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Pirates fight back on local 'Bar Rescue' episode

Wednesday - 6/20/2012, 9:16am  ET

062012_pirate_375.jpg
Piratz Tavern will be featured on Spike TV's 'Bar Rescue' July 22. (Spike TV)

Alicia Lozano, wtop.com

WASHINGTON - The pirate's life isn't for everyone.

When Piratz Tavern in Silver Spring, Md. was picked to be gutted and remodeled on the Spike TV show "Bar Rescue," patrons throughout the region raised their eyebrows. What would become of the fabled Georgia Avenue theme bar? Where would all the scarves, eye patches and hair beads go?

The answer turned out to be "nowhere."

For those who haven't seen the show, the concept is simple: renovate a struggling bar and turn it into a reputable drinking establishment. About $250,000 goes into each redesign, which typically includes a good scolding from host Jon Taffer.

In the case of Piratz Tavern, Taffer was especially unrelenting.

"You guys are pouring drinks people are complaining about," he tells the staff. "You guys are serving food people can't eat."

In typical pirate fashion, the employees don't take the criticism lying down.

"It's a pirate bar. If you don't like it, get the [expletive] out," a server named Rogue barks back.

Thirty-six hours later, the tavern is transformed into a trendy restaurant with a new name and look. Corporate Bar & Grill aimed to attract a more upscale, business crowd, but patrons weren't biting.

Within a week, employees had put an eye patch over the new sign. Some customers walked out after seeing the new theme, co-owner Tracy Rebelo told the Washington Business Journal.

"I think it was the second most horrible mistake I've ever made. The first being my first husband," Rebelo told the Washington Business Journal.

Something had to give.

So Rebelo did the only thing she could think of and changed Corporate back to Piratz Tavern.

It took about $60,000 to redo the remodel, according to the Business Journal. Some of it came from Rebelo's own money, some of it came from loans.

Piratz Tavern might be back to its swashbuckling ways, but that doesn't mean the story has ended. The episode of "Bar Rescue" is set to air July 22.

Spike TV's Salil Gulati told The Washington Post there will be a text overlay at the end of the episode explaining the bar's transition back to its original theme. And Rebelo hopes to do something special for the air date, but she hasn't released details yet.

To get a sneak peek of the episode, check out the video below:

Preview - Piratz Tavern
Get More: Preview - Piratz Tavern

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)