(keep reading to learn what happened)
Season: 4 | View All Season 4 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: July 17, 2016
The Bar's Original Name Was: Baseline Sports Bar
Brick and Barley Address: 201 E Baseline Rd Tempe, AZ 85283
Baseline Sports Bar, later renamed to Brick and Barley, was a Tempe, Arizona bar that was featured on Season 4 of Bar Rescue.
Though the Brick and Barley Bar Rescue episode aired in July 2016, the actual filming and visit from Jon Taffer took place a few months earlier at the beginning of 2016.
It was Season 4 Episode 56 and the episode name was “Momster’s Ball”.
Note – there were two Bar Rescue bars that went by “Baseline” at one point. To see, go to my The Base Line / Recovery Room update.
Baseline Sports Bar, owned by AJ Hunter, is in Tempe, AZ.
AJ had always wanted to own a business, so she purchased the bar in 2005 when it was for sale.
That means’ she’s owned it for over a decade at the time of the Baseline Sports Bar Bar Rescue visit.
She had to take a lien against her home to open the bar, so she definitely went all-in on the business.
Her two daughters, Xaita and Diva, work at the bar.
The entire staff is made up of women and are called the “Baseline Babes”.
Diva and Xaita are terrible workers.
When they have to serve a female patron, they ignore them.
Because of many issues, Baseline Sports Bar has about three months left until they close for good.
Despite purportedly pulling in $65-80k per month before current owner AJ Hunter took over, Baseline Sports Bar was losing over $4,000 per month and a massive $190,000 in debt at the time of the episode.
The fact that AJ built a staff of 100% women and called them the “Baseline Babes” probably didn’t help either.
Here’s an example of the types of stuff the “staff” would get up to:
In an add twist, two of those babes were AJ’s own daughters.
The surrounding area is populated by German-Americans which Jon thinks is a great marketing opportunity.
Expert bartender Daniel Ponsky and talented chef Michael Ferraro join Jon Taffer to help save Baseline Sports Bar.
Jon Taffer informs the experts that another Baseline Bar is in the same neighborhood, which obviously leads to some confusion with customers.
AJ also has a section called AJ’s Rant on the bar’s website, where she writes about her life as a bar owner.
This isn’t always great for the bar’s reputation either.
Enough preamble – it’s time for Jon Taffer and his team to get tow ork.
Brandy Beavers goes into Baseline Sports Bar to spy for Jon.
In the bar, Brandy is being ignored by the bartenders while the male customers are being served.
When she finally orders, Brandy asks for a skinny margarita.
The bartender informs Brandy they can’t make a skinny margarita because they lack the ingredients needed.
When Brandy asks what beers are on draft, Xaita gives her an attitude and says they have none.
Jon has Mike call and places an order for food to go.
He orders a mac and cheese meal and a Reuben sandwich.
After ordering, he is told his food will be ready in ten minutes.
Mike goes into the bar to pick up his greasy and gross food.
There are two women in a kiddie pool filled with spaghetti wrestling on the ground. Lol…
Jon Taffer enters the bar and tells AJ she needs to start acting serious if she wants Jon’s help.
The next day Jon tells AJ that spaghetti wrestling is the weirdest thing he has ever seen.
I have to agree with him.
The staff tells Jon that AJ’s daughters are often fired and hired back.
While investigating the kitchen, AJ tells the experts she doesn’t need them to tell her how her appliances don’t work.
Mike then shows AJ and the cook Raul how to make a salad.
Daniel leads the bartenders on how to make female-centric drinks.
Jon wants the bartenders to make at least $500 each for the stress test.
The customers are getting their food but not receiving their drinks.
Raul does excellent in the kitchen, but Jon threatens to fire a bartender.
Xaita and Diva talk to Jon and tell him they are unhappy about the situation they are in with their mother.
At this point, Jon Taffer and his crew are already hard at work renovating the bar.
Because of this, Daniel trains the bartenders to make new cocktails at an off-site location.
Mike teaches the kitchen a pork recipe with a beer in the breading.
After the remodel, Jon changed the name of the bar from Baseline Sports Bar to Brick and Barley – A Neighborhood Bar.
The bar now has the best draft beer in the area.
Jon also has the staff wearing red which he says will increase their tips.
Brandy Beavers says she loves the new atmosphere and feels welcomed.
Jon Taffer is proud of Diva and Xaita.
So would the changes from the Baseline Sports Bar Bar Rescue episode last? Let’s find out…
Brick and Barley Update - What Happened Next?
Now that we’ve recapped the Brick and Barley Bar Rescue visit, let’s talk about what happened to the bar after Jon Taffer and his crew left Tempe, AZ.
On March, 12th, 2017, a Season 5 episode aired in which Jon revisited Brick and Barley to check in how things are going.
Though Brick and Barley is barely holding on, it was still open at the time of Jon’s revisit.
Brick and Barley also got rid of the whole cocktail menu created by mixologist Daniel Ponsky, telling him that “we didn’t keep any of your drinks” and that Brick and Barley’s “core group is the beer drinker”.
They said this in a nice way, though. It sounds meaner than they meant it.
They did keep the name from Jon Taffer, though, and still operate as Brick and Barley instead of Baseline Sports Bar.
Here’s a short YouTube clip of part of the Brick and Barley Jon Taffer revisit:
Is Brick and Barley from Bar Rescue still open?
As of 2023, Brick and Barley is still open and serving customers in Tempe, AZ.
That means it’s survived for over six years, including making it through the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, it’s doing so under new ownership as of mid-2022.
It seems like AJ sold the bar to Whitney Wingfield, who I believe was the General Manager during the Brick and Barley Bar Rescue episode.
I first discovered the ownership change by seeing a comment on Yelp about a new owner:
I then confirmed it by finding a Facebook post about it:
Despite the ownership change, the bar has stuck with the Brick and Barley name and concept and seems to be doing well.
It’s also still within the Bar Rescue family because, unless I’m remembering wrong, Whitney was the manager during the episode when Jon Taffer visited.
The bar also regularly posts events and specials on its Facebook page, so it seems quite active.
They seem to show a lot of sporting events, which makes sense given its sports bar roots.
Here’s what the Brick and Barley Tempe Arizona location looks like in the most recent Google Maps street view update:
Yelp reviews of the Brick & Barley seem mixed.
Currently, it’s sitting at 3.5 stars, which is up from its 3 star rating when I checked at the beginning of 2022.
It’s a little better on Google Reviews, where it has a 4.1 star rating.
The negative reviews seem to focus mostly on the bar’s poor service.
Despite the poor service, reviews of the food generally seem positive.
For example, this Yelp review was posted shortly after the episode where Jon revisited Brick and Barley:
Bar Rescue reminded me to review.
Had the exact experience other reviewers mentioned.
Took forever for the food, and our server seemed like she just rolled out of bed and was hung over.
She was super rude, pretty much rolling her eyes.
We shared the pretzel, was going to stay longer, but was indeed uncomfortable.
So we ended up going to Lucky Break down the street.
The service seems not to have improved one bit, unfortunately.
Here’s another more recent review that talks about poor service – a 1 star Yelp review from January 2022:
If your looking to go someplace for a drink, don’t waste your time here.
Bartenders, with five people at the bar, will ignore you and chit chat with the other staff and play on their phones instead of serving drinks.
I was there for 15-20 minutes, sitting at the bar with a total of 6 other people, and didn’t even get a hello let alone a drink.
Can’t comment on the drinks of food since she was far too busy on her phone to serve me.
There are still plenty of positive reviews too, though. However, you can see that some regulars didn’t appreciate Taffer’s changes.
For example, consider this four star review from August 2018:
Not too excited about what bar rescue did to this place.
It used to be a classic neighborhood sports bar, what’s wrong with that?
Now it’s a giant Heineken billboard filled with cheap looking beer garden style decorations.
Bring back baseline sports bar!
Here’s a five star review from September 2022 that’s more effusive in its praise:
Went to this place for the first time today and it exceeded my expectations!
Really friendly staff and customers.
Met lots of fellow Michiganders watching and cheering on the Lions!
The Sriracha Tots were addictive and the Detroit Dog was fantastic!
Will definitely be going back – what a wonderful way to spend the morning or afternoon!!
Overall, Brick and Barley still seems like a Bar Rescue success story…for now at least.
If you want to see some other Arizona Bar Rescue episodes, check out these posts:
- George and Dragon update
- Brenda’s Inferno / Armadillo Grill update
- Frozen Cactus / RJ’s Replay update
- Chilleen’s on 17 update
Thanks for reading!
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Last updated: 2023-03-06 07:02