Foxy Ox Bar Rescue Update (Thirsty Ox) – Still Open Today?

Is Foxy Ox still open today?

Status: >> OPEN <<
(keep reading to learn what happened)

Season: 9 | View All Season 9 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: March 17, 2024
The Bar's Original Name Was: Thirsty Ox
Foxy Ox Address: 640 N Ventura Rd, Oxnard, CA 93030

The Thirsty Ox Bar Rescue

Episode Recap

The Thirsty Ox, later renamed to The Foxy Ox, was an Oxnard California bar that was featured on Season 9 of Bar Rescue.

Though the Foxy Ox Bar Rescue episode aired in March 2024, the actual filming and visit from Jon Taffer took place around August 2023.

It was Season 9 Episode 4 and the episode name was “A Drunk, a Fruitfly, and a Knight Walk Into a Bar” (what a mouthful lol).

In this episode, Jon Taffer and his crew head to The Thirsty Ox.

The bar is located in Oxnard, California, which is where the name comes from – it’s a good play on words in my opinion.

At the time that the episode aired on TV, this marked Jon Taffer’s 50th visit to California, which makes it by far the most popular state on the show.

If you’re not up on your California geography, Oxnard is an ocean-side city located to the Northwest of Los Angeles.

You basically drive past Malibu and keep following the coast North.

The population is around 200,000 people and it’s one of the richest cities in the USA, which should mean there are lots of people willing to splash money on a bar.

The Thirsty Ox is owned by a husband-and-wife duo – Rony Ortega and Gabriela “Gaby” Ortega.

Rony Ortega The Thirsty Fox owner on Bar Rescue

They purchased the bar back in November 2021, so it’s only been open for a couple of years at the time of the visit from Bar Rescue.

They had actually applied to be on the show back in 2021 but didn’t make the cut the first time.

However, they were eventually accepted on their second try.

Rony is a construction worker, but it had always been his dream to own a bar.

While he didn’t have a ton of experience, his parents owned multiple bars when he was growing up, so he has been around the space.

Given that dream, the couple decided to purchase The Thirsty Ox when the opportunity arose.

The bar was a little…barebones.

The Thirsty Ox interior

Gaby said that it looked “abandoned” when they purchased it.

Beyond that, Gaby didn’t have any bartending experience prior to owning the bar.

However, when the bar’s income couldn’t cover the couple’s expenses, Gabriela switched to working full-time at the bar while Rony went back to his construction job.

Gaby Ortega The Thirsty Fox owner on Bar Rescue

This is obviously not ideal since owning a bar was Rony’s dream; not necessarily Gaby’s.

The bar basically relies on its regulars for most of its business.

Rony wants a new crowd to replace them, though, which isn’t surprising given that one of the staff members calls them “savages”.

Garet, one of the bartenders at The Thirsty Ox, says that the regulars are like “cartoon people”, which I thought was a pretty funny description.

Garet The Thirsty Fox bartender on Bar Rescue

However, the business from the regulars isn’t even enough to keep the bar afloat.

At the time of the visit from Jon Taffer, The Thirsty Ox is supposedly losing $4,000 per month.

That’s not the worst that I’ve seen on Bar Rescue, but it ain’t great.

To make matters worse, Rony and Gaby are in over $50,000 worth of debt.

Beyond just generally sucking to have that much debt, the financial situation is getting in the way of their goals of starting a family.

It’s hard to have a kid when your business is losing $4,000 per month, right? I feel for them.

This obviously also causes a lot of stress on the couple’s relationship.

The Thirsty Ox owners are in debt

Given all of this, the bar has just six months left to stay open when Bar Rescue arrives (at least according to the Bar Rescue producers, lol).

This one is a bit of an odd one because it seems like Jon Taffer wasn’t actually at the rescue.

I will confirm this once the episode airs, but that’s my understanding when I’m writing this a day before the episode airs.

Instead, Phil Wills, a long-time Bar Rescue expert, seems to have been the star of the rescue.

Maybe they’re grooming Phil to take over when Taffer retires? I’m not sure yet.

As part of the rescue, the Bar Rescue crew changed the bar’s name from The Thirsty Ox to The Foxy Ox.

If I’m being honest, I do not love the name change…

It doesn’t seem like the owners did either as – spoiler alert – they didn’t use it for very long.

So was the Thirsty Ox Bar Rescue visit a long-term success?

Keep reading my update to learn what happened next and if this Oxnard CA bar is still open today.

Foxy Ox Update - What Happened Next?

Now that I’ve recapped the Foxy Ox Bar Rescue visit, let’s talk about what happened to the bar after Jon Taffer and his crew left Oxnard, CA.

First, I’ll cover whether it’s still open (and whether it’s still using Taffer’s Foxy Ox concept).

Then, I’ll also look at some real customer reviews from after the episode and share any other juicy details I was able to come up with.

Here we go…

Is Foxy Ox still open?

As of my most recent check, the Foxy Ox is still open and serving customers in Oxnard, CA.

However, it’s doing so under the original name of The Thirsty Ox, rather than the newer Foxy Ox name that Jon Taffer gave it.

In fact, it seems like the bar switched back to using the Thirsty Ox name around a month after the visit from the Bar Rescue crew.

Rony and Gaby said they switched the name back because customers didn’t like the name and it didn’t fit the bar’s theme.

Honestly, I’m not surprised, because the “Foxy Ox” does kind of sound like it’s a gentleman’s club.

I’m not the only one who thought that, either, as there’s a big Reddit thread with people making similar connections.

What do you think about the Foxy Ox name? Let me know in the comments!

A lot of the Reddit commenters also said that Taffer really didn’t change that much at the bar.

The Thirsty Ox Reddit thread about the episode

Here’s another thread that also likens the Foxy Ox name to a gentleman’s club:

A Reddit thread about the Foxy Ox

I can get why they wouldn’t want that reputation for the bar.

Side note – Taffer has no problem rescuing gentleman’s clubs, as he’s already rescued two on the show – Club Platinum in Las Vegas and Chix on Dix / Power Strip in Detroit MI.

The bar isn’t very active on social media, so I don’t know much about what’s going on there.

That kind of makes me think that they’re still relying on regulars.

That’s just my gut feeling – but most other bars from the show are pretty active about posting promotions and events to draw a new crowd in.

Overall, they only post about once a month on Facebook.

With that being said, I do see some events posted there.

For example, in November, they posted about karaoke nights on Tuesdays and Wednesdays:

The Thirsty Ox karaoke

They also had a live DJ around Christmas to celebrate the holidays:

The Thirsty Ox live DJ

To celebrate the Bar Rescue episode, Thirsty Ox also hosted an all-day Bar Rescue watch party.

However, they don’t seem to have promoted this event on any of the bar’s social media pages, so I guess it was mostly for the regulars.

Here’s what the Thirsty Ox Oxnard CA location looks like in the most recent picture from Google Maps Street View.

You can just see the bar on the far side of the strip mall.

The Thirsty Ox Reviews After Bar Rescue

Next, let’s take a look at some customer reviews of The Thirsty Ox from after Taffer’s visit.

Overall, The Thirsty Fox has a 4.2 star rating on 42+ Yelp reviews and a 4.2 star rating on 129+ Google Reviews.

Both of those numbers include reviews from both before and after the Jon Taffer Thirsty Fox visit.

To try to get a feel for how things changed after the show, I focused exclusively on reviews that were written after the episode was filmed.

Unfortunately, there haven’t been a ton of reviews.

However, the few reviews that do exist seem to mostly be positive or neutral, and I didn’t see any negative reviews.

I would say that hints at positive things.

But because the number of reviews is so small, I can’t draw any broad conclusions about how the bar has changed since Taffer helped the owners embrace solutions.

4 star Google review from March 2024:

The Thirsty Ox 1

3 star Google review from November 2023:

The Thirsty Ox 2

5 star Yelp review from October 2023:

Foxy Ox Yelp review

5 star Google review from January 2024:

The Thirsty Ox 3

5 star Google Review from September 2023:

Foxy Ox Google review

Final thoughts on The Thirsty Ox / Foxy Ox

So far, The Thirsty Ox is still open and seems to be doing well.

However, it didn’t keep Taffer’s concept for very long, quickly ditching the Foxy Ox name after he left.

Will the free renovation, equipment, and training still be enough to save the bar even under the original concept?

Time will tell, and I will update this post if anything changes!

Rony and Gaby seem like nice people so I hope they’re able to make it a long-term success and start their family.

That wraps up my Thirsty Fox Bar Rescue update.

If you want to see some other nearby California Bar Rescue episodes, you can also check out my updates for Theory / Paladino’s in Tarzana, Weber’s Place / Rum Bar in Reseda, The Tailgate / The Shot Exchange in Santa Clarita, and Grinders / The Cajun Belle in Santa Clarita.

I also have a page that lists all 50+ Bar Rescue episodes in California.

And if you want to share your thoughts on The Thirsty Ox / Foxy Ox, you can do so using the comments section below.

I especially love hearing from people who are able to visit the bar in person.

As always – thanks for reading!

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Last updated: 2024-03-17 08:06

17 thoughts on “Foxy Ox Bar Rescue Update (Thirsty Ox) – Still Open Today?”

All comments are the sole opinion of the commenter and are not endorsed by RealityTVUpdates.

  1. Funniest part of reading this is that I am getting ads for a local strip club, so obviously your AdSense Foxy Ox is one too.

    Show is dead to me if Phil Wills takes over; 100% of viewers would rather tune in to watch Lisamarie over Jon or Phil, that’s where your money is (was, sadly), producers.

    • I hope it’s just a one-time thing. Maybe Jon Taffer got sick right before the filming started and there wasn’t enough time to reschedule or something. Agree that a show with Phil as the main guy would not be nearly as good.

    • It seems like it will be Taffer again next week. But then it will be somebody else again for the Easter episode (Dustin Drai).

      • I can tell the drunk guy at the beginning of this episode probably wasn’t a plant because he didn’t have a mic on.

        As you pointed out before, Jon canceled a re-rescue of Wildcatter because he had pneumonia, and in 2019, he bailed in Colorado after only doing 2 rescues because his dog was sick (according to an old podcast of his); I suppose making that one up by doing 4 in Utah. 3 or 4 is typical for a set outside of Vegas or LA, though he did 5 more in Colorado during his 2022 set there and will have at least 5 in Arizona early this season if you count greater Phoeinx + Tucson.

        Ads have suggested that there will be at least 40 bars for season 9, I suspect spread out over multiple years since he has said in the past that he has a multi-year vision with the network, but we already know he has filmed or is filming in Cali, Arizona, Florida, Michigan, Missouri, Texas (guessing Houston area since Justin from Wildcatter said that a producer called him again in Reddit), and Wisconsin.

        He recently just celebrated filming #250, so I’m sure he’s still working. This one is about #235 (at least in order of airing, not filming) depending on whether he counts re-rescues twice.

        I’ve seen descriptions through episode 9. Next eps appear to be High 5 (Tucson), La Perla (Glendale), Finesse (?, Banning, CA likely within this southern Cali set), and Arnold’s (St. Augustine, Fl) with Tumbleweed in Apache Junction, AZ to follow. Rumor about Billings, MT not yet substantiated by my search. A bar in Milwaukee declined.

        I have a feeling that JT’s absence was related to a prior obligation (like when he missed the beginning of Lisamarie’s second-to-last ep for a conference in Vegas), though the production company is probably based in LA such that this rescue could have taken place any time.

        I think maybe Jon is now just becoming more of a producer these days and wants the ep’s out to meet production schedules and keep things moving.

    • IT WAS LIKE JERRY AND LEWIS. RONY was like Jery Lewis in oter space.
      POOR GABY was like Dean Martin. Romantic Nice lookin AND ALL BUISNES. ALL IN ALL I LVED IT. Very interesting and shows how we find it hard to run a business.

    • We need Taffer back for every episode. This one was lame and nothing like the usual high-octane productions that we’ve grown accustomed to enjoying. I hope Jon is fully rested and prepared to get after these slack-jawed owners for years to come.

  2. It was odd that they yelled at the bartender for putting alcohol in first…. Then the first feature cocktail had the alcohol added first

  3. Show Sucked !!! I tended bar for 18 years I never heard of not pouring liquor in the mixing glass first !!! It’s such BS !!! Without Jon the show SUCKS BIG TIME !!!

  4. John tagged need to a reboot to the Club support to be name foxy ox but the owners change the names back to thirsty ox it sad this coming in and changed these bar with his own money and his people coming in to help out and its still up code I love to watch bar rescue what he need to a come in and see what happens to his bar that re did

  5. Would you really order a drink in a bar where the owner, Rony Ortega, wants to “filter” the fruit flies and bugs from his liquor bottles? His words, “So not to waste the liquor”. That mentality speaks volumes. How can you own a bar and not take the county’s health department food/drink handling course? If the show had streamed live, a health inspector would have been there the next day to shut it down.

    • The faux suit of armor was the best part. I wish the crew would’ve taken it as a thoughtful souvenir to properly knight Sir Taffer.

  6. Foxy Ox really wasn’t the best name in the world so I can understand why they changed it back however, usually when they change the name back to the original name, the bars usually close within a year. I doubt if I would ever go and visit this bar because of what Rony said that he would filter out bugs so he doesn’t waste a bottle of alcohol. Seriously? Maybe the health department needs to pay them a visit and shut them down. I also can’t understand why Rony said that the smell in the bar was OK because it’s a dive bar. Good grief, he needs to go and stick with his regular construction job.

  7. Why wasn’t the bartender with the nice “pants” on the training session ?… She reappeared at the “end” for the reopening of the new bar…. It would’ve been nice to see more of her.


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