Last time Boise area was on this reality show, it was ‘unfortunate.’ Look, we’re on again

·3 min read

When a Meridian drinking establishment last was featured on “Bar Rescue,” it was, well, embarrassing.

For the business. The Boise area. For the show itself, arguably.

Host Jon Taffer was so displeased with Idahoans running the Hideaway Bar & Grill that he did something that had happened only twice before in 240 episodes, he claimed. Taffer took his production crew and left without even attempting to overhaul the operation — the premise of the long-running reality TV series.

“It’s really unfortunate,” Taffer said on the show. “I came here to rescue a bar.”

Fast-forward two months. Another Meridian business will be spotlighted on “Bar Rescue”: Strikers Lounge at Meridian Bowling Lanes, 324 S. Meridian Road. The episode, “Spare Me Another Chance,” is scheduled to premiere on Paramount Network at 8 p.m. Sunday. (Check with your TV provider.) The episode synopsis: “Jon must help a businessman who bought a bar attached to a bowling alley but had never stepped foot in a bar.”

Strikers changed its name to Bullseye Sports Bar & Kitchen last year after “Bar Rescue” visited for filming. So it seems likely that this second Meridian rescue was a success rather than another reality TV train wreck.

Strikers Lounge rebranded itself as Bullseye Sports Bar & Kitchen after a visit from “Bar Rescue” last year. The resulting show premieres May 21.
Strikers Lounge rebranded itself as Bullseye Sports Bar & Kitchen after a visit from “Bar Rescue” last year. The resulting show premieres May 21.

Plus, there are obvious clues that things went better.

Bullseye is hosting a “Bar Rescue” watch party during Sunday’s show.

And owner Andrew Propst sent out an enthusiastic media release.

“Strikers was given a fresh rehab,” it explains, “retiring the bowling pin carpet and adding a sleek and inviting vibe with updated colors, cozy seating, 10 TVs for all your sports viewing pleasure, and dart lanes set up for fun and competition ... .”

There was “a dramatic name change to Bullseye Sports Bar & Kitchen with an exciting exterior reveal on the final night of filming.”

During a trip to the Gem State last summer, “Bar Rescue” visited multiple Idaho businesses to film shows, which are now seeing the light of day. Horseshoe Bend’s Corner Cafe Bar & Grill — rebranded as the Country Barn — was featured in the most recent episode, which premiered on Mother’s Day.

The drop-in from “Bar Rescue” did not start smoothly for Strikers. It rarely does for businesses chosen for the show. Taffer, the media release explains, “spends time analyzing how the establishment runs, the good and the bad. The next night, they welcome locals in to order food and drinks to complete what they call the stress test.

“Striker’s stress test failed and ended up with Taffer popping balloons with darts on every misstep, ill-prepared drink, or food order gone wrong.”

The pains were worth it, apparently.

“Changing up Strikers was a hard decision,” Propst said in the media release. “65 years the bowling alley has been part of this community. The job that ‘Bar Rescue’ did, keeping history and nostalgia with the retro vibe, yet making it a standalone destination for locals looking for well-priced drinks and top-notch food — I couldn’t be happier how it turned out. Bullseye is right on target!”