The Tailgate Bar Rescue Update (The Shot Exchange) – Still Open in 2023?

Is The Shot Exchange still open in 2023?

Status: >> OPEN <<
(keep reading to learn what happened)

Season: 3 | View All Season 3 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: April 6, 2014
The Bar's Original Name Was: The Tailgate
The Shot Exchange Address: 26891 Bouquet Canyon Rd Santa Clarita, CA 91350

The Tailgate Bar Rescue Update (The Shot Exchange)

Episode Recap

The Tailgate, later renamed to The Shot Exchange, was a Santa Clarita, California bar that was featured on Season 3 of Bar Rescue.

Though the Tailgate Bar Rescue episode aired in April 2014, the actual filming and visit from Jon Taffer took place before that.

It was Season 3 Episode 35 and the episode name was “Grow Some Meatballs!!”.

In this episode, Jon Taffer visits The Tailgate in Santa Clarita, CA.

Brother and sister Mike and Diane Miller own the bar.

They bought the bar in 2003 and hired their father, Pops.

Pops The Tailgate

That means they’ve been running the bar for over a decade at the time of the Tailgate Bar Rescue episode.

Because of the bar’s success, they hired more family members like Robert, a godchild, and Christine is, a cousin. 

Christine and Robert are the leading cause of all the issues at the bar.

The bar is now in debt, and there is tension in the family.

To help rescue The Tailgate, Jon Taffer brings in mixologist Phil Wills and chef Brendan Collins for food. 

When they arrive, they see that the bar’s sign is only partially lit. Not a great start!

The Tailgate broken sign

There is a cutting board in the kitchen filled with blood and money.

Robert cleans it off only to cut lemons and raw chicken on it. It’s super gross.

Connie, Robert’s sister, works in security.

Zusi is not related to the family; she is the bartender. 

The Tailgate cutting board

A man exposes himself, and Pops tries to get him out.

The security, Connie, does not help.

Christine starts doing body shots, and Pops sends her home.

Jon Taffer and Pops meet outside the bar to discuss what’s happening.

They both return to the bar to meet with Diane and Mike. 

The family begins to fight, and they all blame each other for the bar’s state.

Robert starts to defend himself.

Jon leaves them to talk it out and will return in the morning. 

Jon returns and reads Yelp reviews to the staff.

There are negative reviews about the explicit words in the menu.

Jon introduces the team to his experts to start fixing things at The Tailgate.

Diane gets mad at the family for not defending her.

Mike leaves the bar angrily.

During the fight, the experts look at the kitchen. 

As you’d expect from the show so far, the kitchen is filthy.

Brendan shows the kitchen staff how to make a burger properly.

Zusi has excellent bartending skills, but she hasn’t been given a chance to show them off.

Doc, Jon’s security expert, comes in to assess Connie’s skills as a security guard.

Doc hired stunt performers to have a fake fight, but Connie didn’t stop them. 

Pops is managing the bar and kitchen area for the stress test.

Diane is working the front while Mike is in charge of the back.

Robert burns food in the kitchen during the stress test, and the rest are overwhelmed.

Zusi is the only employee to perform well during the trial. 

As a grease fire breaks out in the kitchen, burgers are returned for being raw.

The fire takes a while to put down, so the bar is shut down, and customers leave.

Robert is the cause of the fire and is blamed for many of the issues, and Diane has no choice but to fire him. 

The family meets the next day and makes amends.

Zusi is made bar manager.

Phil trains the bar staff on unique colorful shot drinks.

The bar is remodeled in a time frame of thirty-six hours.

As part of those changes, Jon changed the name from The Tailgate to The Shot Exchange.

They have a new, more appropriate menu.

The bar is confident during the relaunch.

The customers love the dance floor and enjoy the food and music. 

So was the Tailgate Bar Rescue a long-term success?

Keep reading to learn what happened next and if it’s still open in 2023.

The Shot Exchange Update - What Happened Next?

Now that we’ve recapped the Shot Exchange Bar Rescue visit, let’s talk about what happened after Jon Taffer left Santa Clarita, CA.

Things seemed to be doing much better initially as Mike and Diane had worked through most of their family drama.

The Millers generally seemed happy with the Bar Rescue experience.

In an interview with a local Radio station, Diane had the following to say:

The whole bar is different, they took down everything.

We were nervous about them taking down all of the Dodger memorabilia because we’re a Dodger family, but now it’s beautiful.

Overall, they seemed to like the renovations and they kept the new The Shot Exchange name instead of The Tailgate.

Is the Shot Exchange from Bar Rescue still open?

As of 2023, The Shot Exchange is still open and serving customers in Santa Clarita, CA.

The bar is quite active on its Facebook page, regularly posting about events and specials.

This includes live DJs and other musical events, as well as lots of specials for sports (mostly NFL games).

Here’s what the Shot Exchange Santa Clarita location looks like in the most recent picture from Google Maps street view:

However, while The Shot Exchange is still open, it’s doing it under new ownership as the bar was sold to new owners in 2015.

When they sold the bar, Mike and Diane posted the following on Facebook:

We would like to THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts for all your support and patronage during our ten years as co-owners of The Tailgate now doing business as The Shot Exchange.

Throughout the years we have made many great friends and will cherish all the great memories created in our establishment.

In addition, we would like to Thank all of our employees from the bottom of our hearts for their loyalty and hard work.

As many of you know, Mike and I have our careers, we both coach, and have large families with enough kids for everyone, ha ha, and feel that it is time to concentrate our time and effort with them as they are growing quickly.

Reviews for The Shot Exchange are ok but not amazing.

It has just a 3 star rating on Yelp and a 3.9 star rating on Google Reviews.

Most of the negative reviews seem to have to do with people having bad experiences with the bartender, which I guess is kind of normal at a dive bar.

Some people do report good service, though, so I think it depends on the individual.

Here’s a sampling of reviews that were written after the visit from Jon Taffer…

4 star Yelp review from April 2014:

Since bar rescue shot exchange formerly known as tailgate has maintained their newer nicer environment.

Their newest DJ Cynful is straight out of Hollywood, Vegas, and New York.

I’ve never seen so many people pack onto the dance floor like that in a long time until she started DJing.

The bar may no longer be a sports bar but at least you can go there have some drinks eat and dance the night away!

5 star Yelp review from June 2015:

Back to the Basics!

I have been frequenting this place through more names than I can remember.

I liked the old setups such as when it was the Tailgate before the Bar Rescue show got a hold of it.

The show did make a few good décor changes but really destroyed the way this place should be based on some fantasy about a college crowd in the area.

I grew up around here and that crowd was not coming down here except for the show.

Anyway – the beer schooners are back! Frosty as ever!

The staff is as cool as ever and the old vibe is back.

The menu is simple but really good.

Good beer selection and they can whip up any drink you can describe.

Pool and darts and some well sized TVs.

A great place to hang out and catch a game or meet some cool people.

2 star Yelp review from February 2015:

Ah The Shot Exchange, formerly The Tailgate until the popular show Bar Rescue revamped it last year.

The first time I came here, I looked around and left.

This time the people I was with actually wanted to stay and so we did.

Here is my story:

The Shot Exchange, as the name implies, specializes in specialty shots.

The list is vast and there’s something for any alcohol lover from a classic Washington Apple shot (one of my personal favorites) to a Pickle Back shot (vodka and pickle juice, who thought up this?!).

All shots are priced at $6.25 each and come in the tall skinny shot glasses.

Not worth the price in my opinion.

…(long review continues)

Finally, here’s someone who left multiple 4 star reviews about their experience, including referencing the Bar Rescue changes.

The Shot Exchange review

Overall, I’m still marking The Shot Exchange as open on my list because the bar is still doing business, but the owners from the Bar Rescue episode are no longer there.

If you want to see some other nearby California Bar Rescue episodes, you can check out my updates for Grinders / The Cajun Belle in Santa Clarita, Weber’s Rum Bar and Grill in Reseda, or Theory / Paladino’s in Tarzana.

Or, you can check out my full list of all 49+ California Bar Rescue episodes as of 2023.

It’s by far the most popular state for Jon Taffer to visit.

And if you want to share your thoughts about The Shot Exchange or the Bar Rescue episode, please use the comments section below.

Thanks for reading!

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Last updated: 2023-04-30 05:46

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