(keep reading to learn what happened)
Season: 3 | View All Season 3 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: July 28, 2013
The Bar's Original Name Was: Barlow's
The Comeback Sports Bar & Grill Address: 2845 Mountain Industrial Blvd Tucker, GA 30084
Barlow’s, later renamed The Comeback Sports Bar & Grill, was a Tucker, Georgia bar that was featured on Season 3 of Bar Rescue.
Though the Comeback Bar Rescue episode aired in July 2013, the actual filming and visit from Jon Taffer took place before that.
It was Season 3 Episode 14 and the episode name was “There’s No Crying in the Bar Business” .
Barlows is located in Tucker, GA.
Tucker is a small city with a population of around 35,000 people. It’s located in DeKalb County, just a bit northeast of Atlanta, GA.
Susan Wood is the owner, and she was granted the bar in her divorce.
However, the bar has never seen success, which is why the Barlow’s Bar Rescue visit was planned.
Susan partnered with John, a businessman (not Jon Taffer), to open up the kitchen.
This idea was a failure as ticket times were up to one hour, which left customers frustrated at not getting their food.
The staff drinks and parties at the bar, and Susan looks in the other direction.
Jon Taffer brings in mixologist Russell Davis and chef Tiffany Derry to help fix Barlow’s.
The outside of the bar makes it look like a family-friendly diner, which isn’t really the aesthetic you want in a successful bar.
Jon wants to check their guest service and calls the bar on the phone, but the voicemail box is full.
Three locals go into the bar as spies.
The bar is divided into two, a smoking and nonsmoking section.
The spies order drinks, and the beer is served foamy.
The bartender, Nikky, is playing pool and drinking.
The spies also order a burger, and the beef comes from a tube. Excuse me – WTF is happening here?
After the staff begins doing shots in front of the owner, Jon stops it.
Jon comes in and introduces his experts.
There is so much wrong in the kitchen. The fridge is leaking, and there is moldy fruit and vegetables.
Jon sends everyone home and calls in professionals to clean the toxic mold.
The next day Jon has a staff meeting.
The staff tells Jon Taffer that John, the owner, has poor management skills.
Jon reads a report stating bartenders Olga and Nicky gave away a lot of alcohol, which is a big part of why Barlow’s is losing money.
Jon calls out Nicky for stealing as well. Susan is forced to fire her.
To start improving things, Russell trains the staff on well-known drinks.
While that’s happening, Tiffany teaches the kitchen team how to work in a line effectively.
They use fresh ingredients to make a hamburger – no more tube meat!
Susan and John discuss their balance sheets with John, but it turns into a fight.
The stress test begins. John has four stickers he is giving to employees who make a mistake.
Quickly, the staff is covered in stickers. Susan is working well and running food.
To make matters worse, smoke enters the bar when the vent hood in the kitchen isn’t turned on.
After the stress test, Jon calls out John for being useless in the kitchen while Susan is commended for her hard work.
Russell begins training the following day on cocktails with a southern flair.
Tiffany teaches Q in the kitchen on chicken and waffles.
Jon promises the owners he will help them balance their books.
They choose to sell appliances and equipment they aren’t using to raise money.
While they’re getting rid of stuff, Jon Taffer and his crew start on the renovations.
In addition to physical changes, Jon Taffer changes the bar’s name from Barlow’s to The Comeback Sports Bar & Grill.
There is also now a negative air pressure system to deal with smoke in the bar.
Q gets a new chef’s jacket. The customers love the new environment.
The kitchen is overwhelmed at first but pushes through it.
John acts as a host that evening.
So was the Barlows Bar Rescue episode a long-term success? Keep reading to learn what happened next and if this Tucker, GA bar is still open in 2023.
The Comeback Sports Bar & Grill Update - What Happened Next?
Now that we’ve recapped the Comeback Bar Rescue visit, let’s talk about what happened after Jon Taffer and his team left Tucker, GA.
Things started off well. Three months after the visit, Susan is running the bar while John is in charge of the books.
Beyond that, Nicky wanted her job back but fortunately was not rehired.
Business was up and the bar was doing well for a number of years, which shows that Jon Taffer’s changes really did help.
Susan and John also continued using the name that Jon chose – The Comeback Sports Bar & Grill.
However, as with most good things in life, it would not last forever.
Is The Comeback Sports Bar from Bar Rescue still open?
The Comeback Bar closed in October 2017, a bit over four years after the Comeback Bar Rescue episode aired on TV.
The bar closed because it was sold to new owners who wanted to do something different with the property.
At the time of the bar’s closure, the reviews were not good as it had just a 2.5 star rating on its Yelp page.
Here’s a sampling of a few of the reviews that were written after Taffer’s visit…
4 star Yelp review from May 2013:
New menu changes have made a comeback for The Comeback.
Come check out their new sliders, the wings are back on the menu (Bar Rescue removed for some odd reason).
They’ve added some lovely salads that are good and filling, a chicken breast dinner flavored with a unique Bourbon sauce, some more burgers (1/2 lb hand formed burgers I might add).
There is a good variety of food now versus what the TV show Bar Rescue left them.
I was shocked by how the show seemed to have “half-assed” their efforts for this bar.
I guess reality shows are just for show!
In my opinion, they didn’t care what they did to the place.
1 star review from August 2014:
Being from the area & it being the closest Bar Rescue to me i decided to check it out.
Judging from my experience, not a thing has changed.
Jon Taffer may have kept it from closing, but he has no control over it failing.
1 star review from January 2014:
I’m pretty sure that John Taffer (Bar Rescue) wld be very disappointed in all the work and effort they put into this place for it to go right back down the drain.
Not only did we sit here for like 10 mins before anyone came by to say “drinks?”.
As I’m putting my coat back on here comes the waiter…lol.
The ventilation is horrible…its like a smoke house but cigarette smoke!!
5 star review from May 2013:
I never went to Barlow’s…mostly because I despise places that let you smoke indoors.
However, we ran into the staff of The Comeback at the Tucker Chili Cookoff & they told us about Bar Rescue coming and filming an episode there.
We like the chow, so we decided to check it out & see what John had done.
I was VERY Pleasantly surprised with the the quality of the food.
I had the daily special, blackened tilapia with green beans & mashed potatoes. It was Great.
My Husband and I each had one of the signature cocktails and they were good as well.
As of 2022, the old The Comeback Tucker, GA location is occupied by a new bar called The Bottleship Lounge.
Reviews aren’t great for the new bar, but it seems to be doing ok for now.
Here’s what the old The Comeback bar and Grill Tucker GA location looks like in the most recent Google Maps street view update…
In the Google Maps street view, you can see the Bottleship Lounge occupying the old building where The Comeback Sports Bar was.
Don’t call it a comeback, because The Comeback Sports Bar & Grill is gone for good.
Sorry about that haha – I had to make that joke somewhere.
What happened to Susan Wood from The Comeback Bar?
Susan Wood, the original Comeback Bar owner, seems to have shifted from the hospitality industry into local politics.
She ran for Tucker City Council in 2016 and won her district with 430 votes.
Here’s one of her campaign posts from her Susan Wood for Tucker City Council Facebook page:
This was the first time that Tucker GA elected its own mayor and city council, as the city had just voted to officially form a city earlier in November.
Tucker GA City Council members only earn $14,000 per year, so I’m guessing she had another job beyond that. I’m not sure what it was, though.
Thanks for reading!
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Last updated: 2022-11-30 06:15