(keep reading to learn what happened)
Season: 5 | View All Season 5 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: October 30, 2016
The Bar's Original Name Was: Brickhouse Bar and Grill
Garrison Tavern Address: 424 S Nevada Ave Colorado Springs, CO 80903
Brickhouse Bar and Grill, later renamed to Garrison Tavern, was a Colorado Springs, Colorado bar that was featured on Season 5 of Bar Rescue.
Though the Garrison Tavern Bar Rescue episode aired in October 2016, the actual filming and visit from Jon Taffer took place a few months earlier.
It was Season 5 Episode 10 and the episode name was “Zero Drunk Thirty”.
Brickhouse Bar and Grill, owned by Jon Nicholls, is located in Colorado Springs, CO.
Because both Jon Nicholls and Jon Taffer have the same first name, I will try to always use the last names so that you know who I’m talking about.
If you’re not familiar with Colorado, Colorado Springs is a city of almost 500,000 people that’s located south of Denver and right by the Rocky Mountains.
It’s also home to a number of military bases such as Fort Carson, Peterson Space Force Base, and the United States Air Force Academy.
As a result, it has a pretty high military presence (with Jon Nicholls being one of those folks).
In fact, Jon Nicholls is still an active service member and he only recently got back from his latest tour in the Middle East.
He used all of his money to open the bar, thinking it would be an easy way to make money.
The bar had a reputation as a biker bar, which didn’t help in Colorado Springs (a fairly conservative city).
Jon Nicholls wanted to ditch this aspect of the bar, but financial issues got in the way of rebranding it, which is one reason why he asked for the Brickhouse Bar Rescue episode to happen.
Jon, the owner, flirts with the women at the bar even though he is dating a bartender. He also drinks a lot.
The employees use equipment and tools in poor condition.
The bar is supposed to close in three months since Jon will go off on another military deployment.
Mixologist Phil Wills and expert chef Ryan Scott help Jon Taffer recon the bar.
The three men agree the outside of the bar is dull.
Jon Taffer reads the letter Jon Nicholls wrote to him.
The bar rescue isn’t just for the bar’s success but for Jon’s military career.
The footage shows Jon Nicholls offering free drinks to the women at the bar while taking shots.
Brickhouse Bar and Grill has four bartenders, one server, and a cook.
The kitchen is dirty and greasy, and a bartender has her fingers in a drink she is making.
Jon sends in army tank commanders to spy on the bar.
The bartenders do not know how to make every drink the men order.
The two spies order a beer. The beer loses a lot of foam which is also money being lost.
Jon Nicholls calls for more drinks for the women at the bar, but he is cut off.
Rita, the owner’s girlfriend, gets jealous. She takes shots and leaves to cool down.
Jon enters the bar to condemn Jon Nicholls.
The two Jons have a meeting, and Jon Taffer tells the owner to prove he is worth rescuing.
The next day at the staff meeting, Jon Nicholls tells his staff about the state of the bar.
The employees tell Jon the bar is failing because nothing is consistent.
Jon Nicholls is told to step up as a leader.
He is then trained in the bar and kitchen since he does not take an active role.
The bartenders are taught how to make drinks geared toward men and women.
Chef Ryan shows the cooks how to make a quick Philly cheese egg rolls dish.
Let’s move to the stress test portion of the Brickhouse Bar Rescue episode…
Nichol, a bartender, starts well during the stress test, but not everyone can keep up.
Phil has to dump drinks that other bartenders make.
The kitchen can’t keep up, and servers and running food to the wrong customers.
Chaos ensues, and Jon Nicholls goes missing.
He is found hiding in the kitchen and is forced to shut down the bar.
Being fixing the bar itself, Jon Taffer also has to work on fixing Jon Nicholls attitude and relationship, starting with his relationship with Rita.
Jon Nicholls and Rita promise to respect each other while working on their relationship.
Rita will fill in for Jon Nicholls as owner, while Nicholl will manage the bar when Jon Nicholls is deployed.
After the stress test, the experts get to work on training the Brickhouse staff.
The bar staff is shown how to make cocktails using whiskey and vodka.
The kitchen learns how to make a corn cake and dip dinner.
While that’s happening, Jon Taffer and his crew work on renovating the bar.
As part of the changes, Jon Taffer renames Brickhouse Bar and Grill to Garrison Tavern.
The new name is a play on a military garrison, a home for soldiers.
It makes sense given the large military presence in the city.
Bar System has also given the bar a draft system.
The staff is thrilled with the remodel.
The bar steps up for the relaunch and creates tasty drinks.
The cooks do great in the kitchen and love the new equipment.
So was the Brickhouse Bar Rescue visit a long-term success? Keep reading to learn what happened next and if it’s still open in 2023.
Garrison Tavern Update - What Happened Next?
Now that we’ve recapped the Garrison Tavern Bar Rescue visit, let’s talk about what happened to the bar after Jon Taffer and his crew left Colorado Springs, CO.
At the six-week check-in with the Bar Rescue producers, we learn that sales at the bar were up by more than 30%.
So it seems like things were looking up.
However, not all was as it seemed at this bar…
Is the Garrison Tavern still open after Bar Rescue?
Garrison Tavern closed in August 2017, which is almost exactly a year after the original Brickhouse Bar Rescue visit (and only 9 months after the episode aired on TV.
The Garrison Tavern closed because the owner sold it after Jon Taffer’s visit.
Unfortunately, it seems like Jon Nicholls really had no plans to run this one long term, as he listed it for sale within a week of the Bar Rescue visit, and months before the episode aired on TV.
I don’t know his actual motivation, so I’m not trying to say he used Bar Rescue just for the renovation.
It’s totally possible that circumstances changed in his life that made him sell even though he didn’t want to.
I just mean that there wasn’t any chance for it to be successful since it was for sale so soon.
You can see Jon Nicholls’s for sale post on Loopnet here:
3580 sqft Bar & Grill with full Kitchen.
Will be featured on Hit T.V show BAR RESCUE in 2016!
Great location downtown Colorado Springs Colorado!
Revitalization project going on with 200+ apartment units going up around us!
The listing was created on August 11, 2016, which is more than three months before the Garrison Tavern Bar Rescue episode would air on TV and just a few weeks after Jon Taffer’s sivit.
Basically, this one never had any chance for success and its failure didn’t have anything to do with Jon Taffer.
Maybe Jon Taffer and his crew had a feeling about them, because it seems like they didn’t go all-in on the renovation here.
Still – rules are rules, so this one has to go on the Bar Rescue closed list.
Despite that, the bar did manage to stay open for around a year after Jon Taffer’s visit, even after having listed it for sale.
It is definitely closed now, though.
In that year where it was for sale but not closed yet, it racked up a 3.5 star Yelp rating on 7 reviews.
Here’s a sampling of reviews that were written after the visit from Jon Taffer while the bar was still open:
2 star Yelp review from June 2017:
Not impressed at all.
Food was late, half the menu wasnt available.
Took forever to get a drink
Service was horrible
4 star review from November 2016:
wish only the best for this local spot and fellow military personnel.
changes made by Taffer & his team seem to be a bit confusing though….
military bar with fishing gear nailed to the wall…huh?
all the best to Jon & his team.
hope you dont have to sell it 🙁
This review mentions hoping the owner doesn’t have to sell Garrison Tavern, so maybe it was a life change that prompted such a quick sale.
1 star review from February 2017:
Seen this bar on Jon Taffer’s Bar Rescue and had to check it out.
As I entered the establishment I noticed everything that had been done to save this failing business had been removed.
Drinks where 25$ a piece!!
Ridiculous! I will never be back!
For a time, the old Garrison Tavern Colorado Springs location was occupied by a new bar called The Bench.
Reviews for the new bar seemed decent as it had a 4 star rating on over 100 Yelp reviews.
You can see the new bar in this November 2020 shot from Google Maps street view:
However, The Bench is now closed.
As of March 2023, the property seems to still be vacant.
I will update this post when I know more about a new tenant moving in.
If you want to see another Colorado Springs Bar Rescue episode, check out our Triple Nickle Tavern update.
To see some other nearby Colorado Bar Rescue episodes, you can check out my updates for Wildefire Bistro / The Prime Bar in Aurora, Malloy’s / GI Jodi’s in Littleton, and St8 Pub / Downstairs Bar in Englewood.
Thanks for reading!
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Last updated: 2023-03-24 06:33