Natalie’s Bar Rescue Update (Skip and Jan’s) – Still Open Today?

Is Natalie's Bar and Grill still open today?

Status: >> OPEN <<
(keep reading to learn what happened)

Season: 9 | View All Season 9 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: February 25, 2024
The Bar's Original Name Was: Skip and Jan's
Natalie's Bar and Grill Address: 1520 W Warner Rd. Gilbert, AZ 85233

Skip and Jan's / Natalie's Bar Rescue episode

Episode Recap

Skip and Jan’s Sports Grill, later renamed to Natalie’s Bar and Grill, was a Gilbert Arizona bar that was featured on Season 9 of Bar Rescue.

Though the Natalie’s Bar Rescue episode aired in February 2024, the actual filming and visit from Jon Taffer took place earlier in October 2023.

It was Season 9 Episode 1 and the episode name was “Deadliest Kitchen”.

In this episode, Jon Taffer and his crew head to Skip and Jan’s Sports Grill and Billiards in Gilbert, AZ.

It was the first episode of Season 9 and, at the time of its airing, it marked Jon Taffer’s 12th visit to Arizona.

The actual Skip and Jan’s Jon Taffer visit happened around October 2023.

If you’re not up on your Arizona geography, Gilbert is a town in Maricopa County, located in the Phoenix metropolitan area (to the Southeast of the main downtown).

Skip and Jan’s is owned by Natalie Poyner.

Natalie's owner on Bar Rescue

Spoiler alert – Natalie’s name will play a much bigger role in the bar’s branding after Jon Taffer works his magic.

The bar doesn’t have the most glamorous location – Skip and Jan’s bar is located on the corner lot in a strip mall.

Still, it seems to get a good amount of traffic and the signage is visible from the street, which is always a good thing.

Originally, Natalie had worked at Skip and Jan’s for a long time.

However, when the original Skip and Jan’s owners wanted to close the bar, Natalie and her husband decided to purchase the bar to stop that from happening.

Sadly, Natalie and her husband ended up divorcing, and Natalie had to step away from running the bar to focus on her family (she has four kids).

With no oversight, the employees let standards drop and the bar started going downhill.

To try to turn things around, Natalie brought in her son, Kaycie, to help in the Skip and Jan’s kitchen.

But despite that, the bar is still struggling and on the verge of closing.

When Jon Taffer visits the bar, he’s in shock at the state of the kitchen, calling the griddle “one of the dirtiest griddles that he’s ever seen”.

Given that Taffer has rescued well over 200 bars now, that’s “high praise”, but in a bad way haha.

There are also cockroaches walking around the kitchen, which is never something you want to see (but again, not that surprising given that this is Bar Rescue).

Because of how gross the kitchen is, Taffer has to send in his expert (the blue-haired Jason Santos, who Jon Taffer calls one of the “finest chefs in America”) to SHUT IT DOWN and call out the Skip and Jan’s chef, Julio.

Jason Santos shutting down Skip and Jan's kitchen on Bar Rescue

To be honest, I’m kind of bummed that Taffer didn’t come in and do the original shut down himself, but oh well.

After the kitchen staff don’t seem to respond to Jason Santos, Jon Taffer comes in to find Natalie and show her everything that’s wrong in the kitchen at Skip and Jan’s bar.

The whole scene is pretty funny because you can see Jon Taffer slowly heating up until he reaches the boiling point.

By boiling point, I mean “he starts yelling”.

Jon Taffer in Skip and Jan's kitchen on Bar Rescue

That’s all I have from the Skip and Jan’s preview video, but I might update this with a more detailed episode recap later.

As part of the renovations, Jon Taffer gave the bar a new name.

Taffer changed it from Skip and Jan’s Sports Grill to Natalie’s Bar and Grill.

The full tagline is Natalie’s: A Great Billiards Bar and Grill, which is a bit of a mouthful in my opinion.

However, it does keep the “billiards” part in the name, which I think is important for bringing in people interested in playing pool.

Obviously, the name is based on Natalie, who is the owner of the bar.

So was the Skip and Jan’s Bar Rescue visit a long-term success?

Keep reading my update to learn what happened next and if this Gilbert, Arizona bar is still open in 2024.

Natalie's Bar and Grill Update - What Happened Next?

Now that we’ve recapped the Natalie’s Bar Rescue visit, let’s talk about what happened to the bar after Jon Taffer and his crew left Gilbert, Arizona.

Here’s how I’ll do this:

First, I’ll talk about the most important question on your mind – if Natalie’s is still open.

I’ll also cover whether it’s kept Taffer’s concept, and how the bar is doing.

Then, I’ll share some real customer reviews for Natalie’s so that you can get a feel for how the bar is doing with its customers after Taffer’s visit.

Finally, I’ll recap everything and share some related episodes at the end.

Let’s dig in…

Is Natalie’s still open after Bar Rescue?

As of 2024, Natalie’s Bar and Grill is still open and serving customers in Gilbert, Arizona.

The bar has kept the name and concept that Jon Taffer gave it and continues to do business using the Natalie’s Bar and Grill name.

However, it seems like they’ve added back a lot of the older menu items, while still keeping some of the new dishes from Bar Rescue.

It seems like they made this change on November 3rd, 2023, so less than a month after Taffer’s visit.

Here’s a Facebook post where they announce the change (I’ll post a close-up of the actual menu below):

Natalie's post announcing its bringing back the old menu

Here’s what the Natalie’s Bar menu looked like immediately after the Bar Rescue visit – you can see that it’s pretty small, which made some regulars at the bar upset.

Natalie's Bar Rescue menu

And then here’s a closeup of the Natalie’s food menu – you can see that it’s much larger than what Taffer left the place with.

Natalie's Bar and Grill food menu after Bar Rescue

I can understand why they felt like they needed to add back older dishes, as there seemed to be a decent number of regulars asking about it on Facebook.

That’s always the tricky part of being rescued – you want to move forward with Taffer’s changes but you also don’t want to completely alienate the regulars that you do have.

For example, here are some comments in a Reddit thread from people who didn’t like the changes:

Reddit thread about the Skip and Jan's / Natalie's Bar Rescue episode

In terms of events, Natalie’s Bar and Grill seems to have all the regular events that you’d expect from a bar.

They seem to lean quite heavily on karaoke – they have karaoke nights four nights per week, from Wednesday through Saturday.

The karaoke seems to be provided by a third-party service named Elite Karaoke and DJ Services:

Natalie's bar karaoke

Natalie’s also seems to have weekly billiards tournaments, organized by a group named We Play Billiards.

The tournaments are paid and seem to have pretty hefty winnings.

For example, I found this Facebook post of someone who won $1,325 at a February 2024 billiards tournament at Natalie’s.

Natalie's billiards tournaments

Beyond that, there are plenty of food and drinks specials at Natalie’s Bar and Grill.

Here’s what the Natalie’s Bar Gilbert AZ location looks like in the most recent picture from Google Maps street view…

Unfortunately, the picture hasn’t been updated since December 2020, so it doesn’t include the Natalie’s branding change.

I’m mainly including it so that you can explore the area around the bar.

Next, let’s talk about what the reviews are like at the bar after Taffer’s visit…

Natalie’s Bar reviews after Jon Taffer

Overall, Natalie’s Bar and Grill has just a 3.2 star rating on its 164+ Yelp reviews.

On Google, things are a little better, with a 4.1 star rating on 749+ Google Reviews.

However, both those numbers include reviews from both before and after the Jon Taffer Natalie’s visit, and most of them were written when the bar was still known as Skip and Jan’s Sports Grill.

To find out what customers think of the bar after Jon Taffer’s changes, I focused specifically on reviews that were written after his visit.

On Yelp, the “after” reviews seem to be a bit hit or miss.

There are a number of five star reviews praising the bar’s changes, but there are also several one or two star reviews that basically say “new name, same service”.

In general, the positive reviews seem to praise the service and atmosphere of the bar.

However, the negative reviews also seem to focus on service, so I’m not sure what to make of that.

Some people seem to complain that “regulars” get better service than other people, so maybe that explains the difference.

On Google, a lot of people also seem to praise the karaoke, which makes sense because Natalie’s seems to host karaoke a lot (four nights a week).

To give you an idea of what customers are saying, let’s take a look at a few real customer reviews that were written after the Natalie’s Bar Jon Taffer updates…

5 star Yelp review from October 2023:

I love this place!!

It’s now called Natalie’s but same owner as Skip and Jans!!

This will always be my favorite local watering hole!

Great food and great service!

Bar Rescue remodeled everything, and it looks great!

So happy the owner Natalie stayed, she’s the best!!!

5 star Yelp review from December 2023:

Been here 2 times in a week because we were very happy with our first experience!

Went here for the first time on a Sunday and it was pretty empty, but service was great and food was good.

I got a grilled cheese and fries (so it’s not that impressive but at least it tasted like a good grilled cheese and the fries were on point lol).

They have a lot of pool tables in a separate room from the bar area.

2nd time was a Thurs and they had karaoke going on the bar side and the pool table side wasn’t overpowered with the noise.

Very cool place.

We will be regulars soon lol

5 star Google review from December 2023:

We came here a couple times after the Bar Rescue revamp, and it was not what we had become accustomed to for over a year (both food menu and service times).

So I changed my 5 star to a 1 star review, however….

I am HAPPY to announce that they now have the exact same feel that they used to, and we’ve been back a few times in the last few weeks, and the food menu is fully back, and the wait time for drinks and food is back down to what we came to love from this place!!

Please come and check this place out, it’s great for a cheap drink, and they also do karaoke 4 days a week!!

5 star Google review from October 2023:

Loved the new Natalie’s great service

Is always a great time to see the owner serve as well as a great staff!

4 star Google review from January 2024 (I’m not sure why it’s 4 stars because it seems negative):

On this visited I received the typical service I have come to expect at Natalie’s, BAD.

Took over 45 minutes to receive my first drink.

Later in the night it was over an hour to receive my drink, which I had to ask 3 different servers for.

One server told me to “Relax I am getting it.”

After the reopening things looked cleaned up around the bar, but the service is still terrible.

2 star Yelp review from November 2023:

Same service when it was Skip & Jan’s, terrible.

They do need more servers on the floor as it takes forever for any type of service.

Food, still bar food that isn’t special.

The place looks the same but they took out the pool table out of the bar and added more seating.

Bathrooms are filthy and just need to be cleaned and repainted.

Simple things the owners could take care of in a day at a low cost.

Not a spot I would recommend unless you use their pool room.

The owners could do more and I thought Bar Rescue came in to help.

Cheap drinks is what has people coming in and pool tournaments.

1 star Yelp review from November 2023:

If you are not a regular do not come here. came here on a Saturday.

I sat for 20 minutes waiting to get served and they weren’t even busy.

The tacos were so greasy thought I was at jack in the box.

If no one pays for music it will be dead silent in the bar, how weird?

Finally, here’s a screenshot of a more lengthy 2-star Yelp review from someone who seems like they’ve experienced the bar both before and after the Bar Rescue visit (as well as the previous bar at that location).

Natalie's Bar and Grill review after Bar Rescue

What happened to Natalie after Bar Rescue?

Natalie Poyner was the owner of Skip and Jan’s from the episode.

As of 2024, Natalie is still the owner at the bar and she seems to be there all the time.

I guess that makes sense – it can’t still be called Natalie’s if she ever leaves!

I hope she doesn’t ever want to sell it haha.

Final thoughts on Natalie’s Bar and Grill

Overall, Natalie’s Bar and Grill seems to be doing alright since Taffer’s visit.

They’ve kept the new name and concept from Taffer, though they have added back some of the older menu items.

They seem to have lots of regular events, including karaoke and billiards.

The reviews are still a bit mixed, but hopefully they will continue to shift more positive going forward.

All in all, I wish Natalie and everyone else success, as I’m always pulling for bars from the show to succeed.

That wraps up my Natalie’s Bar Rescue update.

If you want to see some other billiards Bar Rescue episodes, you can also check out my updates for Angels / Rack’s Billiards in Corona CA, Zanzibar / Solids and Stripes in Denver CO, Griff’s Billiards Bar in Las Vegas, and Lucky Leprechaun / Lucky’s Corner Pocket in Davenport FL.

If you want to see some other nearby Arizona Bar Rescue episodes, you also might be interested in my updates for Havana Cabana / Rocky Point Cantina in Tempe, Brick and Barley / Baseline in Tempe, Brenda’s Inferno / Armadillo Grill in Phoenix, Skybox / Hogwash Saloon in Fountain Hills, and George and Dragon in Phoenix.

I also have a full list of all 12+ Bar Rescue Arizona episodes as of 2024.

And if you want to share your thoughts on Natalie’s Bar and Grill / Skip and Jan’s (or the episode in general), you can use the comments section below.

As always – thanks for reading!

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Last updated: 2024-03-09 05:29

6 thoughts on “Natalie’s Bar Rescue Update (Skip and Jan’s) – Still Open Today?”

All comments are the sole opinion of the commenter and are not endorsed by RealityTVUpdates.

  1. Enjoyed the episode and liked your review but my big question is did Natalie bring Julio back in the kitchen because if she did that is a big reason why the ratings in is the 3’s.

    • I will try to find out! I haven’t had a chance to watch the full episode yet because I’m on vacation but I will update this when I’m back and can do a full watch and dig into the details.

  2. Natalie’s is only a few minutes from my house so my wife and I went over there last week to give it a try. All of the food and drink changes made by Jon taffer have been abandoned.

    We started off with a couple of margaritas hoping they would be made from scratch but it was a draft margarita and horrible.

    From there on out we stuck to beer just to be safe while we shot some pool.

    It was disappointing to see that the menu changes were abandoned so soon and it seems like they never gave a chance for new clientele to come in.

    Now they have all their penny pinching regulars buying bottled beer and will continue to struggle to make it financially.

  3. Julio is back and the filth is building back too. Maricopa County has their eyes on this place, it won’t surprise me if they are shut down permanently.


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