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Piratz Tavern: How Bar Rescue Faked Reality

Before I begin, please watch the following about Piratz Tavern:

Now this episode of Bar Rescue is compelling television. It’s about a sinking pirate bar called Piratz Tavern in Silver Spring, Maryland, where the staff wants to play pirate while the workers at the several corporate high rises next door ignore the noise. Furthermore, the owner is $900,000 in debt and lives in her parents’ basement with her husband, Piratz’s incompetant chef, and her college-age daughter.  In walks nightlife expert Jon Taffer who believes the staff is delusional and drags them kicking and screaming to a new theme, the Corporate Bar and Grill. After the change, the place looks to have a bright future. But the owner, still wanting to play pirate, turns it back to Piratz a few weeks later and the ship continues to sink.

There’s only one problem: The show is made up.

I’ve eaten in Silver Spring lots of times and had even tried to eat at Piratz Taven before the filming. Honestly, it looked like an empty dump. The show wasn’t completely wrong in that respect.  However, after watching the Bar Rescue episode, I absolutely had to go in order to find out how different the show was from with what actually happened. I went for dinner there with some friends and spent a long time talking to the staff.

Piratz Tavern Staff

From left to right: Rouge, Monkey, Blackjack, Archer and One-Eyed Mike.

What I found was that practically everything on the show was made up. While the staff, along with the manager Tracy Rebelo, had a reason to lie in order to make themselves look better, it was obvious from their passionate and candid responses, along with a few plainly visible facts, that they weren’t lying.

Here’s a list, in show chronological order, of many of the differences between the Bar Rescue episode and what I observed and was told:

-At the beginning of the show there’s a statistic that says during the day the population in Silver Spring swells to 295,000 with an average income of $96,000. At night the population drops to 71,000 with an average income of $36,000. While there’s nothing wrong with this on the surface, it’s missing something very important that I’ll explain further down.

-The show claims the staff loves to drink and play pirates rather than serve the customers. Well, that both is and is not true. On the one hand, the staff loves their jobs, loves pirates, and enjoy working there.  On the the other hand,  the food came quickly and I didn’t have to wait to get a seat. In some ways, the jovial, friendly staff is why anyone would come to Piratz in the first place and Taffer ignores it.

– On the show, Tracy claims that’s she’s over $900,000 in debt, her credit is shot and she lives in her parent’s basement.  Tracy told me, a guy she never met, that she never uses credit cards with Piratz and she’s pays off the $10,000 rent every month in full and on time… oh, and there is no basement.

-Jon and his wife show up to the bar which looks dead…except it’s dead because the Bar Rescue producers told the tavern to tell everyone that the tavern was closed. Anyone in the bar were people who walked by and saw it was open.

-The show claims the patio in the back is unoccupied…except they forgot to mention that the segment was filmed at night in February 2012, with nightly temperatures in the 30s. Jon’s wife is even shown walking into the establishment in a heavy coat.

-The fish the planted couple orders is supposedly terrible. Everyone there told me basically the same thing: the food was fine, they just lied and said it was terrible. My food was delicious!

Update: 9/29: Went back to Piratz and ordered the fish the couple on the show did.  While I thought it wasn’t as good as the turkey legs I had last week, it wasn’t nearly as bad as the show made it seem.

-There’s a reference to an appetizer that’s too spicy. The “Burnin’ Bits” has a waiver you to have sign in order to eat it. I know because I took notes on the back of said waiver:

Piratz Tavern Waver

Too spicy on purpose.

-How many corporate high rises are really around Piratz?  There are two on the same block, plus a few within eyeshot. Jon wanted to make the point that there are tons directly next to it, but there are only the aforementioned two plus the Discovery Channel directly accessible via a back alleyway. The others he points out include a two-story storefront and this:

Behold the Silver Spring Metro Garage!

This is a case of Jon not only stretching the truth to make his point about corporate highrises, but also ignoring a bigger problem which should be obvious to anyone who has been to the area:

The way most people get to the area is to get off 495 and head down Georgia Ave. Right before you get to Piratz, they come to what’s known as Downtown Silver Spring, a popular outdoor plaza with literally a dozen restaurants and two movie theaters (The Regal and an AFI Silver) along with several big stores including a DSW and a Whole Foods. This attracts a lot of people with money. However,  the traffic turns on either Colesville or Wayne and heads towards the garages. Only a fraction of the traffic heads past Wayne Avenue. I’ve traveled to the area quite a bit. Downtown Silver Spring could be packed, but walk across across Wayne Avenue and the place is a ghost town.

There’s no way Jon missed this fact when researching – he could see it from Piratz Tavern! While it appears he might have counted Downtown Silver Spring as a high-rise, counting it as such is extremely misleading because he therefore ignores all the people coming in on weekends for entertainment. This destroys his entire theory on why a pirate bar in Silver Spring can’t survive.  If Piratz had a location within Downtown Silver Spring, it would’ve been just fine because the people who go to the plaza are looking to have fun.

– Moving on, Archer, who quit on the show, was told to be the bad guy and his role was to quit. The only thing is that Archer really did  get mad at John so the reaction when he told the cameras to get out of his face was real.

-To help in the kitchen, Jon brings in Jason, a line cook… who had been working at Piratz for 7 months prior to filming. He was working at a Bertucci’s when a few Piratz employees got him in touch with Tracy who hired him.

-The show makes it seems like there’s an all day bar training going on for the bartenders. Well, training only lasted as long the cameras rolled and so the staff only learned basically what is shown on TV.

-On a segment involving service staff training Mike appears to have trouble talking like “a normal person.” It’s implied Mike was so wrapped up in his pirate persona, he had trouble coming out of it.  Except how Mike talks on the show is how he really talks. His accent is not an act.

-There’s an exchange where the service trainer says to Mike to “act like the people outside.” He says that he hates those people. Only one issue: that was edited together from two different exchanges, the second one being the people who go on Yelp and give the bar bad reviews.

-The soft opening was staged, as everyone that was brought in were actors and did not have to pay. Everything was going fine until Jon told the actors to start acting as if the service was terrible.

-The scene where Juciano storms out and Tracy goes after him was staged. He was told to storm off.  The audio seems to cut during the segment because they’re laughing while filming.

-The only thing the employees weren’t told ahead of time was what the new theme was supposed to be, so their reactions were real. Even I thought the idea was terrible from the first time I saw it. The Corporate Bar and Grill made the place seem homogenized and soulless. When corporate workers want to go to a bar, they want to escape, not go back to work. And Jon Taffer, even on the show, came across as a guy who hated the very idea of a pirate bar from the moment he walked in and simply wanted it gone, regardless of the reasons for Piratz’s failures. The staff confirmed my suspicions with Tracy calling him “completely unprofessional” and saying “he made the worst decision possible.”

– While it looked pristine in the show, the new interior was shoddily done. For example, the new tiles on the floor were simply glued onto the floor underneath. The glue oozed through the tiles and was tracked onto the back patio, which had to be resurfaced.

-As part of the renovation, Jon installed self-service draft tables where people could pour their own beer. However, they are illegal in Montgomery County, so they were useless.  Not only that, the draft tables were really being rented, with the first 2 months paid for. After that, the bar had pay for all 3 draft tables.

-The grand opening, like the soft opening, was staged, with actors playing the roles of customers, who ate for free. While I wasn’t told this, based on what they told me about the soft opening, I’m certain the actors were told to act like the place was great even if it was crummy.

-During the grand opening scene, Jason can be seen making burgers. The staff told me that the burger was made using frozen beef patties and were expected to charge $11 for it; this is in contrast to their $12 buffalo burger which was and still is on the menu and is made fresh. They have an $8 regular burger. They never mentioned it, but I assume it’s made fresh. And even if it, too, is a frozen beef patty, it’s still $3 less.

-After filming, Piratz Tavern returned within two weeks, nearly every single one of Jon’s changes was reversed and a small beer bar was added to the front to make it more lively.

I went to Piratz Tavern expecting at least some of the show to ring true and found that apparently not one moment of the show was what it appeared to be. Everything organic was either staged or heavily edited. Watching the episode again after eating there I saw the fiction in the “reality” clearly. Bar Rescue is a fictional show about a man who takes bars from money pits to profitable businesses. Before Jon steps in, the staff has to be inept, the food has to be terrible and the bar has to be completely out of touch with the surrounding community, even if not one of those things was true. After John relaunches, the staff has to be top notch, the food has to be delicious and the bar has to be beautiful and popular. It makes Jon Taffer look like God’s gift to bar management. And if the bar reverts to its previous persona or isn’t doing well, it isn’t Jon’s fault, it’s always the owner who’s to blame. They didn’t listen to Jon Taffer and now they’re paying the price.

Piratz Tavern

Behold the new sign installed the week before I went!

While the staff admitted the bar was having problems, any problems it did have were solved simply by being on Bar Rescue and the huge publicity it generated, giving people a reason to travel past Wayne Avenue. Our waiter, Blackjack, told me that Jon Taffer should have just come in and just helped with an ad campaign instead of the nightmare their “bar rescue” turned out to be. Monkey even said it was one of the worst experiences of his entire life, and I have to believe him.

Piratz stands as a symbol of how fake reality television truly is. Before I ate at Piratz, I loved Bar Rescue. It was a compelling, well-produced show. After eating at Piratz, I don’t think I can watch another episode knowing full well that what I’m seeing is as fictional as a scripted drama.  One thing I do know for sure is that I’m definitely going back to Piratz Tavern.

Update: 3/28/15

Normally I wouldn’t a post an update for a 3 year old article, but with the bar closing and the upcoming episode, I feel the need I should as interest in this article will be renewed:

So, the bar is closing and the owner claims its because she was fucked over by reality TV again, believing the producers that things would be different this time with the second episode.. I personally think(and this is only a guess) Bar Rescue didn’t close the bar, in actuality, it kept it going for three years due to all the publicity, but whatever the problems were initially finally caught up with her again. She invited Bar Rescue back in the hopes that magic would strike twice and she could ride another wave of bad publicity to another three years, but when it didn’t look like that would happen, for whatever reason, she gave up and closed the bar.

I went back in February for my birthday(after a two year absence), and the bar was great. The food was excellent, the grog was delicious and the service staff was friendly(I got a free dessert and t-shirt).  in the end, I have to begrudgingly say maybe Jon was right in that you can’t run a pirate bar in Silver Spring. But who knows, considering its critical location problem.


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  • Reply
    September 25, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    These people clearly have no business sense whatsoever and I hope they fail. While it’s great to have passion in your business, regardless of the mediocre amount of customers they get, it will never be profitable long-term, even WITH the publicity the show has created. Of course some of the show was scripted, but the facts are clear. The bar was struggling, Taffer and crew came in and spent thousands of dollars on a remodel to give the place a second chance and the staff/owners rejected everything and will inevitably fail. I wasn’t a big fan of the drab-looking storefront either, but catering to the business customers in the Silver Springs area is their best shot for success. Hopefully their 17 year old daughter is smart enough to go to Business school on a full scholarship and talk some sense into her ridiculous parents.

    • Reply
      Noah Murphy
      September 26, 2012 at 11:55 am

      No the fact’s aren’t clear, Jon’s remodel would’ve probably killed the bar dead. Theme was the worse idea imaginable, would you go to corporate bar and grill. The remodeling work was badly done, his people didn’t really do much training, Jason was already working there, and Jon’s gifts weren’t really gifts at all. The show also plainly ignored some facts like the back patio was unused because it was February. During warmer months it gets used.
      There’s also no way Piratz would’ve been open since 2007 if she had a really run up $900,000 in debt with $120,000 in rent a year. I didn’t mention this, but Tracy said it cost her $60,000 to change the place back. Where would she have gotten the money if she was that much in debt, with bad credit?

      • Reply
        February 13, 2013 at 3:20 am

        Noah, where are your facts? Where? Tracy is ON FILM acknowledging being $900,000 in debt. If that is false, she is to blame. Nobody else. Now if she lied about being $900,000 in debt, do you think she won’t lie about how much the renovations cost? You claim that Mike says”I hate those guys.” and that it was falsely edited to make it seem like he hated the people outside, when in reality he hates HIS OWN customers who gave him bad reviews. How is that not as bad, if not worse? Why are they getting bad reviews on yelp? Why would the service trainer say “act like the people outside”, if the corporate atmosphere he was mention doesn’t even exist as you are trying to claim. Are you are bar expert? Because the people that run Piratz Tavern sure don’t seem like bar experts. So tell me, where do you come up with your expert opinion that “Jon’s remodel would’ve probably killed the bar dead.” How can you say this with confidence. Tell me, Noah. If I can find all the holes in this story, how is it that you couldn’t? Why did you write everything in this piece as fact instead of acknowledging that you were only going by what the people at Piratz Tavern think? We already know how they feel. They made that quite clear by the Youtube video. That video, by the way, garnered 95% dislike. On Yelp, Piratz Tavern gets a 2.5/5 rating. All the numbers point to a failing business. But you want us all to believe that it is all a big lie. That Spike, Yelp, Youtube and all the people of the internet are conspiring to make it seem like a thriving business is, in fact,struggling. That the testimony of a few employees is the only truth in the world. Which is more likely, Noah? That you went in to a bar, asked a bunch of angry employees what they think about their failing business and they fed you a story of lies? Or that every customer that goes in to that restaurant and comes back with a negative review are all somehow working for Spike TV?

        • Reply
          Noah Murphy
          February 13, 2013 at 11:34 am

          On the other hand, why are you so willing to believe something just because its on TV?

        • Reply
          March 4, 2016 at 10:55 am

          Don’t talk shit on someone’s article because you don’t agree with it. Jon Taffer dick rider

      • Reply
        October 20, 2014 at 2:43 pm

        I know i am writing this 2 years after the fact but in answer to the question of how she got the money to convert back from Corporate to Piratz is simple. The producers of the show spent at least $100,000 on automated adult drink dispensers. They were sold off on E-bay for about $70,000. In an article she claimed that they were illegal to have in Montgomery County Maryland. Total BS. Before the show even starts taping they have already drawn up plans and received the proper permits and license changes needed. They do that to make it look like they can go right to work. They did the same thing on Extreme Makeover Home Edition. It takes weeks of planning.

      • Reply
        Tommy D
        April 12, 2015 at 9:50 pm

        I happen to be in the Renovation business, and let me tell you that in no way it would’ve cost 60 grand to do the work that was done there. Its a he said, she said case and the bottom line is this “IF THEY WEREN’T IN DEBT OR HURTING THEN WHY ON EARTH CALL TAFFER FOR HELP? IF YOU WATCH THE SHOW YOU KNOW WHAT HE WILL DO”

  • Reply
    October 3, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    While I don’t doubt that some of the show is staged, I am not convinced that your experience is definitive proof that every single aspect of the episode is fake. The show was filmed almost a year ago so it is entirely possible that the people who ate at Piratz last year had a different experience than you did. Just because the fish tastes good now doesn’t mean it tasted good then, they easily could have changed their fish or cooking method since the show was taped. Also, as far as there being “no basement,” Tracey gave an interview to the Patch where she said that they recently moved out of the basement and rented a house…so unless she is lying to them as well, they were indeed living in a basement when the show filmed. I don’t know if she really is 900,000 in debt but a.) It’s believable that a restaurant owner would not tell a complete stranger about her debt, so there’s really no way to verify that she has no credit cards and pays the rent on time and b.) Taffer didn’t just claim out of the blue that Tracey was 900,000 in debt, she herself told him that! If that is not true, then obviously she was lying, so if she lied once already, what is to say that everything she told you wasn’t a lie as well? For the record, I thought the makeover and the new name was really lame and I personally am much more likely to go to a pirate bar than a corporate bar, and I wish the Piratz bar success in the future and am glad that they didn’t sell out, I am just saying that it is hard to believe someone who admits that they lied on the show but then expects us to take at face value everything they are saying now. Any credibility is gone, and I don’t think the fact that they got paid from the show is a valid excuse to lie, a lot of people including myself would refuse to purposely make themselves look bad by lying on TV even if there was money involved.

  • Reply
    October 4, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    I want to start by just coming out and saying that it is no way fake. I was on the show and we signed a very strict contract that said we would never be asked to say or do anything, but that it could be edited however they wanted it. Of course editing is involved in reality TV. I was on the Murphy’s Mess episode and they filmed us ALL day for about 7 days and it turned out to be 30-40 minutes. It was known that at the end of it all, they would edit it to make it more interesting – that is what you signed up for.

    Another perspective I have is that I met the pirates from Piratz when they came to my bar during Pirateer weekend in Fells. They gave me similar stories – and we agreed to disagree on our experiences. They saw it themselves – our bar looked amazing. It was not shotty work, it was brilliant and thought-out. They too told me that they did not get much training, however we did. They told you all the people in the soft opening and grand opening were actors – ours were not. Most of ours were Baltimore locals who were genuinely interested. I’ve also met a couple people who were on Season 1 and they had never said anything about it being fake to me either.

    The Yelp reviews on the place don’t lie. I know people who have been there since the show as well and will never return.They may have had a different experience than all the rest of us did on the show, but at the same time you have to realize you are talking to the only people who hated the process, hated Jon, and hated the results. Think about it.

    • Reply
      Noah Murphy
      October 4, 2012 at 7:44 pm

      I don’t believe a word of this because you fail to mention Murphy’s Law is closed. Piratz meanwhile is doing quite well for itself. Explain that, if you were on the show.

      • Reply
        February 13, 2013 at 4:43 am

        “Piratz meanwhile is doing quite well for itself.” Is that what they told you? Tell me, if they are doing so well, they must be busy, right? If that was the case, how is it that most of the staff had enough time to sit down, talk with you and provide you with alllllll of this information? Would they not have jobs to do? I’m not buying any of this.

        • Reply
          February 13, 2013 at 4:34 pm

          Well they were closed the day they came to meet me, it was Pirateer weekend in Baltimore, so they closed their place to come to Fells Point and join the festivities.

          However, you can read the reviews and know its not going well, beyond the fact that I’ve already stated I know a handful of people who have been there since and won’t be back. They reported drunk server, poor service, bad food, and that it was pretty empty when they were there.

          • Chaos
            May 25, 2015 at 9:34 pm

            “they closed their place to come to Fells Point and join the festivities.”

            No one with any business sense is going to close down for a whole day to attend some pointless festival ad having multiple people spend the time complaining about stuff.

      • Reply
        February 13, 2013 at 4:31 pm

        So my insights to the show are nullified because I failed to mention that Murphy’s closed? That doesn’t exactly seem logical to me. Yes, Murphy’s is closed, it closed in April of 2012, and the makeover was done in February/March. The bar is no longer there because the owners, unbeknownst to us, decided that they wanted to get out of the business and sold it. it sucks, but that does not reflect at all on Bar Rescue.

        The first thing Jon Taffer will tell you is that bars are easy to makeover, owners are not. In a week’s time, it’s hard to all of a sudden make shitty owners into great ones.

        • Reply
          February 18, 2015 at 3:13 am

          Who knows maybe the bar owners decided once they made a profit and paid off the bills they were done with being in a bar. I would not be surprised if this happens with a lot of bar rescues honestly. Imagine if after years of heartache and heartburn you are finally free and clear again. Now you know selling the property will net you a few hundred thousand $ ( maybe more ) or maybe you decide if you own the lot to simply liquidate and rent. I bet a lot of business owners that have delt with a failing business decide to get out of business the moment the books are zeroed out.

      • Reply
        February 18, 2015 at 3:38 am

        Piratz is dirty and if u like it your probably dirty too.

  • Reply
    January 9, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    while i dont discount the possibility of scripting. If the place was really staying a float there wouldnt be a need for the shows intervention in the first place would you agree? and saying that the bar is closed you have to be blind because if the bar was said to be closed they would have had a closed sign on the door which would have deferred all on coming prospects. That in and of itself is a fictional statement. and as far as the food and the cleanliness of the place those can never be staged. If you have a certain standard you go by then you know that others of your caliber wont accept mediocre as acceptable. i have been to that area once and i personally laughed at the thought of going there. And i am the average 36,000 earner and when i want a vacation from reality i just take a week off from work and go to places the locals recommend and that was definitely not one that was recommended. as far as how she got 60,000 to change it all back well there is such a thing as an angel investor and other ways to generate capital like grants and such…. and for all we know she could have convinced her parents to refinance their house to make that possible. the big picture remains the location can generate income and also have a positive revenue, if peoples interests peak at the thought of going……theres a place here as an example called sliderz and its 25 min away from my house theres a 5 dollar cover and they have bands and a pretty clean establishment…. its on the outskirts of town and is always packed because of its perceived popularity. and its mainly women that are there. so the excuse of location has no merit. if she had access to 60,000 why didnt she use that for advertisement to generate capital? these are all things that you have failed to mention.

  • Reply
    February 12, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    Jon Taffer is a total douchebag. If he were really successful in the real world. he wouldn’t need to be doing a copycat reality show on some second rate cable network.

    • Reply
      February 13, 2013 at 4:36 pm

      Who is he copycatting? He came before most of the ones on these days. After Bar Rescue became so popular, all of the others starting coming out of the woodworks. And tell me this, if he’s such a fake why does he run Nightclub and Bar where he hosts annual shows in every major city and it sells out of people who want to learn from him and his experts? Because he has been in the business 35+ years and is well-respected in the field.

    • Reply
      June 6, 2014 at 11:55 pm

      Saying he isn’t successful seems a little dumb. When you have your show on a major network then you can talk about all the shows on a second rate channel. Most business owners have no clue and that’s reality just see how many business go belly up. Go to some of these restaurants and bars out there. Scary stuff.

    • Reply
      September 29, 2014 at 4:50 pm

      that’s just a plain old ignorant statement. It only takes a little bit of reading on the Internet to find out that Jon Taffer is an incredibly successful man. He has transformed opened and owned hundreds if not thousands of bars in his career.

      • Reply
        December 23, 2015 at 11:29 pm

        hundreds if not thousands?

        He’s very successful because he’s a good self promoter. He will fabricate numbers to puff himself up.

        No one person can transform thousands of bars in their career. The simple math of dividing your time on earth by “thousands” shows that it’s not even remotely possible.

    • Reply
      May 25, 2015 at 9:38 pm

      “If he were really successful in the real world. he wouldn’t need to be doing a copycat reality show on some second rate cable network”

      He makes a mega money from the show. A prospect successful people are not automatically predisposed to rule out as you naively believe. All sorts of successful people are on reality shows.

  • Reply
    February 13, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    As a staff member of a current bar being ‘rescued’ in las vegas, i can confirm the show is fake. Seriously…

    • Reply
      February 13, 2013 at 4:37 pm

      Oh really? They gave you a script to read from? I was on the show in Season 2 and was never given a script or what to say, none of us were. Of course the experts they bring in and Jon are somewhat scripted at times, but not those of us from the bar.

      • Reply
        June 8, 2014 at 11:10 pm

        you dont have to lie to kick it, just because you work for bar rescue.

        • Reply
          Katie Hutchinson
          June 9, 2014 at 9:50 pm

          I don’t work for Bar Rescue. I was on an Episode of Bar Rescue. My contract with them went from the start of filming to when it aired. I don’t have to lie for them.

          • GaleLynn
            January 29, 2015 at 2:19 am

            Katie, you should probably save your time for better people. These people are either Pirate wannabe’s and/or are jealous loosers who also live in their mother’s basement. I mean, if their “opinion” of Jon is that he is a jerk, they are entitled to that opinion but anyone who denies that Taffer is smart and successful, might as well deny that rain is wet and they loose any credibility at all. I only wish I was half as successful and smart as Taffer and although I am not, I don’t hate on him for it. I have the utmost respect for him.

  • Reply
    February 13, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    The show is scripted. Get over it peeps. And yelp reviews dont meanshit, ANYBODY and that includes from the show like the liar above saying its a real show can post comments or reviews.

    • Reply
      February 13, 2013 at 4:38 pm

      I’m the liar you are referring to? What motivation do I have to lie? If you honestly tell me they gave you a script to read from, you’re lying, and I doubt you were ever on the show.

    • Reply
      Jim Plunkett
      March 30, 2015 at 4:58 am

      So “Sand Dollar” you sound like you have bit of “an axe to grind”. I read about little comedy you tried playing with Mr. Taffer’s wife really bad form “sonny boy”. Knowing the sort of TRASH that owns the “Sand Dollar” in Las Vegas it doesn’t surprise me that the bar is in trouble. I would not spend money in a joint like that and certainly not allow my wife to go into the Sand Dollar where she would molested or worse. Nope. Absolutely, I would have tell my friends and associates to Avoid the Sand Dollar is a very dangerous place and it must avoided like the plague.

      You know Dr. Wilkes there are places in this country where men who treat married women the way you treated Mrs. Taffer’s end up “gone”. I hear Las Vegas has very large desert around it and not too long ago men would go there and never be seen again.

      Perhaps you shouldn’t be so quick to call someone a Liar or make threats just because their story or experience is different from yours.
      Just sayin’.

  • Reply
    March 2, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    Of course they are going to tell you that it was all made up and lies. And of course they’re going to bad mouth John.. they are embarrassed and should be of that stupid immature idea. And obviously the owner has serious life problems.I highly doubt she goes around sharing about her crummy basement apartment with her customers. And I can’t believe you’ve actually been to this bar multiple times. And your defending it. That just proves how thick skulled you are. Maybe you should apply here. you would fit right in.

    • Reply
      July 14, 2014 at 9:06 pm

      Y r u so wolling to believe the owner. I would think its embarassing to tell a nationwide audience that shes in debt, lives in her parents basement with an idiot of a husband who is rude, loud n vulgar. I know this place will in all likelehood, close soon, if it hasn’t already. As for Jon, there was mucho dollars spent on that remodel in equipment n people who did the work. So if u really believe that money was spent by the network or whoever provides, the fundsin order to make Jon look good, then u sirare a moron.

  • Reply
    March 12, 2013 at 11:58 pm

    You are discrediting people as naive because they believe something that’s on TV. Yet you never consider that it’s naive to believe everything someone tells you.

    If the owner lied on TV, then that speaks to her character. You’re ignorantly trying to convince us to believe people who were paid to lie.

    If she lied on TV, then how are we supposed to believe someone who obviously has no problem with lying?

    If she didn’t lie on TV, of course it makes sense for her to lie to you and make it seem like it was fake. If you publicly give yourself a bad name and get the opportunity to say it was all fake, then any weak person will take advantage of that to make that negativity go away.

    Either way, you and her are in a catch 22, so I cannot extend any credibility to you.

  • Reply
    Bar Rescue | TV Terrors
    March 26, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    […] you look at the reviews for it, you’ll find that a majority of them are positive. And I found another blog post that talks about the claims Taffer made on the episode of “Bar Rescue” where Piratz […]

  • Reply
    March 31, 2013 at 10:40 pm

    Pro wrestling (or in Vince McMahon’s case, sports entertainment) is more realistic than many of these so-called “reality shows”. It can’t be reality if you are told to lie and play a part, it’s therefore scripted and not real. Except for TNA Wrestling, I have lost all respect for Spike TV, Jon Taffer, and a man whom I thought was one of the up and coming young geniuses in TV today, producer JD Roth. To Spike TV, Mr. Taffer, Mr. Roth, and the rest of the Bar Rescue staff, my cow died, so I don’t need either your bull or the crap that goes with it! BTW, I hope these so-called reality shows like Bar Rescue, Honey Boo Boo, Dance Moms, and Buckwild will soon be sleeping with the fishes in Davy Jones’ (the Pirate, not the recently deceased Monkee) locker.

    • Reply
      April 4, 2013 at 10:48 am

      I don’t know why you are so convinced these shows are scripted when I for one, have already said I was on Bar Rescue, and we were never scripted. You are hearing that it is scripted by the only disgruntled group of rescuees there are.

      Either way, I don’t care what you believe, but to put down Jon Taffer when he is the #1 bar and restaurant consultant in the country is a little ridiculous. The man and his team know what they are talking about.

      Lastly, pretty uncouth to mention Buckwild and “sleeping with the fishes” in the same sentence considering that one of their cast members was just found dead.

      • Reply
        Noah Murphy
        April 6, 2013 at 12:32 pm

        It would be easier to believe you if I know who you were on the show.

        • Reply
          Katie Hutchinson
          June 9, 2014 at 9:47 pm

          Season 2, Episide 3: “Murphy’s Mess” I’m the only female bartender on the Episide. Not hard to pick me out! Lol

          • Corey McWhirter
            October 17, 2014 at 11:57 pm

            While I don’t really care whether the show is real or not (I just watch it for the entertainment value) what makes you think anyone on this site would believe you’re the real chick from said episode? Anyone could pretend to be her on the internet, so where’s the proof that you are who you say you are? I have a feeling there isn’t any because you’re not the beautiful woman you’re saying you are.

          • Mike
            December 23, 2014 at 11:35 pm

            The female bartender in that episode is a black chick with dark hair named Jenny Costa. Your profile is a white girl with blond hair named Katie Hutchinson. Am I missing something?

  • Reply
    April 5, 2013 at 10:23 am

    It was obvious from the start that this bar needed help, that the owner knew her Piratz’ ship was sinking! (Yes, pun intended!) If her business was thriving, then why would she even permit Bar Rescue to come in to film & make changes! If it was working, there would be no need for a rescue! It’s not so hard to believe that some of the show was set up! I don’t care who you are, a camera is not going to follow you around and find every-day life so fascinating–whether you’re a pirate or not! Of course, there is some guidance. That is the reason reality television works!
    The PROFESSIONAL chef– “Professional” being the key word–tasted the spicy hot dish, and you could just see by the look on his face that there was nothing edible about that dish! Even the cook–mind you after his comment “Why do I need to taste the food”–ended up spitting it into the trash can!
    It was obvious from the start that the staff was kicking & dragging their feet throughout the whole “Rescue”! It was as if their ship was out at sea for years, and when they finally hit land, they could not accept the world that had changed since their inital cast-off! Long gone are the days of Happy Days, The Cosby Show & even Married with Children! People do not want to watch these shows that occur on stages filled with laugh tracks!
    I do agree that maybe the change from something so fun to something so serious, pirate to corporate, was a bit drastic for these buccaneers! But come on, this business was failing for a reason! In this day & age, it’s “All About the Benjamins” & gone are the days of “It’s a Pirate’s Life For Me”!
    Because of the obvious lack of enthusiasm at becoming a thriving business & lack of appreciation for the guidance to bring this place out of the 1800s, it’s just a matter of time before this buisness & the closed-minded owner will be walking the plank!

  • Reply
    April 14, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    I’m confused why you reject the entire show as staged for 5 days and are so willing to believe the employees based upon “spending a long time” with the staff. There is a psychological principle known as the “confirmation bias”, which you and the Piratz staff appears to fall victim to. It’s much easier to believe what you want to rather than objective evidence. Did you ask Tracey to see their books for the past few months you were there? And if you want to stay with the “faking” theme, why do you not use it the other way around that the bar staged and faked how bad things were going just to get on tv? That hardly would make them more noble than the show.

  • Reply
    April 21, 2013 at 9:15 pm

    I lived in a suburb of Dallas called Plano for several years. We had a “corporate” type bar and grille called. I go there all the time. Its a great place to network with other professionals. I don’t understand why the person that wrote this blog is so against that concept.

    • Reply
      Noah Murphy
      April 24, 2013 at 10:41 am

      I’m not against it at all. The problem is context of the show, its the worst possible thing Jon could’ve done.

    • Reply
      April 12, 2015 at 10:13 pm

      I’ve lived in Silver Spring for almost a decade, and it’s not a corporate-type area. Maryland is much less corporate than Virginia or downtown DC, and the suburb of Bethesda is much more “corporate” than Silver Spring. SS is very ethnically diverse, and more people leave SS to commute into DC than work there during the day. One of the corporate buildings is Discovery Communications, which produces a lot of reality shows but is much more creative than corporate, and some of the corporate buildings are across the tracks from Piratz and definitely not accessible for a lunch break. Sidebar down the street covers the mixology niche if you want to pay $12 for a cocktail, and Society caters to the upscale African-American crowd. What we need is a sports bar with some personality and the decent bar food that Fire Station should be delivering but isn’t. The long skinny layout of the Piratz building precludes a lot of uses (like bands) but the outdoor patio is a big plus in the hands of competent bar and kitchen staff, which Piratz did not ever have.

  • Reply
    May 5, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    I agree with the the change from a pirate bar to a corporate bar being drastic and unnecessary. I think it was done on purpose to create conflict since the owners and employees of a pirate bar would obviously be uncomfortable with that change. While I’m sure some of the show is scripted, just like any reality show, I doubt it’s to the extent that Piratz claims. The people that show up for these shows in the stress test and cold open are not actors. I’ve been in an area where they redid a restaurant. The show puts out a notice that they will be in town and asks possible customers to make reservations ahead of time for both the stress test and opening.

    While I disagree with the change to a corporate bar it is definitely the right decision for that area. You said there are two high rises on the same block as the restaurant. That’s a ton of possible customers in just those two buildings. Add in the others within eye shot, which should be walking distance, and you have a corporate area with far more people willing to go to a corporate bar than a pirate bar. I don’t know why you would think it’s a bad idea. I got the feeling from the show and interviews that Piratz is a place where people who like pirate stuff work and care more about acting like pirates than running a restaurant.

    Finally, I agree that yelp sucks. As someone that has waited tables for a long time I can say I hate those people too. Yelp has allowed every jackass off the street to think they are a restaurant expert. I had a customer right a bad review once for a sushi bar because there wasn’t a game on ESPN and we didn’t get the NBA or NHL channel. Very few people right reviews unless they’ve had a great experience or a terrible one. Yelp is very unreliable in actually rating a restaurant.

    • Reply
      November 13, 2013 at 8:28 pm

      I thought that most aspects of the makeover were a recipe for success, but I hated the name.

      My initial reaction to it was that it was intentionally provocative but, having watched more episodes, my thought is now that the name and theme were genuine. I’ve not followed the show very closely, but I can recall only two other episodes where an owner didn’t like the new theme, and no others where the staff reaction wasn’t positive. It was too much of a mismatch, with an owner who at the end of the day seemed to want to keep doing the same thing that had been losing her money all over again, but with a different outcome. To a degree, the infamy she earned through the episode and her rejection of the makeover have given her a chance to achieve a different outcome, as upon learning of the reversion I couldn’t help but think, “I have to check this place out next time I’m in Denver.”

      The owner indicated in a follow-up article in HuffPo that, since the show aired, she and her family had moved out of her parents’ basement and into a rental house. Whether or not “basement” in fact means “guest room”, she seems to be consistent with her story that she was living with her parents.

      At the end of the day, it’s “location, location, location”. There are places where a pirate themed bar could thrive. If I were the owner, I would have sold “The Corporate Bar” and reopened Piratez in a tourist center.

      • Reply
        Noah Murphy
        December 9, 2013 at 4:28 pm

        Actually, if you read my article closely, you’d have noticed that I deal with location, namely it being down the street from a entertainment destination where it would have thrived if it was in it. Taffer never deals with it because it would destroy his entire point of why it was failing.

        • Reply
          February 6, 2015 at 6:18 am

          Living in Silver Spring, I can assure you that there is no way it would have success in Downtown Silver Spring. To start the area is designed to be family friendly/adolescent. There are very few bars and close early relative to others located in DC or other parts of Maryland (for instance, Bethesda). The main point why Piratz is a failure is that the owner has too much of an ego to realize that the customer drives everything. As a seller, the customer is always right. Instead of targeting a larger and wealthier demographic, the owner has continued to obtusely make the location a niche attraction.

          • Dan
            April 4, 2015 at 8:15 pm

            Location had nothing to do with why they failed. There’s an awesome bar right across the street that’s been successful for decades (Quarry House). Piratz failed because they had a terrible theme and while the food and drinks weren’t awful, there was nothing setting them apart either.

      • Reply
        October 21, 2015 at 5:38 am

        Ah, the bar / grill is in Silver Spring, MD right outside of DC. That’s no where near Denver, CO.

    • Reply
      January 23, 2016 at 3:01 am

      Yelp is not unreliable you dumbass

  • Reply
    May 15, 2013 at 6:04 pm

    […] Nightmares.” There’s a long line of people with more credibility claiming the shows were staged. As unpleasant as Amy and Samy Bouzagl probably are, it hardly seems fair for thousands […]

  • Reply
    May 17, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    This article and the corresponding comments are really interesting to me. While I have not participated in an episode of “Bar Rescue”, I HAVE had a birds-eye view of another popular reality show and how it works and may be able to explain the discrepancy between the Murphy’s folks and the Piratz folks.

    I have worked for years in a little town called LeClaire, Iowa. It’s a small historical town right on the Mississippi River where, interesting enough, a guy named Mike Wolfe lived when he decided to create his OWN reality show. “American Pickers” on History is one of the most popular reality shows in the country, so it is somewhat comparable to Bar Rescue.

    When the show first started, everything on TV was pretty much verbatim. Danielle worked at the shop while Mike and Frank traveled around and found “rusty gold”. They brought the stuff back to the shop and sold it for a profit. Aside from the occasional camera tricks (filming in town when they’re supposed to be in Missouri or Alabama to save money on the camera crew) everything I saw seemed genuine.

    NOW…….Danielle started getting too little privacy and moved to Chicago. Mike got married, had a baby and moved to Nashville. Frank never even LIVED in LeClaire in the first place and in all of my years in town I have seen him a grand total of TWICE since the show started. The shop you see on TV is real, but the days where filming is done are the ONLY days Danielle, Mike and Frank are even there. The staff that work at the LeClaire shop work their tails off, and every single thing they do is credited to Danielle on the show.

    My point is this: I believe what the Murphy’s person is saying to be true. I ALSO believe what the Piratz people are saying. It is VERY possible that, as Bar Rescue became successful, they began to “alter” how they did their rescues. What once was 95% real now might only be 5% – or even less than that!

    I will also say that I stopped watching American Pickers a few years ago. Another casualty of the “reality” of Reality TV, I guess.

  • Reply
    June 4, 2014 at 9:51 pm

    I watched this episode the other night on Spike, and I’ve taken my kids there. It seemed more like a chuck e cheese then bar. I think it’s clever for kids. But, I think I’m in the minority– trip advisor rated it dead last amongst dining establishments in silver spring. 183 out of 183.

  • Reply
    Food Guru
    June 29, 2014 at 11:15 am

    Anyone who thinks ANY of these “reality” show are reality need their heads examined. Jon Taffer is plugging his products. Plain and simple, just a way for him to cash in, along with the network.

  • Reply
    July 14, 2014 at 5:27 pm

    Of course some of its scripted ans the drama is amped up who would watch otherwise. Of you look up this bar online and read reviews from actual customers you will see that there is clear issues. I think the owner needs a dose of reality, if a quarter of the show was true she is clearly more concerned with having fUN and plying make believe then being a grown up and being successful. I saw a Huffington post story that said the owner herself said she lived in here parents basement at the time of taping and for a while after, until she rented her own place. If we could all spend our days playing make believe and goofing of while our parents or someone else worries about bills etc. we would probably do it but most of us know that isn’t how the grown up world worked. Why anyone would throw away a chance at success or improvement just because they can’t get everything there was is beyond me.

  • Reply
    July 20, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    the only thing that might make me not believe this is the basement thing. in another article that was written about this, she or her staff goes on to say they did live in her parents basement. but it was because she was remodeling her own house. so why 2 different stories to 2 different people? otherwise who knows.

  • Reply
    August 13, 2014 at 10:16 pm

    This article seems a bit silly. While honestly every reality show is a bit scripted. The episode of bar rescue has a lot more evidence that piratz is a crappy selfish and very not appreciating business than this article trying to defend it.

  • Reply
    August 13, 2014 at 10:22 pm

    In the end it all boils down to the fact that they didn’t have to be on the show. They ASKED Jon to rescue them and agreed to it, scripted or not. So that makes this whole article come off more fake than bar rescue

  • Reply
    August 14, 2014 at 9:15 pm

    Ate there tonight for the first time. What a great place. Want white table cloth plain, go to any Marriott hotel bar. Great rum drinks, great wings and shrimp. Reasonable price, like a local pub should. And the people. The employees were attentive and fun, the other customers were obviously regulars and included me right in. Felt right at home. Wish I lived closer and not just a chance visit. Taking the whole family next time. They will love it. And if you don’t, go to the nearest motel for ambiance.

  • Reply
    September 9, 2014 at 7:46 pm

    Your take on Piratz Tavern is absolutely whack, Noah. I am watching that episode of Bar Rescue RIGHT NOW as I type this. Let me go through this scene by scene to get this straight.
    1. the owner DID say she was 900,000 in debt.
    2. Taffer’s wife was “made” and that is the ONLY reason why she was treated so well.
    3. The “chef” grinned when the waiter asked what the “fresh catch” was as he peels it out of a shrink wrapped freezer portion pack.
    4. The two recon pirates (former owners of a bar on the show) weren’t even greeted to be seated and then the “waiter” uses profanity towards them.
    5. The food looked like CRAP
    6. The owner says she lives in her parents’ basement.
    7. The entire staff DOES act like a bunch of 6 year old kids at a costume party. I call it “perpetual halloween for adults”.
    8. The “chef” SPITS OUT HIS OWN FOOD! What does that tell ya??? Then he has the audacity to say, “Why do I have to taste when I see it is good?” Bwhahahahaaa!
    9. Jon was right that if it was in St. Petersburg Fl that it could be a family attraction. What the hell is a pirate bar doing where it is?
    10. The “Chef” couldn’t tell the difference between lobster and shrimp!?! Reeeeaaalllllyyy?
    11. Sorry, Noah, that is NOT One-eyed Mike’s REAL voice! When she told him to speak like a “normal” person, HE HAD A REGULAR VOICE!
    12. Juciano is so obviously STONED! He always seems to have some weird smile on his face. NOT because he supposedly “knows” it’s staged but because he is a pot head!
    13. I DO AGREE that the name change did not fit these people. It was difficult enough to get Tracy and staff to give up the whole Pirate Playground theme and maybe it could have been something not so obtrusive to them.
    14. They seem to LOVE the interior! They were GIVEN new glassware, bar, tables, outdoor bar, tables, etc. etc. Did they do this just to get free stuff so they could start their Pirate crap with fresh stuff? They only burned the sign on youtube. Why didn’t they burn all the tables, etc. SMH
    15. Tracy’s attitude sucks. A customer says they like the changes and she responds with, “That is NOT what I wanted to hear!” REEEAAAALLLLYYY?

    There is NO DOUBT IN MY MIND that she did this for the free stuff! I hope they lose their shirts and live forever in her parent’s basement. Losers.

    • Reply
      December 10, 2014 at 9:01 am

      As someone who was hired to entertain there on occasion due to knowing all of the staff back in it’s first two years I can tell you this place has ALWAYS had money problems! I had to start demanding payment up front because Tracy not only didn’t pay me twice but I found out, being very close with staff, that there were times when the staff would work for free for months at a time. When I began asking for money up front I was told that I was allowed to dance there for tips, and she was no longer going to pay me. So I never returned in that capacity, no one is in ther on Friday and Saturday nights except regulars and they don’t tip so I made no money. I did return a few time over the next year and saw the same empty bar. It really is a pity, it was great place to hang out in the begining. Then I grew up.

  • Reply
    October 6, 2014 at 4:17 am

    The change brought diversity. THAT is what they didn’t want in their bar… that “Diversity” if you know what I mean. (Diversity meaning MATURE SANE ADULTS)

  • Reply
    October 6, 2014 at 8:14 am

    The woman wanted to be a pirate.
    Taffer was clearly not having any part of that. He had to know that she would revert back to the pirate life. He’s not stoopid. I had to think he was just a wee bit spiteful with the new theme, because you could not get any farther away from pirates than he did with that corporate concept.

    Taffer goes from 0-60. That in my opinion is theater/drama. BUT, he is sincere in his statements and always always always – the business is his concern.

    The absolute best exchange between him and the pirate in this episode occured when Taffer was accused of overreacting and treating the staff like children. I almost fell off the couch when Taffer countered that the guy was ‘like a 6 year old dressed as a pirate” .

    As far as reality, and realness. These folks never seem to clean anything when they know he’s coming. They really are careless business owners, or idiots, or failing to clean for dramatic effect. Which may explain why that frat boy could not keep a straight face when they found the rat behind the fridge.

    All in all the show is well intentioned and sincere.

  • Reply
    A. B.
    October 6, 2014 at 5:10 pm

    Look, there are several points to be made…first, it’s a reality show, so it’s automatically safe to assume it’s scripted to some degree. The show always starts with “we places cameras and had then FOLLOW the staff around”. If you listen carefully to that statement, they tell you that they place “hidden” cameras well as having cameras FOLLOW the crew…mounted cameras can’t do that, so reason leads me to believe that a camera crew was there (which is obvious from the fact that mounted cameras don’t shake…they’re solid…the swaying camera can only be a cameraman). How do you have a camera man there without the staff/customers knowing that a show is being filmed there? (And how do you get hidden cameras in there without anybody knowing? Do they break in?). It’s all about ratings! Reality shows are everywhere for one reason…MONEY!! They don’t need to hire actors (who can make over $100k/episode EACH) set designers, writers, etc…they have a venue (the bar), ‘actors’ they slightly compensate and a minimalist camera crew…and they make as much money as a normal show (only higher profits from lower expenses). All any reality show is…it’s the studio taking advantage of this infatuation we have with reality shows in this country and running with it…that in mind, of course they’ll embellish everything. What’s more interesting to watch: a normal but unsuccessful lady or the crazy and out of her mind pirate lady who fucks up everything the show does? The second one!!! JUST LIKE HOW A SHOW TALKING ABOUT HOW ALIENS ARE THE ONLY WAY THE PYRAMIDS OR SOMETHING WAS MADE is more interesting than showing how the ancients did so with no help from any aliens or other craziness. (Spoiler alert, ancient aliens is complete bullshit… It’s not unfounded, they actually LIE on the show…they make up facts to fit their warped views…look up puma punku…excellent example of them making up facts…saying that there is no way that any ancients could carve perfect right angles when the quarry contains stones in every step of the transformation AND tools found there!!! )

  • Reply
    October 20, 2014 at 2:24 am

    I can’t believe you guy’s are overlooking one of the most obvious problems with this show, in the debate of real, or scripted. The camera and audio work. The camera work alone very quickly proves this show to be scripted. Then to make it even more painfully obvious, is the audio. Yes, I realize they show you in the beginning that they have planted many surveillance cameras throughout the bar. If you find a surveillance camera that can follow people around corners and has audio capabilities to zero in on one specific conversation, then please send me a link to their site. Then to top it off, this Taffer character, is going to sit in his car, with his crew and will have the ability to one by one, happen to zoom in on all of these random happenings going on, inside. Come on people, really? I’m in my 26th year of successful bar ownership and am now 6 years into my 3rd successful bar. I do not, and never will know all there is to know about owning and running bars, but I can tell you this, the character in this show is far from being one of the best consultants of the bar business. In fact, he conducts himself in a very unprofessional way, all in the name of drama. Speaking of which, he himself, is a terrible actor! That alone should tell you quite enough.

  • Reply
    October 30, 2014 at 6:34 pm

    Interesting read. I watch the show because it’s entertaining, obviously a lot of it is bullshit. That’s reality TV for you. They way facial reaction shots are edited…they could be reacting to something completely different, not what was just said. But it’s edited to be entertaining, not truthful. Ink Masters has some of the most bullshit facial reaction editing. Spike really has a flair for this apparently.

    The complete makeovers/renovations that happen in less than 48 hours? Of course it’s going to be shoddy work. It’s all for entertainment. There was an episode of the same season (2) where they were about to start the soft opening when they discovered a dangerous, sub-structural flaw in the building’s foundation. It took four days for that to be corrected – because it was an important and REAL renovation. You can’t completely transform the look, layout and flow of an interior in 36 hours and have it be quality craftsmanship. It would take too long (and more importantly cost more money) to do a quality job.

    I still think the pirate theme is a dumb idea, even if the people who work there seem nice enough. And the grog? NO THANKS. Like Jon said on the show, it might make more sense to create a family pirate themed restaurant in Florida, but a random pirate bar in Maryland, or wherever the hell it was, is just plain financial suicide.

  • Reply
    November 1, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    Funny that the smart bar was a “rental” and yet according to the Huffington Post, Tracey is accepting offers from prospective buyers and also wants “to be on another reality show,” must have been hell….

  • Reply
    Jeff Roche
    November 2, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    Listen, I don’t believe a single positive comment here. They are written by Pirates. Tracey is a liar, she and her Loser Husband and daughter DO live in her parents basement. The food is awful!!! These fake ass pirates couldn’t hold a real job without all the “Aarrs” and Grog. Mike the one eyed dude lives to be a pirate. He cant even talk like a normal person. Food sucks, Poor Service with Mentally ill Owners and staff…….Period!!! STAY CLEAR OF THIS SHIPWRECK!

  • Reply
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    Business Reality "Rescue" Shows and Your Business | Bob Woods
    November 12, 2014 at 12:13 am

    […] TV.” If you want to see how the pirate-restaurant episode was more fiction than reality, read this article. I know people who can also attest to the fiction of this episode, as they were at many of the […]

  • Reply
    November 25, 2014 at 3:02 pm

    I don’t know. A pirate bar? I just saw the episode. I thought Tafferty was messing with the owner by naming the relaunched place “Corporate”. That just seems like a bad choice for any bar that is not on a business school’s campus. It could be a pirate bar or have a clown theme and still be successful if they served good food and drinks. From the show, it looked like a bunch of fools that didn’t care about providing good food and drink. She’s in debt. Something is not right. The show might be dramatized or fake, but that’s how I felt about this story.

  • Reply
    December 4, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    The writer of this article is just as sad and pathetic as the owner of that establishment. First off, stop trying to be back yard detective. Second off, open your eyes to the fact that every show you watch has to stretch the average boring truth that is life and realize that this shit hole was in desperate need of help and they didn’t accept the gracious help they were given. All it came down to was a tantrum fit by the owner derived from pride and not getting her way and wanted to be a slack off slob her whole life. Your naive, gullible ass walks in and just eats up everything she has to say. Who’s to say this woman isn’t a rehearsed liar? Side note, realize how much money time and effort was put into that bar to be drug from the dumps and made something new and stylish and attractive. So they were given a painted canvas and basically added their garbage into said painting and calling it their own. Without Taffers help theyd be another dead business. Get a fucking life and a brain

  • Reply
    December 6, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    My only issue with the author is the lack of independent verification. If you could have provided a copy of the rental agreement for the equipment or some other documentation for the other issues raised I think others could take you more seriously.

    The bottom line is, it’s TV. I would think the outline of the show would be the minimum information shared before filming began. If the producers want to create a legend for the owner and staff, that’s up to them.TV shows have to evolve to keep people interested so one bar’s experience will surely be different with another bar.

    I don’t want to come off as a supporter of Bar Rescue. I have watched it on occasion but that’s about it. I would like to point out one last item… I don’t remember the episode, but just after filming began they found severe damage to the flooring, sub-flooring and supports. They had to shut down the bar and Mr. Taffer’s production company had to shell out over $50,000 for repairs before they could continue filming. So, not everything is fake.

    And before I forget, it takes about 12 – 16 hours of film to create 1 hour of TV. When Piratz says they only received minimal training I question their veracity.

    So, if you like the show, watch it, realizing not everything you see and hear is real. If you don’t like the show, don’t watch it.

  • Reply
    December 7, 2014 at 4:34 am

    All I am going to say to the guy who wrote this is where is Jon taffers side. Who in the hell is going to believe anything about what you’ve written is true because what he said or what she said is not facts. Bottom line they didn’t even give jons makeover a chance.

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    February 10, 2015 at 5:14 pm

    Why do all male pirates have to be little Johnny Depp wannabees?

  • Reply
    February 18, 2015 at 3:52 am

    Congrats, you were fooled by a bunch of prideful fully grown children.

  • Reply
    February 25, 2015 at 1:28 am

    1. I don’t think the show is fake.
    2. Turning Piratz Tavern into a corporate bar was extremely pretentious. I’m no bar expert or patron, but I would gone further i.e. changing Underworld to The End.

  • Reply
    March 2, 2015 at 1:07 pm

    All I know is he fixed the bar, and in one day they ruined it. Now the bar is closed. You do the math.

  • Reply
    March 27, 2015 at 9:15 pm

    Jon is a freaking genius, he has done this for so long before the show that is why the show was made, he knows what he is doing and is not just taking money from bars. In this case the corporate theme may not have been the best but I highly doubt that all the fantastic-ness that you are describing in this article is anywhere close to being true. The people are childish and far from same and I believe your standards are incredibly low to even want to step foot into that establishment, let alone base all of this research on it. Unless you are an ex-employee or somebody that is very closely related or an every single day customer, how can you know that these people told you that it was not true just because they may have been so embarrassed it cant even be funny, they have ginormous ego’s and just want to try to make Jon look bad by spreading these lies to a patron like yourself because like previously stated they are far from sane.

  • Reply
    March 30, 2015 at 8:05 pm

    Sorry to be negative, but the article is just wrong. I’ve been there about 7 times. It’s a total joke. I have to agree that the staff is good, but that’s it. The food was the WORST I’ve had at any establishment. The patio is also empty in the summer and I’ve NEVER seen one person sitting in the front. The premium grog is ok, but the basic will give u a three day hangover due to all the cheap rums they put in it. I don’t know about the actors or the renovations, but Bar Rescue did get something right in the fact that a new trendy bar would surely succeed in the area. I live 2 minutes away from that place and the only time I would suggest it is for people that want cheap drinks in a quiet empty bar. THAT IS THE REAL TRUTH.

    • Reply
      Noah Murphy
      April 2, 2015 at 2:44 pm

      Why would you go to a place seven times if you hate it so much?

      • Reply
        April 13, 2015 at 9:02 am

        That’s easy. Once to try it for the first time. Several times before I discovered Quarry House and there weren’t too many alternatives. A couple of times post-Taffer to see if there was any improvement at all (there wasn’t), a breakup conversation for privacy, and a couple of times to be outside when QHT’s air was on the fritz. There are now several more alternatives, Urban Butcher, Denizens, and soon to be Mix, but otherwise, some of the people who went there were doing so under duress and split as soon as there were alternatives.

    • Reply
      April 12, 2015 at 10:20 pm

      I went there once for a breakup conversation, because I knew that no one I know would be there. It was good for that, except the conversation was essentially over before the drinks arrived, so the awkwardness continued longer than it should have due to the bad service.

  • Reply
    April 3, 2015 at 7:38 pm

    I live in Silver Spring, and I would say that location is not as much of a problem as the author makes it out to be. Downtown Silver Spring, such as it is, doesn’t have much in the way of bars. There is a bar called McGinty’s, and it is about as generic as the name would suggest. It is also located in a nearly-abandoned mall, a reality you can generally ignore due to the street frontage it has acquired. There is also a wine bar. There *was* a pool hall that was notable for it’s rape-y vibe. There is a Copper Canyon Grill, Red Lobster, and Austin Grill, if anyone thinks those are bars. That’s about it.

    Once you cross Wayne Ave., Silver Spring is FAR from deserted. Right across the street from Piratz Tavern is the Quarry House Tavern, which, while smaller, is consistently packed. You have to show up early to get a seat. Further past these bars are more successful bars — The Society Lounge has done very well for itself, and Sidebar does a respectable business doling out fancy cocktails.

    Piratz Tavern was generally seen as an amusing novelty that didn’t merit repeat visits, which is likely why they didn’t make it. At best, the bar had nothing to offer aside from a pirate theme. Nothing on tap you wouldn’t expect to find at a TGIFridays, not impressive in the cocktail department, food’s not great, service isn’t great, and it all costs a pretty fair amount.

    That’s not to say the self-serve taps and the horrific “Corporate Bar” theme weren’t incredibly amusing failures to behold. Generally, I find myself wondering about Jon Taffer’s qualifications — he seems to lack a shred of creativity when developing new bar themes, doesn’t he?

    That’s also not to say that I haven’t wasted a ton of hours watching this show, which is part of the reason I don’t have cable any longer.

    • Reply
      Noah Murphy
      April 5, 2015 at 10:53 am

      Fair enough. I’ll take the word of a native over people that had never been to the area, considering I don’t go to pubs or frequent Silver Spring all that often.

      • Reply
        Peter Watts
        February 15, 2016 at 4:35 am

        Your boldest claim was that all the patrons on the show were actors. That’s a hard claim to believe since you didn’t bother to interview even one of the so called actor patrons. But yet, you believe everything the owner an employees said without question. Poor reporting. In fact, it was nothing more than opinion.

    • Reply
      April 6, 2015 at 12:44 am

      Josh has it peretty much correct – ironically Quarry House is the kind of place that is normally featured on Bar Rescue – I would hate to get a look at their 50 year old grease traps! It would be a dive anywhere else but Silver Sprig, because everything else is in the neighborhood is so blah or “corporate” that it is the only real local bar. I guess Piratz could never hone in on that vibe.

    • Reply
      April 12, 2015 at 9:28 pm

      I have lived in Silver Spring for a decade, and am a frequent patron of many of the bars and restaurants there, and a regular of several of the places. I’m not a Jon Taffer fan at all and honestly, the corporate bar theme was about the only one that was worse than the Piratz theme. The Downtown Silver Spring area is a ghost town at night….anchored by CityPlace (otherwise known as Shitty Place mall) and all the generic locations Josh mentioned above. Piratz is prime real estate in the epicenter of SS nightlife (or at least it was until the Quarry House fire.) The bad service, indifferent pirate staff, and inedible food didn’t have to be scripted for the show….they are the reality that was Piratz. I was there around 10 times in 10 years (by comparison I’m at Quarry House 10 times a month at least) and every single time I was there, both before and after the original BR filming, the staff would NOT wait on you….you usually had to go track someone down, the food was inedible no matter what you ordered, and the grog, regular or premium, was nasty. Until Denizens recently opened, there wasn’t anywhere with an outdoor patio, so I tried to make it work on the nights where you just want to be outside, but each time was worst than the last. QHT across the street was the diviest of basement dive bars, with really shaky plumbing and HVAC constantly on the fritz, yet it was constantly packed and didn’t need a corporate lunch crowd to thrive. It’s so beloved that people in Silver Spring have already raised around $20K in less with a month to take care of the unemployed staff. No one is going to miss Piratz, and we all can’t wait for the better things that are going to happen in that space, now that Piratz is in Davy Jones’ Locker.

  • Reply
    April 7, 2015 at 12:06 am

    I went there 3 times. The first I went with a group who just got shitfaced, and that actually was fun, except someone who we weren’t sure was staff or not kept hitting on my married friend, even though she tried to give him the heave ho. But the first time I went there, I asked about beer and the bartender actually steered me away from it. I didn’t drink much (designated driver) but *everyone* else ended up with a hangover.

    The second time I went with a friend and it was pretty blah. Again we only had drinks, but it was completely dead. The skeezy guy hitting on my other friend the last time was entertaining at least.

    The third time was shortly after the bar rescue, and another friend heard about it and wanted to go. This was the only time I ever ordered food there – it was a disaster. The cook somehow managed to cook a hamburger that was overcooked on one half, and completely raw on the other. So my friend sent it back and it came back completely burned, but still on a bloody bun. It was pretty disgusting. I never went back after that.

    The Corporate Bar idea was stupid, but the bar, especially the kitchen, was horribly mismanaged.

  • Reply
    April 11, 2015 at 1:37 am

    It is fake just by looking at it. Specially when the send people to spy over the camera work is so professional it does not look like spy camera. It travels from right behind and front who had already been refused to be on show. With reality show music channels have no music, news channel have news they make you wait for news. I guess we are turning to hunger games or gladiator of old times.

  • Reply
    April 19, 2015 at 5:20 pm

    Over 25 percent of the bars aired failed. Earlier aired shows fair worse and im guessing later aired shows end up the same way. Heavilly edited equals scripted. Suggesting how to act or not being chosen is the same as being told what to say. Its a tv show and fake period.

    • Reply
      July 17, 2016 at 3:39 pm

      Fake or not thank goodness that disgusting dump it’s closed

  • Reply
    June 1, 2015 at 2:16 am

    The writer of this article is an idiot.

  • Reply
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    June 18, 2015 at 2:37 am

    Holy fuck! The amount of comments on this article are insane! People are very passionate about Bar Rescue…..actually kinda sad.

  • Reply
    July 18, 2015 at 2:40 pm

    This article is crap. I worked in silver spring. We were always looking for new places for lunch. We went to Piratz for happy hour and for lunch. It was horrible. And I can tell you the big point in this article about no business buildings in the area are just a lie. Just street view the corner or Georgia and Wayne or 29 and east west. You can’t count all the business buildings.

  • Reply
    August 17, 2015 at 11:56 am

    He can fix the bars, but not always the owners. I live 5 minutes from the “lost episode” bar they did for the pilot.episode of BR, and I can tell you that the ower was just scum who was destined to fail. Tracy was a certifiable moron and I am glad she failed. He tried to help, they spat in his face by burning all the work he did, and then she had the nerve to ask him to come back.
    “More than a week after The Park Sports Bar & Restaurant was shut down for 30 days, The Montclair Times has learned the bistro has been evicted from its space, according to Neal Richards, vice president of Vanguard Realty, the broker for the property…Melnikoff decided to close the restaurant at the start of a 30-day suspension of his liquor license, which began Oct. 15 at 12:01 a.m., he said. The Montclair Township Council imposed the suspension, for noise, brawls and a patron injury, at an Oct. 11 hearing.”

  • Reply
    October 17, 2015 at 2:46 pm

    I just like to say that you’re really dumb. You clearly don’t understand how TV shows are made and edited. If you’re going to watch a “reality show”, you should be realistic enough to take what you hear with a grain of salt. OF COURSE some things will be exaggerated for ENTERTAINMENT purposes–the personal and “dramatic” aspects of the story–but the facts that actually matter and actually relate to the rescue of the bar are true. Do you honestly believe the owner of the bar (who, as you pointed out, doesn’t know you at all) is going to be honest and take responsibility for their many failures?? The staff at Piratz are some of the most delusional people I’ve seen.

    The other differences you mention are just silly. And, honestly, they are probably lies as well. Those people are too hung up on defending their ridiculously childish behavior to acknowledge that they simply do not know how to run a bar, and apparently you are too.

  • Reply
    October 21, 2015 at 5:25 am

    When you said that Jon renaming the establishment the Corporate Bar and Grill was a mistake, I have to agree with you 100%. I was thinking the same exact thing for another episode involving a bar in North Carolina near Fort Brag army base that he remodeled to cater to the large military population in the area. He designed the place with a heavily patriotic theme and included military decor – even had a life-size tank in the dining area. Now I’m a US Army veteran so I appreciate the thought. But trust me, as former military, I can tell you that when soldiers are off duty the last place they want to go is a place that reminds them of the military. Why go to a bar or restaurant with a heavily militaristic theme when they live the real thing each and every day. So, you hit it right on the nose why a corporate-themed bar in that area was a bad idea. It just boggles the mind how something like this would be lost on Jon, who’s supposed to be a world-renowned expert at bar renovations. Yet ordinary people like you and I get it instantly. It’s a no-brainer!!! Plus who the heck are they supposed to cater to when “office workers” are at home on nights and weekends? That design theme was so flawed it ain’t even funny.

  • Reply
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    December 13, 2015 at 1:55 am

    I agree with Katie, to say Jon doesn’t know what he is doing… Do any of you drive a Maserati? He does! Also, I was just at a relaunch in Tarpon Springs, FL and no scripts or acting as I was there and not an actor! Phill Wills was the mixologist expert and him and I spoke about a lot of things on the show. If you wanted to know, some things are scripted for tv or edited but most is genuine especially the staff. He was even tending bar himself, something you NEVER see on the show as was there to close doing so!

  • Reply
    Tommy B.
    December 25, 2015 at 11:13 pm

    For everyone including Avada, who has commented about Bar Rescue being fake when it comes to Piratz Tavern. You are 100% wrong!!! Obviously it just shows that every Reality Show, along with many other shows has their critics that obviously doesn’t know their asses from a hole in the ground. Allow me to be a critic of this website, and to prove they don’t know their asses from a hole in the ground. As I’ve read through a lot of the BS on this site, who the hell is the web designer??? Why am I seeing scripts, tags, title sizes etc??? Obviously they do not know how to build a proper website to show all the mistakes they have made. So where in the hell do you guys have any business criticizing TV Shows??? Your nothing but a bunch of incompetent losers who have nothing better to do with your time…

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  • Reply
    January 23, 2016 at 2:36 am

    I don’t feel sorry for those idiots at all, especially not after they were stupid enough to burn the Corporate Bar and Grill sign with an open fire(which mind you is ILLEGAL in Maryland) and singing some childish shanty tune about drawing and quartering John, all because he actually wanted to help those dumbasses, how dare he!

    I’ve heard others from Silver Springs say that while it’s a diverse town, it’s not diverse enough for a Pirate bar, so Jon wasn’t totally off-base, i’m glad their closed now.

  • Reply
    February 26, 2016 at 1:06 am

    The bar is closed for good after the went all pirate again. What does that tell you

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    July 10, 2016 at 11:28 pm

    If you don’t think they pre-screen these people before they are on th show you’re all crazy. Every reality show pre-screens the people that are going to be on their shows. There is a certain amount of safety required for the people on the show. Its a television show. it’s entertaining and we watch it for that reason. Don’t over think it. And if dont like it change the channel!

  • Reply
    Dr. D.
    September 5, 2016 at 5:22 am

    Christ, PLEASE, tell me, they are closed.

    Delusional, loosers – please, advise on what mushrooms they were doing, because, this was SiCK.

    I so, hope, she’s sitting in her parent’s basement, getting, whatever “what’s his name,” has been providing her. This, was/is, a sick, reality check.

    John, saw big money, coming from the people from the high rises, after they leave work, or, on their lunch hour. It was so obvious, what she was loosing out on. But, getting banged, was more important to her. A huge, dildo would’a been so much cheaper, & productive.

    Honey, I truly, feel sore for you – a lost soul.

  • Reply
    September 6, 2016 at 12:53 am

    No regular stranger is going to be this committed to proving the show is a lie. This was a very long blog full of anger and resentment, making me believe this is the owner, Tracy. No way would staff sit down with a random stranger stranger and spill their deepest grudges out. What’s fake is Noah. Nice try Tracy but you’re bar is officially PERMANENTLY CLOSED!!

  • Reply
    Adult Bar Tricks
    September 13, 2016 at 3:53 pm

    […] Piratz Tavern: How Bar Rescue Faked Reality – The Murphyverse – Why the Piratz Tavern episode of Bar Rescue is largely a work of fiction made up by Jon Taffer. Based on my visit to the bar and conversations with staff […]

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    September 25, 2016 at 3:04 am

    Nobody hands you a script. HOWEVER, there is a lot of prompting. If they don’t like something you say, the response is “say it again THIS way”. Repeat yourself 500 times, wear the same clothes for four days, don’t mind the fact that someone poured beer and fruit all over and then left the doors open for 24 hours. I guess that’s what I get for cleaning LOL! Irritating. I do believe that the show comes in with a plot in place and will do whatever it takes to get it the way they want. I was offered a bribe, then a direct threat to my reputation if I didn’t go along with the plan. I stupidly signed a contract that states “may reveal and or relate information about me of a personal, private, surprising, defamatory, disparaging, embarrassing or of an otherwise unfavorable nature that may be factual or fictional”. Whoops! Lesson learned! Come on people, its REALITY television! Heavily edited, creatively cropped and swapped. Someone says something dumb, repeated on a loop. But hey, it makes for damn good TV. We all watch it.

  • Reply
    September 25, 2016 at 3:04 am

    Nobody hands you a script. HOWEVER, there is a lot of prompting. If they don’t like something you say, the response is “say it again THIS way”. Repeat yourself 500 times, wear the same clothes for four days, don’t mind the fact that someone poured beer and fruit all over and then left the doors open for 24 hours. I guess that’s what I get for cleaning LOL! Irritating. I do believe that the show comes in with a plot in place and will do whatever it takes to get it the way they want. I was offered a bribe, then a direct threat to my reputation if I didn’t go along with the plan. I stupidly signed a contract that states “may reveal and or relate information about me of a personal, private, surprising, defamatory, disparaging, embarrassing or of an otherwise unfavorable nature that may be factual or fictional”. Whoops! Lesson learned! Come on people, its REALITY television! Heavily edited, creatively cropped and swapped. Someone says something dumb, repeated on a loop. But hey, it makes for damn good TV. We all watch it.

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