Sunday, September 13, 2020

Brenda's Inferno (Armadillo Grill ) - Bar Rescue Update

 In this week's episode of Bar Rescue, Jon Taffer and crew are in Phoenix, Arizona to rescue Armadillo Grill.  The Armadillo Grill is also known as "The Dillo" and is owned by Brenda Lambrecht who borrowed money from her father to help buy the bar.  She isn't showing proper leadership and the bar is falling apart with nobody being held accountable.  The kitchen is also filthy because nobody is properly cleaning it.  Brenda is supposedly in debt $450,000, losing $20,000 a month and only a few weeks away from closing the bar.

During the Bar Rescue makeover, Jon Taffer decided to change the name of Armadillo Grill to Brenda's Inferno and the bar has kept the name. Let's take a look at some information, reviews, and updates for Brenda's Inferno since Bar Rescue came and made all of the changes to the bar (All reviews are post-Bar Rescue):

Positive Reviews:
  • "Although I first ate lunch here 23 years ago, the recent remodel and renaming, coupled with the same fresh, quality food will keep me coming back! The new interior is beautiful in so many ways, and definitely an upgrade. My lunchmates and I all had "old favorites" from the [former] Dillo menu, but we will be back soon to try some of the Inferno items. Congrats to Brenda and the staff at the Inferno!"
  • "Same owner and mostly same feel- upgraded seating and some different menu items. Food is still delicious. We particularly loved the chicken sandwich. Great value on cocktails with specials running daily. We look forward to trying the burger and wings on our next stop in."
  • "We only tried the fried pickles which were fantastic but Brenda and her staff are so incredibly nice! We walked in at 11 on a Wednesday and she came right to the door, welcomed us in and sat us. The server came over and took our order, was super friendly and although the menu has changed drastically, we thought it looked great in there."
  • "Buffalo Chicken Sandwich is AMAZING!! Great service! Super clean inside and everyone was masked up so we felt totally comfortable and safe :)"
  • "The 'Hot Chicken Sandwich' is truly an award-winning sandwich, indeed! Honestly, if you have a taste for an original-school chicken sandwich, then most definitely treat yourself to an experience with Brenda's rendition - you will not be disappointed!"

Negative Reviews:
  • "Bad management. Was cut off from drinking because my friends and I were being "loud". I haven't seen them in forever, sorry for having a good time."
  • "We do our best to support locally owned businesses, but unfortunately won't be back to Brenda's Inferno. We'd been a few times when it was Armadillo grill and always enjoyed it! This we didn't. Their draft beer system was down, they were out of many bottles and canned beer, make the margaritas with sweet and sour mix, and even tho the sign outside stated "Grand Opening" the bathrooms felt old and a little... worse for the wear. Staff was friendly, but the vibe just isn't there. Or the drinks!"
  • "WOW Horrible customer service!! I was visiting from DMV, when i first came in the place was empty for a holiday weekend. I was sketchy about it, the server was super rude never ask what we wanted to drink and short with us. For it to be on “Bar Rescue” that seem like that didnt help. Food was a 6/10"
*Reviews from Yelp, Google

Other News and Links:
  • The Bar Rescue for Armadillo Grill happened in March 2020.  It happened right around the time bars were shut down due to the pandemic.
  • Here is a preview video from the Bar Rescue Facebook page. 
  • Here is the Brenda's Inferno Facebook page and website.
    • Their menu has a section dedicated to Bar Rescue food items and Bar Rescue cocktails. (Link)
  • The bar is having a watch party for when the episode airs. (Link)
  • Here are the Facebook pages of Brenda (owner), Padrick (bartender), Asia (Brenda's daughter), Greg (Brenda's ex-husband)
  • The Bar Rescue makeover happened right around the time bars were shut down due to the pandemic, but Brenda's Inferno stayed open and offered curbside pickup and delivery.  They remained open for about a week, but decided to close on March 26th. (Link)
    • They reopened again in May and when restrictions were eased, they offered dine-in service again. 
      • This probably means Bar Rescue was exaggerating when they said the bar was weeks from closing.
  • In June, Brenda's Inferno closed for about 2 weeks while employees got tested and the bar was sanitized because a close friend of a staff member tested positive for COVID-19. (Link)
  • The bar has operated off-track betting in the bar for over 16 years. (Link)
  • Here are the reviews for Brenda's Inferno from Yelp and Google.


Jon Taffer decided to change the name of Armadillo Gill to Brenda's Inferno and the bar has kept the name and also highlights the menu items and drinks from Bar Rescue.  The makeover happened pretty much right around the time bars were forced to close due to the pandemic, so the timing wasn't great for Brenda's Inferno.  This was the last Bar Rescue that was filmed before bars shut down, so it will be some time before new bars appear on the show.

It is hard to judge how Brenda's Inferno is doing after the makeover because they were only allowed to offer curbside pickup and delivery at first and they closed for a few months.  They also have never been able to operate at full capacity.  The reviews for Brenda's Inferno are somewhat positive with people liking the makeover, the food, Brenda and the staff.  The few negative reviews complained about customer service and the outdated bathrooms.

UPDATE - Brenda's Inferno closed in December 2021 - More info on the closure.

*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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