Sunday, October 9, 2016

Bar Rescue - R. Lee's (Schafer's Bar & Grill) Update

On tonight's episode of Bar Rescue, Jon Taffer and crew are in Sumner, Washington to try to rescue Schafer's Bar & Grill.  Schafer's Bar & Grill was owned by Jeff Schafer and he decided to sell the bar to Ryan Burks and Nita Wyatt.  When they bought the bar, they decided to keep Jeff as a bartender and he is apparently sabotaging the business. Schafer's is supposedly $500,000 in debt and a month from closing.

During the Bar Rescue makeover, Jon Taffer decided to change the name of Schafer's Bar & Grill to R. Lee's.  The bar quickly went back to their original name of Schafer's Bar & Grill and didn't like the makeover. Let's take a look at some information, reviews, and updates for Schafer's Bar & Grill since Bar Rescue came and made all of the changes to the bar (All reviews are post-Bar Rescue):
Positive Reviews:
  • "Great service, good food that was plentiful and good happy hour. We only wish that they had a choice of import beers on happy hour, but everything else was on point. Nice local bar!"
  • "I absolutely love this place. The staff is amazing , the food is excellent. If you ever get a chance to do the party bus I highly recommend it !!!! They have a amazing steak special that I love. Great place to win good prizes . Hawks games are super fun as well."
  • "We had a little 20 year get together with high school friends and it was a wonderful night. The bartenders, servers and bouncers kept complete control of the situation. The food is great. I have not had a drink there so I can not attest to that."

Negative Reviews:
  • "Let's just say "bar rescue" didn't rescue them. The food is good, but service has gone waaaay down within the last few years. I used to go all the time when I was 21-22 and was known by name and always had a great time, but recently it's been a lot worse."
  • "Used to be amazing! They got bar rescued and now known as R.Lees. hahaha. Complete half job joke. Used to love this place, won't be back now =( ....a bar rescue failure"
  • "We went into Schaffers to give them another shot after Bar Rescue. To us everything looked the same. Still had the same dirty carpet with gum stains all over, service was poor and slow....Waiter was rude and not observant unless you were at the bar or a friend..... We were unimpressed as it seems that nothing has changed. We will not be back."
  • "We thought we would check out the bar since we heard it had been changed. That was the worst experience I've ever had. We will never return. Which is sad because we were regulars. We went a few weeks after the bar rescue and sat down at a table by the pool tables. With in seconds our table was covered in ants. Yes bugs where we were going to be eating. The workers did nothing when we got up and said we were leaving do to hundreds of ants on our table. It was so bad that when we got into our car to leave we had ants crawling all over our clothes. The grossest thing I have ever delt with."
  • "Checked this place out a few days after the Bar Rescue renovation. Don't know what it looked like before but the lay out is pretty horrible. Looks like a before photo not the after. Customer service sucked. I didn't feel welcome at all."
  • "We went to try the new bar out last night and had a terrible experience. The waitress was very nice but seemed to be too busy to help at times. The owner came to the table and then left abruptly mid conversation. The food was good but sparse. The owner returned about 30 min later and left us again abruptly to talk with people at another table. This place clearly needs another rescue judging by the way we were treated."
*Reviews from Yelp

Other News and Links:

  • The Bar Rescue makeover happened in May 2016.
  • Here are two preview videos of the episode from the Spike TV website - Video 1, Video 2.
  • Here is the Schafer's Facebook Page which is kept up-to-date and here is their website.
  • Here is a link to more reviews on Yelp and Ryan and Nita respond to a lot of them (including the filtered ones).
  • Here are the Facebook pages of Nita (owner), Ryan (owner), Jeff (former owner/bartender), Lindsay bartender), and more are below.
  • Right after the makeover, owner Nita posted this on her Facebook Page:
"I would like to apologize for all the BS that Ryan and I have put all of our staff through. Jeff, Dana, Little Billie, Lindsay, and Bronson. We should have stuck to our gut when #barRescue called us the 1st time. Our answer was NO they should be called #BarFuckups cause we could have done everything they did ourselves without drama and then telling us what to say. No to mention the Half Ass job they did. I use to be a fan but going to through all this shit has made me realize I may have needed to research deeper. They say they do research to create something unique and different that people are driven to. If they did they wouldn't have made our bar the same bar as everyone els in sumner. This leads me to believe all their research is done at only bars in the area to get ideas of how to decorate. IF WE WANTED A BAR LIKE EVERYONE ELS WE WOULD HAVE CHANGED IT LONG AGO. As a bar hopper myself I prefer a variety I don't want every bar exactly the same that would be boring. I would like to send a special thank you to all the locals and regulars Who have helped us move and put shit back. Stacy your 1 in a million for all your hard work thank you Candisfuck your my Ride or Die Bitch I couldn't live without ya girl. Crystal your a fucking champ coming in to help with all the mess. For those of you I've missed I apologize. And R.Lee's was to be after our son his name is Ryder Lee. Truth be told we are still Schafer's until new signs come in and the name will be Ryder's Bar & Grill. What they gave us for a name sounds tooooo much like my ex's name. Last thing I need is him to walk in cause he would probably think the same not knowing we owned it.
Sincerely, Nita"
  • Right after the makeover, the bar posted, "We are not a country bar for those who think we are. We are a sports bar but have to pick up the pieces and get back to that look."
    • Someone also responded on that post saying it was Bar Rescue that called them (four times), and the show ""even had cue cards telling them what to say, they sabotaged their business , even going as far as turning their phone off. They had 20 paid actors the night of the stress test!!!"
  • Also right after the makeover, the bar stated, "Yes we are still Schafers the other sign is coming down this week. We never applied to change the DBA so not sure what they were thinking & R.Lee's really not a fan."
  • In a post where someone asked the bar if they were having a watch party for the show, Ryan said "Fuck bar rescue." and followed up with, "I knew those assholes would rip into Nita and I and we were prepared. But when they started making us do things against our morals and make us say and do things that aren't true that's where I draw the line. I just get defensive when people talk shit about our business when they just wanna listen to people who think they know what they are talking about. And everyone bases their opinion on the Friday/Saturday crowd."
    • In another post on that thread, Ryan says, " I'm not a bartender, Dana is a rockstar, Nita isn't an alcoholic and never drinks on shift, Jeff was not trying to sabotage us and wasn't trying to get bar back, and our kitchen is not dirty and they told me to have Bronson destroy the food on purpose, and they took our bottles away so we couldn't make drinks.  All of us had meetings and as a team at the time we all decided it would have been a good thing to do to try to better the bar and we gave everyone the option to participate or not participate.  Hindsight knowing now that it wasn't what we needed to do.  I do thank the customers who have supported us through this process and said positive things and helped us get the bar back to where people feel at home and are happy."
  • In an online comment posted by owner Ryan, he said the following:
    • They were called by Bar Rescue and were promised an amazing makeover.
    • "During my first interview I was asked how much money we are losing each month. My exact words to the producer were “what would you like me to say”. Producers response “for our story you are losing $10,000 a month and losing your house and closing down next month”. All of which isn’t true."
    • "Jeff Schafer is a great man and was never trying to sabotage us at all. That was made up by bar rescue producers to create drama. The same goes for when they forced us to fire him which we hired him back immediately."
    • "Their producers told us to make our kitchen dirty and to increase ticket times. I will show proof that our kitchen always gets a perfect score on our health board inspections."
    • "As for Lindsey walking out, she left because bar rescue producers removed the bottles necessary to make the drinks they asked for and she was pissed off. I knew it was all an act so I acted like I knew nothing."


The bar quickly changed the name from R. Lee's back to Schafer's Bar & Grill after Bar Rescue left as they didn't like the name or the interior changes.  The reviews for the bar lean towards negative with people complaining about service and saying the place doesn't look like it was rescued.

Owners Ryan and Nita are unhappy with their experience of Bar Rescue and have apologized to their staff for bringing the show in.  They said that Jeff wasn't trying to sabotage them and was hired back and that Bar Rescue removed bottles necessary to make drinks causing Lindsey to walk out.  I bet that Ryan will also comment on the episode after the full one airs, so if anything else is revealed, I will update this post.

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

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