Spoiler Alert: Bar Rescue Hates Metalheads, Helps Kill Rocky Point Cantina

Categories: Opening/Closing

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Rocky Point Cantina, pre-Bar-Rescue.
First you have to know that SpikeTV still exists. Then you'll have to take my word that one of its reality shows is a Kitchen Nightmares clone called Bar Rescue. Then you'll have to know that Tempe's Rocky Point Cantina (briefly known as Havana Cabana) is the bar the show will set out to rescue Sunday night.

Only then can you begin to understand what's weird about this story. But this is probably the easiest place to start: Rocky Point Cantina is closed. And Bar Rescue's suggestions had a lot to do with it. (Step one: Get rid of the metal bands people are paying to see.)

The Rocky Point Cantina/Havana Cabana story seems destined to get weirder and more sordid as time goes on, but right now here's what we know about it:

1. Bar Rescue doesn't like metalheads

This is right in the press release they sent us:
This week, Taffer heads to Havana Cabana Bar and Grill, run by two brothers who have drained their parents' retirement fund by opening an ill-conceived death-metal concert bar. Taffer arrives to run off the metal-head clientele & straighten out this festering mosh pit of failure

I've got no window onto Rocky Point Cantina's finances, but it seems like metal was the least of their problems; by 2013 this was much more a venue with a bar and grill attached than the other way around.

Given the super-glossy, scripted nature of the excerpts, I doubt we'll be seeing a very nuanced picture of this "death-metal concert bar" crowd. But that's the least troublesome part of this bar/reality show relationship.

2. SpikeTV got Rocky Point in trouble with the city of Tempe

This is where it gets--well, weirder, at least. Bar Rescue, in addition to driving the metal players from the temple, gave the bar a facelift and a new name, Havana Cabana. Which would be fine, except they didn't bother filing any permits with the city of Tempe.

Which would also be fine, except they told the owners they did. Notes from a Development Review Commission meeting held on July 23 say that "the owner was advised by the producer that all permits for work would be taken care of prior to the bar rehabilitation, and was unaware that the exterior modification was done without authorization."

One possibility to consider: This is part of a backdoor pilot for a show called Reality Show Rescue, in which Bar Rescue's sloppy work is taken to task with an even more hidden set of hidden cameras. The same notes say the Bar Rescue renovation lasted all of four days in late May.

As it turns out, though, the damage had already been done--when Rocky Point Cantina changed its name and altered its business model, it was unwittingly signing away its own live entertainment permit. As it turned out, Havana Cabana couldn't have been a Death Metal Concert Bar even if they'd wanted it to be.



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38 comments
gloryhole
gloryhole

Taffer looks like a gay, Jewish Striped Bass

CabanaBoy
CabanaBoy

You do realize that the owners APPLY FOR HELP from Jon Taffer and I live there so please DO NOT FEED LIES TO THE PUBLIC. This was their fault not BR's and as matter of fact they seen a dramatic change in this place AFTER it renovated, again I know because I was there. Get your story str8 and Don't put the blame on people who don't deserve it.

Justine Huff
Justine Huff

Yes! I've been wondering when this was coming out! Tag Brandon!

Vina Nguyen
Vina Nguyen

Justine That doucher said he sold his half and bought 3 more huh? They must have this story wrong...

loudmouth_70
loudmouth_70

Just saw this episode last night.  Meh.  Obviously reality shows have some amount of staged scenes so anyone thinking what you saw on TV is the whole story are just fooling yourselves.  However, if the older brother who was "managing" & cocky bartender buddy were accurately depicted then they BOTH should've been fired regardless of relation to the owners.  I wanted to smack that bartender/douche nozzle.  He lied about having worked in Vegas and displayed the typical arrogant & ignorant meathead mentality that got everybody with breasts a drink before me during my formative years on Mill Ave.  Hope that dude's digging ditches these days.  That's about all he's qualified for.  Say what you will about Taffer & I agree he & his bartender buddy are also a little too cocky for great television.  However, he is right on in asserting that the Death Metal crowd is not where you make money.  An establishment CLOSED on days they don't have metal bands is not going to keep you in business.  Didn't work so well for Martini Ranch, did it?  Or the Compound? Or the Clubhouse?  Who goes to those shows?  Young guys with almost zero in disposable income.  They can usually just afford the ticket price.  These are NOT the guys racking up $50-$100 bar tabs.  They get drunk/do their drugs at home or in the parking lot.  They also want to mosh - not a great atmosphere for chatting up college girls.  It's the power of the vag, boys. If your bar attracts hot chicks, guys will follow & they don't care what color the walls are painted.  The permit issue sounds like both the show and the bar made mistakes.  Hope they get to reopen, though. Tempe needs more Mom & Pop's - not soulless corporate franchises.  Long Wong's on Mill.  Now THAT was a live music venue.  Yes, it was tiny but it was always packed with guys AND girls & EVERY GENRE got a shot in there.

RescueThis
RescueThis

P.S. The new iOS Safari browser obviously works great.

RescueThis
RescueThis

Bar Rescue is not a treasure trove of brilliant insight into operating and running a bar. John Taffer (as much as he would like to infer during the ego stroking intro to every show) does not possess magical wisdom. Taffer is not going to "train up" a staff/owners in a few short days. There is not one person of working age that could not walk into one of the shows bars and point out the exact same issues that Taffer does. It's common sense.If Taffer wants to impress people who actually know what operating a bar takes, he would "rescue" a fiscally solvent (but unprofitable) bar and increase it's sales long term 25-30% There is absolutely no room for arrogance in this industry. The bar isn't mine, it belongs to the customers. I don't own the bar, it owns me. The single biggest lesson Taffer ignores is humility. He only aims to humiliate and his Rescues come away from the experience having learned nothing at all.

RescueThis
RescueThis

Bar Rescue is not a treasure trove of brilliant insight into operating a bar. This is

RescueThis
RescueThis

Bar Rescue is not a treasure trove of brilliant insight into operating and running a bar. John Taffer (as much as he would like to infer during the ego stroking intro to every show) does not possess magical wisdom. Taffer is not going to "train up" a staff/owners in a few short days. There is not one person of working age that could not walk into one of the shows bars and point out the exact same issues that Taffer does. It's common sense.

If Taffer wants to impress people who actually know what operating a bar takes, he would "rescue" a fiscally solvent (but unprofitable) bar and increase it's sales long term 25-30%

There is absolutely no room for arrogance in this industry. The bar isn't mine, it belongs to the customers. I don't own the bar, it owns me. The single biggest lesson Taffer ignores is humility. He only tries to humiliate

irresponsiblekid
irresponsiblekid

LOL @ "i worked in bars' and 'taffer is a blowhard'.  As a restaurant GM, Bar Rescue is a treasure chest of crap to look for, ways to handle drama, and tips for success.  Keep being front-line until you can see the value.  This place was a joke, FOH.

mathewscottshaffer
mathewscottshaffer

Your blog or article comes off one sided.. While bar rescue may have failed to to file proper permits, you can't really fix something that's already broken. If the owners of the bar had proper permits in the first place the bar rescue would have been a success. Without proper guidelines put in place they were gonna fail anyway. I do however disagree with the show withholding the truth about what happend after the show.

Ry Gavin
Ry Gavin

I'm not a huge death metal guy, but I'll fucking guarantee I'll never drop a dollar in any place named Havana Cabana. Boooorrrrring.

Jesse Adams
Jesse Adams

When I worked the door I hated having to enforce the "re-entry fee" or turning people away because it was "close to last call"

Charles Cowen
Charles Cowen

I wouldn't ever go there again. can we all chant corrupt and you all suck, ... that place, country can fall of the face of the earth as far as I'm concerned

Stereolab
Stereolab

Another insignificant venue, with matching insipid music and clientele, closes, Alert the press. Big effing deal. They did them a favor.

afdhm
afdhm

All Bar Rescue did was peel back a bunch of layers that showed this building was an ill-conceived site for a bar. The owners failed to perform their due diligence on such a venture. Establishing a drinking and dining establishment in communities where tourism is a huge part of tax base requires planning.

Stina O'Grady
Stina O'Grady

Seriously?! People thrown out for having too much body art? That's some BS.

Lisa Felton
Lisa Felton

They need some air circulation In that place!!!

Vina Nguyen
Vina Nguyen

Glad I got outta there when I did... Jason, wouldn't you agree?

Rose Sanchez
Rose Sanchez

eh, I've had friends have some very bad experiences there. Including being thrown out of the bar simply for having too much body art........very decent people with lots of money to spend.......oh well.

Bill Travis
Bill Travis

Bar Rescue is nothing but hype for TV ratings. I worked in bars and have watched this show and makes No sense. Its a poorly put together show very bad reality show

LoudmouthIsATool
LoudmouthIsATool

@loudmouth_70  

Pretty sure every metal show we packed there had a minimum wait time at the bar of 5 minutes.  I closed $100 tabs on a weekly basis.  You do not know what the fuck you're talking about you judgemental piece of shit. 

yoyowordup
yoyowordup

@mathewscottshaffer " . . . You can't really fix something that's already broken."  Of course you can.  In fact, that's the only thing you can fix.  If it's not broken you can't fix it. 

gloryhole
gloryhole

You'll dance to anything...Don't lie

deze_nutz
deze_nutz

How about YOU shut the fuck up you ignorant piece of simpleton shit. You're a douchebag and a remedial degenerate loser. Go cry a fucking river.

mathewscottshaffer
mathewscottshaffer

In this instance if that were case then Rocky Point would be open. But you can't fix negligence on the part of the owner. Furthermore Rocky Point reverted back to metal music, therefore you can't fix the mentality of a individual that's already broken or doesn't want to be fixed. Like I said can't really fix something that is already broken and or gone.

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