(keep reading to learn what happened)
Season: 2 | View All Season 2 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: July 29, 2012
The Bar's Original Name Was: Piratz Tavern
Piratz Tavern Address: 8402 Georgia Ave Silver Spring, Maryland 20910
Piratz Tavern, later renamed to Corporate Bar and Grill, was a Silver Spring, Maryland bar that was featured on Season 2 of Bar Rescue.
Though the Piratz Tavern Bar Rescue episode aired in July 2012, the actual filming and visit from Jon Taffer took place before that.
It was Season 2 Episode 1 and the episode name was “Yo-Ho-Ho and a Bottle of Dumb”, AKA the Bar Rescue pirate bar episode.
Piratz Tavern was an oddly pirate themed bar opened by Tracy Rebelo in 2007.
Located in Silver Spring, Maryland (near Washington DC), Piratz Tavern was filled with swashbuckling employees and patrons.
All the employees wore pirate costumes and spoke with cringey pirate lingo.
Why pirates? Tracy had a pirate-themed Halloween party and wanted to keep the party going forever.
Unfortunately, Tracy wasn’t quite at good at managing as she was theming, which is why Piratz Tavern was losing massive money when they called in Jon Taffer to help save the bar.
In fact, Tracy was dealing with almost a million dollars in debt – around $900,000. That’s a lot of treasure!
To make matters worse, Tracy has lost her house because of the debt at Piratz Tavern.
To recon the bar, Jon Taffer sends in his wife, Nicole Taffer.
In the tests, Nicole Taffer noticed revealing costumes and poor staff quality.
While the staff are friendly enough, they don’t seem to be very good at their jobs.
After Nicole left Piratz Tavern, Jon Taffer sent in another recon team because he figured out they recognized Nicole.
This second recon team had a much poorer experience because the staff didn’t realize they were anyone special.
When Jon met Tracy, he criticized the bar’s nearly inedible food and drinks, as well as the staff’s ridiculous costumes.
He calls her delusional for thinking that a pirate-themed bar could work in such a corporate, middle class area (Silver Spring).
Then, to help turn things around, Jon called in Josh Capon and Elayne Duke, as well as staff trainer Jessie Barnes.
Upon consultation, the experts decide that they basically need to start from scratch when it comes to the menus and staff training.
In addition to the experts, Jon also wanted to rip out the pirate theme and get the staff into regular clothes.
With that out of the way, Jon ran his trademark stress test…to very poor results.
Patrons were waiting 30+ minutes for drinks and the whole night was just generally a massive disaster.
After the stress test, the experts continue training the staff while Jon Taffer and his crew work on the renovations.
As part of the rebranding, Jon renamed Piratz Tavern to Corporate Bar and Grill which, if you think about is, is about as big of a change as he could’ve possible made.
Honestly, I always felt that the renovation was a bit spiteful because it’s so far away from what Tracy liked. Still, who am I to argue with Jon Taffer – I’m sure he thought it made sense given the corporate nature of where the bar is located.
Not surprisingly, Tracy hated the rebranding and wanted nothing to do with it.
However, Jon Taffer convinced her to at least think on it for a few days.
At the relaunch, things seem to be looking up for the new Corporate Bar and Grill.
However, you probably won’t be surprised by what happens next…
Piratz Tavern Update - What Happened Next?
Now that we’ve recapped the Corporate Bar and Grill Bar Rescue visit, let’s talk about what happened after Jon Taffer and his crew left Silver Spring, Maryland, including clips from a Back to the Bar episode, a new bar in Florida, Piratz Tavern reviews, and more.
There’s a lot to cover, so keep on readin’!
A few weeks after Jon made his changes to the bar and changed the name to Corporate Bar and Grill, Tracy closed the bar, redecorated it, and reopened it as Piratz Tavern again.
This is probably no surprise given what you saw on the episode as Tracy clearly did not like Jon Taffer’s concept.
It’s not just that they ditched the concept – the staff went out of their way to get rid of all the changes that Jon made.
Even going as far as burning some of the decor added by the Bar Rescue team (hilarious!).
They even made a more hilarious Piratz Revenge music video that documents some of the burning (and also showcases them calling Jon Taffer a bastard lol).
Honestly, that’s pretty funny. If you’re going to do something, you might as well do it big.
Is Piratz Tavern still open?
Piratz Tavern operated under its original pirates branding until 2015, when it closed its doors for good on April 4th, 2015.
This means that it survived for around three years after Taffer’s visit, which is actually a lot longer than I thought it would last given the bar’s huge debt load.
In announcing the bar’s closure, Tracy posted a lengthy message on Facebook. Here’s an excerpt…
Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Piratz Tavern will open it’s doors for the last time on Saturday April 4th.
Unfortunately the negative publicity, constant prank calls, vandalism and bogus reviews generated by our unfortunate participation on Bar Rescue have taken their toll.
To add insult to injury, late last year Taffer’s crew reached out to me again asking that we participate in a back to the bar episode.
They promised that it would be followed by a re-rescue and that they would right all the wrong’s committed during the first episode. Obviously I don’t learn. I believed them
Here’s a screenshot of the full post in case it gets deleted:
As of 2022, the old Piratz Tavern / Corporate Bar and Grill Maryland location is occupied by a new restaurant called The Republic Garden.
Here’s what the old Piratz Tavern / Corporate Bar and Grill Silver Spring MD location looks like in the most recent picture from Google Maps street view:
Piratz Tavern reviews after Bar Rescue
In the three years after appearing on Bar Rescue, the reviews were not very good.
Overall, it had just an overall 2.5 star rating on its Yelp page.
However, as Tracy mentioned in the post above, there were a lot of people leaving negative reviews who had never been to the bar and only watched the show (which isn’t a nice thing to do).
Here’s a quick sampling of some of the positive and negative genuine reviews that were written after the visit from Jon Taffer…
2 star review from November 2014:
Man oh Man… the Piratz Tavern… first of all I have been here both before and after the bar rescue show. The only difference is after bar rescue (after they undid what bar rescue did), it was a lot nicer and brighter.
I get they want to keep this bar authentic, and the staff are really in character, but sometimes it’s a bit much. I’ve definitely ordered food here, and they were simply “out of silverware”.
Excuse me?!?! I’m assuming this isn’t a rude pirate thing and there’s a back up in the kitchen, but still NO SILVERWARE!?!?
The grog…. ug… it tastes like heartburn. Whatever ginger extract they put in it is intense and not good. The food is whatever, they get an E for effort for the food.
Definitely go and check it out, it’s a great place for a birthday or to bring out of towners to. But i would just head there for a beer AFTER dinner somewhere else.
5 star review from August 2012:
Good food, good beers, good wine, fun staff. The Bar Rescue thing was propaganda. The organized campaign of vilification by people who live way-far-away claiming they visited right after the Bar Rescue show is terribly nasty and unfortunate.
I’m not a fan of mixed drinks in general and don’t care much for the grog here specifically, but many of my friends like them.
I think a good time to go is about 6-6:30 p.m on a Thursday evening to get some beers at Happy Hour prices and then Steak on a Stone, which goes on discount at 7. Just as I did with the girlfriend this past Thursday night. Yum!
1 star review from August 2012:
I was in D.C. for a meeting and since I drove decided that I had to stop in after the Bar Rescue episode. To keep it simple, Bar Rescue was 100% on target.
We went in with that in mind so expectations were very low. We actually at a Macaroni Grille first since we were expecting the food to be subpar (MG is not our favorite but figured it was safe).
The theme is fairly ridiculous but that’s not for me to judge.
We ordered the spicy chicken and it was so spicy it was inedible, can’t describe the taste since the heat just over powers every other sense. The coconut shrimp was fair. I ordered a grog and could not believe how awful it really was.
They have embraced the joke they are by selling a T-Shirt with some of Juiciano’s famous lines included( Not kid safe). It’s only a matter of time before this place has to close, it can’t survive serving really bad food and terrible drinks.
Piratz Tavern Back to the Bar episode
Before its closure, Piratz Tavern was also featured on an episode of Back to the Bar, which are special episodes where Jon Taffer revisits bars that he rescued.
This was mentioned in the Facebook post that I showed you above.
I can’t find the full episode online, but here are a few clips from the Back to the Bar episode.
In this first clip, Tracy and Juciano discuss whether or not they should ask Jon Taffer to come back and rescue Piratz Tavern again:
In this second clip, Tracy talks about ditching the Corporate Bar and Grill theme ad going back to the old pirate theme.
It also shows some before/after clips:
In this last clip, Jon Taffer talks to Tracy and Juciano about opening their new bar in Florida (more on that next):
Tracy Rebelo opened a new bar in Florida
While Piratz Tavern in Maryland is no longer open, the Rebelos did move down to Melbourne, Florida where they opened a new bar named Bar Refuge.
Tracy went on record saying that Bar Refuge was named that way because it was their refuge from Bar Rescue.
It did not have the pirate bar concept – it was just a “normal” bar.
Bar Refuge had a solid run. It opened around 2016 and then Tracy and Juciano sold it in 2018 because they wanted to focus on pursuing “creating eclectic art, interior renovations, sculpture and murals”.
However, as of 2022, Bar Refuge is also officially closed (it seems like it closed around 2019).
It did have much better reviews than Piratz Tavern, though. At the time of its closure, it had a 4 star rating on its Yelp page.
So it seems that while Piratz Tavern was a failure, the Rebelos might’ve learned a thing or two about running a bar from Jon Taffer.
As of 2022, the old Bar Refuge Melbourne, FL location is occupied by a new bar/restaurant named Drews Brews and Grille.
What are Tracy and Juciano doing after Bar Rescue?
As I mentioned above, Tracy and Juciano sold Bar Refuge so that they could focus on working with clients in their artistic careers.
As far as I can tell, they’re still doing that in 2022.
I wish them the best in their current and future endeavors.
Final thoughts on Piratz Tavern
Overall, the pirate bar Bar Rescue episode is probably one of the most famous from the show.
After Taffer did his 180 degree rebrand into Corporate Bar and Grill, Tracy and Juciano quickly ditched the new concept and went back to the pirate theme, even going as far as to burn the renovation stuff from Jon Taffer.
Piratz Tavern operated under the original pirate theme for around three years before it closed in 2015.
Jon Taffer and Bar Rescue also featured Piratz Tavern on a Back to the Bar episode in Season 4.
Nowadays, the old Piratz Tavern Silver Spring location is occupied by a much more traditional restaurant.
Tracy and Juciano then moved down to Florida and opened a new bar named Bar Refuge.
That bar seemed to be pretty successful until they sold it in 2018.
It then closed in 2019.
As of 2022, Tracy and Juciano seem to be focusing on their careers as creative artists.
That wraps things up!
If you want to see another Maryland Bar Rescue episode, you can check out my update for Murphy’s Law / JA Murphy’s in Baltimore.
Thanks for reading!
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Last updated: 2023-01-05 09:51