Thursday, July 7, 2022

BoondoxXx Update – What Happened After Bar Rescue

BoondoxXx before Bar Rescue

Chris Ferrell

BoondoxXx BBQ & Juke Joint in Nashville, Tennessee, is in hot water as owner Chris Ferrell is down in a $100 grand debt to his parents, not to mention the steady reds on his income sheet. To make matters worse his bouts of anger cost him several employees, and those who decided to stay had to endure his apparently uncontrollable wrath.

With only two weeks left before bankruptcy Ferrell called Jon Taffer and Bar Rescue for help.

BoondoxXx on Bar Rescue

From the outside BoondoxXx was barely noticeable as it had nothing on its façade to draw customers in, unlike the other establishments in Broadway three blocks away with bright and colorful signages. To see how the bar tended to its customers Taffer sent it 80 Nashville locals into the scene and the bartenders were taken by surprise. Some of the tables were left unattended and when patrons complained about the lack of music Ferrell whipped out his collection of classic country tunes without even thinking about what the younger crowd liked to hear. The drinks were mixed at a snail’s pace and the inedible food had customers walk out of BoondoxXx en masse. Ferrell vocalized his frustration inside his office with manager Stacey and the profanity-laden tirade was within earshot of the remaining patrons.

The old exterior

Taffer then entered the bar while his experts namely mixologist Trevor Frye and barbecue expert Kevin Bludso infiltrated their areas of expertise. When Taffer had to wash his hands after squeezing the grease out of the chicken wings he was shocked at the sight of a very unkempt bathroom, and Ferrell was made to clean it while continuously spewing expletives. In the kitchen Bludso uncovered the incorrect temperatures of the improperly-stored food items and Taffer had those tossed into the garbage bin. Finally in the bar area the beer coolers harbored mold at the bottom, rat droppings on the floor, and fruit flies inside some of the liquor bottles. Taffer, now on a volatile level of rage, had the place closed down and advised the patrons to wash themselves head to toe.

The BoondoxXx employees were still cleaning the bar when Taffer returned the next day, and during the staff meeting the Bar Rescue host once again locked horns with Ferrell regarding the owner’s habit of intimidating bartenders with anger. Taffer then summoned two former employees who were also victims of Ferrell’s short fuse and the owner stormed out of the premises after more revelations about his behavior came to light.

Even with Ferrell gone the rescue continued starting with the training of staff. Frye taught the bartenders the very basics of pouring to remedy their overpouring problem. While Taffer lectured about the elements of a cocktail Ferrell returned to the bar and apologized to his workers but the act was taken with a grain of salt. To see how BoondoxXx fared now that the staff had training and with new equipment ready for battle Taffer filled the place with a hundred customers and subjected the bar to a stress test.

The overpouring and slow service was still evident and in the kitchen most of the orders weren’t served and cooled off, and Taffer had Ferrell dispose of those items as they cannot be served anymore. Much of the complications stemmed from a clear lack of organization and service protocol. When the country band Taffer brought in to perform began their jam Ferrell vocalized his music snobbishness even when the patrons loved every bit of it. After the test Bludso pointed out Ferrell’s habit of blaming the employees which then quickly escalated into a verbal duel between the two. Taffer calmly cut off the argument and had everyone go home for the night.

The new exterior

The following day Taffer sat with Ferrell and the latter got a surprise visit from his parents who then gave him a wakeup call. Frye introduced cocktails that were perfect with a smoking plate of barbecue namely Studio B and the Million Dollar Quartet. Bludso came up with a seasoned pork loin sandwich that didn’t take too long to prepare. Ferrell displayed an apparent change in behavior and his employees began to show faith in him. 36 hours later BoondoxXx was renamed to Pit and Barrel with elevated signages and exterior seating to draw the eyes of passing traffic. New shiny furniture populated the interior along with a new bar counter and improved sound systems, and in the bar area were three new POS systems and bar shelves.

Hordes of customers came in during the grand reopening night and they loved every bit of Pit and Barrel. With a new system in effect the employees no longer fumbled with the lack of organization and orders were now efficiently managed. Ferrell was completely different from how he was a few days ago and his employees greatly appreciated it.

BoondoxXx Now in 2018 – The After Bar Rescue Update

Two months after the rescue a tragedy took place in Pit and Barrel.

On November 23, 2013, Ferrell got into an altercation with country singer and friend Wayne Mills which led to the owner fatally shooting the musician. According to Ferrell the argument sparked when Mills smoked in a non-smoking area and, according to the owner, the musician broke a beer bottle and threatened him with it. Ferrell then pulled out his gun in self-defense (as he claimed) and fired at Mills three times. A bullet struck Mills in the head and hours later he succumbed to the wound at Nashville’s Vanderbilt Hospital. A bystander heard the shots and called 911 which then brought the police to the scene, although Ferrell wasn’t immediately taken into custody as the investigation went on.

Chris Ferrell’s mugshot

On December 06, 2013, Ferrell was indicted with second-degree murder and he turned himself to the authorities. Weeks later he was released from custody after his bail of $150 grand was lowered. The autopsy report on Mills was released in January 2014 which revealed that Ferrell stood 18 inches away when he fired the shot, plus numerous injuries in various parts of the musician’s body.

During the trials on the first week of March 2015 songwriter Thomas Howard testified that Ferrell struck Mills’ hand that held the cigarette, and patron Nadia Markum alleged that Mills was shot while trying to leave Pit and Barrel.

On March 06 Ferrell was charged with second degree murder and was slapped with a prison sentence of 20 years a month later, finally ending the legal proceedings that took more than a year. Two months later a motion for another trial for Ferrell was denied.

Shortly after the incident Pit and Barrel closed its doors and never reopened. On July 2016 the place was demolished.

The episode of the rescue was named “Music City Mess” and was pulled by Spike from its scheduled date after the incident, although they forgot about the encore which aired on November 25. The network released an apology afterwards.

Anthony Coyle
I write about anything and everything that catches my fancy, but mostly I try to provide the answers to the questions our readers ask every day. I'm also the guy who's always glued to an LCD screen of some sort.
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