(keep reading to learn what happened)
Season: 8 | View All Season 8 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: August 8, 2021
The Bar's Original Name Was: The County Line Lounge and Grille
The Billy Bar Address: 1145 W Prince Rd Tucson, AZ 85705
The County Line Lounge and Grille, later renamed to the Billy Bar, was a Tucson, Arizona bar that was featured on Season 8 of Bar Rescue.
Though the County Line Bar Rescue episode aired in August 2021, the actual filming and visit from Jon Taffer took place a few months before that in June 2021.
It was Season 8 Episode 11 and the episode name was “Remembering Billy”.
The County Line Lounge and Grille, owned by Denise and Billy, is in Tucson, AZ.
If you’re not familiar with Arizona geography, Tucson is in the southern part of the state, not too far from the border with Mexico.
It’s the second largest city in Arizona and also home to the massive University of Arizona campus.
Denise and Billy purchased the bar in 2018 as it was always Billy’s dream to own one.
Paul, their good friend, invested money into the bar for 49% ownership.
Unfortunately, three months after The County Line opened, Billy passed away.
Denise kept the bar running to honor her late husband, but in 2020 the pandemic disrupted her plans.
Paul is worried about his investment but still wants to support Denise, who drinks at the bar often.
The County Line is now in debt, and customers have stopped patronizing the bar.
Put all of these reasons together, and it’s clear why Jon Taffer decided to take on the County Line Bar Rescue episode.
Jon Taffer and expert mixologist Phil Wills watch the bar from the command center.
Sadly, Paul’s wife passed away when Billy did, as did a bartender, Melissa’s husband.
Zik cooks in the kitchen, and Jessica is a bartender.
Two radio hosts spy on the bar for Jon, Porkchop, and Shannon. A local skin board expert, Austin, also spies on the bar.
Denise greets the spies as they enter the bar and offers to take free shots with them.
The bartenders are pouring liquor without measuring it, which is a cardinal sin in Bar Rescue. Think of all the lost sales!
Phil walks into the bar and asks Melissa and Jessica to each make him a margarita.
Melissa doesn’t like this and gives him a snide remark.
The drinks are terrible. The spies ordered burgers, and Jon enters when he sees how gross they looked.
Jon Taffer meets with Denise and tells her she needs to stop drinking at the bar and take a more proactive role for the bar to succeed.
The next day, Denise is breathalyzed by Jon, and the breathalyzer reads 0%.
Paul is shocked when Jon reveals how much money the bartenders are losing the bar by overpouring.
He would have made his investment back had it not been for this.
To get ready for the stress test, Phil Wills and Chef Anthony Lamas are introduced.
The bartenders are taught how to make a basic, fresh margarita.
Anthony trains Zik, Denise, and Paul on a spicy burger recipe in the kitchen.
For the stress test, Jon Taffer will place balloons on the dartboard. Every time a mistake is made, he will pop a balloon.
The first drink is made wrong because the bartender forgot the ice.
Denise is reminded to make more than one drink at a time.
Jessica gets overwhelmed and leaves, so Jon follows her outside to encourage her.
Melissa gives Phil an attitude, and Zik can’t keep up in the kitchen.
Eventually, the stress test is shut down and it’s clear that the staff need some further practice.
Training continues the next day, with Phil teaching the bartenders how to make simple cocktails.
Chef Anthony shows the cooks Tuscan recipes that pair well with margaritas.
That night the employees gather to see the renovations. Everyone is proud of Denise because she has stayed sober.
As part of the changes, Jon Taffer renamed the bar from The County Line Lounge to The Billy Bar: An Arizona Bar & Grill.
The bar is now dedicated to Billy’s memory, and a wall inside is decorated with his pictures.
Harbor Touch has gifted the bar POS systems, and there are air purification systems for safety.
The staff is pleased with the changes.
The bartenders stay calm for the relaunch, and Zik makes excellent and tasty meals in the kitchen.
Jon Taffer gives Denise and Paul a plaque before he leaves.
The plaque commemorates his time spent at their bar.
So was the County Line Bar Rescue renovation a success? Keep reading our update to learn what happened next and how the bar is doing in 2022.
The Billy Bar Update - What Happened Next?
Now that we’ve recapped the Billy Bar Bar Rescue episode, let’s talk about what happened to the bar after Jon Taffer and his crew left Tucson, AZ.
First off, Paul and Denise seem to have enjoyed their Bar Rescue experience (for the most part).
In an interview with a local publication, Paul said the following:
I feel the transformation was successful. It’s still a work in progress, and I think we can do so much more.
I’m really excited about how the future comes, but I’m also kinda nervous to see how they treated us on television.
You can see the full news segment at the KVOA News Tucson YouTube page – here’s the video embed. The quote above from Paul is literally the only quote from the video.
Is The Billy Bar from Bar Rescue still open?
As of 2022, The Billy Bar is still open and serving customers in Tucson, AZ, doing business under the new name that Jon Taffer gave it.
The bar is active on its Facebook page and posts regular events, including karaoke on Friday nights and lots of drink specials.
Beyond that, the bar is also home to the Tucson Dart League.
There seems to be a few events connected with the dart league, with general league play during the week and a dart tournament every Saturday.
If you want to learn more or plan a visit, you can check out the official Billy Bar website, which has a very SEO-focused name – TucsonsBestBar.com.
To see what the bar looks like today, here’s a Google Maps street view shot of the Billy Bar Tucson location:
The bar only has a single review on its Yelp page, so it’s hard to get any information from that.
It does have over 100 reviews on Google Reviews, though, where it averages a solid 4.4 star rating.
Billy Bar Reviews after Bar Rescue
Here’s a sampling of reviews that were written after the Billy Bar Bar Rescue changes occurred.
4 star review from February 2022:
Very clean Bar. Staff is very friendly and fun, and so are the customers. Nice Dart boards.
The only thing missing is a pool table or two, then I would be sure to frequent this establishment with my friends.
5 star review from September 2021:
We love the weekend bartender and Friday karaoke is amazingly fun!
From the first time we met Lisa, she was friendly, warm and welcoming!
Although she’s extremely efficient with the bar and all customers, she does it with a lot of laughter and fun! And, HUGS!!
All of the employee’s, and the owner, get along and that makes the bar that much more fun!
The service is great, the food is delicious, the bar is cozy and clean, and choices are unending in drinks and food and personalization of each!
This reviewer really likes exclamation points! Lol.
5 star review from September 2021:
The Billy Bar has a very warm yet exciting and calm atmosphere to it.
The crowd was that of mixed generations with everybody seeming to get along very well.
I went this past Sunday night which I think was open mic night for comedians ( not too sure though ) and I had a great time.
There was this wonderful lady working the bar who is very attentive, fun yet very professional .
3 star review from August 2021:
Loved it prior to recent changes.
Now, decor too stuffy uncomfortable hard chairs!
Trying to be fancy in a Dive Bar on Prince rd. A Part of the jokingly called White Ghetto.
No fancy People go to the Bar,renamed * Billy Bar* Better if it was renamed BILLY’S .
Bar Rescue did this redo, & it was a huge mistake by Owner!
1 star review from August 2021:
Stay away from this place!!! The service was horrible Lisa the waitress was very rude and careless.
If you’re going because of Bar Rescue don’t waste your time.
No drink menu, no kitchen, and couldn’t name any speciality cocktails.
Apparently we were a bother to the staff. Jon Taffer would be very disappointed!
So far, the County Line Bar Rescue seems like a success and The Billy Bar seems to be doing well.
While there were a few complaints about the changes from Jon Taffer, most people seem very happy with the new bar.
If anything changes, I’ll be sure to update this post.
If you want to see some other Arizona Bar Rescue episodes, you can check out these updates:
- True Grit Tavern / The Roost update
- Havana Cabana / Rocky Point Cantina update
- The Original Hideout update
- Gallopin’ Goose update
- George and Dragon update
- Frozen Cactus / RJ’s Replay update
- Brick and Barley / Baseline Sports Bar update
Thanks for reading!
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And don't forget to check out all of the other Bar Rescue updates.
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Last updated: 2022-11-14 10:16