Bar Rescue: Why Julio was brought back in the “Deadliest Kitchen” episode

Natalie’s decision to bring chef Julio back has been controversial, but this business owner insists that he deserves a second chance.

Bar Rescue’s ninth season started with a bang when Jon Taffer and his team of hospitality experts made over Skip and Jan’s, a bar in Gilbert, Arizona and renamed it ‘Natalie’s’.

Taffer did not take long to coin the newly-renamed Natalie’s kitchen one of the dirtiest he had ever seen.

And if you watched all the way to the end of this season nine premiere episode, you would know that it  ended on a surprising note when the chef responsible for these horrid conditions was ultimately brought back at the end of the episode.

Natalie explains her decision to bring Julio back

Natalie’s decision to rehire Chef Julio at the end of the “Deadliest Kitchen” episode certainly ruffled the feathers of the fans who tuned in to watch this brand new season.

As a result, Natalie took to Facebook to remind the public that what we see on television is often not the full story.

Natalie has recently explained why she decided to reinstate Julio in his position, stating “Julio needed support from me. I blame myself for not being there to support him.

Jon Taffer turned that around for the both of us. We retrained him and now he’s better than ever. I’m glad I got a second chance to turn it around so I gave Julio a second chance as well.”

So, it looks like this now infamous Bar Rescue chef not only managed to keep his job, but has since been working extra hard to keep it.

All about the episode

The details for this rollercoaster of a premiere episode can be summarized as follows:

Detail Description
Title “Deadliest Kitchen”
Episode Season 9, episode 1
Initial air date February 25, 2024

Why Julio is “better than ever”

Even if you do not agree with Natalie’s decision to rehire Julio, there is simply no denying that second chances is exactly what the Bar Rescue-spirit is all about.

And if Taffer and his team managed to get the old and disgusting Skip and Jan’s kitchen back into tip-top shape in just a matter of days, we see no reason why a few other things at this bar could not do a 180 (or is it 360?), as well.

Natalie recently elaborated in the business’s Facebook comment section, explaining that Julio cares more now.

She also added that “He went through new training and is now better than ever. He needed more support in the kitchen and he has it now.”

The other reason why Natalie might have kept Julio around

While there is usually a lot of fanfare at the end of a Bar Rescue episode about how much each and every aspect of the business has improved – this excitement does not always translate in real life.

L.A. Brew Co (a bar that Taffer and his team rescued in season four) was infamously the show’s most extensive and expensive rescue at the time, yet the bar was only listed for sale a few months after its grand Bar Rescue makeover, with LA Weekly confirming that its squabbling owners failed to implement many of Taffer’s suggestions.

Natalie’s has certainly not ignored Taffer’s changes in the same way, but the bar did have to revert back to its old menu after the bar’s regulars complained about their favorite dishes no longer being available.

Bar Rescue’s new season opens with a visit to Skip and Jan’s

And if the Natalie’s regulars were so upset by a few missing food and beverage items, there is no doubt that there would have been uproar about an entirely new chef.

In the end, it is very likely that Natalie’s decision to keep Julio around was about much more than just wanting to give him a second chance.

Have the reviews for Natalie’s improved after the Bar Rescue makeover?

While season nine of Bar Rescue only just premiered, the “Deadliest Kitchen” episode was actually already filmed back in October 2023.

This means that the newly revamped Natalie’s has now been open and serving customers for over four months.

Natalie’s currently has a 3.4 out of 5-star rating on Yelp and a 3.8 rating on Facebook (though both of these totals also include reviews from before the Bar Rescue intervention).

Since Taffer’s visit to Natalie’s in October 2023, the Yelp reviews are distributed as follows:

Rating Yelp reviews
5-star 8 reviews
2-star 4 reviews
1-star 2 reviews

A few quick calculations reveal that these post-Bar Rescue reviews actually amount to about an average rating of 3.6 out of 5 stars, which is certainly an improvement.