This past Sunday was a busy day for the Gallopin’ Goose in Coolidge. Hundreds of people were crowded into the legendary country bar and music venue, and a lot of people were in the mood to celebrate, as well as drink, eat, and socialize. It’s understandable, considering it was a big occasion for the establishment.
The Gallopin’ Goose was about to be featured on the Spike TV reality show Bar Rescue, and everyone was eager to watch the episode. And it didn’t disappoint.
The hour-long affair highlighted the bar, touched upon its extensive history as a country music institution (including mentioning how the late Waylon Jennings got his start there), and featured glimpses of a few of its regulars. And being Bar Rescue and all, there was also plenty of drama involved, ranging from arguments between show’s host Jon Taffer and the Gallopin’ Goose staff to the personal business of its owner, Scott Wohrman, and his ex-wife, Stacey.
The crowd at the Gallopin’ Goose seemingly wasn’t all that concerned with such things, instead preferring to cheer and clap whenever some of the regulars or certain employees were briefly featured on screen.
One person who was definitely focused on the drama was Scott Wohrman, especially since the episode delved considerably into his personal life, including issues with his ex-wife over their failed marriage and children.
When asked about the episode, Wohrman says it got a little uncomfortable to watch at times.
“A couple of moments were [painful],” he says. “A lot of the stuff where I'm talking about the divorce and Stacey leaving with the kids and how I miss my kids. And I had already watched previews of it a hundred times so I was prepared for it, but it's still emotional.”
He admits it was all worth it, however, particularly because of everything that came from appearing on Bar Rescue.
“Am I happy I did the show? As of right now, I'm going to say yes, I'm happy I did it,” Wohrman says.
After all, the Gallopin’ Goose got a major makeover, for instance, as well as some national exposure. And according to Wohrman, those are the two of the biggest reasons he agreed to appear on the show.
This revelation is not the only thing that wasn’t included in the final cut of Gallopin’ Goose’s episode. New Times spoke to several of the bar’s regulars and Wohrman himself about what viewers didn’t see on the show and found out that a lot got left on the cutting-room floor. And while the owner couldn’t drop dime about the production of the episode, owing to nondisclosure agreements with Bar Rescue, some of his patrons were happy to fill us in.
Jon Taffer tried to get the bar manager fired
One of the biggest conflicts that ensued during the episode came after Taffer zeroed in on Amber, the bar manager at Gallopin’ Goose, due to her lackluster performance during the establishment’s “stress test.” (More specifically, the fact she was taking too long to get cocktails made.) Taffer was, of course, Taffer, berating her stridently and relentlessly, causing her to leave the premises in tears, albeit temporarily. According to Wohrman, however, the Bar Rescue host’s harshest exchange with her wasn't included in the episode.
“There was a pretty bad scene with Jon and Amber where he lays into her really bad [and] says she's a cancer on this bar,” Wohrman says. “That didn't make it in.” Taffer also reportedly demanded that she be canned, a scene that also wasn’t included. “There was a part where he was standing there waiting for me to fire her and I said, ‘I'm not going to fire her, Jon.’ She had been sick for like two days right before shooting, like sick sick, and she pumped herself full of Benadryl and vitamins and shit. She wasn't herself. But she didn't do so well at the stress test, but I really think they went after her. They knew they were going to go after her and try to get a reaction out of her. And they got one.”
Changing the name of the bar was a major no-no for Scott Wohrman
As you can see in the above clip, Scott Wohrman was quite reticent to the idea of rebranding his bar with a new identity. As a matter of fact, had Bar Rescue’s producers insisted on giving the establishment a new name, the owner told New Times that he would’ve ultimately backed out of appearing on the show altogether. “I told the producers at the very beginning that any name change is a total dealbreaker,” Wohrman says. (It apparently didn't matter all that much to his ex-wife, as she can be heard saying, "I didn't care," when the subject was raised by Taffer.)
He did agree to one small alteration to the bar’s moniker, however, allowing it to be changed it from the Gallopin’ Goose Saloon to the Gallopin’ Goose Bar & Grill. A small change certainly, but one that Taffer reportedly felt would make a big difference. “His reasoning was that ‘bar’ would attract a younger crowd and that the ‘saloon’ apparently turns younger people off,” Wohrman says.
Canaan Smith’s performance lasted for only one song
As seen in the episode, the grand reopening of the Gallopin’ Goose was a celebratory affair. Taffer and company revealed the many improvements that were made to the place and even had an extra surprise up their sleeves: Canaan Smith. The up-and-coming country music star, who’s signed to Mercury Records and has gotten some significant radio airplay, was brought in to for the occasion. Thing is, according to a few Gallopin’ Goose patrons, his performance consisted of a single song being played – specifically, his 2015 hit, “Hole in a Bottle” – while the Bar Rescue cameras rolled. Afterwards, Smith and his backing musicians reportedly vamoosed. So much for an encore.
The biggest changes to the Gallopin’ Goose happened after Bar Rescue left
The show’s producers certainly spruced up the place during their visit, including building a completely new bar, upgrading the lighting, renovating the stage, and replacing most of the seating. After they packed up their cameras and left town, however, that’s when the some even bigger improvements started happening. Over the spring, Wohrman and his staff made some major additions, such as building an enormous roof for the outdoor patio and adding a number of western town-like buildings and facades to the rear of the property, which help add to the Wild West feel of the establishment.
The real reason Gallopin’ Goose was on the show
Wohrman isn’t shy about admitting why he chose to appear on Bar Rescue. In short, he says, it was all about getting his joint spruced up and featured prominently on national television. “I did it for a free facelift and an hour-long commercial,” he says. “That's the reality of it: the exposure and the publicity.” Plus, he also got an all-expenses paid vacation of sorts for himself and his ex-wife from the show. Speaking of which …
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The Wohrmans' trip to the Bulleit distillery happened much later
Scott and Stacey’s trip to the Louisville, Kentucky, headquarters and distillery of Bulleit Frontier Whiskey was certainly the trip of a lifetime. They got to hobnob with owner Tom Bulleit and his staff, tour the facility, and see how its brand of firewater is made, all on Bar Rescue’s dime.
But according to some of the regulars at Gallopin’ Goose, the trip didn’t necessarily take place during the filming of the rest of the episode in January. The episode depicts the two being whisked away on the trip while the Goose was in the process of getting its makeover by the Bar Rescue crew. However, a few patrons of the bar told New Times that Scott and Stacey’s excellent adventure supposedly happened a few weeks later.
And while Scott Wohrman couldn’t confirm this, citing his nondisclosure agreement with the show, he described the trip as an unforgettable experience. "We actually stayed a couple of days just to relax for a little while. They put us up in a nice hotel,” he says. “The distillery trip was cool. Meeting Tom Bulleit was cool. He was the kind of guy you can sit and talk to all day and hear all his stories.”