Sunday, March 17, 2019

Bar Rescue - The Frozen Cactus (RJ's Replays) Update

On this week's episode of Bar Rescue, Jon Taffer and crew are in Tucson, Arizona to rescue RJ's Replays.  RJ's Replays was opened in 2011 by Rich McClelland and is a sports bar that has a focus on craft beers.  Rich borrowed over $700,000 from his parents to open the bar and the bar is supposedly has almost $1 million in debt.  The bar supposedly lost $20,000 the previous month and is about a month from closing.  While Jon is there, he finds a menu that is too large and that the owner Rich is drunk in his own bar.

During the Bar Rescue makeover, Jon Taffer decided to change the name of RJ's Replays to The Frozen Cactus and the bar has somewhat kept the name.  They now go by RJ's Frozen Cactus.  Let's take a look at some information, reviews, and updates for The Frozen Cactus/RJ's Frozen Cactus since Bar Rescue came and made all of the changes to the bar (All reviews are post-Bar Rescue):

Positive Reviews:

  • "Great place to watch sports. Loved that they have NHL Center Ice. Food is very good and Jessica was. Great server."
  • "The Frozen Cactus has been very fair and welcoming to local musicians. I co-host an Open Mic here and am consistently surprised by the care and attention that the owner and staff put into to their clientele, events, and atmosphere. I have seen some negative reviews online, but have also seen the owner reach out time and time again to ask what they can do better, and that's something I personally really value in a business. TFC is one of my favorite spots in town!"
  • "Rich is the best! This sports bar tries hard and it shows. The improved vibe is designed to bring in more women so the sausage fest isn't so dull. That's good for everyone. We're rolling into football and basketball season so le bon temps roule!"
  • "I have to defend this place for its craft beer selection alone. It's got it's issues but the owner is so dedicated. I hope this place makes it."
  • "Nice place. Clean. The owner Rick was working hard right along with his staff. It was very busy and they could have used more help but all in all we had a great time."
  • "Been here a couple times since the change of name. Service good, atmosphere decent. The upscale rehab is not as noticable. I generally only come here for drinks and watching sports games. Will be back soon."

Negative Reviews:

  • "What a joke. You can put up a new coat of paint but you can't fix this bars issues. The waitress took forever to come by and there were only a couple of tables in the place. Food was cold and had to be sent back. When the owner or manager (not sure which he didn't introduce himself) came by he was DRUNK and slurring his words. Can't wait for this place to close so an actual business can swoop up that prime real estate. There are sooo many other options in Tucson"
  • "If I could give 0 stars, I would! From the moment we walked in until we left it was an awful experience! The servers were all standing around, blocking the walkway and just stared at my group, so we had to navigate our way through the tables to the bar. Once seated we weren't even offered menus, and they had no idea on their specials. Once we finally got our drinks, two of the four were incorrect, one of which came in a glass with a crack that ran all the way down the side. Our server seemed like she had absolutely no clue what was going on, will never go back! #BarNOTRescued"
  • "Walked in for some food and drinks- also curious to see the changes Taffer made. Number one the entrance to this place is a joke and not well marked. Secondly, we walked in and the place lacked a flow, felt in organized. Nothing looked renovated."
  • "Talk about bar rescue up a well established bar. This place is pretentious. Wtf did they sway away from a sports bar. I walked in around two on Saturday. A total of three people in the bar. The menu is tiny. No more pizza. John tafner is a freakin moron that is clueless to Tucson. The owners are not to smart for accepting his idea. This place will be out of business soon unless they switch it back. You don't fix what's not broken!!!"
*Reviews from Yelp, Google

Other News and Links:

  • The Bar Rescue makeover happened in May 2018, so almost a year before the episode aired.
  • Here is a 5-minute preview video of the episode from the Paramount YouTube page.
  • Here is RJ's Frozen Cactus website which still has the URL.  In fact, redirects to
  • Here is The Frozen Cactus  Facebook page, which still has the RJs Replay's name, however all of the advertisements refer to RJ's Frozen Cactus.  Here is another The Frozen Cactus Facebook page. The new logo for the bar says "RJ's Frozen Cactus - Red Hot Sports, Ice Cold Craft Beers." The Bar Rescue one was "The Frozen Cactus - Ice Bar & Flame Grill" (Link)
  • Here are the Facebook pages of Rich (owner), Klaryssa (bartender), Katelyn (bartender/manager), Ranesha (bartender)
  • Here are the reviews for The Frozen Cactus from Yelp (3.5 out of 5, 20 reviews), Tripadvisor (4 out of 5, 12 reviews), and Google (3.9 out of 5, 308 reviews).
  • When Rich bought the bar in 2011, he said he was going to try to scrub the biker vibe from the building and turn it into a more upscale bar. (Link)


RJ's Replays was renamed to The Frozen Cactus by Bar Rescue, and the bar has somewhat kept the name.  They changed it to RJ's Frozen Cactus and also changed the description from "Ice Bar & Flame Grill" to "Red Hot Sports, Ice Cold Craft Beers."  The reviews for the bar have been mixed with some people complimenting Rich and his dedication to the bar, while others had complaints about the service and the makeover done by Bar Rescue.  

*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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