(keep reading to learn what happened)
Season: 1 | View All Season 1 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: August 28, 2011
The Bar's Original Name Was: The Chicken Bone
The Bone Address: 358 Waverly St Framingham, MA 01702
The Chicken Bone, later renamed The Bone, was a Framingham, Massachusetts bar featured on Season 1 of Bar Rescue.
Though the The Bone Bar Rescue episode aired in August 2011, the actual filming and visit from Jon Taffer took place before that.
It was Season 1 Episode 7 of Bar Rescue and the episode name was “Bad To The Bone”.
Located in Framingham, Massachusetts, and owned by Bill Rodenhiser, The Chicken Bone was opened five years before its appearance on Bar Rescue.
The owner Bill once opened a successful excavating company.
Still, he bought his favorite bar, The Chicken Bone, even though he had no prior bar experience.
He even opened a second location of The Chicken Bone in downtown Boston.
But, that location closed after only five months in business.
Because of The Chicken Bone’s poor performance, Bill has had to move their family out of their large three-bedroom home into a small condo.
He also doesn’t trust his general manager Jeff to make crucial decisions.
Jon Taffer sits outside in his SUV with his wife Nicole Taffer and reads The Chicken Bone’s Yelp reviews.
To get a better look, Nicole goes into the bar as an undercover spy.
The bar is 42,000 square feet and has an L-shaped bar.
There is also a small stage for local bands.
However, the floor is filthy and looks as if it has not been cleaned in some time.
Nicole also finds the menu very confusing.
She eventually orders a buffalo mac and cheese dish.
The restaurant is family-friendly which drives patrons away from the bar.
Who wants to hang out and drink when there are lots of kids running around and stuff?
The menu also has various misspellings. But the misspellings aren’t the actual problem, the food is – the buffalo mac and cheese makes Nicole nauseous and gives her heartburn.
Jon then comes in looking for Bill, the owner, to discuss the bar’s issues.
The next day Jon comes in to meet with the rest of the staff as well.
The bar is taking in two million dollars annually but is still somehow losing money.
Bill says the cooks do not know all the recipes; they aren’t entitled to it.
Jon brings in experts to help with the recon.
Expert bartender Michael Tipps and Chef Spike Mendelsohn come in to help.
Mats are missing from behind the bar, which is a huge safety issue.
The kitchen is also dirty, and there is spoiled chicken in the walk-in fridge.
The kitchen is not ready for the soft opening.
Bill leaves, and the bartenders make their drinks too strong.
They put a whopping 2.5 oz of liquor in a mixed drink, which is super strong (I wouldn’t complain, though!).
Bill apologizes for leaving. Chef Spike tells Bill he wants to cut the menu in half.
Jon also meets with Bill and tells him that his family-friendly idea will not work in a bar.
Bill says no when Jon says he wants to change the name of the bar.
Jon tells Bill he needs to put his faith and trust into him.
Jim Cooke brings in new pint glasses for the relaunch.
Relaunch day arrives! Jon says The Chicken Bone didn’t sound like a high-end restaurant, so he changed the name to just The Bone: Chicken and Tunes.
Bill loves the new name (since it’s really not that much different from the old name), and his wife is very happy.
Drinks are being poured properly, but the kitchen quickly becomes backed up because the computers are down.
General manager Jeff quickly fixes the problem.
Everyone loves the food, drinks, and music!
At this point, it seems like The Bone Bar Rescue episode was a huge success…but was it really? Let’s find out what happened next and if it’s still open in 2023.
The Bone Update - What Happened Next?
Now that we’ve recapped the episode, let’s talk about what happened to the bar after Jon Taffer and his crew left Framingham, MA.
After Taffer’s changes, reviews at the bar were still mixed.
Overall, it had a 3 star rating on Yelp.
Here’s a sampling of a few reviews that were written after the visit from Jon Taffer…
4 star review from January 2012:
Good wings but seems to be overpriced.
Went there before and after they had Bar Rescue come through and didn’t really notice a difference besides the menu and the sign.
That didn’t matter much to me because I was going to order wings anyway.
Good wings but can get good wings for a better value but worth trying out
4 star review from May 2012:
I’ve gotten delivery from here several times. The wings and pizza are really good.
I have eaten inside one time, after the “Bar Rescue” remodeling.
I was with a couple friends for trivia and I found the service to be good.
The food inside was just as delivery.
2 star review from May 2014:
I went today (5/24/2014) about 3 years after the bar rescue episode aired.
The restaurant has changed their name back to “The Chicken Bone”.
The menu is back to 5 pages.
I just got a cheeseburger and it was actually very good. The server was nice too.
Two of my friends ordered the same exact drink and they came out very different, one was great and one was awful.
The decor that was changed on the episode is back to the original.
Overall not bad but a far cry from where the episode finished up on Bar Rescue.
2 star review from November 2013:
I have grown up in an area town and knew of this places reputation for years.
That reputation was always good, nor safe.
I went into the place at lunch time and thought I would enjoy it after the Bar Rescue episode.
The place was still dark and looked tired again. I sat at the bar and waited at least 10 minutes for a cola.
The menu was large and once I placed it I had to wait 30 minutes for my sandwich.
After 20 minutes they told me that they were out of the bread the sandwich came on.
For me to wait 40 minutes, at lunch, for a simple sandwich and a drink was way too long.
There is no reason for me to go back.
Overall, the reviews suggest that the bar started slipping back to its old habits, such as bringing back the large menu and changing the name back to The Chicken Bone.
Overall, while The Bone was doing better in a business sense after the Bar Rescue episode, the improvements would not last forever.
Is The Bone from Bar Rescue still open?
The Bone closed in November 2014 after having a slow summer season. This closure was a little over three years after The Bone Bar Rescue episode aired on TV.
At the time that it closed, it was doing business under the original name – The Chicken Bone.
In announcing the closure, the owners posted this on Facebook:
Summertime has always been a very slow time of year for us here at The Chicken Bone.
Many people are away on vacation and/or enjoying outdoor activities.
This, combined with recent changes in the economy and rising cost of living expenses, means we all have less money to spend on eating out and entertainment.
Up until last year, The Chicken Bone had always been open 7 days a week.
Last summer, in an effort to minimize the impact of the slow season, we reduced our operating hours and decided to be closed on Mondays.
We have made the difficult decision to suspend our operations for the entire summer this year, and then re-open after Labor Day.
For a time, the owners were struggling to reopen the bar.
For example, in October 2014, they posted the following message on Facebook:
We are unfortunately not ready to give a firm opening date yet.
We are in the middle of a transition and have had to delay the opening due to permitting.
As soon as we have a firm date we will post it.
Our sincere apologies for this and we look forward to seeing you soon.
However, they were never able to successfully reopen and The Bone remains closed as of 2023.
The owners also tried to sell the business for $175,000 on Bizquest, though it didn’t seem to be successful.
For a time, the old The Bone Framingham location was occupied by a Mexican restaurant called El Mariachi Restaurant.
However, that restaurant also closed in 2020 and, as of 2022, the location seems to currently be empty.
There was a 2020 real estate listing that listed the property for sale for $1.9 million after the El Mariachi closure, but I can’t find any record of it being successfully sold.
A Google Maps Street View shot from August 2022 still shows the building with the closed El Mariachi signage and such, so it appears that there still isn’t a new tenant:
If you know anything about the state of the old The Bone Framingham MA location, please let me know in the comments section below.
If you want to see some other Massachusetts Bar Rescue episodes, you can check out these posts:
Thanks for reading!
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Last updated: 2023-02-01 06:27