(keep reading to learn what happened)
Season: 3 | View All Season 3 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: March 9, 2014
The Bar's Original Name Was: End Zone Sports Bar and Grill
Houston Sports Hub Address: 15209 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77082
The End Zone Bar and Grill, later renamed to Houston Sports Hub, was a Houston, Texas bar that was featured on Season 3 of Bar Rescue.
Though the Houston Sports Hub Bar Rescue episode aired in March 2014, the actual filming and visit from Jon Taffer took place before that.
It was Season 3 Episode 40 and the episode name was “Muscle Madness”.
Originally End Zone Sports Bar and Grill, Houston Sports Hub is the moniker that Jon Taffer chose to give the rebranded bar.
But I’m getting ahead of myself here…
Let’s start at the beginning.
The End Zone Sports Bar and Grill is located in Houston, Texas.
When Jon Taffer first got there, Jon witnessed a fight between two “muscle-bound meatheads” during his usual recon mission.
Never one to shy away from conflict, Jon Taffer decided to go ahead with the bar rescue and try to save this bar.
The bar is owned by Justin Whitfield, who is a bodybuilder and former male stripper.
He needed help with the bar, so he got his friend Shawn, another male stripper (and MMA fighter) to lend a hand.
As you’d expect from a bar on Bar Rescue, there were all kinds of issues, such as bartenders getting drunk while working.
During the recon, they see gross hygiene when the chef is making the food.
The bar is also generally gross, with sticky floors and generally poor hygiene.
Despite supposedly being a sports bar, there’s a male stripper performance during the recon.
I guess that makes sense because the two people in charge are both male strippers.
Beyond the problems you see in the recon, there are also other issues with End Zone Sports Bar and Grill.
They’re also in huge debt – over $200,000 at the time of the episode.
With that being said, the bar does have a good location in Houston because it’s close to a lot of sporting venues.
Because of that, it should have a good chance of success if Jon Taffer can turn it around.
As proof of that, the bar was originally making over $100k per month, so it definitely has a lot of potential.
However, they obviously weren’t doing as well as their glory days, which is why the bar is making an appearance on Bar Rescue.
To help with the rescue, Jon Taffer brought in Kate Gerwin, a mixologist, and Vic Vegas, a chef.
Kate trains the bar staff to make drinks faster and more consistently, while Vic trains the kitchen staff on hygiene and making a good quality burger.
However, this training doesn’t really pay off during the stress test, as Taffer has to SHUT IT DOWN because things are going so poorly.
After the stress test, Jon Taffer and his team got started on a 36-hour renovation.
When he renovated and relaunched the bar, Jon Taffer kept the sports theme, but he switched the name from End Zone Sports Bar and Grill to Houston Sports Hub.
He also gave the bar all new decor and equipment, such as new POS systems and Turbo Tabs for the beer.
So – was the End Zone Bar Rescue visit a long-term success?
Keep reading to learn what happened next and if this Houston, TX bar is still open in 2023.
Houston Sports Hub Update - What Happened Next?
Now that we’ve recapped the Houston Sports Hub Bar Rescue episode, let’s talk about what happened to the bar after Jon Taffer and his crew left Houston, Texas.
They kept the name Jon chose for them for a while, but they eventually seem to have gone back to the old The Zone name.
For example, in this March 2022 Google Maps street view picture of the old The End Zone Houston location, you can see that the bar is sporting the original The End Zone sign:
They appeared to be doing well according to their Yelp page, though reviews are still less-than-stellar (only 3-stars at the time of writing this update).
I’ll share some post-Bar Rescue examples of Houston Sports Hub reviews below.
One of the owners, Justin Whitfield, also gave an interview to the Houston Chronicle.
In it, he has choice quotes such as “It was like a bar boot camp”.
And while Justin thinks that Jon Taffer “is a really nice guy,” he still wouldn’t do it again because “I don’t like being yelled at. The yelling wasn’t so bad. It was the stress.”
Beyond issues with Jon Taffer, Justin and Shawn also had personal issues.
They ended up splitting up and Shawn went and opened up his own bar across the street named The Corridor – more on this below.
Finally, I also saw a post on Reddit from someone who said they visited the bar and the bar has gotten rid of all of Jon Taffer’s aesthetic changes.
That person also said the bar wasn’t maintained well and there were issues like peeling paint and sticky floors.
So, it appears like Houston Sports Hub has started to slide back to their old habits, which might mean you’re not surprised at what happens next…
Is Houston Sports Hub still open after Bar Rescue?
Houston Sports Hub closed some time in mid-2022 according to my research. At that time, it had gone back to doing business as The End Zone Sports Bar and Grill
The bar closed because it was sold to a new owner named Robert who rebranded it as Player’s Sports Lounge.
I confirmed this by looking at the reviews. For example, here’s a review from mid-2022 that mentions the new owner:
There does seem to be some continuity because Player’s Sports Lounge has kept the same Google business listing.
However, because the bar is under new ownership and the name is different, that’s why I’ve marked Houston Sports Hub closed.
End Zone was featured on a Back to the Bar episode
While the End Zone Bar Rescue episode aired in Season 3, the bar was also featured on a Back to the Bar episode in Season 4.
In the episode, Jon’s expert goes back to the bar and checks out the kitchen.
There are no dead bugs and things seem to be a lot better.
However, we also learn that Shawn and Stephanie are no longer part of the show.
In fact, Shawn opened up a bar right across the street named The Corridor.
Here’s a picture of Shawn standing in front of The Corridor:
Shawn claims that there was drama and lies involved.
I found a clip of this on YouTube:
There’s also another clip on YouTube that shows Justin and Shawn arguing in studio with Jon Taffer acting as mediator.
We learn that Justin’s bar did $53,000 in sales in the previous month, while Shawn’s bar did just $10,000.
You can see this clip below:
Jon Taffer also gets upset when Shawn seems to call him a liar.
It’s some great drama haha.
As of 2023, The Corridor is also closed, so it seems like Shawn was not able to achieve long-term success with the bar.
Houston Sports Hub reviews after Bar Rescue
At the time that The End Zone / Houston Sports Hub closed, the bar had an overall 3 star rating on 74 reviews on its Yelp page.
Here’s a sampling of a few The End Zone reviews that were written after the visit from Jon Taffer…
4 star Yelp review from October 2019:
Went here because I saw this bar on bar rescue.
Found out the owner from bar rescue sold it and bought another bar in Katy tx.
This place wasn’t too bad.
The food order was messed up but they fixed it fast and the food was good.
Bar tenders are very nice and fast service.
1 star Yelp review from May 2015:
I would not recommend this place to anyone.
Beer is hot and they always make excuses of why, one of the owners is rude.
Restrooms are dirty, you would think after being on Bar Rescue this would be a really nice place to go.
I hope John T didn’t spend a lot of money on this one if he did its was a waste.
I don’t think this deserves any stars but I couldn’t post without at least one..sucks…thumbs down on this place.
2 star Yelp review from October 2017:
Wow-and NOT in a good way.
The service was not great and the beer sucked.
It wasn’t that busy and we waited longer than we should for refills and food.
And the DRAFT BEER – AWFUL.
The Dos XX draft was flat as hell and when we switched to Blue Moon, the beer literally tasted ROTTEN (I’m guessing the beer in both cases was super old).
The food was okay.
A bit cold and not worth $10 a plate but it was edible.
So much for Bar Rescue.
Didn’t rescue nothing as far as I could tell. :/
Justin Whitfield purchased another Houston Bar Rescue bar
Justin Whitfield was the original End Zone Sports Bar owner who you saw in the episode.
In an interesting bit of fate, Justin actually purchased a different bar from another Bar Rescue Houston episode.
He purchased Wildcatter Saloon / Bryant’s Ice House in Katy, TX, which was also featured on Bar Rescue Season 3.
I thought that was pretty cool.
Those two bars were the only Houston Bar Rescue episodes.
Or, you can check out my full list of all the Texas bars from Bar Rescue.
And if you want to share your thoughts on the Houston Sports Hub Bar Rescue episode, you can do so using the comments section below.
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Last updated: 2023-04-28 05:54