Reality

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

Bar Rescue season nine started off with a bang at Skip and Jan’s Sports Grill and Billiards, which received a complete facelift and name change.

Jon Taffer and his team of hospitality experts have officially returned for the ninth season of his hit show, Bar Rescue.

Taffer has now spent more than a decade travelling across the United States to rescue well over 200 bars in various states of disarray.

However, few of the bars featured on the show so far have gotten Taffer quite as worked up as Skip and Jan’s Sports Grill and Billiards in Gilbert, Arizona.

All about the “Deadliest Kitchen” episode

Natalie Poyner, the owner of Skip and Jan’s, contacted Taffer and his team because despite all her best efforts, the bar was just sinking further and further into debt.

However, it did not take long for Taffer and Jason Santos to pinpoint the root cause of the bar’s main problem.

It turns out that Skip and Jan’s had one of the filthiest kitchens that Taffer had ever come across during his lengthy career in the food and hospitality industry.

And to top it all off, Natalie’s pared-back leadership approach had let things at the bar spiral out of control.

Fortunately, Taffer and his team quickly got to work remedying these issues, and at the end of the episode, he left Natalie, her children and the staff with a brand-new, remade bar (complete with two new service stations, a new point-of-sale system, and a wide variety of new tools and supplies).

Taffer also decided to rename the bar to Natalie’s Bar and Grill, after learning how much Natalie had poured into the place over the course of the last 38 years.

Natalie’s Bar Rescue timeline

If you tuned in to watch the “Deadliest Kitchen” episode, then you will know that Natalie has a history with the Natalie’s bar which dates back to before she even became the bar’s owner.

Natalie actually started out as one of Skip and Jan’s servers, but eventually made a plan to purchase the business in order to keep it from shutting down, a few years later.

The timeline of events following Natalie’s purchase of the business can be outlined as follows:

Date Event
2007 Natalie purchases Skip and Jan’s Sports Grill and Billiards
October 2023 Jon Taffer and the Bar Rescue team arrive for their intervention, and the bar’s name is changed to Natalie’s Bar and Grill
February 25, 2024 Bar Rescue season nine premieres with the “Deadliest Kitchen” episode, featuring Natalie’s Bar and Grill

Is Natalie’s still open?

The good news is that even though a few months have passed since Taffer and his team travelled to Gilbert for this episode, Natalie’s is still open.

And to the apparent relief of the locals who frequent the now-renamed Natalie’s, the owner, Natalie is still running the place (as she has been for many decades).

This Facebook post announcing Natalie’s name change even confirms that even though the bar now has a new look and a new name, they have kept “The same owner and same staff.”

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

Did the Bar Rescue makeover work?

Shows like Bar Rescue have never really had the best reputation for keeping their rescued businesses open after their dramatic interventions. In fact, Reality TV Updates places Bar Rescue’s current success rate at only about 46% percent.

And while there are many factors that may contribute to a bar closing its doors, the businesses profiled on the show often have to walk a very fine line once they have gotten the Jon Taffer treatment.

It seems like this harsh reality has already hit at Natalie’s, as the business recently had to bring back their old menu after complaints started rolling in about too much changing too fast.

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

And Natalie’s now offers a combination of dishes and drinks both from their old menu and the new post-Bar Rescue menu.

However, outside of this little bump in the road, the newly remade Natalie’s seems to be doing well and the business currently has a fairly good 3.4 out of 5 star-rating on Yelp.

What to look forward to for Bar Rescue’s next episode

Now that Natalie’s is settling in to its newly-rebranded state, it is time to look ahead to Bar Rescue season nine’s second episode.

Bar Rescue season nine, episode two will be titled “Wildkats Wild Collapse” and will see Taffer and his team travel to Jacksonville, Florida.

We do not have many details about what exactly Taffer’s new makeover will entail, but we know that he will be addressing the lack of identity and leadership at a local bar named Wildkat Records Bar & Grill.