(keep reading to learn what happened)
Season: 3 | View All Season 3 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: November 10, 2013
The Bar's Original Name Was: Bottles and Cans
MT Bottle Address: 3940 Shelbyville Hwy Murfreesboro, TN 37127
Bottles and Cans, originally MT Bottle, was a Murfreesboro, Tennessee bar featured on Season 3 of Bar Rescue.
Though the Bottles and Cans Bar Rescue episode aired in November 2013, the actual filming and visit from Jon Taffer took place before that.
It was Season 3 Episode 26 and the episode name was “Empty Bottles Full Cans”
The bar was originally owned and founded by Tracy Bigford.
Tracy is married to Gina Bigford, who Tracy originally hired to manage the MT Bottle bar but later ended up marrying.
It seems like he made a good decision there!
At the beginning, the bar only served beer.
You know how Jon Taffer loves his cocktail mixologists, so you can bet he wasn’t happy about this limitation.
The MT Bottle bar also had a weird policy where patrons could bring their own bottles, which meant that patrons would bring their own beer instead of buying from MT Bottle.
Things were getting so bad that Gina had to take a full-time job just to keep things afloat.
What’s more, MT Bottle lacks a liquor license and was more than $250,000 in debt.
Those issues mean MT Bottle definitely needed some help from Jon Taffer and Bar Rescue.
To recon the bar, Jon sent in two locals, Rick and Jim.
The two are regulars and were greeted by the bartender by name.
One weird thing is that patrons can pay $5 to see the bartenders boobs, which is obviously stretching the rules a bit.
I gotta be honest – that’s not an offer that I see at most bars that I frequent.
What’s more, Rick and Jim are just sitting there drinking their own beers, which means MT Bottle isn’t making any money off their visit.
Eventually, Jon has seen enough and he heads in.
Here, he’s incredibly generous as he offers to help MT Bottle get its liquor license from his own money if needed.
That’s such a nice gesture from Jon – he really cares about helping the bars on Bar Rescue.
However, it wasn’t all wholesale. Jon reminded them that it’s illegal to pay for boob shows and he was frustrated with the general uncleanliness of the building.
Jon also had the standing water removed and tested for black mold, which is definitely something you don’t want to see in a bar.
Once Jon Taffer finally got the liquor license for the bar, he had Russell teach the bartenders how to make cocktails.
Overall, Jon was generally optimistic that selling liquor would be just what the bar needed to improve its bottom line.
As part of the relaunch, Jon also rebranded the bar from MT Bottle bar to Bottles and Cans bar.
So was the Bottles and Cans Bar Rescue visit a long-term success? Keep reading to learn what happened next and if this Murfreesboro, TN bar is still open in 2023.
MT Bottle Update - What Happened Next?
Now that we’ve recapped the MT Bottle Bar Rescue episode, let’s talk about what happened after Jon Taffer and his crew left Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
After rebranding from MT Bottle to Bottles and Cans, the new Bottles and Cans bar seemed to be doing well after Jon’s visit.
Jon left in 2013 and the bar seemed to be doing great.
What’s more, the liquor license helped Tracy and Gina earn more money and get back in the black.
However, it seems like they eventually lost the liquor license – spoiler alert.
Jon Taffer then returned to the Bottles and Cans bar in 2016 during the Season 4 Back to the Bar: Empty Pockets episode.
He solved some issues that the bar had, but things were generally still going well.
You can see a clip of part of this revisit in the YouTube video below.
In the video, Lisamarie Joyce revisits the bar.
Jon Taffer also watches Lisamarie’s visit and shares his thoughts on what’s happening at MT Bottles and Cans.
The first thing she notices is that they’ve added the MT back to the name – it’s now MT Bottles and Cans, rather than just Bottles and Cans.
However, they’ve kept most of Jon Taffer’s changes, including the horse trailer entrance.
Lisamarie says that it “looks like how Jon left it”.
Lisamarie also wants to taste the special Bar Rescue cocktails, but finds out that Bottles and Cans has lost its liquor license, which Jon Taffer calls a “disaster”.
Watch it below:
Reviews were more positive and customers were happy (though the reviews still weren’t perfect).
Here’s a sampling of a few reviews that were written after the visit from Jon Taffer…
3 star review from March 2014:
Some friends and I stopped by here to check the place out because of its appearance on Bar Rescue.
It definitely wasn’t the place for us: it’s a biker bar, and as non-bikers we felt very uncomfortable.
I give MT Bottle 3/5 stars because if we weren’t wildly out of place, it would’ve been pretty decent.
The drinks were cheap, and the appetizers were pretty good as far as fried bar food goes.
The owner was the most welcoming person in the bar. He came up to us and made sure we were doing ok almost immediately after we sat down.
The low point of our visit was our waitress/bartender. She seemed irritated by our presence and was annoyed that she had to serve us.
She was probably the single biggest reason that we felt so uncomfortable in MT Bottle.
Bottom Line: The place is absolutely a biker bar.
If that’s what you’re looking for then it’d probably be ok, but I would NOT go just because you saw the place on Bar Rescue.
3 star review from July 2014:
First stop on a Murfreesboro “Bar Rescue” tour with my brother and sister-in-law.
Since we aren’t bikers we weren’t sure what to expect.
There weren’t many on staff working, it was a quiet Wednesday evening. I can’t say it was a friendly atmosphere but nobody was rude so we could deal.
We were disappointed though to learn they no longer have a liquor license so we couldn’t try out the bar rescue drinks.
It would be great if they could work that problem out and sell more than beer.
We ordered two burgers and the Big Smo Pork sandwich. The food tasted great! The beer was fine.
We did see the owners but they were preoccupied with friends and a card game.
We did enjoy it and maybe because there wasn’t a biker crowd that night it was a pretty cool place to hang out.
They get 3 stars because it was only beer and they could have been a little more welcoming.
Is Bottles and Cans still open?
Unfortunately, MT Bottle/Bottles and Cans eventually closed in December 2019, which means the bar had a solid six-year run after its first appearance on Bar Rescue.
Tracy Bigford, the owner, passed away in April 2019, so it’s likely that had something to do with the closure. RIP, Tracy.
It’s an unfortunate situation for sure, as it’s tough for a bar to continue on without its owner.
You can see the Tracy Bigford obituary here.
In the obituary, it was noted that “Mr. Bigford was the owner and operator of M T Bottle Bar on Highway 231 for 11 years”, which is a great run for any bar.
Rest in peace, Tracy, and I wish the best to Gina.
During the closure, MT Bottles and Cans was listed for sale and ended up selling for around ~$325,000, though the purchase was more for the real estate than the bar.
As of 2022, the old MT Bottle Murfreesboro, TN location is occupied by a Domino’s Pizza.
You can see a picture of the new building in this Google Maps street view image:
Final thoughts on MT Bottle Bar Rescue episode
Overall, the MT Bottle visit seemed to do fairly well, because the bar managed to survive for over six years after Jon Taffer left.
However, it did lose the liquor license that Jon Taffer got the bar, which obviously put a dent in things.
Sadly, Tracy Bigford passed away in 2019, which is likely why the bar closed just a few months later.
The old Bottles and Cans Tennessee location was sold for ~$325,000 and is now occupied by a Domino’s pizza.
If you want to see some other Tennessee Bar Rescue episodes, check out these posts:
- Pit and Barrel / BoondoxXx BBQ
- Robusta / Havana Mix Cigar update
- Gaddy Shack / Crossroads Grille update
- The Dickson / Wanted Saloon update
- The Legacy / Game Time Sports Bar update
Thanks for reading!
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Last updated: 2022-12-04 06:06