Sunday, June 28, 2015

Bar Rescue - Oak Tavern (The Bullpen at Aspen Glen) Update

Photo - Facebook
On tonight's episode of Bar Rescue, Jon Taffer and crew are in Sparks, Nevada to try to rescue The Bullpen at Aspen Glen.  The bar is owned by former major league pitcher Danny Serafini.  After his career was over and he went through all of his baseball earnings, he borrowed money from his parents to open a bar.  The bar was supposedly doing $45,000 to $50,000 a month in sales, but has gone downhill and is $300,000 in debt.  A lot of the issues at the bar are due to an out of control staff that drinks and parties on the job.

During the Bar Rescue makeover, The Bullpen was renamed to Oak Tavern and it seems they have kept the new name. Let's take a look at some information, reviews, and updates for Oak Tavern since Bar Rescue came and made all of the changes to the bar:

Positive Reviews:
  • "The food and drink menu were perfect....My husband had the vic vegas burger and a beer on tap. The price was right and we left feeling completely satisfied! We will definitely be back!! Also the bartender was very friendly and easy to talk to."
  • "First off, the place looks alot better than before. The bar rescue thing seemed to really help, although the place still reeks of smoke and is not well lit. The burgers they serve are awesome,probably one of the best burgers in reno or sparks...They do not allow smoking inside up until 8pm. Definitely will be back. Lunch special from 12 to 3 is 20 percent off the burgers. If you were here before when it was the bullpen, it has totally changed for the good. Give them a try"
  • "We had a blast!! Most bars in reno dont have great tasting, unique cocktails, oak tavern had this amazing "Smoke" cocktail that I must have had 4 of! Coming from San Francisco, where we're spoiled with really great mixologists at every bar, we were so excited to find a place with delicious drinks, and really nice staff. Would recommend to anyone in the area or traveling to!"
  • "The new food and cocktail created by Bar Rescue are fantastic. I especially like the new burgers mixed with pork....We are non smoker and this bar is a smoking bar but no one can smoke until after 8pm when everyone has already eaten....To accommodate  all the customers the owners and Bar Rescue installed state of art smoke eaters. The smoke eaters really do the trick...I would highly recommend this local bar and restaurant."

Negative Reviews:
  • "I'm only rating the as a one star because of the staff..... We were so disappointed...... The ambiance of the bar was nice but that's where it ends... We ordered drinks and food..... Our drinks arrived quick.... The food not so much...... My husband ordered a burger and requested it medium... I ordered a cold chicken sandwich...... We waited over 30 minutes for our dinner... My husbands burger was from a frozen patty and was beyond well done! Needless to say we won't be back!!!! Our waitress was good and that's why I feel it was worth 1 star without her it would be worth zero stars!!!!"
  • "Since the makeover not much has changed when it comes to the clientile and the customer service.  The inside is much improved with wooden accents and an open feel that makes you want to stay awhile.  Other than that it still has the same Smokey dive bar feel as before the renovation."
*Reviews from Yelp

Other News and Related Links:
  • The Bar Rescue makeover happened in March 2015.
  • Photo - Facebook
  • Here are 2 preview videos of the episode from the Spike TV website - Intro, Bartender Breathlyzer
  • Here is the old Bullpen at Aspen Glen Facebook Page and here is a Bartender's of the Bullpen Facebook Page.
  • Here is the new Oak Tavern Facebook Page 
  • A message posted after the Bar Rescue makeover was posted on their Facebook pages and is pictured to the right.
  • Here are the Facebook Pages of Danny (Owner), Erin (Danny's wife), Tara (Bartender), Jessica (Bartender), Wynter (Bartender) and Hannah (Bartender).
  • Here is a video of Jon Taffer speaking to the crowd during the makeover telling everyone how real Bar Rescue is.
  • Erin and Danny were at the Nightclub and Bar Convention in Las Vegas which is run by Jon Taffer. (Link)
  • In an interview with the local news, Danny said the bar is non-smoking until 9pm and there has been a lot of positive feedback from the community since the Bar Rescue makeover.
  • Danny Serafini was a first round draft pick in 1992 and here are his Major League stats.
  • Danny was suspended for 50 games by MLB for testing positive for steroids in 2007.  He claims the steroids were still in his system from playing in Japan and were prescribed by a doctor. 


The reviews for Oak Tavern have been mostly positive with people complementing the food and the cocktails.  It seems like the smokiness inside the bar was an issue that was addressed by changing rules to not allow smoking during the day and by installing smoke eaters in the bar.  The bar has kept the Oak Tavern name and seem to be very happy with the Bar Rescue makeover.

UPDATE - Oak Tavern closed and the owner Danny Serafini was charged with the murder of his father-in-law - more details on that.

*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. I find it very hard to believe that anyone, bar experience or no bar experience, could allow his staff to carry on the way those low-rent lushes masquerading as bartenders did. Those 2 women had to be more than "roommates" to the owner. And why in the world would this guy's parents mortgage their home for their grown-a$$ son after he lost all of his baseball earnings? Perhaps he bought the house for them when was still playing baseball, but even so, I would have told him to get lost. And a so-called cook that slices into a tri-tip while it's still on the grill!
    There were way too many implausible elements to this episode for me. The makeover looked good, though the lighting seemed dark, even for a bar. Not one of the better episodes. Very contrived and formulaic.

  2. While I appreciate the makeover, the font/style of the OUTSIDE Oak Tavern sign is hideously out of place - not only is it slapdash and poorly spaced, it looks like a style that would be more at home on an office supply store or electronics outlet. The signage/logo INSIDE the bar is 100x better (the tree, etc) - THAT should be on the outside of the bar. A bit of a head scratcher, unless perhaps they couldn't get a final sign ready for the outside of the bar.

  3. Katherine Miller I'm with you, those two women being "roommates" to him and his wife is bullshit. To be honest with you I think that Danny Serafini has another side job among this bar and academy. I think he's a pimp, I think he knocked up his bottom "bitch" and made her his "wife" and 2 of the girls live with him and they work for him as escort girls. I just get a sex industry feel off of the girls at his house and even him.

  4. I was thinking the same thing, at least to the extent of the two drunks having more than an employer/employee relationship with Danny. Roommates? No way. There's probably a cam show going on right now somewhere online with the roomies as stars.

  5. Definitely a sex addict feel to this episode. Any woman who dies their hair "red" is most likely bisexual. If that dude played for 20 years, he's probably banged 200 women in his life. Plus, who lives in Reno unless you gamble or pay for sex??

  6. Geez. I hope this is sarcasm, because you're throwing around a lot of accusations. I can believe that he had his fair share of women during his baseball career, but dying one's hair the color red doesn't offer hints to a sexual preference. That being said, there's something else going on with this group of people. I don't care how cool your wife is, she's not letting 2 PYTs that work at the bar, move into her family home.

  7. Katherine, agree with you 100%...there were so many things wrong with this episode that it had a quite a scripted feel. So Dan didn't feel "his employees respected him as a boss"? Really!? What did he expect given that he spent less time at the bar and he had drunk employees acting like 2-year olds? And a cook who drinks and smokes while he's cooking? I always thought that when a business has employees who are drinking on the job that the employers open themselves up to potential liability issues. And

    I have yet to frequent a bar in which I've seen that nonsense go on...and he had no GM to at least take control of the circus?? And I certainly didn't get why his parents mortgaged their house just so he could have a plaything, unless I missed something during the show.

  8. Doesn't anyone use spell check or proofread their comments? "Dies" in lieu of "dyes?" Granted we all know what Chris intends to convey, but the comment that women who dye their hair red are most likely bisexual? Where do you live Chris? Personally I have 3 girlfriends that dye their hair red - to enhance their natural color or cover the gray they get when reading comments such as yours. And, by the way, none of them are bisexual. I do agree that there are secrets and lies behind the scenes on this particular episode. Time will tell, someone will tell or can be bought - maybe by one of those grocery store rag mags.

  9. You three obviously have never visited the west. First, the other two bartenders drank so your just being catty gossipy bitches. Don't single out the two living with him. Oh they must be boinking. Give me a break Katherine. GO start gossip elsewhere. Like high school.

    Second, it is quite common for to see bartenders drinking. It's stupid, but they do. In chain bars they are aware of legal issues. Most owners are not. It's very common to see patrons buy shots for their bartender. I did it all the time. Then you hope they return the favor or pour stiffer drinks. So David there is 100% accuracy in this episode.

    Finally, smoking while cooking and no GM. Would you trust any of those morons. NO! The cook felt like he was outside, so he smoked. I've seen it. Are u a youngin? I'm 31 and I remember people smoking at the grill.

    So David 100% accurate info. Katherine you are 100% full of shit and trying to start rumors and need to go back to high school.

  10. It is not a head scratcher. I hope your not a graphic design artist.Which one can be seen best a 100 yards away? Not the inside sign. Tree would look like a fat blob in the middle. It would have to be HUGE to get the detail. Not cost effect.

  11. I agree 100% on the sexuality can't be based on hair dye. My husband and I know a few Lesbians and they wouldn't touch their hair with shit. However, those 2 women where living with them and friends first. Did you watch the same episode as me? What if they were fucking. Whose business is that. How does it change the episode. Actually makes it more sad. They were fucking him at home and work then.

    Don't start gossiping about dumb stuff. Sad.

  12. Wow, a bartender blowing a .21? Did they do drug tests, too?

  13. I've been a graphic designer for over two decades, and I'm right. Even if they didn't use the interior logo as is, ADAPT it to an outer design that works better from a distance. The exterior font treatment is abysmal and not in any way indicative of the bar's brand. No successful establishment uses so vastly different treatments with respect to kerning, style font choice and spacing for their outside presence and their print/interior materials. It's unheard of.

    You obviously are NOT a designer, but that's OK - to each their own. Based on your comments in this forum, you seem like the type who desperately needs the last word - so here's your chance. Cheers.

  14. Agreed 100%. The first thing I thought when I saw it was it looked like a package delivery drop off! lol That's my only gripe with the makeover.

  15. Same here. I loved what they did with their print materials, localized branding materials and interior color choice, etc. That outer sign just seems out of place. Easy enough to keep the bright easy-to-see lighting, and simply change the font treatment.

  16. Its interesting you say that, It looked for a second like the one tender (The blonde who was a little bit older) was smoking outside with the cook. For a second it looked like a joint. Not the cook, he very much had a cig. It was just a second, so I would not swear to it.

  17. I guess I could have said that women who dye their hair bright reddish pink tend to be strippers or bisexual. We aren't talking about the over the counter loreal hair dye. I'm a little disappointed the Episode didn't explore that polygamous living situation.

  18. As much as the bar is now successful, I'm not a huge fan of the dark, wooded look of the place. Maybe it's the fact that the lighting isn't the best. A properly done baseball theme, I think, would have been better. Just my opinion.

  19. Oh come on now, there is no evidence of that. Did you look at the facebook links above? At the very least the girl Wynter appears to have a boyfriend and is quite into equestrian events. You have to be quite wealthy to keep up a horse, stable space, etc, etc. Not the type that is going to have any need to put out for money.
    You know who actually did need money? The owner. He can barely pay his mortgage and most likely needed the rent to be able to pay his bills. Hell, I've had friends (some guys and a couple of girls) over the years that have moved in my house which helped me pay my mortgage when I needed it early in my career and occasionally later when somebody just needed a place to stay for awhile between leases, I can assure you that I never hooked up with any of them.
    Aside from that, you realize how incredibly scripted these shows are right? The producers are well documented to encourage staff to get drunk or act as a certain character (e.g. the villain, the drunk, the thief, etc.). And they have the ability to edit together things to make situations look a lot different than they are.
    If this were a soap opera that would be some fun speculation, but these are real people that you have never met and know nothing about.

  20. Actually, demarke, you are the smart one here. Years ago I was in a similar situation and lived with the owner/manager. He had way too much house, I was a valued employee and the money helped them. They rented another room to someone else too.
    Yes, these shows are very scripted. Notice how the PPA was tested at certain levels and then became almost half that at the stress test. No one develops that increase in skill and efficiency in a day.

  21. Anyone that lives in Reno gambles and/or pays for sex? You seem to be projecting your own peccadilloes chris. But hey, whatever floats your boat. Just remember when you finally decide to come to Reno for the first time keep your business in your pants as prostitution is illegal here.

  22. Where did I mention anything about Reno? You sound defensive. I could care less about where they shot this episode.

  23. To be fair, your comment he was replying to does currently say, "Plus, who lives in Reno unless you gamble or pay for sex??"

  24. I am also a "graphic design artist" and I did notice the poor layout of the text on the outside sign when watching the episode. I am not a fan of the tree in the logo, in general. It just doesn't seem right for a bar/restaurant or maybe it was too busy with all the leaves. It may have even been clip art. It was put together at the last minute (at least that's what they make you think) and perhaps that is why.

    And, don't get me started about the lame tagline: A Great Local Bar. Just awful. If you have to tell someone you're great, you probably aren't.

  25. Since you mentioned high school, Scott, what is up with the sophomoric, vitriolic reply? I am aware that reality TV is full of over the top exaggerations and is often edited in such a way as to distort the viewer's perceptions. The ba owner and anyone who participated in this show must have been aware of how previous participants have been portrayed in the final product. I'm sure that the owner thought that a free makeover and the free publicity was worth being made out to look like a clueless, ineffectual business owner. Why the bar staff allowed themselves to be encouraged to act out in front of the camera is beyond me. A delsire for their 15 minutes of fame, perhaps?
    As far as starting gossip and rumors, these people set themselves up for ridicule by participating in this farce. Several Bar Rescue episodes have been so far fetched that they appear too staged. This was one of them.

  26. Why would you watch something that you just bitch about? I guess since they set themselves up for ridicule it's your job to make sure that happens? By commenting such ignorant things that were not part of the episode you set yourself up for ridicule. Yes I'm going to call you out for it. Implying he was sleeping with them and referring to them as "low rent lushes" shows more about the caliber of person you are then them.

    I hope you continue to watch something you have nothing good to say about. It makes absolutely no sense just like your comments, but plz continue.

  27. I am a fan of the show, but that doesn't mean that I rubber stamp every episode. I appreciate learning about the different aspects of the bar business and I am often entertained by the antics of the participants. If you re-read my original comment, I mentioned that I liked the makeover of the interior of the bar.
    You seemed to take my comments personally, which makes me wonder if you are friends with someone who works at this place. No matter. You give me way to much credit when you said that my comments will insure that the people portrayed in this episode will be ridiculed. Sadly, I can't return the complement.
    And I will continue to comment whenever I chose, thank you.

  28. So, you think it may be possible that borderline bars could be "staging" failure to get Taffer to come in and remodel? Yep.

  29. I've been in to Aspen Glenn/Oak Tavern a couple times. Before the makeover it was your run of the mill, dark, smokey dive. Since the makeover it has become a dark, non-smokey dive. Food is pretty unremarkable. Service is not the best, but the employees are friendly.

  30. Anyone think those two girl roommates are either the Baseball player's daughters, or possibly nieces/other family members? I can't believe he and his wife lets 2 unrelated young attractive ladies live among them. But who knows?

  31. Screw you, I live in Reno, I got priced out of San Francisco, and I don't gamble or pay for sex. Well my girlfriend makes me pay for it in other ways but that's just normal life.
    Reno is a nice little city, super friendly people and the only people gambling and paying for sex are the tourists.