Bar Rescue: always being right is never as easy as it looks

[Cache – #84]

We all like to be right, preferably all the time.

But all too often we are wrong.  We make mistakes.  We misunderstand a set of facts or jump to conclusions.  For a period of time ranging from a few moments to a lifetime, we might feel smug, self-satisfied or downright sanctimonious – but sooner or later, our errors are revealed.

Jon Taffer, however, doesn’t seem to have this problem.  He is right every time without fail, and because he consults to people who are wrong every time without fail, he gets to jump up and down and yell and scream without shame to convert his clients to his point of view.  But the reason Jon is always right is that he gets second takes.

Jon is the star of a show called Bar Rescue, now in its second season on Spike TV.  Think of it as Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares for bars, except Taffer is even louder and meaner than Gordon Ramsay.  Yes, I know that sounds impossible.  But the show usually ends with handshakes and hugs, because Taffer transforms these bars from dumps into, as he puts it, “money machines.”

Get a sneak peek of Jon in action here.

Often these transformations involve renaming the establishment.  Most of the time, Jon gets it right.  He renamed a bar called Swanky Bubbles (a goofy name) to Sheer (a sexy name).  He renamed J.A. Murphy’s, in which the J.A. was said to stand for the “jack ass” behaviour of the owner, to Murphy’s Law – an admission by that owner that he’d made mistakes and was owning up to them.  Mystique, a bar traumatized by a murder, was given new life as Aura, a name with positive and safe connotations.

The spectacle of Taffer’s unshakable conviction that he’s right is awesome entertainment.  Yet his renaming of the laughable Piratz Tavern, wherein the staff dressed as pirates, to Corporate Bar and Grill was not only too much of a leap for the owner to make, but sounds extremely boring to the corporate clientele they were hoping to attract.  Another miss was changing the Chicken Bone to simply The Bone, taking the moniker from simply unappetizing to downright disgusting.

As much as I admire Jon Taffer’s talent and conviction, on occasion even he could use more than two takes.  The reality of this reality show is that naming – especially renaming, with the emotional baggage it brings – takes a lot longer than 60 minutes once a week.

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