On immoderate fixed section of Paramount Network’s “Bar Rescue,” nan establishments featured are successful a catastrophic authorities of disrepair: awash successful grime, bugs, rotted nutrient and/or mysterious stains. The surroundings are matched by nan decay of their owners, who person nary thought really to tally a business.
Enter nan show’s tough-talking but big-hearted host, Jon Taffer, a nightlife seasoned whose extended resume includes moving legendary L.A. hotspot The Troubadour successful nan early ’80s and being 1 of nan first inductees of nan Nightclub Hall of Fame. In 2011, he started “Bar Rescue,” past connected Spike TV.
Although Taffer is often met pinch guidance from flailing barroom owners who deliberation they cognize everything, he’s ne'er turned down group who request help.
“I’m nan benignant of feline who needs to conflict for something, not against something,” he says. “So there’s an proprietor pinch a woman astatine home, location are kids astatine location — sometimes I’m fighting for them. I’ve ne'er met them, but I’m fighting for them. I’m fighting for their location sometimes. There are a mates of labor who really matter. I’m fighting for them. They emotion that place. You’ve seen that there’s a naughty owner, but nan unit really cares. I usage nan word ‘hang my hat.’ I effort to find personification aliases thing to bent my chapeau connected that I tin conflict for.”
As he approaches 250 episodes of “Bar Rescue,” Taffer walks Variety step-by-step done nan breakneck gait of nan show’s production.
Step 1: Prepping for nan Rescue
“The casting process I person thing to do with. I supply standards: I want this magnitude of people, kitchen, blah blah blah. The casting institution does nan casting and nan networks o.k. it. I person nary involvement. I’ve ne'er heard of nan names of nan bars, I don’t want to cognize nan names. I don’t want to spot nan casting reel.
“I show up astir an hr earlier nan cameras commencement to roll. I get successful a constitution chair, and I virtually get a 60 2nd briefing: ‘Bill and Ron ain this bar. They’re successful indebtedness $500,000. They’re astir to suffer their houses. They’re fresh to termination each other.’ I ever inquire nan aforesaid question: ‘How overmuch money do they have? How agelong do they have?’ ‘Well, they person 10 expansive — capable for 1 much month.’ That’s each I know.”
Step 2: Recon
“I past spell successful and do recon. I don’t cognize what’s going to happen. I don’t cognize wherever I’m going to stand, wherever I’m going to go. My unit is astonishing astatine pursuing maine astir because I don’t moreover cognize wherever I’m going next. So recon happens. If they’re nice, I’m nice. If they’re jerks, I’m not arsenic nice. I tin beryllium a small tough. You’ve seen it. Filth and irresponsibility drives maine crazy. Business practices are easy fixed, but attitudes are not.”
Step 3: Design
“When recon is over, what you don’t cognize is we put each nan labor successful vans successful nan parking batch and I spell successful and creation nan bar. That night, I’ve sewage astir an hour. My unit gives maine a demographic study that I’ve designed for astir a 4 aliases five-mile ring, and a competitory report. If location are 10 sports bars, I won’t build a sports bar, obviously. So I cognize nan competitors successful nan area, I cognize nan demographics and psychographics of nan marketplace. That’s each I know. I past look astatine nan verticals and nan horizontals successful nan room, and I propulsion a creation conception together.”
Step 4: Stress Test
“So now I person a concept, and I person a design. We spell home, and time two, you spot maine training and doing nan accent trial connected camera. What you don’t spot is I person to motion disconnected connected each creation element. I’m successful nan mediate of everything. So each wallpaper, barstool… everything I pick. But everything I prime I request successful 24 hours. It’s a small funny, wrong secret. If you look astatine nan remodels successful ‘Bar Rescue,’ you’ll often announcement nan barroom stools don’t match, because I couldn’t get 60 of nan aforesaid ones overnight. I could only get 12 of these and 9 of these.”
Step 5: Remodeling
“At nan extremity of nan 2nd day, nan accent trial is over, nan logos are to nan motion company, nan recipes are done, nan nutrient orders are in, nan beverage orders are successful and each nan materials are designed. The creation is wholly finished. After nan accent test, astatine astir midnight connected time two, we commencement remodeling. We remodel that night, time three, and nan greeting of time four. So we do remodel successful 36 hours. That’s why time 3 successful ‘Bar Rescue,’ I’m shooting offsite astatine different location, because we’re remodeling their bar. We really support them away. And time four, that afternoon, those aforesaid vans propulsion up. And nan unit is successful nan backmost pinch blindfolds on, and I uncover nan bar. So I do remodel it successful 36 hours.”
Taffer says that nan spontaneity of nan show is simply a large logic for its continued success.
“I tin show you, arsenic an manufacture professional, connected my mother’s grave, there’s ne'er been a script,” he says. “There’s ne'er been an actor. There’s ne'er been a setup. I deliberation that’s why nan show has lasted truthful long. I respect my audience. I deliberation they’re brilliant. I don’t effort to clone them out.”
Despite nan show’s success, Taffer admits that nan grind tin return a toll.
“It is exhausting, and arsenic I get older and older, it gets a small rougher to do,” he says. “The show is brutal, you know? And you spell 2 days off, past disconnected to nan adjacent one. I return nan show very personally, not from a TV standpoint arsenic overmuch as: This is simply a feline whose life is connected nan line. He’s going to suffer his house, his wife’s fresh to time off him, his kids don’t respect him. This is simply a really superior responsibility.”
Despite nan gait of nan show and his different ventures — a increasing concatenation of Taffer’s Taverns, a podcast, a bourbon, etc. — Taffer isn’t fresh to unopen things down conscionable yet.
“I intend to spell connected for a fewer much years,” he says erstwhile asked astir his early connected nan show. “The stories are heartbreaking. But they’re inspirational, too. I mean, these are group you really want to thief if you can.”