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‘Bar Rescue’ transforms Mary’s Outpost to Thirsty’s Roadside Bar on Spike

Jon Taffer host and mastermind behind Bar Rescue
Jon Taffer host and mastermind behind Bar Rescue
"Photo courtesy of Spike, used with permission”

On tonight's Spike episode of “Bar Rescue,” creator Jon Taffer visited Mary’s Outpost in Grand Prairie, Texas on this episode titled, “Scary Mary’s.”

In 2009, Bill Klingbeil and his longtime friend Joe Reina bought Mary’s Outpost. Bill owns 75% and Joe is a 25% partner. Kimmie the bartender was smitten with Bill and in 2012, they married. She became the general manager of the bar, but the honeymoon did not last long, as Bill’s flirting ways soon had him and a cocktail waitress named Nikki aka Pinkie all over each other, inviting customers to private parties. When Pinkie is asked to do something by Kimmie, she goes to Bill, if it is something she does not want to do. Rumors of the back office mischief led customers to go elsewhere and the place fell to ruins. Although Kimmie is the general manager, she cannot hire or fire anyone, because the final decision belongs to Bill. Now $250,000 in debt, Bill and Joe agreed to make a call for help to Jon Taffer and his crew at “Bar Rescue.”

Half of the population in the area are married, so the seedy reputation of Mary’s has kept married couples looking for a hangout away from this dive. As Jon and his team of culinary expert Tiffany Derry and mixologist Lisamarie Joyce observe from the SUV. The first opinion of the exterior is that it is a dump. Jon explained about the married population and asked if he were married to Tiffany, would she go there with him? An emphatic no was her reply, just by the looks of the outside.

Then they observed Bill, who stated that if the bar closed, he would not know how to send his 17-year-old daughter off to college. The women immediately spotted the shirt he was wearing that read, “I have the dick, so I make the rules.” Jon said that he would be offended if a customer walked in wearing that shirt, but the owner, $250,000 in debt and that is the shirt he wore today!

As they observed him, he was flirting with two women and buying them a drink and allowing them to set up a tab because they were pretty. So Jon sent in Lisamarie and her girlfriend to do the recon and see how far Bill will go if egged on by pretty girls. They ordered Guinness, and it was warm, then Bruce, another bartender came by and they asked him his name, he told them Asshole, as his shirt read he was a complete asshole. His real name was Bruce and he was a bartender for 19 years. When they asked for a food menu, they were told all the things they no longer had, the list of what they did have was shorter. When she was served the burger, she spit it back into her napkin. Then Bill bought them a shot and brought them back into his office. He told them the rule in the office is to be topless. When they did not oblige, he demanded they took off their tops. As Jon was mega-appalled, he went right into the office and as Bill greeted him, Jon told him he was the biggest sleaze bucket, he ever saw. Now Jon does not know if he even wants to save this bar, because he is not sure what Bill will do with it, and took off as pissed as he ever was. Bill went outside to find Jon, but he was already gone, and called Jon every name he could think of, because Jon called him a whore.

When Jon returned, he called out Bill for disgracing his wife while she is keeping the place running as he plays the hound dog. He apologized to her and told her that he loved her, but Jon has his druthers. He will be filling the place with pretty young women tonight and will see if Bill means it.

Jon brought the women in to do the training, but before anything could be done, Jon pointed out the filth behind the bar. When Tiffany saw the kitchen, she was shocked that it was as bad as the bar. There was nacho cheese sauce that expired over a year ago and Jon nearly puked at the sight and smell of it. This was supposed to be the place for the stress test that night?

After they cleaned the place, Tiffany brought Elena, who was just a volunteer at the bar, to be a cook on the payroll and Joe to help. She brought in an oven to roast the chicken and beef for the sandwiches.

As Lisamarie trained the bar staff, she blew a whistle when they did something wrong. Needless to say, that whistle was blown a lot. As the crowd gathered outside, Jon told viewers that Bill made a promise to Kimmie that he would not fraternize with the customers any longer, but the stress test will should see if he meant it.

As they opened the doors, singles and couples came in. Bill was acting like an owner and running food and helping where needed. But there was tension between Kimmie and Nikki. There were lots of people without drinks and the food orders started running behind because of missing tickets. Finally, Jon called a halt to the test after speaking with Kimmie who did not want Nikki around any longer and the tension showed.

When the doors closed, Jon held a staff meeting. He heard Lisamarie praise Bruce and told him he was no longer an asshole. Then Jon addressed the Kimmie and Nikki situation, Bill then fired Nikki, who stated that she created the situation and it was her downfall. Kimmie was happy that Bill stuck up for her and added some cement to their relationship.

Jon then discussed with his staff the demographics of the area. He knew the place had a horrible reputation and it needed to be cleaned up. He asked them about the concept of a roadside bar, and they loved the idea.

Jon met with Kimmie and Bill and asked her what she wanted from Bill, respect and equality were all she wanted. He gave her the title of manager and the responsibility of hiring and firing, while he remained an owner. Now her first responsibility was to replace Nikki.

Lisamarie then trained the staff on the new drink menu; one that would appeal to the couples and singles in the area. In the kitchen Tiffany showed them how to make Frito Pies with chili and other ingredients. Jon took the owners aside to show them they were losing money because they were giving it away. Jon had a company come in and prove that in a month, they gave away 675 bottles of beer and 1,325 mixed drinks for a loss of revenue of $8,810. That would go a long way for college tuition.

In the next two days, they worked on re-branding the bar. Right now it is unnoticeable, and it must be visible to attract customers. The new name was Thirsty’s Roadside Bar, with a facelift and new sign to hail down those thirsty drivers passing by. The interior was homey and hospitable, the walls were covered with giant postcards and Kimmie hired Brandi, her first official hire. She did a great job, the three POS systems were a blessing, the two stations were also a super addition, as the bartenders were not walking into each other and had their own workstations. Jon’s job was complete and he was proud of the way the place was being run by lots of smiling faces.

Two months after the relaunch, Bill is hands off with the business, he no longer scares off female customers, and Kimmie shines as full-time manager. Food revenues have doubled, and Thirsty’s now hosts a regular lunch crowd thanks to Jon and his staff at "Bar Rescue."