Spike TV’s Bar Rescue recently came to New Orleans and re-invented a bar two blocks from my house. I had been invited by the production company a couple weeks ago to come and observe the before and after. What luck that it was only a couple blocks away.
Spike TV’s Bar Rescue Comes to My New Orleans Neighborhood
My go-to guy on site was second assistant director Jeffery Simms. He kept in touch with me and let me know when times were good to come over. It seemed I was the only “press” there. They treated me very well. Really nice people working on the show. And for the bar… quite an amazing transformation.
Another fellow on the production whose name was simply “B” took care of me as well. He told me he had come down to New Orleans from the midwest to work in the TV/film industry and had enough work here to make a good living. Wow, I thought. Things have really changed. The film biz must be really taking off here with people living here working pretty much full time.
I asked what was the split of Spike TV people to locals and he said about 50/50, fifty percent being above the line-the-line folks with Spike TV, the rest being hands on production people. That’s very encouraging. Maybe New Orleans really is truly Hollywood South.
Having worked in the film industry when I lived in L.A. I knew how things can get easily delayed. There are so many variables with making a film that if one little thing goes wrong or takes longer than you thought then the whole production can be set back for hours if not days.
So when I was told to be there at 6:00 PM for the first viewing and then find out it’s been delayed for several hours, well, that’s just the way things go in the film biz. Jeff was kind enough to keep me up to date with the changes through email and cell phone. If I were working on a film production both Jeff and B would be the first people I’d hire.
Anyway, as you’ll see in the video T.J. Quill’s was kind of scuzzy-looking with an old pool table and dark panelling and really just not a lot of class. A place where college students might hang out and get drunk. It would not be a place where I’d take a date or a spouse. In fact, although it’s been in my neighborhood for ages I’ve only been in it once having no desire to go back.
After the conversion, although not really that dramatic at first glance, the place looks cleaner and sharper, the dull paneling is now painted white, the bar looks brighter, a wall has been put up in front of the bathrooms affording more privacy, the kitchen window has been made smaller so you don’t have to see the kitchen and all the falderal that goes on back there. And they changed the name to AnneX. Pretty clever.
One of the best transitions are the tall tables with candles on them. This makes the place seem more intimate and would definitely be a place to take a woman.
In short, it’s now more upscale but not overly done, and not too classy as to not make it unappealing to college students who just want to go out to a place and be with their friends without having to dress up. Pretty smart mix of style and relaxing atmosphere.
The place looks a lot better from the outside too. Through the windows it looks bright and clean and the candles really lend it an inviting atmosphere. Nice job, Jon Taffer, Bar Rescue guy. A nice new addition to the New Orleans Maple Street scene.
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