Sunday, April 13, 2014

Bar Rescue - Wildcatter Saloon (Bryant's Ice House) Update

On tonight's episode of Bar Rescue, Jon Taffer and crew are in Katy, Texas to try to rescue Bryant's Ice House. The bar is a struggling biker bar owned by Jeff, a former tax accountant.  It is struggling due to a bad reputation and a dysfunctional staff.  One of the bartenders is so drunk and obnoxious, Jon Taffer threatens to "knock his ass out"

During the Bar Rescue makeover, Bryant's Ice House was renamed The Wildcatter Saloon.  Let's take a look at some information, reviews, and updates for The Wildcatter Saloon since Bar Rescue came and made all of the changes to the bar:


Reviews:

All of the reviews for The Wildcatter Saloon appeared to be left by the same person on multiple review sites.  The reviews were positive and were probably left by someone affiliated with the bar.  The reviews on their Facebook page are also mostly positive.


Other News and Links:
  • Spike TV didn't put up any preview videos this week, but here is a short commercial for the episode.
  • The Bar Rescue makeover was in January 2014, and Jeff bought the bar and land (four acres) in 2012 after being a long time customer of the bar.  They must have reached out to Bar Rescue pretty quickly after purchasing the bar.
  • Here is The Wildcatter Saloon Facebook page, Twitter page, and website.  Here is the old Bryant's Ice House webpage as well.
  • The Wildcatter Saloon has upcoming concerts pretty much every Saturday, with most being a $15 charge. (Link)
  • Here is the Facebook page of the owner Jeff, and Randy, who tells "Jon Taggerfee" to kiss his ass. Also, bartenders Missy, Nadya, and Shelley.
  • When the makeover happened in January, there were a lot of comments on the Wildcatter Facebook page regarding the name change.  Some people didn't like it, and others say they will always refer to the bar as Bryant's.  People were also asking if the bar was still biker friendly, which the Wildcatter confirmed multiple times that the bar is still biker friendly, and that "all colors are welcome."
  • There is a bar in Houston, about a half hour away from the Wildcatter Saloon, that is called Wildcatter Two.  I would assume Bar Rescue would have known that, but this may cause some confusion with people thinking they are related.
    Photo - Facebook
  • A user on a Texas A&M forum was at a few days of filming for this Bar Rescue episode and detailed his experience. (Comments from GoAgs92 on both pages).  Some highlights include: 1. For the stress test - doing multiple takes of the owner coming out and saying "Welcome to Bryant's!" followed by the crowd going in.  2. The drink menu only had three drinks on it for the stress test - margarita, cosmo, and "something sour" which are drinks that take time to make. 3. When they sat down at a table during the stress test, they were told to time how long service took with their cell phone.
  • Someone also commented in that thread: "Wildcatter's Saloon was an old biker bar called Bryant's Icehouse. They really didn't change it a whole lot, but apparently it was enough to piss off quite a few of the local clubs who held events and hung out there. A lot of the MC's are refusing to go back. Given the out of the way location and their traditional clientele, I wouldn't be surprised if this renovation costs them business instead of improving it..."
  • A local article has comments from Jon Taffer and the owner Jeff about the makeover.  Jon wanted to make it less of a "biker bar" and more of a neighborhood tavern.  Jeff was happy with the makeover and said he would absolutely do it again.
  • A lot of comments on Facebook, articles, etc. talk about how bad the location is, and that it is hard to find.  Due to this Jon wanted to turn it into more of a destination.

Conclusion:

It sounds like The Wildcatter Saloon is sticking with all of the changes done by Bar Rescue and that the owner Jeff is happy with what was done.  As is usually the case when a bar changes, some of the regulars are upset and it appears some of the bikers do not go there anymore.  Others either like the changes or don't care enough that it would be enough to keep them away. 

It seems like one of the main issues with the bar was the location in that it was hard to find and get to.  Maybe the publicity Bar Rescue generates will make people aware of where the bar is now.  The Wildcatter is having concerts there on Saturday's, so it looks like they are sticking with Jon's advice in trying to make it a destination.


*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

36 comments:

  1. Why is this up already, hasn't even aired yet

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  2. You must be new here, It's always up before it air.

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  3. I am...ty for the heads up

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  4. You know what I think? I think these bar owners only get on the show so they can get a free remodel.

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  5. that's the thing I did'nt understand--at the beginning it was clearly shown that Bryant's was a biker bar--and then all of a sudden, they all disappear

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  6. If they didn't get a free remodel, free publicity, and some help with their drinks and menu... there would be no point in being on the show.

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  7. I'm in Katy and I've never heard of or seen it.

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  8. I don't see any problems with owners who truly want to try and succeed. The problem I have is the thieves out there who get these makeovers & never intended to be successful, just get the makeover so they can get more money when the sell the place. I think these moochers should have to reimburse Spike TV for the cost of the makeover & also pay at least a minimum wage salary to everybody that volunteered their time to help them. They should have to sign a contract before any work is done that they will stick to the changes made by Bar Rescue for AT LEAST 6 months. It looks like this owner is truly wanting to make a go of it and for that I wish him all the best.

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  9. I actually know the owner of this bar and i assure you that this wasnt done for a free remodel. They were in bad shape being off the major roads and due to owners of the lands surrounding the bar, they are not allowed to advertise near the road the bar is located. So in turn, they decided to say screw it and ask for help. I give the man props. Why act like a hardass and lose something that you have spent your life savings on. Its legit.

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  10. Spike doesn't care, and they don't need to. Most of the equipment is provided free by the manufacturers (notice the blindingly obvious product placement throughout the show). Spike makes its money on TV ratings and advertiser dollars, not on the future success of the business. They aren't helping the bars out of some sense of charity - it's all business. That is why the owners and staff are exploited for ratings; its the entire purpose of TV.

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  11. Went to wildcatter saloon last night. Not impressed at all. Randy was in the bar drinking, At 9 pm there were a total of twenty people in the place, on a Friday night with the Houston rockets playoff game on and only twenty people that's not going to keep doors open long.

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  12. I work near the area. Went there on a Monday the day after the show aired. Met Lexi, the statuesque bartender that was hired after the others were fired. She was friendly and nice. Met Randy, who was sober and enjoying his lunch (sober) before getting back to work. He was friendly too. Hey, its 9 PM on a Friday for him too.

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  13. Just watched this episode. I loved it when the drunk maintenance dude farted in front of the chicks.

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  14. Biff SchmuckatelliApril 29, 2014 at 6:19 AM

    Shelley is totally happening - the owner is lucky to have her. She is incredible.

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  15. Unfortunately, this episode seems to have fallen into the "drama" category versus the rescue it should be! The "reality" of "reality" TV is that certain aspects are staged! Have you noticed the continual reoccurrence of an owner/employee being drunk when Jon is scheduled to visit?
    The "hidden cameras" are a dead give-a-way that Jon and his team of experts will soon be arriving! Would it not be prudent and productive for the rescue recipient to be clean and sober to receive Jon's help?

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  16. Teacher_in_TejasMay 4, 2014 at 5:00 PM

    That's one thing that gets me about this show. The people are miked constantly. Lexi told me that they even have to keep the mike on their person in the restroom. If you know that you are being recorded or possibly John's going to show up, wouldn't you act better?

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  17. Aaron, Absolutely right! Hopefully the owner wants all the help, remodel, re-brand and consultation.

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  18. Whitey, no disrespect, but why wouldn't they want all of Jon's help? Unfortunately the owner made the mistake of not knowing about his neighbors and/or limits on signage.

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  19. Pete, you're absolutely right! The remodel and many other items are undersigned by sponsors. They do incur some expense relative to the remodel, but it's built-in to their budget (I assume). I think Jon wants to and intends to help these people but it is definitely not altruistic.

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  20. jb, not unlike other shows of this genre, you do have to sign a contract.

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  21. Spd, all places have their ups and downs and can't always be busy. I'm surprised he was drinking at 9 pm. His success depends on constantly building business and having more up days than down days...

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  22. Teacher, do you drink at work? Unfortunately, one of Jon's rules (do not drink at your place) is a very important rule to follow, whether drunk or sober drinking on job is not acceptable.

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  23. Teacher, I have appeared on TV and was "miked constantly" because once they thread the mike onto your body and it's attached it typically stays there all day to save time and re-setting levels. I don't think Jon cares about Lexi's potty habits?
    I do agree with you as far as Jon coming? Seriously, they place a bunch of "hidden cameras" in your place and provide a time line. Wouldn't you clean-up, straighten-up and be ready for him?

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  24. Teacher_in_TejasMay 5, 2014 at 5:53 PM

    Maybe he was done working? I have worked in several restaurant/bars, where we were entitled to drink in the bar "after hours," provided we change out of uniform. Perhaps he was off the clock that night.

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  25. Teacher, as the owner, you're never "off the clock" in your bar. I don't begrudge him a drink, but not at his place.

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  26. Im pretty sure they don't get the remodels for free...they most likey have to give up a part of their business to John Taffer, and he gets a percentage & each month or so gets a diviting check. Who the hell would do all that shit without wanting something in return?!

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  27. Jessica, I am doubtful that Jon Taffer gets any "ownership" for the rescue. Jon this and gets paid by the network

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  28. Teacher, I saw the episode again and in the episode they agreed to no drinking on site.

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  29. How dumb can you be to invest $1,100,000 in a business you know nothing about, and are not able to manage?
    Why in the world would he spend that kind of money on a place in the middle of no where so that even a GPS couldn't find it?
    The guy could not fire someone stealing
    and was paying a "bartender" who never drank alcohol, nor tasted any drink?

    would letting anyone, much less an employee, be drunk, rude and insulting to any one who comes in (Taffer's Spy girls)
    It's terrible that the guy in debt for all that money, but he should have spent it for something he knows something about, had bought into a SUCCESSFUL business, or had a contract / relationship with a manager who knows the business and will run it for him.

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  30. I'm sure that's true. All I'm saying is that there are probably other bar owners who actually need the help and sincerely would try to be successful. I just hate to see a thief profit from being incompetent and be rewarded for being a failure. No matter how you say it, if they don't ever intend to even try to be successful after their makeover, they are THIEVES!!!

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  31. If the changes imposed by Bar Rescue kill the business,will Spike be liable?

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  32. If you can't drink at your own place there's no point to drinking anywhere else.

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  33. wizladyk@gmail.comJuly 9, 2014 at 5:40 PM

    Shelly is as fake as her breast, nadia thinks she is a bad ass and the only reason why someone hasn't jumped the bar and beat her eyes into her head is beyond me but then again she knows exactly who to fuck with and so on. The male bartender and I believe her name is lexi are the only cool down to earth human beings working here. The food is good but if I want to see a washed up prune making out with her rich boyfriend I'd watch a porno. The owner looks like a creepy old fart and treats Hispanics like shit. This bar won't be around long refer to this review when their business dwindles to nothing more than the old town drunks.

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  34. You're the one that got fired for stealing a hoodie, aren't you?

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  35. Lol the bar has been there for 30 years already. And a bad review with a few idle threats from disgruntled employee is not going as close it's doors

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  36. Maybe that is the point. Plus, if you're making money, spend it somewhere else. Taffer does stints of several bars in a city. And seems to call in places that are turned around. Might be where he gets the, oh we didn't call him, folks.

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