Episode Recap: Bar Rescue Season 4, Episode 5

courtesy Spike TV
courtesy Spike TV

Welcome to Alcohol Professor’s weekly recap of Bar Rescue, Spike TV’s reality show that gives desperate liquor purveyors a chance to turn themselves into beyond visitable venues. Hosted by nightlife guru Jon Taffer, this week’s episode, entitled "Anything You Can Yell, I Can Yell Louder" features a bar run by firefighting brothers that could frankly use some extra heat.

You know that moment in Pulp Fiction when Mia Wallace talks about how nice it is to leave the table right after ordering only to return to waiting food? Well, Jack’s Alehouse experiences somewhat of the reverse. After the family-owned bar closes down for renovation, they reopen to the nightmarish hipsterfication of their pocket of Queens. We’re not in Sunnyside anymore, Toto.

Anyway, Jack’s Alehouse is owned by a bunch of unruly firefighter brothers. It’s kind of a dead zone, and to be frank, that’s  how I felt about this episode. Only because the brothers weren’t actually doing anything except owning a lackluster bar. Sure, one guy was being unsanitary in the kitchen (wearing only one glove, insert Taffer’s moonwalk joke here), but the owners were just hot-headed, overworked dudes in over their heads. No fruit flies. No swapping out top shelf liquor for bad vodka. Just...a boring bar.

Even Taffer seems to have given up: his intervention was far less theatrical than usual. Or maybe it was because he couldn’t outyell these dudes. In Russell Davis’s words, they’re “huge,” (Russell, you make me laugh). Anyway, he also calls in Vic Vegas, which sounds a lot like Vic Vega, now that I’m thinking about it. Anyway, Russell does his usual thing with saucy, soundless ice-stirring. The new drinks are incredibly simple and neither of them involve shaking, which was a relief for me. This bar, no matter its makeover, was not going to be a frou-frou cocktail joint.

Vegas creates this wicked cool spicy grilled cheese challenge that involves consuming a shot and an incredibly large panini spiked with ghost-peppers. Make it to the end without chugging a glass of milk: you get a t-shirt. This is the kind of thing I pay for, guys.

After a tearful letter from Helene, the brothers’ mother and the late Jack’s wife, the bar is reopened as Jack’s Fire Dpt. Honestly, while the inside was campy and fire station-themed, the exterior just killed me. It was still super cinderblocky looking. But then again, you can only do so much in 72 hours. Bar Rescue.

By the way, has anyone seen Petting Zoo Rescue, lately?

Visit Jack’s Fire Dpt:

39-46 Skillman Ave, Queens, NY 11104