The latest episode of Spike TV's drama-filled show, Bar Rescue, is taking America south of Phoenix to small town U.S.A. -- Coolidge, Arizona.
Jon Taffer and his team visited The Gallopin' Goose Saloon, a historical and struggling hole-in-the-wall country bar, in January to do their intensive--and often confrontational--rehab TV magic.
The bar dates back to the 1930s and reportedly became an unofficial tour stop for country legend and outlaw Waylon Jennings.
After a divorce and neglected repairs, owners Scott Wohrman and his ex-wife Stacey became $370,000 in debt and losing $2,000 a month, according to the episode’s teaser trailer.
Typically we hear from the owners and learn what it was like filming the episode, being yelled at by Taffer and the changes that were made.
It is not often that we hear from the recons, the undercover spies sent in to experience the bar first hand.
This time we do.
Robyn Moore was one of those recons. At the time the episode was being filmed she was an on-air personality for a prominent Phoenix country radio station. She was brought on to be the expert on the country scene. (She now owns her own public relations firm—Mack Media Relations).
The bar was in poor shape. It was shaky and held up by wooden boards in spots, the drinks were potent and the food was messy.
She said filming the show is no small production. There are TV crews, trucks, cameras and lights everywhere.
“It was weird. The public doesn’t know what’s going on. It’s like a full on production,” she told me last week over the phone. “It’s kind of intimating knowing that you’re going undercover and have to pick a part a business. It as also super fun to be undercover.”
She said the producers gave her suggestions on what to look out for, what particular issues with the bar to focus on and what to order.
Filming for her part took several hours.
Sitting at the bar took 90 minutes alone after she spent time ordering drinks, appetizers, food and talking. Then she had to film a one-on-one interview outside the bar.
It was when she was about to leave that Taffer made his big entrance, she said. It was a moment that put her in the center of the confrontation between Taffer and the owners.
“I am dead center in the spotlight,” she said.
“This is Robyn. She’s with the number one radio station in town,” she recalls Taffer saying. “Would you ever recommend your listeners come here?”
What do you do? “I kind of went through the things I noticed that were bad and what I liked about the place,” she said.
And what is Taffer like off-camera? “We met him before we started shooting and he was super nice,” she said. “I think part of his role is to get fired up. I was honestly kind of frightened when he was yelling at the owners.”
After that, her role in the episode was done. It was then that the rest of the work began—the training, the redesign and the construction.
She has not yet seen the updated bar. But, according to the Phoenix New Times, much of the changes were cosmetic. The name did not change either.
“I haven’t had the chance to go out there, but I’m sure they’ve done a good job,” said Moore.
We’ll have to wait, watch and see. The Gallopin' Goose is holding a viewing party on Sunday.
The episode – titled “Raising Arizona” – will air Sunday evening on Spike TV.