(keep reading to learn what happened)
Season: 8 | View All Season 8 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: March 20, 2022
The Bar's Original Name Was: Gilly's the Spot
Stadium Club Bar & Grill Address: 4343 Dunwoody Park Atlanta, GA 30338
Gilly’s the Spot, later renamed Stadium Club Bar & Grill, was a Dunwoody, Georgia bar that was featured on Season 8 of Bar Rescue.
Though the Stadium Club Bar Rescue episode aired in March 2022, the actual filming and visit from Jon Taffer took place before that in December 2021.
It was Season 8 Episode 13 and the episode name was “Penalty on the Bar”.
In the first episode of the second half of Bar Rescue Season 8, Jon Taffer and his crew visit Gilly’s in Dunwoody, Georgia.
Dunwoody is a city that’s part of the Atlanta suburbs in DeKalb County, so it’s in a very big urban area, which should give it lots of chances for success.
The bar is owned by Willie Chandler, a veteran of the hospitality industry who has been working in it all his life.
Willie has been wanting to get on Bar Rescue for five years, so he’s no newbie to the show.
After trying to get the Gilly’s Bar Rescue episode to happen for almost half a decade, Willie finally succeeded with Season 9. More on how he got his bar on the show later on.
Why does Willie need help? Well, we learn that he’s dealing with over $250,000 in debt and the bar is losing more around $4,000 per month.
Put those money problems together and the bar is just two months from closure at the time of Taffer’s visit (or at least that’s what we’re told).
Money problems aren’t the only issue, though.
The bar’s kitchen is also filthy – so filthy that the employees won’t actually eat there.
The staff also drink at the bar, which is another big issue.
In the episode, you meet Dayzia and Alonna (bartenders) and Bryan in the kitchen (the cook).
To put things mildly, the staff are not very attentive.
Jon Taffer even went in to do the recon himself and it took them 5 minutes to greet him.
How does it take you 5 minutes to recognize Jon Taffer?
My god – these people need to embrace solutions!
During the stress test, Jon Taffer uses penalty flags to indicate mistakes.
Every time there’s a mistake in the bar, Jon throws another penalty flag, which obviously leads to some funny situations.
You can see Jon Taffer enjoying throwing his penalty flags in this short YouTube clip – it’s pretty funny.
Jon Taffer also took the opportunity to train the staff at one of his own bars – the creatively named Taffer’s Tavern in Atlanta, GA.
Never miss a chance for some cross-promotion, right? Haha.
Since this episode, Jon Taffer has opened up several Taffer’s Tavern locations around the country, so it seems to be something he’s really pushing.
After the stress test, Jon Taffer decides that he’s going to rename and rebrand the bar as part of the renovation process.
The renovations started late Wednesday night and were done by Friday morning, so it was a pretty fast turnaround.
He changed the name from Gilly’s to Stadium Club Bar & Grill.
Jon thought that the rounded front of the building looked like a stadium, which is why he decided to change the name to The Stadium Club.
I guess there are worse reasons to rebrand a bar? Lol.
The bar also got a new signature cocktail named after the Gilly’s owner – the Willie Wild Bloody Mary.
On relaunch night, Willie seems to have regained his passion and the bar looks to be set up for success.
So was the Gilly’s Bar Rescue episode actually all that it seemed?
Let’s talk about what happened next for the bar and some behind-the-scenes information, along with whether or not it’s still open in 2024.
Stadium Club Bar & Grill Update - What Happened Next?
Now that we’ve recapped the Stadium Club Bar Rescue episode, let’s talk about what happened to the bar after Jon Taffer’s visit, along with some background information on the behind the scenes of the show.
First off, as I mentioned above, Willie had been trying to get Gilly’s bar on the show for around five years.
He said that, at first, the bar didn’t have enough drama for the show.
To finally get the producers to put him on, Willie had his staff really play up the drama for the show.
In an interview with local media, Willie basically said that he had the staff make up a lot of the stuff. I guess that’s reality TV, right?
So, the second time they came, we had a meeting and just made up a whole bunch of stuff,
With that being said, Willie was really happy with the free renovation that he got from the Bar Rescue crew.
It seems like he was kind of in it for the free publicity and makeover, which I guess is the case for a lot of the bars that are featured on Bar Rescue.
Still, I will say that I don’t like hearing he told his staff to play up the drama.
I’d rather have real drama!
Is Stadium Club from Bar Rescue still open?
As of 2023, Stadium Club is still open and serving customers in Dunwoody, GA, but it’s doing so under the original Gilly’s name.
The owners quickly reverted back to the old name shortly after Taffer left.
It now goes by both Gilly’s the Spot and Gilly’s Sports Bar, depending on the social media profile that you’re looking at.
Willie wanted to keep the bar’s original name because of its long history.
He told the media this in the same interview that I linked above:
I’m not getting rid of  years of history just because the building is curved
So we are going to go back to Gilly’s
Other than the name, he does seem to be happy with the other aspects of the Bar Rescue changes.
The bar regularly posts on its Facebook page.
Gilly’s seems to have pretty “standard” bar events including karaoke, sports, and so on.
They also have pool tournaments.
Here’s an example of a Facebook post promoting the karaoke:
And then here’s what the Gilly’s / Stadium Club Atlanta location looks like in the most recent picture from Google Maps street view.
The picture is from January 2022, so it still shows the Stadium Club sign even though the bar has since ditched that name.
I’m mainly including it so that you can explore the area around the bar.
Gilly’s bar reviews after Bar Rescue
The overall reviews for the bar aren’t great as it has just a three star rating on Yelp.
However, ratings that have come in after the December 2021 Bar Rescue visit seem to be a little more positive, though still not amazing.
Here’s a sampling of some reviews that were written after the visit from Jon Taffer…
5 star review from August 2022:
This hidden gem has become one of my favorite go to spots for lunch and dinner.
The mozzarella sticks are my favorite appetizer.
The bleu burger is my favorite burger and the Korean Spicy Wings are glorious!
Drop in, have a drink and some food.
You won’t be a disappointed!
Dayzia was an amazing server on my last trip.
If you’re unsure about something, ask!
1 star review from May 2022:
I was just here, I came because I wanted to see this place due to it being on Bar Rescue, and apparently it still needs rescuing…
The girl that quit on the show is still there, I was sitting at the bar for over 15 minutes and was never greeted.
The bar tenders had their own mixed drinks in the corner by their stuff.
First time coming to the place and I will never come back again.
Jon Taffer would have been very angry to see how this place was.
To top it off, they have a poster on the front of the building with the old name on I with “as seen on bar rescue”
5 star review from September 2022:
Food is excellent.
Had a salmon salad with mixed greens and it was top notch.
Server was very nice..
It was actually a manager filling in for the day bartender who was also very nice.
It was lunch time and so not very busy have a feeling that do a busy evening business.
Place was clean as well.
Will be back!
5 star review from October 2022:
The bartenders are so friendly!
Greeted us with a big smile and a wonderful hello greeting as we walked in the door.
They introduced themselves by name and helped me celebrate my birthday
And that wraps up all of the information that I can find on Gilly’s after Jon Taffer!
If you want to see an update for another Atlanta Bar Rescue episode, you can check out my The Comeback Bar / Barlow’s update. That bar is also located in DeKalb County.
Thanks for reading!
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Last updated: 2023-04-10 05:59