(keep reading to learn what happened)
Season: 4 | View All Season 4 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: November 2, 2014
The Bar's Original Name Was: Jack's Ale House
Jack's Fire Department Address: 39-46 Skillman Ave Sunnyside, NY 11104
Jack’s Ale House, later renamed Jack’s Fire Department, was a Sunnyside, New York bar that was featured on Season 4 of Bar Rescue.
Though the Jack’s Ale House Bar Rescue episode aired in November 2014, the actual filming and visit from Jon Taffer took place before that.
It was Season 4 Episode 5 and the episode name was “Anything You Can Yell, I Can Yell Louder”.
In this episode, Jon Taffer heads to Sunnyside NY to rescue the Jack’s Ale House bar.
Jack’s Ale House is owned by brothers Jimmy and Brian McGowan.
Sunnyside is a neighborhood in the western part of Queens, so it’s part of New York City.
When I first heard “Sunnyside”, I was picturing some idyllic town.
But it’s really just a place in New York City.
The brothers are both firefighters, which will become very important later in the show.
Their father initially owned the bar, but they inherited it in 2003.
That means they’ve been running the show for more than a decade before the Jack’s Ale House Bar Rescue episode happened.
In 2011 the brothers decided to shut down and renovate the bar.
To do this, they brought in their eldest brother, John (not to be confused with Jon Taffer, without the “h”).
John said the renovations were a disaster at Jack’s Ale House.
By the time they re-opened the Jack’s Ale House bar after the renovations, the clientele had changed.
As a result, they were left with no patrons.
They are in severe debt and are months away from closing their doors for good, which is why the episode exists.
To help save the bar, Jon Taffer brings in mixologist Russell Davis and expert chef Vic Vegas.
On their first look, they think the bar is bland and has an unused back deck.
Jon also brings in the Tubridy brothers, who appeared on Bar Rescue previously in the Bungalow Bar episode, another New York City Bar Rescue episode.
The brothers come in as spies, and they order a Harvey Wallbanger.
However, the bar staff has no idea what that is.
They also do not know how to make a cosmo, which is about as basic as it gets.
In the kitchen, the cook uses one glove and microwaves the food.
Microwaved food is a stable of Bar Rescue bars, but it’s still never fun to see.
Jon Taffer comes into the bar because he’s seen enough at this point.
Christine is the bartender and the wife of one of the owners (Jimmy).
She thinks the bar has potential, but Jimmy doesn’t follow through on what he says.
The McGowan brothers are fighting, and Jon leaves, saying maybe the best thing is to sell the bar.
Jon comes back the next day very frustrated with the owners.
Jon Taffer introduces his experts to the team and explains how they will help rescue Jack’s.
Jon really likes the idea of using the patio and wants to use it during the stress test.
Russell teaches the bartenders to ask the customers if they would like another drink.
He also teaches them how to make a Harvey Wallbanger.
Vic Vegas tells the cook you always need to wear two gloves in the kitchen.
During the stress test, Jon is making Brian manage the floor, Jimmy manage the bar, and John will be in charge of the kitchen.
The stress test begins, and the staff does not even acknowledge customers.
Jimmy begins to lose his patience. The wait is 20 minutes for quesadillas.
Jimmy starts to drink behind the bar and gets defensive when Jon confronts him.
The next day, Jon meets with the brothers.
Jon brings in their mother to try to get through to them.
While that’s happening, Russell shows the bar staff what a culinary torch is.
He shows them how to use it to make cocktails.
Vic is introducing a Jacked-up Grilled Cheese challenge.
The customer has to finish the whole sandwich without taking a drink of milk, and they will win a t-shirt.
Once they get the food and drink going, Jon Taffer and his crew start on the renovations.
As part of the changes, Jon changed the name from Jack’s Ale House to Jack’s Fire Department, along with an atmosphere to match.
The patio is now usable, as well, so Jack’s Fire Department will be able to take advantage of the outdoor space.
Everyone is excited about the relaunch.
There is a new draft beer system and a POS system on the new and improved deck.
Note – the new bar name is Jack’s Fire Department. I see some people call it the Jack’s Firehouse Bar Rescue episode, but the official rename is “fire department” not “firehouse”.
So would Jon Taffer’s changes at Jack’s Fire Department lead to long-term success?
Keep reading to learn what happened next and if this Sunnyside, NY bar is still open in 2024 and beyond.
Jack's Fire Department Update - What Happened Next?
Now that we’ve recapped the Jack’s Fire Department Bar Rescue visit, let’s talk about what happened after Jon Taffer went back to the clouds and left Sunnyside, NY.
Things started off very strong.
In the 1.5 months after Jon Taffer’s visit, the sales at the bar had more than tripled, which is one of the biggest increases that you’ll find.
Let’s talk about the show’s second visit to the bar and then I’ll get to where the bar is in 2024, along with some real customer reviews for the bar.
Jack’s Fire Department Back to the Bar Episode (Season 4)
Things were going so well that the Tubridy brothers from Bungalow Bar revisited Jack’s Fire Department in one of the Back to the Bar episodes.
In that episode, you can see that the owners kept virtually all of Taffer’s changes, including the new Jack’s Fire Department name.
I can’t find the full Jack’s Fire Department Back to the Bar segment, but I did find a three-minute YouTube segment that includes the Tubridy brothers revisiting Jack’s Fire Department.
Jon Taffer says that the bar “looks great” and they’ve kept the theme, the cocktails, and Jon Taffer’s system.
However, Jimmy still seems to have some anger issues, which Jon Taffer points out in the clip.
So all is not cured at Jack’s Fire Dept, even though the business seems to be going great.
I’ve embedded the clip below if you want to watch it.
Again, it’s only around 3 minutes long, but you should be able to find the full episode on Paramount Plus if you’re a subscribed.
Is Jack’s Fire Department still open after Bar Rescue?
As of 2024, Jack’s Fire Department is still open and serving customers in Sunnyside, NY.
This means that it’s now survived for a decade since the episode aired on TV, which is a big success story.
Congratulations to the brothers on the success of the Jack’s Fire Department bar!
The bar isn’t very active on Facebook, though.
For example, when I’m updating this post again in February 2024, the last post on the Facebook page is from December 2022.
Jack’s Fire Dept does seem much more active on its Instagram page, where the bar is still regularly posting events and specials.
In addition to sports/food/drink specials, the bar also seems to have some of the other events that you’d expect.
For example, they have karaoke nights pretty regularly, based on the Instagram posts that I’m seeing.
They also seem to have live DJ’s sometimes.
If you want to learn more or see the Jack’s Fire Department menu, you can head to the official Jack’s Fire Department website.
Here’s an example of the Jack’s Fire Department food menu to give you an idea of the prices:
And then here’s what the Jack’s Firehouse Sunnyside NY location looks like in the most recent picture from Google Maps street view:
The picture is from June 2022.
Now, let’s take a look at some reviews for the bar…
Jack’s Fire Department reviews after Bar Rescue
I always think it’s interesting to see what real customer reviews look like at the bars from the show.
Given that Jack’s Fire Department is still open a decade after its episode aired on TV, you can probably guess that it’s doing alright.
Reviews for the bar are pretty good as it has a 4 star rating on Yelp and a 4.9 star rating on Facebook.
In general, people seem to praise the atmosphere of the bar as well as the food and service.
The one thing people seem negative about is that there aren’t a lot of options for vegetarians.
That makes sense when most people are praising the burger.
Here’s a sampling of a few reviews that were written after the Jack’s Fire Dept Bar Rescue visit…
4 star Yelp review from November 2022:
Until reading these reviews, I had no idea this was on bar rescue.
Went here on night after having a beer at the brewery around the corner.
The decor is definately funky which makes it fun, the place was not crowded at all.
A few people hanging out.
The bartender was quite pleasant.
I kept it simple – beer, cheeseburger and fries.
All were pretty good.
Nice place, good food.
3 star Yelp review from July 2022:
I saw this place on an episode of Bar Rescue and was really excited to visit a Makeover spot that was in the area and still open!
We dropped by on a Friday afternoon so the place was not busy at all.
The food was great, although they didn’t have my first choice of dish.
The high point of the experience was definitely the server who was friendly and made great substitutions.
Unfortunately, although the cool decor (firehouse theme) was still there, the place seemed a little rundown.
I might visit again but only if I happen to be in the neighborhood.
4 star Yelp review from September 2016:
Place is cool nothing special but i can say the food has gotten way better since bar rescue.
Happy hour here is out of this world i give them that.
Drinks are dirt cheap and the atmosphere aint bad at all.
I would def come back here but overall nothing special here
4 star Yelp review from May 2015:
While waiting for a friend I decided to check out a bar I seen Jon taffer and bar rescue fixed up and it looks really good on skillman and 40th street.
The inside was just as good and it was great to see rangers fans root the team on.
Now as for the service it is good when it comes to the drinks it was great.
But waiting on my burger was longer than I liked but my eyes was on the hockey game instead of the clock.
My meal was really good and I am gonna come back
Final thoughts on the Jack’s Fire Department bar
Overall, the Jack’s Ale House Bar Rescue episode seems like a real success.
Not only did the owners keep Jon’s changes, but they’re also still going strong a full decade after Jon Taffer’s visit.
That’s far more than most other bars and a true testament to the work of the brothers, as well as the rescue from Jon Taffer.
Overall, Jack’s Fire Department doesn’t seem to be showing any signs of slowing down, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see it stay open for another decade.
If you want to see some other nearby New York City Bar Rescue episodes, make sure to check out Bungalow Bar in Rockaway, which is where the Tubridy brothers came from for recon.
Other updates for nearby bars include Artful Dodger / P’s and Q’s Autobody in Huntington, Undisputed / SoYo Craft Bar in Yonkers, and Tres Cuartos / Laguna Lounge in Jersey City NJ.
If you’re interested in another “fire department themed episode”, you can also check out my update for Dave’s Firehouse / Firehouse Sports Bar in Nampa ID, which aired in Season 8.
And if you want to share your thoughts on Jack’s Fire Department or the episode, you can do so using the comments section below.
As always – thanks for reading!
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Last updated: 2024-02-04 06:05