The Spike series Bar Rescue features bar consultant Jon Taffer parachuting into troubled and badly run bars to engineer quick turnarounds. The series opened its last season in January at an address on Bourbon Street, now Spirits on Bourbon (615 Bourbon St., 504-524-6014; www.spiritsonbourbon.com).
Taffer helped the staff come up with a signature drink (served in a flashing skull-shaped cup) and institutionalized a barber chair and accompanying mythology. It worked very well.
"We doubled our revenue," co-owner Brad Bohannan says. "Every time the show is (rerun), we get 8,000 hits on our website. ... We had to hire someone just to handle online marketing."
But the relationship with Taffer didn't end with the episode.
"He calls every month," Bohannan says. "You become like his kid. Sometimes it's like talking to your father. ... If you have an idea, you can call him up and see what he thinks."
Because of the bar's newfound success, Bohannan has joined Taffer in Las Vegas at the annual Bar and Nightclub Convention. And Bohannan will appear on a Bar Rescue episode airing 9 p.m., Sunday. The Bungalow Bar in the Rockaway Beach area of Brooklyn, N.Y., was a business hobbled by Hurricane Sandy. The rescue is about helping it recover and, in a nod to a city familiar with hurricane damage, Taffer invited Bohannan to help.
"We donated their specialty merchandise (including specialty cups and T-shirts) and gave them $5,000 for advertising," Bohannan says.
Bohannan appears in the episode and reports that the Northeast's recovery also is taking time.
"We were there five months ago, and many areas are still torn up," he says.