Bar Rescue Comes to Phoenix!

by Doug Zanes | Last Updated: February 15, 2016

Bar Rescue Comes to Phoenix!

The popular reality TV show, “Bar Rescue”  is hosted by nightlife consultant Jon Taffer, who helps struggling bars by revamping their concepts.

Changes often include interior and exterior renovation, retraining the staffs and updating the menus.

This time it’s the George and Dragon English Restaurant and Pub in Phoenix who will be getting a makeover fro the show. The Phoenix episodes will air sometime in the spring…

But George and Dragon wasn’t the only restaurant to get a makeover while Spike TV was in Arizona. Baseline Sports in Tempe also got a lift out of failing and into the light again!

Here’s a behind-the-scenes look (Thanks, AZCentral!)

George and Dragon English Restaurant & Pub:

David Wimberley, the British owner of George and Dragon, said he has seen every “Bar Rescue” episode and has even called bar owners who were on the show to get their impressions. He was preparing to take out a $100,000 loan to redo the 22-year-old pub, after losing $5,000 a month for the past two years. Wimberley had already obtained a $40,000 loan to make changes in 2013. Then, “Bar Rescue” called.

“They said they would be in town and 10 days later, they came to the bar,” he said, noting Taffer called him “the most passionate bar owner he had ever met.”

Wimberley said he and Taffer, who is known as a tough, no-nonsense host, butted heads during the taping, and there was quite a bit of yelling and swearing. But by the end, Taffer became the “nicest guy on the planet.” The makeover took 36 hours, and the bar went from a black and white color scheme to a warmer blue and brown one.

The signage outside is all new, and the front door now features a Union Jack flag. The booths were taken out along with all of the chairs and tables, and replaced with pub-style, espresso-colored furniture. New carpets, track lighting and partitions were also added. The bar top was redone with color-changing lights underneath and new pendant lights overhead.

“The changes turned out to be nice and I loved what they did to the pub,” Wimberley said. “Some people have said it looks a bit too posh, too Scottsdale, but I like the way it looks. I was going to make some changes anyway. And I’m not losing money anymore.”

Not all of the changes were positive. Wimberley said the new point-of-sale system gave the staff some trouble after it was installed, which he doesn’t blame on the show. He said it slowed down service and led to a couple of bad reviews from customers. All of the scarves and flags, many gifted from customers, were taken down during the filming, but Wimberley decided to put them back up.

The menu was cut down for the show, and one dish in particular, called Taste of Britain, ended up being too time-consuming for the kitchen. So Wimberley removed that dish, and added a number of items back on, including the hummus appetizer, kids’ menu and Sunday Roasts. A new list of cocktails, called Bevvies, include drinks like the Wimberley Cutter, the Cheeky Shuffle and Mum’s Cup of Tea.

When the George and Dragon episode airs, Wimberley will host a watch party at the bar. He plans to pause the show during certain parts to share his impressions and what else was going on, especially deleted scenes.

Details: George and Dragon English Restaurant & Pub, 4240 N. Central Ave., Phoenix. 602-241-0018,

Doug Zanes: Founding Attorney Raised in Douglas, Arizona, and went to college at Arizona State University and graduated from law school at St. Mary’s University School of Law in Texas. Doug began practicing law in Phoenix Arizona in 1997.
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