YMMV: Bar Rescue

  • Base Breaker: A few of the bar changes can cause this amongst both fans of the show and customers who visit the bars. Put simply, there will always be long time customers who don't always like the change of something familiar.
    • Piratz Tavern/Corporate Bar & Grill is the chief example. On one side, you have the people saying that Jon Taffer was right to chew out the staff as acting childish and too much rebels against normal society, wanting to live out a fantasy for a bar better suited for an ocean location or Renaissance Festival. On the other end of the spectrum, you have the view that Taffer was overly critical and insulting of them, causing them to become defensive to every single change instead of just correcting what needed to change (food, drink making, staff, and maybe a few tweaks to the theme) and was more interested in making an example out of the staff. The fact that the Piratz staff posted a video on YouTube of them burning down the Corporate Bar & Grill sign and singing about killing Taffer certainly didn't do anything to disprove his claims of them being childish and immature.
      • This becomes more apparent given that that A. Maryland, being a Mid-Atlantic state with the Chesapeake Bay within an hour's drive of Silver Spring, wouldn't be entirely out of place for a nautical themed bar and B. Years after the change, they're still in business despite changing back to Piratz. However, C. Piratz struggled for years, forcing the owner (along with her husband and teenage daughter) to move into her parents' basement and D. a follow-up in 2015 showed, among other things, their menu had one seafood item and they were still struggling to get by while leaving a market untapped and ends with the owner asking John to give them a second chance, which undermines the point somewhat.
      • It's also become one for Silver Spring locals. Some are disgusted by the Piratz staff, saying that they are a disgrace to the town and that the area is simply not diverse enough for a pirate bar, while others defend the concept and say that it works.
    • Taffer and the show in general with the 2013-2014 season. Recent episodes have lapsed somewhat on the bar science aspect, and seems to be playing up the conflicts more, not to mention Taffer's Large Ham entrances yelling at the owner after his undercover customers discover some disgusting or under performing aspect about the bar, especially for fans of Kitchen Nightmares who are more familiar with Gordon Ramsay's preference of going into a restaurant first, and sampling things for himself.
  • Critical Research Failure: As noted under Bittersweet Ending, some of the bars featured have gotten into some varying degrees of trouble with local laws over permits and other issues, due to someone on the Bar Rescue remodeling staff not doing the research or paying for the permits.
    • Piratz Tavern claims one of the reasons they got rid of the self serve beer tables they were given was because the county of Maryland they're in does not permit them in bars.
    • The Handlebar Cafe (renamed Handlebar Bar and Grill) had to get rid of the large motorcycle Handlebars mounted on the roof due to a safety concern by the local town. They also were faced with fines if they didn't pay for a permit for the painted mural on the side of their building from Bar Rescue. According to the town of Stonington, Connecticut, where Handlebar resides, the name painted as part of the mural counts as a sign, therefore also required a permit.
    • Oasis Hookah Bar (renamed Taza Nightclub), converted from a hookah smoking bar to a full fledged nightclub as part of its rescue. Unfortunately, what someone apparently forgot was that in Omaha, Nebraska, a smoking bar permit is only valid for a bar that also allows/serves smokes as well as drinks, and the rescue involved getting rid of the hookahs. Thankfully, John, the hookah expert that appeared for the first half of the episode, helped Taza get set up with new equipment and supplies. As such, Taza has combined its name with the old Oasis name to let everyone know they brought back the hookahs.
    • The ultimate disaster of the research failure that ends with a Downer Ending thus far is Rocky Point Cantina (renamed during the show to Havana Cabana). When the town of Tempe, Arizona, found out the external remodel and repainting courtesy of the rescue had failed to file correct permits, the town examined its records and found that Rocky Point Cantina had also failed to maintain its other permits in proper order, coupled with a number of complaints from nearby homes and businesses about the noise from the metal rock concerts it was holding (which was also another permit they failed to obtain). It went downhill from there, eventually leading to the location closing in August 2013.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks: This actually occurred briefly once after the redesign. Most notably, Gina, the co-owner of MT Bottles (later renamed Bottles & Cans), hated that the bar was remodeled to embrace the redneck country feel it had (Taffer liked some of the "redneck ingenuity" additions that her husband, Tracy, had made to aid in things such as disposing empty beer bottles, and ran with it). She wanted a more upscale style place, and took a while for her to accept and embrace the changes.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • The below-mentioned "Headhunters". When the exterminator went through and showed the owner's (unpaid) employees just how much filth they had been working in for the past few years, they were all visibly disturbed. Before that, there was the live performance by the band "Miscarriage", which horrified and offended pretty much all who witnessed it.note 
    • "Fairways" kitchen was even more horrifying with thick mold and spores in the freezers. Taffer and the others were worried that it was black mold (which can be fatal). Thankfully, it wasn't.
    • It's disturbing how often the bars have awful hygiene, and it's not always immediately obvious. For example, Swanky Bubbles always cleaned the surfaces of the bar and kitchen, but never cleaned inside the refrigerator, oven or dish washer. Makes you wonder how clean your favorite bars and restaurants are.
  • Running Gag: Often spoils things as a Foregone Conclusion, because if Taffer, or the editors find anything worthy of turning into a Running Gag, you can bet whatever, or whoever they are mocking is probably not going to see the end of the episode, or Taffer's going to walk out of the location.
    • James and his infamous "All In" verbal tic, with added on whipcrack. He was fired for failing to show up to training and his terrible attitude.
    • During his re-rescue of Second Base, Taffer gathers the entire staff around a table to explain the $100,000 dollar costs of having to do yet another remodeling and make over to the location. Every time he gives an important fact about what he's doing (I.E. how people tend to be attracted to places with multiple layers of materials used in the building, or how bars tend to fail if they go through three names, as people regard the location as a failure), he ends each note by looking at Terry, the owner, and going "Did you know that? *moments pause while Terri is silent, or tries weakly hide that he didn't* You didn't know that."
  • Squick:
    • While a number of bars have their hygiene issues, "Headhunters" was just plain unsanitary. From cockroaches ending up in the liquor bottles to mold in the ceiling, almost every inch of the place was enough to get the entire place shut down by any public health authority on the planet.
    • The kitchen at "Fairways" was unbelievably disgusting, so much so that it makes the ones on Kitchen Nightmares look downright sanitary by comparison (the health inspector with 14 years experience that Taffer brought along said it was the worst kitchen he had ever seen). Every inch of the place was covered in sort of dirt, grease, slime, etc. But the worst was the walk-in freezers. One had such bad mold that Taffer and the others started coughing as soon as they entered, and the other freezer had spores growing out of the wall.note 
    • Taffer and his experts started to notice foul odors as soon as they walked into the kitchen at O'Banion's Bar & Grill. The smell was coming from the grease trap, which hadn't been cleaned out in years and was now full of sludgy, rancid, decomposing cooking oil. Even the Roto-Rooter guys Taffer called in to clean it out were amazed by how disgusting that trap had become.
  • Tear Jerker: Some of the where are they now epilogues if the bar continues to fail or closes down after Taffer leaves.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: In about half the episodes, owners or staff have this reaction at first to Taffer's plans, especially when it comes to name or theme changes. In the end, however, most of them are happy to agree with most of Taffer's changes, and agree that things are a lot better now.
    • Piratz Tavern. The staff and (especially) the owner resisted Taffer's proposed changes throughout the episode. By the end of the episode, the owner started to sabotage the relaunch despite the very positive reception it was receiving. It got to the point where she flat out told some of the customers that she hated the change. This would slowly affected the other staff members as well. When Taffer confronted her, she told him that she was still unsure if she would accept the changes. As it happened, she changed the bar back to its old style at the first possible opportunity.
    • Gipsy/SBLV's owner Paul. He hated the changes so much, he left before the relaunch, came back two days latter after filming, and shut the place down.
    • Subverted with Kris, one of the co-owners of The Underworld, a Halloween/horror themed bar. He had this reaction at first, when he saw that the name and the design of the front of the bar was going to be replaced and was about to read Taffer the riot act. The second Taffer tells Kris that they are becoming a Zombie Apocalypse themed bar named The End, his face lights up like a kid on Christmas morning who just got his most favorite gift.
    • Another subversion occurred with Oasis Hookah Bar. Taffer originally told the owner and staff that a hookah bar would not thrive because of the location and market. There was initial resistance to the idea, but the owner and staff decided to give the new idea a shot when Taffer said he was going to relaunch the place as Moroccan-style nightclub called Taza. The owner's and staff's reactions were very positive when Taffer unveiled the new bar.
    • A number of bars haven't quite agreed with the name changes only, and either revert back to the old name, or combine the old and new names together. Otherwise, they keep every other change Taffer has given and taught them.
    • Lonie, owner of the Underground Wonder Bar, clearly did not like her bar being overhauled and remodeled to fit in with its location on Chicago's upscale River North neighborhood. She seemed to be coming around once she got inside and during the reopening, but the epilogue showed that she changed the name back just as soon as Taffer was gone (in violation of a contract she and her son had signed, no less).
  • What an Idiot: A given reaction to anyone who calls Taffer in, only to start immediately rejecting any kind of suggestion he makes towards improving the business. Most of the time, they only need some cajoling to get the business on track, but a few go back to their old ways when Taffer leaves.
    • There is also Swanky Bubbles. Who just after Taffer left changed everything back and then shortly went out of business.
    • The owner of Gipsy/SBLV didn't even bother to embrace any of the changes before shutting the doors. He walked in, saw the new look, walked back out and closed the bar permanently two days later.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: One of the issues that pops up from time to time on the show and crossing over into Wrong Genre Savvy. Bars may be part of the overall restaurant industry, but your clientele is much more narrowly focused to Adults and serving primarily drinks. Yet whether out of misguided decorating ideas, or intentionally trying to also double as a family restaurant, some owners forget this.
    • Blue Frog, pre-remodel and rename to The Local, had the owner's mother make a rather poor attempt at going for a classic American look (Similar to say a Cracker Barrel family restaurant). Having a bunch of children's games plastered all over the bar doesn't say to people "Hey come in for beers and cocktails!"
    • Piratz Tavern, given the dressing up as pirates by the staff could be mistaken at being aimed at families with young children to a certain degree (though it's apparent that they've gone about trying to avert this, since changing back to Piratz from the Rescues redesign as Corporate Bar and Lounge.
    • On a similar note, Characters Quarters (Renamed and redesigned to Moonrunners Saloon), with the cartoonish lettering on the outside. Could be mistaken for a childrens party center or costume shop.
    • The Chicken Bone was flat out pointed out in the episode about the fact that it came way too much off as a family restaurant when there were actual ones near by. They were renamed to simply "The Bone" to try and help differentiate the location, but went back to The Chicken Bone. They shut down in 2014.
  • The Woobie: Syck and Cherice, the bouncer and bartender from O'Face were the only remotely functional staff members, and boy howdy did they suffer for it. Cherice was physically assaulted by the drunken manager, and then immediately fired because the owners told her to her face she deserved it. Syck was the only voice of reason throughout the entire proceedings, and had the misfortune of hearing the rest of the staff talk smack about him behind his back. Syck was fired not long after filming, and the owners re-hired the abusive manager that Taffer forced them to fire. Even John himself admitted he felt really bad for them.