‘Bar Rescue’ is pouring one out for a very special occasion. HL spoke EXCLUSIVELY with host Jon Taffer about the milestone 200th episode and the ’emotional’ story at the center of it.
Bar Rescue premiered in 2011, and now the show is celebrating its 200th episode on June 13. The episode focuses on a homeless family living in a restaurant during the COVID-19 pandemic. HollywoodLife spoke EXCLUSIVELY with Jon Taffer about the impact this special episode had on him.
“It is obviously emotionally devastating, especially when you look at children,” Jon told HollywoodLife. “This whole season and being in the restaurant business, you probably know that I have done a lot of news this year about COVID and the restaurant industry. We all talked about how it has impacted the industry, and this season of Bar Rescue showed me how it has impacted people and this family is a great example.”
The family moved to Las Vegas from Texas to buy a Mexican restaurant with their life savings and “seek a better life.” Unfortunately, the pandemic hit a month after they arrived. Just days before Jon and the Bar Rescue team arrived, the host revealed that the family “lost their house and they lost their house in a fashion where they couldn’t get all of their stuff out of it. Long story short, when we got there, the three boys under 10 years old are sleeping on a wooden floor above the restaurant and this family has nothing.”
He continued, “We immediately put them in hotel rooms while we are producing the show, and I am not going to ruin the show for you, but we got a pretty good solution for them. I am very proud on what we did for this family to get them back on their feet again, and it is very emotional… This season of Bar Rescue is far different for me. It wasn’t as aggravation and attention-filled. It was much more emotional for me.”
All of season 8 was shot in Jon’s hometown of Las Vegas, and the rescued bars were those impacted severely by COVID-19. Jon has had to navigate the unique situation he has never faced, businesses that are struggling with the pandemic, vaccination rollout and protocols, and setting them up for success in a post-COVID world.
Jon never expected for the show to make it this far. “I never thought I would be on TV,” he told HollywoodLife. “It was never a goal in my life. It all of the sudden just came upon me. I thought I would do a pilot and go home and I thought it would end after the first season or end after the second season. Heck, I just shot my 200th episode, and you know what a milestone that is in television. That is a big deal. I am so grateful and appreciative of all the success that the show has achieved.”
Jon has rescued a lot of bars over the years, but we had to ask: is there something he needs to rescue for himself? “Nobody has ever asked me that question before,” he admitted. “I am really lucky. I got the chance to spend the week with my daughter and grandson last week. I have a wonderful relationship with my family, so I don’t really need much rescuing there. Professionally, I am proud of where I am at with my life. I have great relationships with my employees. They are very loyal. Both ways — me to them and them to me. I don’t think I need a lot of rescuing there. I think that my wife and my relationship… My wife is my best friend. You probably have seen her on the show. I don’t need rescuing there. I could probably use some personal rescuing with regard to how to manage my personal life, to be honest with you. But I get so excited about my professional life that I ignore my personal life sometimes. I am not great at taking time off or taking vacations, and I am not great at taking time for myself sometimes. I get so much pleasure from helping other people that it is more pleasurable for me to help other people than myself as absurd as that sounds, so this year my New Year’s Resolution, especially after going through the pandemic is to be better to myself this year. Take some more vacations, take some time off, lose a couple of pounds, eat healthier, things like that!” Bar Rescue airs Sundays at 10 p.m. on Paramount Network.