Sunday, April 24, 2016

Bar Rescue - George & Dragon Update

On tonight's episode of Bar Rescue, Jon Taffer and crew are in Phoenix, Arizona to try to rescue George & Dragon English Pub and Restaurant. The owner Dave supposedly let the bar go downhill after the death of his mother.  The bar has been open for over 20 years and he is supposedly drinking his profits away and gambling his way to ruin with his weekly poker tournaments.  Bar Rescue says the bar is $700,00 in debt and losing $5,000 a month.

During the Bar Rescue makeover they decided to keep the bar's name of George & Dragon.  Let's take a look at some information, reviews, and updates for George & Dragon since Bar Rescue came and made all of the changes to the bar (All reviews are post-Bar Rescue):

Positive Reviews:
  • "Cool English place on Central Ave downtown...Great brews on tap....Overall, we had a good experience and would definitely come again."
  • "Great atmosphere and cheap beer. Owner is a great guy that has a lot of pride in his establishment and is very friendly. Honey sriracha wings are delicious."
  • "I'm a regular at this place. It's got a warm ambience, awesome location, nice music and chicken curry to die for! I also like the fish and chips and flaming chicken creole. They've revamped the menu, I'll be checking out the new items soon..."
  • "The food here is really good...the problem is the service. It wasn't very busy but we waited a very long time for our drinks and then even longer for the food. It got to the point where we wondered if we should leave or not because we had other places to be. We were there a little over an hour for just getting a bite to eat. Very awesome if you have the time and don't mind slow waiting. Prices are reasonable and food is DELISH! So is the IPA"
  • "not a big fan of the remodel, kinda liked it because it was dive but the food is still good and most of the bartenders are pretty awesome and the owner is pretty fun so i guess its fine. Best wings EVA!"
  • "Staff is always great and the food is too....They were on Bar Rescue recently and honestly, I loved the bar before, and I still love it. Its the same great place, just spruced up a bit."
  • "This was a neat little place. We tried it last night for the first time. Nice choice of beers and a full bar. The service was a little slow, but the server did apologize for that. The food was fantastic! Definitely worth checking this place out."
  • "Previously the fish fry was barely tolerable. Now, it is THE fish fry I have been searching for since moving here from the NE. The fish fry is excellent, the coleslaw is great. The service is good. I dunno not much else to say? Only thing - I miss the old booths. The new tables are pretty wobbly. I won't take off a star for that though"
  • "So the old booths are gone, replaced by pub tables and a refreshed slightly more upscale d├ęcor. Still a great assortment of brew as well as authentic English pub fare and the owner, a true publican, is working the clientele. Glad for the revisit."
Negative Reviews:
  • "I understand "Bar Rescue" did a show here. Sad thing is the service is worse than before. Ordered a Balvenie 12 year old with a splash of water. Waitress brought out a drink with water and ice. When I mentioned it wasn't what I ordered, she looked at me in disbelief. She really though Scotch comes on the rocks by default. Really doesn't matter. I'm not coming back. damn shame."
  • "As far as dive bars go, this one is pretty bad. They have the worst service I've ever seen in a pub. Their food isn't much better. The only good thing I can speak that they do well is consistency. They are consistency awful. Even with their new renovation it just feels like they polished a turd."
  • "Slow service and $17 for a double Glenlivet during happy hour- the drink was obviously not a double and sat on the bar for 20 mins before being brought to our table, so it was watered down. We pointed this out, and the waiter did nothing about it and still charged us full price. Ridiculous. "
  • "0 stars....We waited for over 40 minutes after the beer fest...two servers and no menu or water offered...could not find a server....not prepared...not good..,go some place else....super crowded and no help..,left after 45 minutes...."
  • "I'm not usually that fussy but I really prefer the old dive. The new changes feel inauthentic. The general sleaze has been replaced by fake character. The bright lights (in a bar?) make this an unappealing place to hang out. "
*Reviews from Yelp

Other News and Links:

  • The Bar Rescue makeover happened in January 2016.
  • Here are two preview videos of the episode from the Spike TV website - Video 1, Video 2
  • Here is the George & Dragon Facebook Page which is kept up-to-date.
  • Here is the George & Dragon website, which was recently re-designed. 
  • The bar was renovated in 2013 and David was ready to take out another loan for more renovations when Bar Rescue called (Link).  In October 2015, the bar posted on Facebook that they wanted to update the bar, so they had plans to update it on their own. 
  • On Tuesday April 5th, the bar posted, "Yes there is poker tonight" on their Facebook page, so they still have poker at the bar.
  • On April 19th, David posted, "I'm ready to blow my money at the George and Dragon poker tournament like john tafer said on bar rescue lol, wanker it's a free tournament no money involved"  After seeing the episode description, David also said, "Let the bullshit begin. Don't you think he should've investigated and found out that there is no gambling at the pub it's free poker, wanker lol"
  • David is also telling people to come to the watch party at the bar so they can hear what really happened on the show and to hear the truth. Here is his personal Facebook Page.
  • There are over 300 Yelp reviews for George & Dragon and they have a 3.5 out of 5 star average (Link).  That many reviews and an above average rating makes you think they get a lot of business.
  • Kind of random, but owner Dave Wimberly was on The Price is Right in 2013 and ended up winning big by winning a motorcycle, car, etc. (Link)
  • In 2007, there was a local article that claimed there where ghosts at the bar (Link).


The bar was able to keep their original name after the Bar Rescue makeover, which is probably what the owner wanted as it seems like he was looking for a renovation.  The reviews since the Bar Rescue makeover are leaning towards positive with people liking the atmosphere and food, but there are also complaints about the service.

George & Dragon is still having poker nights, but apparently it is free despite what Bar Rescue would have you believe.  Dave said he will reveal more during the watch party at the bar, so I will update this post if he reveals anything of interest regarding the episode.

*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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