The Brick and Barley is about to get some national exposure, thanks to Jon Taffer and the folks behind Bar Rescue. The Tempe bar and grill, which got a major makeover from the Spike TV program back in January, will be featured on the program this coming weekend.
According to Spike TV’s website, the episode focused on Brick and Barley, which is entitled “Momster’s Ball,” will air on Sunday, July 17, on the cable channel. And no one’s more eager to watch the episode than Brick and Barley owner AJ Hunter.
“We’ve been waiting months and months to see it,” Hunter says. She’s not going to have to wait much longer.
While Hunter couldn’t go into to much detail about what will go down during the episode, she revealed a few tidbits to New Times about what we can expect. And in true Bar Rescue fashion it will involve plenty of drama between herself and host Jon Taffer. It shouldn’t come as any surprise to longtime viewers of the show or longtime fans of the bar, given that both Taffer and Hunter are both extremely outspoken, to say the least.
“There's going to be a lot of fireworks during the episode on Sunday,” Hunter says. “Jon does not come at anything with kid gloves. If he's got something to say, he's going to say it right in your face.”
And according to Hunter, the Bar Rescue host definitely got into some faces when the episode was taped back in January. That includes her two daughters, who have helped run the bar for more than a decade. Hunter says there were some screaming matches between her daughters and Taffer over how the business was run – and things got so heated that it almost came to blows.
“These girls are not used to having anybody scream in their face,” Hunter says, “I honestly thought at one point, one or both of my daughters were going to throw a punch. I honestly did.”
Despite all the drama, Hunter says that she and the rest of the Brick and Barley staff took his words to heart, even if it meant changing the way they did business and cleaning up their act.
Prior to its transformation in January, the spot was known as the Baseline Sports Bar and had a bit of a badass sort of image with its mix of bikers, babes, and other trappings. Some of the hallmarks of the spot included its spaghetti wrestling nights and T-shirts being sold that were emblazoned with the phrase “Represent Motherfucker.” The bar was also the home of the “Baseline Babes,” a crew of attractive female staff members and regulars who (more or less) served as eye candy.
Most of these elements were dropped in favor of the bar’s makeover and new vibe, which Hunter admits has been difficult at times.
"Here's the thing. We've been struggling with that. I'm not going to lie to you, Baseline [Sports Bar] was anything goes ... spaghetti wrestling, KY wrestling, lingerie ... and what Taffer did is he kind of brought us up a step. Now we're Brick and Barley,” she says, “and I've told everyone we've gone from being 15-year-old juvenile delinquents to, ‘Hi, we're Christian sorority girls now.’”
Has it worked? Guess you'll have to tune into Spike TV this Sunday to find out. Or you could head over to the bar and watch it along with the staff during a special viewing party that kicks off at 8 p.m. Admission is free.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.