Sunday, March 13, 2016

Bar Rescue - Crafted (Van Goghz Martini Bar & Bistro) Update

On tonight's episode of Bar Rescue, Jon Taffer and crew are in St. Louis, Missouri to try to rescue Van Goghz Martini Bar & Bistro.   Dani Davis is the owner and worked at the bar as a bartender before eventually buying it.  She is supposedly $250,000 in debt and losing $2,500 a month, but would rather vape in the corner of the bar than engage with her customers.  There is also a filthy kitchen and a dog running around in the bar.

During the Bar Rescue makeover, Van Goghz Martini Bar & Bistro was renamed to Crafted, and they have kept the new bar name. Let's take a look at some information, reviews, and updates for Crafted since Bar Rescue came and made all of the changes to the bar (All reviews are post-Bar Rescue):

Positive Reviews:
  • "Popped in for a happy hour with a friend and LOVED the changes! Fried goat cheese, tots with curry catsup...yum!! Those tots and sauces are LEGIT. Will definitely be back!"
  • "The upgraded decor, pressed cocktail offerings, wine selection and ambiance are very complimentary to their awesome new menu!...I'm forty, and it's nice to have fun without being surrounded by 21 year olds. I highly recommend the food, and Kristin and Allison are professional, efficient and courteous."
  • "I first came to this bar a few years back when it was Van Goghz, and i love the changes being made as Crafted. The owner is making great strides to spice up the menu, however, you have to try the pepper fruit press and stuffed portabellas...This has turned into my favorite place to stop into for dinner and drinks, and highly recommend it to everyone I know."
  • "I've been frequenting this establishment for over a year. Friendly staff, amazing food, delicious drinks. Fun place to see familiar people, and meet new. The renovations have great ambiance...updated menu and new drinks are awesome. Everything is fresh...the tots are amazing...and I love the different fry sauces."
  • "The tater tots were so awesome. Cute cozy corner restaurant. Ordered the ravioli - I would say they were more like sausage wontons - fried. The drinks were cute, you can definitely taste the pressed ingredients. "
  • "As someone who visited here while it was Van Goghz, I was excited to see the new space. I really like the new decor, it's a more modern feel while being warm and inviting. If you are someone who likes sitting at the bar vs. a table, this is one of the more comfortable bars. Bartender was very friendly and engaging. I tried a pressed cocktail, which I found to be very innovative."

Negative Reviews:
  • "Anyway, on to the menu... my very first thoughts upon scanning were "that's it?" and "who the F decided to plug the "CRAFTED." logo in every time the word is used. It's poor design and it's annoying. The pressed cocktails are cool in theory, but when my tiny (and adorable) french press arrived and I eagerly pressed down, nothing happened. There weren't enough blueberries on the bottom to actually allow for any pressing to occur...Needless to say we won't be adding this place to our list of regular spots. I had high hopes for this neighborhood spot, but I think it's just Van Goghz 2.0, sadly."
  • "Wasn't thrilled with this place. The menu was SUPER boring. I usually have the problem of not being able to decide what to pick because I always want everything on a menu, but nothing stood out to me on this menu...The place was also unnaturally quiet for a Friday night. We didn't even notice that the place had filled up because you could hear a pin drop in there. It just wasn't our scene. We won't be back."
  • "The menu is boring and the food was only mediocre. Every one of the larger plates is some sort of burger (beef, chicken patty, turkey patty, veggie burger) with nothing too creative for a place called "Crafted". The pressed drinks were good but would be good not pressed too so in my mind a bit of a novelty"
*Reviews from Yelp

Other News and Links:

  • The Bar Rescue makeover happened in November 2015
  • Here are two preview videos of the episode from the Spike TV website - Video 1, Video 2.
  • Here is the Crafted Facebook Page  which isn't too active and their website.  They are also active on Twitter.  (Here is the old Van Goghz Facebook Page which was converted to Crafted, but isn't too active.)
  • Crafted has kept the $6.99 steak night on Wednesday nights which was popular at Van Goghz. 
  • In a Feast Magazine article, owner Dani Davis said that she got a cold call from Bar Rescue to be on the show, but told them her bar was not failing.  They told her they like to help boost business for people like her and she decided it was a good business decision to be on the show.  She also said that she loves the new name and concept and was probably going to rebrand even if the show didn't come.
  • Another Feast Magazine article has an interview with Dani, where she said she was called three separate times to be on the show, but finally responded to an email.  She also said after Bar Rescue came, business has been boosted.
  • A local article that mentions Crafted raves about their cocktails and the concept of the cocktails served in French presses.
  • Reviews of Van Goghz before the makeover were not too bad before the makeover with a 3.5 star average (out of 5) on Yelp (Link).


Crafted has kept the name and concept given by Bar Rescue and most of the reviews for the bar are positive, although the reviews before Bar Rescue were not bad.  A lot of people like the new cocktails that are served in the French presses and people seem to like the tater tots, but there are a few negative reviews about the menu.

According to Dani, the bar wasn't struggling before Bar Rescue, but they were contacted by the show and convinced to do it for publicity.  This is the case for some of the bars that have appeared on Bar Rescue due to how they cast bars for the show.  They usually pick a city and then trying to find multiple bars to rescue in that city.

*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.

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