(keep reading to learn what happened)
Season: 2 | View All Season 2 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: September 16, 2012
The Bar's Original Name Was: Win, Place or Show
America Live Address: 7121 Dixie Hwy Fairfield, OH 45014
Win Place or Show, later renamed America Live, was a Fairfield, Ohio bar featured on Season 2 of Bar Rescue.
Though the America Live Bar Rescue episode aired in September 2012, the actual filming and visit from Jon Taffer took place before that.
It was Season 2 Episode 8 and the episode name was “Owner Ousted”.
Located in Fairfield, Ohio, Win Place or Show is owned by US Navy vet, Barry Rogers.
In order to open the bar, Barry had to invest his life savings (around $50,000).
The bar was initially a biker bar but was transformed into a sports bar when Barry bought it.
Unfortunately, not many customers know about the change and avoid the bar because of its reputation.
Rudy Garcias is Barry’s friend and co-owner who performs at the bar.
Rudy’s wife Tracy helps out as a bartender but has no experience behind the bar, which shows in the episode.
Win Place or Show has never earned a profit and is now three months from closing.
Jon recons the bar with Chef Aaron McCargo and bartending expert Jason Bran.
The bar is misleading and has no identity.
It looks like a bar to place horse bets – you can see the original sign in the image above.
A spy goes in and orders a long island iced tea, but it is too strong.
The platter that the spy orders is rubbery and cooked in a microwave.
Jon comes into the bar and confronts the owner.
Jon tells the owner he thinks Rudy has no respect for the bar.
He does a tour of the bar and kitchen and finds old fruit, dirty soda guns, and bad chicken thawing on the counter.
Rudy defends his staff, but Jon says the kitchen would be clean if they cared.
The following day, Jon meets with the staff. He tells them they lost an incredible $600 worth of liquor on Saturday.
How can you have a successful bar if you’re losing hundreds in drinks? It’s crazy!
Rudy admits that it was him giving out free beer.
His wife Tracy also doesn’t care about the business.
The experts train the staff. The bar is also given a new electric smoker for BBQ food.
There is also a new whiskey and bourbon menu to compliment the BBQ menu.
The bar staff is trained on simple drinks such as a BLT and a Tennessee Apple.
With that basic training done, they open for the stress test.
Tracy is problematic at the bar, so she is put on the floor.
She is missing when customers are ready to order their food, getting frustrated.
Rudy is only greeting guests, and Barry is doing most of the management work.
Customers start to get up and leave because of the poor service in the stress test.
Tracy and Rudy are called out after the stress test for not caring.
The next day everyone is present but Tracy.
Jon is planning on unveiling the newly renovated bar to the staff.
Aaron continues to work with the kitchen staff.
Jason shows team how to be fast behind the bar.
Jon Taffer tells Rudy that he should stop playing at the bar.
Amber, a bartender who Jon recognizes, has passion, is brought in as the bar’s part-owner, writing a check on the spot.
Rudy walks out of the ownership, which is a first on Bar Rescue as far as I’m aware.
For the relaunch, Jon promotes the bar on a local radio station.
He reveals the new name of the bar, America Live Bar and Grill.
Beyond the name change, the Bar Rescue renovation includes a Touchtune sound system for karaoke, a photo booth, and two new POS systems.
And of course, America Live got a big brand new sign on the outside.
I think that the new sign looks great – it’s a massive improvement over the weird kiddy design from Win Place or Show:
The staff is nervous at first during the relaunch.
Eventually, the customers enjoy their drinks and food.
To add some more fun to the relaunch, Halestorm comes and plays songs off of their new album.
So, was the America Live Bar Rescue episode a long-term success? Keep reading to learn what happened next and if this Fairfield, Ohio bar is still open in 2024.
America Live Update - What Happened Next?
Now that we’ve recapped the Win Place or Show Bar Rescue episode, let’s talk about what happened to the newly named America Live bar after Jon Taffer and his crew left.
At first, things seemed to be going well as sales were up 25% around six weeks after Jon Taffer’s original visit (his actual visit – not when the episode aired on TV).
However, the good times would not last.
In fact, things started going downhill even before the America Live episode aired on TV.
Is America Live from Bar Rescue still open?
America Live closed in July 2012, which is before the episode even aired on TV.
There seems to be some drama around the bar’s ownership, which played a role in its closure.
When the bar closed, they posted the following message on Facebook (though it was removed soon after):
America Live would first like to thank all are friends, supporters and loyal patrons.
You all have humbled us with your kind words and support!!
It truly helps us all!
We would like to let everyone know that we were ambushed by two members of the community who schemed to take our bar out from underneath us.
This had apparently been in the works by these individuals for awhile.
We have lost our entire life savings and everything we put into the bar.
We can’t even get in to get our personal things as of now.
They screwed us in the worst way!
We will release more details as we can, but rest assured that we may be down, but we are definitely not out!
Spoiler alert – they actually were both down and out.
I’m really not sure what happened, but America Live is definitely closed.
For a time, the old America Live Fairfield Ohio located was occupied by a new bar called Buzzard Bay Pub.
However, that bar closed in 2018.
You can see Buzzard Bay Pub in the Google Maps street view image for the front of the property, which hasn’t been updated since 2018:
After that, the location was occupied by a new bar named Mango’s Tropical Oasis.
However, Mango’s Tropical Oasis was destroyed in a fire in November 2020. The fire caused over $250,000 in damage.
As far as I can tell, the location is currently empty (and probably fire damaged).
Here’s the most recent Google Maps street view image of the back of the property, which shows the Mango’s sign (it’s still only from 2019, though):
There aren’t any reviews on the America Live Yelp page, so I can’t share any reviews like I normally do.
Overall, it seems like this one closed because of legal/ownership disputes rather than the business itself.
If you know anything about what’s happening at the old America Live Fairfield Ohio location, please let me know in the comments section below.
If you want to see some other Ohio Bar Rescue episodes, you can check out my updates for The Public House / The Black Sheep in Cheviot, The Federal / Martini Brothers in Youngstown, and The Royal Oaks in Youngstown.
Thanks for reading!
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Last updated: 2023-02-06 06:11