Bar Rescue Nancy HadleyDriving up to Extremes Sports bar in Orange, CA, I almost passed it.  Set back on a block with multiple storefronts off the main street, it had signage to yawn at. The exterior was a dull gray with a terra cotta red painted roof which did nothing for the venue.  What makes it worse is the bar is tucked between a pool supplies store and a nameless window you could easily dismiss as another abandoned business. The patio out front had metal tables, chairs, umbrellas and was covered in one company’s beer logo.
If you were to venture in you would need to wear a respirator.  Walking in from daylight I was left blinded as my eyes attempted to adjust to the intensely dark atmosphere. But that was nothing compared to the overwhelming waft of rotting beer that packed a massive punch to my senses.  If you got past the gagging you would have needed to save a little for the outfits.  Though the staff consists of younger types in various degrees of physical fitness the lady’s outfits were a hodgepodge of low rent river sports attire.   Anything from string bikini to shorts that have been cut off then cut off and then cut off again.  If your taste runs to the outfits worn on spring break by the locals then this was your place. However, the atmosphere was like walking into a 1970’s lakeside community biker bar, complete with bar flies.
The floor behind the bar was raised, giving the bartenders an extra work out as they bent over to serve the customer.  In a bikini the higher vantage point has the bonus of showing more of the girls behind the bar.  The black lighting over their heads unfortunately made their smiles green which were less than appealing no matter what you are wearing.
Some of the décor had potential.  Granite counter and table tops (though not properly leveled) sat atop neglected plywood faced bases.  The floor was stained concrete until you came across the random patch of laminate in the center.  The bank of flat screens behind the bar were a good call but I was not sure who decided to keep several junky tube TV’s mounted around the room.
Opening a sports bar means committing to the experience of enjoying a game in the company of other sports fans.  There is no reason to go if your television at home is better quality then what the bar has on display.  Throw away the tube televisions and invest in flat screens and good sports packages if you are going to call yourself a sports bar.
I can’t give away much more than that, but tune into Spike TV this Sunday to see the drama of turning around a failing bar business in 72 hours and how Jon Taffer’s rescue panned out. Be sure to check out for exclusive coverage of each episode.
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Originally posted:  September 28, 2012