(keep reading to learn what happened)
Season: 6 | View All Season 6 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: May 19, 2019
The Bar's Original Name Was: Gil & Rick's Sports Bar and Pizzeria
Sauced Sports Bar Address: 1250 Seminole Blvd Largo, FL 33770
Gil & Rick’s Sports Bar and Pizzeria, later renamed to Sauced Sports Bar, was a Largo, Florida bar that was featured on Season 6 of Bar Rescue.
Though the Sauced Bar Rescue episode aired in May 2019, the actual filming and visit from Jon Taffer took place around a year earlier in 2018.
It was Season 6 Episode 36 and the episode name was “Pie Hard”. This is also the Dave Portnoy Bar Rescue episode if you’re a Barstool Sports fan, as Dave was one of Jon Taffer’s helpers.
In this episode, Jon Taffer and Dave Portnoy, a special guest, are in Largo, FL visiting Gil & Rick’s Sports Bar and Pizzeria.
Gil Grim and his friend Rick Johnson bought the bar in 2015, which means they’ve owned it for about three years at the time of the Gil & Rick’s Bar Rescue visit.
Due to the owner’s inexperience in the hospitality industry, the bar declines.
Gil and Rick have invested a lot of time and money into the bar and are now in debt.
The two men also manage the bar differently, which leads to confusion amongst the staff.
As I mentioned above, Jon Taffer has a very special guest for this episode – Dave Portnoy.
If you’re not familiar with Dave, he’s the founder and CEO of Barstool Sports.
In addition to managing that company, he’s also very active on social media, including posting videos where he reviews pizzas from all the places that he visits.
Because the bar in this episode serves pizza, it seems like a perfect chance for some cross-promotion with Barstool Sports, which is why the Dave Portnoy Bar Rescue episode happened.
To see what’s happening in the bar, Jon Taffer and Dave Portnoy are watching camera footage in the car.
The hidden camera footage shows the owners not working hard.
The footage also shows Erica, the bar manager, Kelly and Michael, the bartenders, and the kitchen manager, Taz.
Frank, a Barstool Sports staffer, goes into Gil and Rick’s Sports Bar and is told to order every pizza option on the menu.
After sitting for a while, Frank’s order is finally taken.
Taz is upset in the kitchen about Frank’s order because it’s so big. He keeps calling Frank an a**hole, even though all Frank did was order some food.
It’s also weird because Taz has to keep looking at the menu to even make the pizzas in the first place.
To make things even more awkward, Gil approaches Frank at the bar and asks him to prepay for his meal.
This really grinds Jon Taffer’s gears because it’s not creating a good customer experience.
Rick and Taz make the pizzas in the kitchen and bring them out to Frank.
Dave Portnoy enters the bar and tries the pizzas with Frank.
Frank and Dave decide the pizza is undercooked and greasy.
After entering the bar, Jon samples the pizzas and gives the owners negative feedback.
He also tells them he doesn’t appreciate how they treated their customers.
The next day Jon Taffer returns.
Rick is condemned for giving away fifteen complimentary cocktails the day before.
Pizza maker Frank Pinello and mixologist Rob Floyd are introduced to further help with the rescue.
While inspecting the bar, Jon Taffer finds dirt and grime all over the floor and the soda guns.
Rob trains the bartenders on a margarita after the owners and the staff clean the bar.
Frank teaches the cooks in the kitchen how to make a tasty pizza quick.
The stress test is about to begin, and the customers are going to time how long it takes from when they order their pizza until they receive it.
Immediately the bar is overrun with customers.
Taz is overwhelmed in the kitchen and keeps messing up.
The oven is broken, so the pies are cooking unevenly.
Jon Taffer shuts down the test once the kitchen reaches one hour’s wait time.
The next day, Rob trained the staff on making Rick’s Mule, a signature drink.
The kitchen staff learns how to cook pizza like a New Yorker.
Jon Taffer also meets with Rick and Gil and reminds them they need to support each other to keep the bar afloat.
While all of that’s happening, Jon Taffer and his crew are also hard at work on renovating Gil & Rick’.
Before the relaunch, the renovations are revealed.
As part of the changes, Jon has changed the bar’s name to Sauced.
I think the new is a huge improvement as it’s easier to remember and also has some fun wordplay for a bar.
If you’re not familiar, “sauced” is also slang for being drunk.
Beyond the new name, there are also physical changes and improvements in the bar.
Draft Medic supplied the bar with a beer tower, and East Coast Chair and Barstool gifted the bar new furniture.
Customers come to the bar for the relaunch.
The bar can keep up with all of the orders coming in.
The customers love the décor and the pizza.
So is Sauced still open in 2024 and was the first and only Dave Portnoy Bar Rescue episode a success? Keep reading to learn what happened next!
Sauced Sports Bar Update - What Happened Next?
Now that we’ve recapped the Sauced Bar Rescue episode, let’s talk about what happened to the bar after Jon Taffer and Dave Portnoy left Largo, FL, along with the crews from Bar Rescue and Barstool Sports.
Things started off well at the bar, as sales were up.
The owners also kept the new Sauced name that Jon Taffer gave the bar, which is always a good sign.
So was sticking with Jon Taffer’s concept a good decision?
So far, it seems like the answer is yes!
Is Sauced from Bar Rescue still open?
As of 2023, Sauced is still open and serving customers in Largo, FL.
The bar has regular events, including poker on Monday nights and live music.
Sauced also regularly posts about these events on its Facebook page.
For example, here’s a recent example of a post about the regular Sauced Bar karaoke night:
However, reviews for the bar seem pretty average, as it has just a 3 star rating on Yelp and a 4 star rating on Google Reviews.
Sauced Facebook reviews are a bit better, though, as it’s sitting at a 4.6 star rating there.
Here’s a sampling of some recent reviews that happened after the Sauced Bar Rescue episode:
4 star Yelp review:
Pretty good food.
Atmosphere was sports bar/dive bar/local spot.
Picked up some wings and a pizza.
Price was great and the food was good.
Went around 8pm on a Friday night and it wasn’t packed at all.
4 star Yelp review:
Sauced used to be Rick & Gil’s.
They were featured on Bar Rescue.
The place looks great, the food is good, the waitress was good, but on a Friday night, there only 3 people there!!!
The poor Kareoke guy was singing his heart put to 3 people.
Come on people, give this place a try!!!
5 star Google review:
I love visiting this bar when I’m in Florida.
I LOVE Gabe with his trivia and “dab-a-toons”.
The bartender is by far one of the best as well!
Three star Yelp review:
for a pizza place the pizza was disgustingly greasy i had to use 2 napkins just to make it edible.
I also got the boneless wings.
The garlic parm and blackened were pretty good.
Waited about 30-45 minutes from entry to receiving our food.
1 star Yelp review from July 2020:
Tried it when it was Gil and Rick’s. Pizza sucked back then.
Thought I would try it now that Bar Rescue made it over. Still sucks now.
Pizza back then used sauce out of a can, took over an hour to come out.
Now, seems like the same.
More cheese than sauce. Ordered garlic bread which came out smothered in cheese.
Couldn’t even taste the garlic or bread for the cheese. Ordered an Antipasta salad as well.
Not sure the owners have ever been to a real pizza place.
Hungry Howie’s, Little Cesar’s and Dominoes has better pizza.
3 star Yelp review:
Stopped in a few days ago and were greeted by a friendly bartender and some obnoxious what they referred to themselves as “regulars.”
Everyone was sitting at the bar and no tables were occupied.
One person ordered food which he was eating so must have been ok.
The mixed drink we had was decent but the bartender had to look at the menu as to how to make it.
Blew the keg while there and the the person at the bar said “never again” will we have that beer.
Sadly, it was a good beer from a local haunt.
Bartender was friendly. Did a nice job keeping people happy.
Place was clean. Free parking in their lot.
We likely won’t return. The “regulars” were loud and had clearly been there awhile. Wasn’t really our scene.
This last review seems to match what happened in the episode when the Barstool Sports guy ordered all of the pizzas.
Overall, though, Sauced seems to still be doing fine as a business, which earns this one a spot on the Bar Rescue success list.
Here’s what the Sauced Largo FL location looks like in the most recent Google Maps street view update – it looks like they’ve done a decent job of keeping up with the maintenance, at least from the outside:
If you liked the Dave Portnoy Bar Rescue episode and you want to see some other famous cameos, you might be interested in these episodes:
- Rob Ben’s update – this bar is owned by Marshawn Lynch.
- Sydney / Bluewater update – Jon Taffer was joined by Lil John in this episode.
If you want to see some other nearby Florida Bar Rescue episodes, you might be interested in my updates for Buffalo City Bar and Grille in Saint Petersburg, Das Brauhaus / New England Ale House in Palm Harbor, and Jerry’s Dockside / AJ’s on the River in Gibsonton.
And if you want to share your thoughts on Sauced Sports Bar / Gil & Rick’s, you can use the comments section below.
Thanks for reading!
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Last updated: 2023-03-13 08:00