(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.”
With that being said, I did see 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.
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.
The other nearest bars that Jon Taffer visited are in the Austin area – Headhunters / Metal and Lace in Austin, The Morgue / Kiva Lounge in San Marcos, and The Brixton / Rocket Room 6 in Austin.
What did you think about the Houston Sports Hub Bar Rescue episode? I'd love it if you shared your thoughts on the episode in the comments below!
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Last updated: 2023-03-02 06:53
15 thoughts on “Houston Sports Hub Bar Rescue Update (The End Zone) – Still Open in 2023?”
All comments are the sole opinion of the commenter and are not endorsed by RealityTVUpdates.
I saw a bar rescue and it was great I just don’t understand why John Denver keeps bailing out this losers that don’t know how to run their business anyway I like some of it but I just don’t understand why he keeps bailing out all of those losers I say losers because they drink up all the profits let everybody do what they want they can’t manage their business in any bales them out because that’s a democratic way
The guy’s name is Jon Taffer not John Denver haha. John Denver is the singer.
John Denver is also dead lol
Sunshine on my shoulders makes taff happy..taffer mountain high
John Denver flew into a mountain..cuz he was literally rocky mountain HIGH
Justin sold this bar over 5 years ago
Thanks! I will add that to the update as soon as I get some time.
They also changed the name after Jon left.
Watching that episode now. Drive by this place daily. Wondering how they got that crowd for the opening. Doesn’t exactly look like a neighborhood crowd, and the location is far from the trendy part of Houston that young hipsters would drive to.
And the name has recently changed again to Players Sports Lounge.
Thanks for sharing! Sounds like I might need to update this one again.
Jon Taffer should have named that bar Oompa Loompa. You can write this one off as another failure, not against Jon though, giving another chance to people who are nothing but a couple of non business savvy clowns.
I see you added a comment today since the episode was airing. I’ve been checking this website every episode, every day in the mornings when the episodes are airing and it’s a big help.
I would actually consider this a huge success if it’s still open 8 years later. It feels like when I check on all the updates, easily 90+% of the bars are closed, and most of them closed within two years of the rescue. So, comparatively, I would say this one was actually a great success if it is still kicking around today.
I’m glad you find the site helpful!
Looks like there might be new owners: https://goo.gl/maps/7qiSsWtuBSLzRoe9A
I SAW THEM ON BAR RESCUE..!!! THINGS CAME OUT BEAUTIFUL…!!!
THEY WILL PREVAIL..!!!