new ones opened up and we’re just a hole in the wall so we had to lower our prices. We (started) getting a really young, gang banger crowd.”
  • Finally the article says, "Shot Exchange now acts as a nightclub geared toward the local college crowd. Most nights have themes and instead of rap music, DJs play top 40s. Miller said the older crowd, their “regulars,” don’t like the change, but business is picking up because the younger crowd enjoys the dance floor and larger appearance because of the large windows that were installed."


It looks like tonight Jon will change the concept of The Tailgate as a sports bar into a bar called The Shot Exchange geared toward a younger crowd.  The Shot Exchange has 50 shots on its menu and they are each $6.25.  So far, it seems like the reviews are mixed and people like the makeover and the more open feel of the bar, while some people have complaints about the DJ and how loud it is in the bar.  Only time will tell if the bar can get rid of the "gang banger" crowd and attract a different younger crowd by playing "Top 40" music.

UPDATE - The Shot Exchange was sold in March 2015 - Info on the sale.

*To see how all of the bars from Bar Rescue are doing, go to the Bar Rescue Update page, and also Like us on Facebook or Follow Us on Twitter to stay up to date with all things involving Bar Rescue


  1. On the fire, what it looks to me was that they actually got the first part of the fire (the dramatic shot they repeated over and over) out, but the fire had spread behind and down the fryer, and that's what they used the extinguisher for.

  2. The real first attempt at putting out the fire was Robert BLOWING ON IT while the narrator explained that grease fires must be starved for air!

  3. john really messsed up for me this week for many reasons. 1st santa clarita isn't that rich... shit people bitch about 12 $ a hour in that area for work done in SFV for 18$ a hour.... 2nd the food? a bit to LA for that demographic but that may be a plus because there is nothing like it in SC...only time will see on that one. also I worked by tailgates for 2 months and i thought it was a place to fix cars lol... Also still a shitty location no matter what john says!!!

  4. there are people with money in SC CALforina , There the people that work in tv like the news. And I have money.

  5. Well, to be fair, we DO exhale carbon dioxide......

  6. LMAO at the DJ playing "Bossy" by Kelis. That's hilarious.

  7. This is a riot... The sister .... what a weakling... the cook cousin... the cok cousin's sister as security... soooo hilarious.... good entertainment... funny how the attendees who were at the streess test sure didn't look like $101k median income they portrayed.... i guess they have better things to do than visit this bar... still good entretainment ... real tv is less expensive but more true than the regular shows and other shows they put on air... basket ball wives, real wives of whatever city... my five wives... all garbage...
    get rid of all the ridiculously unqualified and uncooperative people... unearned and unfounded loyalty on these retards parts is totally inexcusable...
    at least after all the freebies these bar received what a windfall...
    better learn , appreciate your good fortune...
    36hrs to remodel and renovate... that is truly amazing...

    heed and excede people...

  8. Your opinion means nothing when stacked against Jon Taffer and his reputation.

  9. I was surprised that there wasn't a trademark "CLEAN THIS KITCHEN!" scene on "day one" of the rescue, something that in this case might have prevented the fire. Of course, I'm surprised bar owners don't clean their kitchens, let alone bar owners expecting a visit from Jon Taffer.

    Flour is potentially combustible. Salt or baking soda are much better choices if the fire remains small and, if not, the fire extinguisher is the proper tool for the job.

  10. This episode left me questioning ever thing about this show? The "fire" could have been put out by any line cook with some salt. The totally dysfunctional family and their management style were scary. I don't know this area in particular, but to center your new concept around $ 6.25 shots seems foolhardy for several reasons. I totally respect Jon and his experience, but I'd be surprised this place will survive without re-thinking some of the rescue?

  11. This episode was so annoying. The husband was a coward who probaley loved when John yelled at his wife to yell back. "Don't yell at my wife, my ass"

  12. Well, according to their Facebook page, they sold the bar.

  13. Dirt bags from the beginning, then returned a free gift by selling out. Pigs!