The Bone Bar Rescue Update (The Chicken Bone) – Still Open in 2024?

Is The Bone still open today?

Status: >> CLOSED <<
(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 Bone Bar Rescue Update

Episode Recap

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”.

In this episode, Jon Taffer steps in to help rescue The Chicken Bone, which is one of the weirder names in terms of bars that have appeared on the show.

Located in Framingham, Massachusetts, and owned by Bill Rodenhiser, The Chicken Bone was opened five years before its appearance on Bar Rescue.

The Chicken Bone owner

The owner Bill once owned a successful excavating company.

With the money from that, he bought his favorite bar, The Chicken Bone.

However, Bill had no prior bar experience, which is pretty par for the course for owners appearing on Bar Rescue.

Bill didn’t let the lack of experience slow him down, though.

He even opened a second location of The Chicken Bone in downtown Boston.

Unfortunately, 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.

That’s really sad, to be honest.

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 (she’s always quite popular when she’s spying).

The bar is 42,000 square feet and has an L-shaped bar.

Nicole Taffer at The Chicken Bone

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, which is pretty funny to me (but also a bit of a indictment of the owner’s attention to detail).

The Chicken Bone menu error

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 Taffer brings in his 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!).

The Chicken Bone bartender

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 Taffer says The Chicken Bone didn’t sound like a high-end restaurant, so he changed the name to just The Bone: Chicken and Tunes.

To be honest, the new name doesn’t really sound high-end either, but what do I know.

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 this Framingham, MA bar is still open in 2024.

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.

The Bone new name

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 2024.

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:

The old The Bone location in Framingham MA

I checked the location again in February 2024 and it now seems to be fenced off.

The most recent Google Maps street view update is from August 2023 and it shows the property surrounded by fencing and in a state of neglect:

If you know anything about the state of the old The Bone Framingham MA location, please let me know in the comments section below.

Final thoughts on The Bone

Overall, Jon Taffer’s rescue of The Bone seems to have had mixed results.

The bar did manage to stay open for another three years, which is longer than a lot of other bars on the show.

However, it’s also not a long-term success story – it’s pretty middle of the road in terms of results.

The location does seem to be a bit cursed, as it’s in a kind of weird area right next to the train tracks.

While there was one tenant after The Bone (the Mexican restaurant), the property has now been vacant for a few years.

It’s also fenced off and seems to be neglected, so no one really seems to be interested in opening a bar or restaurant at that location.

That wraps up my update and my thoughts on The Bone bar.

If you want to see some other Massachusetts Bar Rescue episodes, you can check out my updates for Libad’s in New Bedford, MA and Octane / Angry Ham’s update, also Framingham, MA.

And if you want to share your thoughts on The Chicken Bone rescue and what happened after, you can do so using the comments section below.

Thanks for reading!

More Information

What did you think about the The Bone Bar Rescue episode? I'd love it if you shared your thoughts on the episode in the comments below!

You can also click the buttons below to share this post!

And don't forget to check out all of the other Bar Rescue updates.

Last updated: 2024-02-01 09:11

16 thoughts on “The Bone Bar Rescue Update (The Chicken Bone) – Still Open in 2024?”

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

  1. Wow I’m surprised it closed.
    I thought for sure this one would last. If it was doing 2 million a year before I don’t understand how it could still be losing when they tighten up the costs.
    Too bad, wish we knew more about what happened like did the GM lose control and the owner start taking over again ?
    The owner seemed like a nice guy
    Just lacked experience

  2. I will never understand why owners ask Taffer to come in to make positive changes and then decide to regress to a formula that caused them to call for Taffer’s help in the first place.

  3. Lived in the area and went there a few times. The place was dirty and unsanitary and needed Bar Rescue desperately. The owner did himself in here. If he was open minded, listened and evolved in the way Bar Rescue set him up to do- he may have made it. Going back to his original ways killed him. The guy was a control freak with very low budget taste- thats only going to appeal to a few people.

  4. Seems like more of the same from Bar Rescue… another failed “rescue”. If anyone in an actual job had the results that J. Taffer does, they’d be out of business, just like most of his “rescues”.

    • I take it you don’t have any real experience in this industry. Nationally, an average of 81% of restaurants and bars opened before 2010 are closing within 48 months. After 10 years, it drops even more, and only 12% will survive. As of 2020, it has dropped into the single digits. Now compare industry averages, and the bars featured on this show. Taffer’s success rate is around 130% of average, which is even more impressive considering that these bars are owned by total fools, with no experience, and no idea how to run a business in this field. It’s actually remarkable that he has been able to help so many businesses.
      In addition, just because a business has closed, it does not mean they failed. Many have realized they were not qualified to operate a foodservice business, and these shows have improved the real estate value enough to repay their debts, and often turn a profit. One bar featured on this show was in debt by $700,000.00. One year later, they sold for $1,100,000.00, paid their business AND personal debt in full, invested $100,000.00, and bought a house with cash.
      Many others fail because the owners are total morons, and quickly revert back to the way things were before Bar Rescue, and they deserve to fail. They are actually so weak and foolish, that just one regular customer can walk in, say they miss something from before the show, and the blockhead owners, having no common sense, will go running around and changing everything back simply because a few regulars didn’t like the changes.

  5. They don’t follow through and keep the changes he made in place. Can’t put the blame on Tapper for all of the failures.

    • Because he declares himself a genius haha. A team of architects and designers that he takes credit for and gullible viewers believe it. Americans are getting dumber year over year.

  6. It’s a total trip to see an owner with that kinda ego yet totally incompetent and clueless at the shitehole he’s in charge of. NEVER takes an ounce of responsibility, never looks in the mirror, he’s always the victim of others incompetence. Nobody on the planet can fix that. I think viewers give Taffer way too much credit. As a human and professional, but he does offer the best chance at turning places around if they’ll change their habits and behavior. In reality, only a minimum of 2/3 staff turnover, replaced with top quartile professionals can fix bars longterm. Anything else is just pissing in the wind and prolonging the inevitable.

  7. Hate seeing negative remarks about how many bar rescues close “Kevin”. Please do some research, look at why “closed”! Stubborn owners, landlord sells, loose liquor licences, murders at bars and by owner that city closed, gambling scams, owners that lied to scam a remodel to sell ect.. bar rescue sets them up, they fail for whatever reason, how can a remodel over $100,000 hurt a business when it’s free?


Leave a Comment

Share to...