Tag Archives: Jon Taffer

Jon Taffer Brings Rescue Tour to New Orleans July 17

Jon Taffer (center) with Spirits on Bourbon owners Steve Smith (left) and Brad Bohannan (right).

Jon Taffer (center) with Spirits on Bourbon owners Steve Smith (left) and Brad Bohannan (right).

Anyone who studied Jon Taffer’s bar rescues knows there is a method to the madness. If numbers are any indicator of success, 77 of 128 bars (including four that were sold to other owners) Taffer rescued are still open, including Spirits on Bourbon.

See: Spirits on Bourbon is Wildly Successful (Video)

And that’s just for the Spike TV show, “Bar Rescue.” His experience goes far beyond the statistics, though. In reality, Taffer has “opened, operated, and conceived” of more than 800 bars in 30 countries. Complies sucha s Hyatt Hotels, Hilton Hotels, TGI Fridays, Subway, Wolfgang Puck Express, Anheuser-Busch, and others have utilized Taffer’s know-how.

“This is what I do,” Taffer says.

Now Taffer is taking his expertise on the road with his Rescue Tour. Starting on July 10 in San Jose and concluding in Long Island, New York on August 24, Taffer will take his tour across America with a series of four-hour keynote seminars on how to be successful in the hospitality industry, particularly in the bar business.

The seminars will cover a range of topics within Taffer’s “bar science” philosophy, enhancing bar food, developing beverage programs, and perfecting guest experiences.

Jon Taffer at Spirits on Bourbon in 2014.

Jon Taffer at Spirits on Bourbon in 2014. Picture by Brad Bohannan.

The tour is intended for anyone who either owns, operates or manages a small business within the hospitality industry. Businesses don’t just include bars, but also restaurants (quick service, casual dining, etc.) and any small business that wants to increase revenues and gain more customers. New entrepreneurs and hospitality business students are also welcome.

Specifically, Taffer will teach his “sales trifecta”, which includes growing new customer traffic, increasing guest frequency, and building guest spend (basically getting people to buy more of your stuff). Also, he’ll give some advice on hiring the right people for your business.

Taffer’s Rescue Tour will be in New Orleans on July 17 from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside located 2 Poydras Street. Tickets are still available at several price and access levels. Go to www.rescue-tour.com for details. 
10:30 a.m. – VIP Ticket holder check-In begins at Registration Area
11:00 a.m. – VIP Ticket holder Meet & Greet with Jon Taffer promptly begins
11:15 a.m. – General Admission ticket holder’s check-in begins at Registration Area
12:00 p.m. – Rescue Tour Starts
1:30 p.m. – 30 Minute Break
2:00 p.m. – Rescue Tour resumes
3:30 p.m. – Rescue Tour ends

More information about the events and future tour dates can be found at rescuetour.com. Here’s a video of Taffer’s upcoming Rescue Tour:

Jon Taffer’s Rescue Tour from Bjorn Wallman on Vimeo.

And be sure to stop by 615 Bourbon St. before and after the seminar.  You might be able to catch Jon hanging out at Spirits on Bourbon. In any case, at least drop by and hang out for awhile.

Spirits on Bourbon is located at 615 Bourbon Street in New Orleans and is open 24 hours. Follow Spirits on Bourbon on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

-Written by David Minsky-

Spirits on Bourbon…Proud home of Tim Buie’s Piano Entertainers Convention 2017

 Tim Buie’s 2nd Annual Piano Entertainers Convention will converge on the French Quarter at Spirits from March 26-29.

pianossss tim


The convention is both an informational and networking opportunity for those in the business. There will be classes, seminars, celebrity speakers and live auditions for those in the business. It’s a great opportunity for musicians, entertainers, club managers, owners, and agents to get together and learn from one another discussing all topics in the field.

Seminars will include classes by

Liberty DeVitto, Billy Joel’s long time Drummer

Bob Baker, #1 Music Guru and Social Media Expert

Dr. Clark Rosen Vocalist Throat Specialist

Marty Richardson Owner/Pianist Savannah Smiles Dueling Pianos


The event will include a Crawfish Boil at Spirits during check in on Sunday as well as a very special charity event. Beginning Sunday at 8pm. Spirits will be open 24 hours for the duration of the convention with DUELING PIANO MUSIC featuring some of the WORLDS MOST ENTERTAINING MUSICIANS playing LIVE at Spirits for 24 hours a day from March 26-29.

In addition to our great staff of musicians at Spirits on Bourbon, performances will include:’l

Billy Joel’s long time drummer Liberty DeVitto,

Dr. Dirty John Valby #1 Comedic and Parody Specialist in the World

Long Island’s own David Clark

Award winning singer/songwriter Chris Foster

Piano Bar Diva Susan Erwin

World Renowned Dueling Pianist Tom Basler

All these great talents and more will converge on Spirits on Bourbon for this 24 hour 4 day event.

Steve Smith, Spirits on Bourbon, “I can’t wait to host the 2017 Piano Entertainer’s Convention.  It’s a great opportunity for musicians from around the world to learn and network with the best in the business. It’ll also be a huge treat for our customers who will reap the benefits of having all this talent under one roof for 4 days. We are going to have great shows 24 hours a day for the entire event. It’s my hope that we can expand this convention into a Festival!!”

Brad Bohannan, Spirits on Bourbon, “With our already great crop of entertainers at Spirits, partnering with Tim Buie and his Piano Entertainer’s Convention was a no brainer. We are so proud of our staff of entertainers and we can’t wait to host this event”

Tim Buie, World Famous Piano Entertainer, “Spirit’s is a a natural host for our 2nd annual event. In the heart of Bourbon St and already with tremendous talent on staff. It’s going to be a great 4 days at Spirits”.






Spirits on Bourbon featured on different TV Show

VH 1 She got Game  


VH 1  Tiny and Shekinah’s Weave Trip


Esquire Best Bars in America  


ABC Extreme Weight Lose  

TLC Gypsy Sisters 


AXS TV Art Man Presents  

 FYI TV     My City Is Just Not That Into Me
E Caitlyn Jenner I am Cait 

Spike TV Bar Rescue Turtle on its Back 

 Spike TV Bar Rescue Hurricane Jon Vs   

                 Hurricane Sandy

Spike TV    Taffer’s Toughest Rescues 

Spike TV  Bar Rescue The Study

Spike TV. Back To The Bar     



Edward DeBoire’s Barber Chair

A stop at Spirits on Bourbon isn’t complete without a shot on Edward’s Barber Chair!  
Why a barber chair? Spirits was formerly owned by Edward DeBoire  
who had a rather successful tonsorium business here. Unfortunately, the free flowing drinks and beautiful Creole ladies called to Edward in a most unnatural way!  
He met a rather tragic death at only 33 years of age. It is said that his spirit enjoys our bar. In fact, what is now our stage was where his barber chair stood. It was clear when the stage was erected that Edward did not appreciate having his barber chair removed. To pacify him, we added the Barber Chair to pay homage to Edward in a fun way, that we thought he would appreciate. Hope you enjoy it too! 


Speaking at The Intuit Quickbooks Conference

Spirts On Bourbon was lucky enough to host the corporate function for Scaling New Heights Conference on Monday night! By all accounts it was with great success.  

  Spirits welcomed the capacity crowd with food, entertainment and drinks for all tastes.   

  On Tuesday night, we were were honored to be invited to speak at the Intuit Quickbooks conference along with Jon Taffer and Joe Woodward.  

  We advised the group of over over 1000 ProAdvisors on our thoughts as to what would help them better understand the struggles their clients face every day. We are also going to be working with Revel Systems to help test and modify a new POS system for Spirits on Bourbon.  

  We look forward to coming back next year to the Scaling New Heights conference and tell you all about our experience with this new POS System. Thanks for including us Intuit!

Spirit’s on Bourbon Joins The Reality Rally for Breast Cancer Awareness 2015

On April 10th and 11th over 100 Reality TV Stars will gather in Temecula, California for The Reality Rally games to help raise funds for breast cancer awareness. Spirit’s owners Brad Bohannan and Steve Smith are joining fellow Reality Stars from 39 other TV shows including Survivor, Bar Rescue, Amazing Race, Big Brother, Hell’s Kitchen and The Biggest Loser.

Brad Bohannon with wife Arita (left) Steve Smith with wife Sharon (right)

Brad Bohannon with wife Arita (left) Steve Smith with wife Sharon (right)

Bohannan and Smith will be teaming their fund raising efforts with Survivor: Gabon star Gillian Larson, the Creator and Event Director of The Reality Rally. The event raises tens of thousands of dollars for Michelle’s Place for Breast Cancer Resource Center.

“Like so many women, I feel that my hair is a large part of my identity as it has become my TV Survivor Star identity,” Larson said. “The loss of hair as a side effect of cancer treatment can be so traumatic. In a demonstration of solidarity for the millions of people battling cancer, I will shave my head when we reach $25,000. This will be a life changing moment for me and the funds I raise will be a life prolonging moment for many.”

Gillian Larson

Gillian Larson

Reality Rally will be an action-packed four hour “Amazing Race” style game through the city of Temecula, California where participants will compete in multiple different types of challenges. Reality Rally is open to the public which means anybody can compete, Teams consist of three people each team, participants must be 16 years of age or older, participants under 18 must compete on the same team as a parent/legal guardian. more info at www.realityrally.com 

Spirits on Bourbon Summer Update

Photo by David Minsky

Photo by David Minsky

Bourbon Street is a wild and crazy place. Equally as crazy is show business and that’s what has been keeping us on our toes for the entire summer here at Spirits on Bourbon. Here is a quick recap on what the summer has brought us so far.

It began in April with the return of Bar Rescue host and our friend Jon Taffer. It was just over a year since the debut of Spirits, so he came to check on us and see how we were doing. Taffer just released his new book titled Raise the Bar: An Action-Based Method For Maximum Customer Reactions. Of all places, he chose to do a book signing at Spirits on April 18. There is a reason why: because Spirits has been one of his most successful “bar rescues” since the show began.

Taffer’s return did not go unnoticed, but then again it wasn’t like he was trying to be incognito. During the book signing, almost the entire 600 block of Bourbon Street was swarmed with fans and passersby who wanted to catch a glimpse of the man himself. The media took notice and the news was widely circulated. From that event alone, we made the Broward Palm Beach New Times, The Gambit, The Times-Picayune and WGNO. It was a blow-out night and Taffer was pleased to see how far we have come in one year.

See Also: Jon Taffer’s Book Signing Last Friday Was a Huge Success

Shortly after Taffer’s return, Wrestlemania 30 came to town and we hosted a live podcast of the Chair Shot Reality Show with special guest and WWE star Matt Striker on April 24. We were honored to have both CSR and Striker choose us to host their show.

See Also: An Interview With WWE Wrestler Matt Striker: “If you want to hear God laugh, tell him your plans.”

Things got a little weird for a minute when WGSO AM radio hosts David and Mark Laville did a live broadcast of their show, The Paranormal Talk Show, from the Spirits courtyard on May 10. In a surveillance video recording an incident in the kitchen during the broadcast, some unseen force can be seen knocking a bottle of soda off the counter. Needless to say Ryan, our kitchen manager who is seen in the video, was a bit spooked.

Later that month, we had a brief visit from TLC’s Gypsy Sisters who wanted to film an episode at Turtle Bay, our sister bar on Decatur Street. They got word of our delicious crawfish boil and decided to pay us a visit. We can’t say much about what happened while they were here, but take it from us that things got a little crazy.

And speaking of crawfish, we are just about done with them. The season has been over for awhile but because we’re such ballers, we’ve had been able to extend the season–at least here at our bar–for an additional month and then some. Check out the mention we got from Vanessa Bolano’s piece she produced for WGNO.

We are also honored have a group from Entrepreneur’s Organization who were in town and decided to visit the bar in late May. The organization is composed of members across the globe who earn more than one million dollars in annual revenue. Members are not easily accepted. To become a member of such a prestigious group, one must be voted in. But we were nonetheless humbled when they came to see us. We want to thank John Macdonald, who runs a digital marketing firm thegood.com; Robb Crocker from Funnelbox Production Studios; Kevin Keljo from Security Signs; John Watt from Stout Tanks and Kettles; and Augusto Carneiro from Nossa Familia Coffee for dropping us a line.

Taffer dropped us a line incognito in mid-June. A couple of weeks later, we made number four in his “Taffer’s Top 10: Toughest Rescues” episode. “Turtle Bay was transformed into Spirits on Bourbon and is one of Bar Rescues greatest success stories with sales $1 million ahead of last year,” writes Kristen Santoro in her article for Bar and Nightclub Magazine.

Gambit listed us as one of their top 100 bars in New Orleans. “There are dueling pianos, motorboating shot girls, Cajun eats and a signature drink, Resurrection, served in a flashing, skull-shaped goblet at this rowdy hotspot of Bar Rescue fame. It bears traces of its former life as a barbershop: a light-up barber’s pole and chair.”

In late July, we received a visit from the Discovery Channel, which sent producers to film an episode of Next Round at Spirits. Check out some slow-motion footage of the show posted by Robbie Flair on Facebook.

And most recently, Taffer named us as his top achievement in his business of rescuing bars in an interview published in DList Magazine. We could not be more humbled, but the thanks goes to Jon for giving us this opportunity.

To top it all off, we were featured in Wynn Varbles’ music video for his song “Freakshow“.

The summer has been good to us in 2014 and so far there is no end in sight. Thanks to everyone who makes Spirits on Bourbon an amazing experience. Let the good times roll.

Get to know what’s happening at Spirits on Bourbon by following us on Facebook and Twitter @SpiritsonBourbo

Paranormal Talk Show on WGSO 990AM Did A Live Broadcast from Spirits, Then This Happened… – See more at: http://spiritsonbourbon.com/blog/?p=550#sthash.OF5ypu1v.dpuf
David and Mark Laville
An Interview With WWE Wrestler Matt Striker: “If you want to hear God laugh, tell him your plans.” – See more at: http://spiritsonbourbon.com/blog/?p=389#sthash.ZigdtfY8.dpuf
Jon Taffer’s Book Signing Last Friday Was A Huge Success – See more at: http://spiritsonbourbon.com/blog/?p=356#sthash.ae8CYENU.

Jon Taffer’s Book Signing Last Friday Was A Huge Success

Bar Rescue's Jon Taffer met with fans at Spirits on Bourbon April 18 to sign copies of his new book. All photos by David Minsky.

Bar Rescue’s Jon Taffer met with fans at Spirits on Bourbon April 18 to sign copies of his new book. All photos by David Minsky.

Yesterday was Easter Sunday, or in other languages, “resurrection day” and you know how much that means to us. One year ago we were dying, almost dead, but our man Jon Taffer brought us back.

On Friday night, Taffer returned to Spirits on Bourbon to sell and copies of his new book, “Raise the Bar: An Action-Based Method for Maximum Customer Reactions”. As soon as we heard he was coming, we put the word out. Apparently it worked, because the line of people went out the door, across the street and almost wrapped around the corner to Toulouse Street.

See Also: Bar Rescue Executive Producer and Host Jon Taffer Returning to Spirits on Bourbon April 18 for Book Signing

Taffer got here in the early evening and kicked it out back in the courtyard for about an hour before the signing began. Starting at seven o’clock, he gave a small media reception for the handful of reporters that were there.

Bar Rescue Executive Producer Jon Taffer being interviewed by the media at Spirits.

Bar Rescue Executive Producer Jon Taffer being interviewed by the media at Spirits.

Taffer is no spring chicken when it comes to rescuing bars. On our Bar Rescue episode, Taffer said he has opened, conceived, operated or marketed more than 800 bars. Taffer reflects on the progress of Spirits to WGNO since being rescued: “It shows that Brad and Steve could take the work that I did and bring it to the next level.”

The signing began promptly at 7:30. Once the book signing began, it was pretty much pandemonium for the next several hours as the bar was completely packed. People who purchased a book were able to get it signed and have a photo opportunity with Taffer, as well as receive a free People kept coming and the line kept getting bigger over the course of the next few hours.

Spirits owners Steve Smith and Brad Bohannan being interviewed by the media on Friday evening.

Spirits owners Steve Smith and Brad Bohannan being interviewed by WGNO on Friday evening.

Many people came and went and bought copies of his book, which we highly recommend reading by the way. Taffer lays out his philosophy on reaction management and the bar and restaurant industry. A must-read for anybody who has a stake in the business. We’re not sure how many copies he sold, but it was a lot.

The view from the inside.

The view from the inside.

Things started to die down around 10:30 p.m. The remaining stragglers came and went. If you still were not able to get a Taffer book, we still have them on sale at Spirits for $26, although it does not include an autograph.

View from the outside.

View from the outside.

We were just so honored to have Taffer come to our bar and promote his book. It was great having him back. And it was great seeing everybody come out for the event. It’s always a good time.

One lucky fan with his brand new copy of Taffer's book, "Raise the Bar".

One lucky fan with his brand new copy of Taffer’s book, “Raise the Bar”.

“Jon Taffer could have done his book signing anywhere,” said Spirits owner Brad Bohannan, “but he chose New Orleans and Spirits on Bourbon. He has become a true ambassador of New Orleans and Spirits on Bourbon was proud to be his host. We have an obligation to represent Jon Taffer for all has done for us.”

Copies of Taffer's book sold fast.

Copies of Taffer’s book sold fast.

We managed to sneak in a few questions while he was here and he was more than willing to help us out. Here is a short Q&A session.
Spirits on Bourbon: You talk about the science of reaction management. How much is the scientific method incorporated into your method for success?

Jon Taffer: It’s in everything. I live it. Here it is. Blue. Different than any mug in town. Blinking lights. This wasn’t about a drink, this was about pulling your eye, this was about branding you uniquely different than anyone else. This was about uniqueness. It only wound up a blue cocktail in a skull glass because of those reasons. It didn’t start with a blue cocktail, it started with science. Everything that we did here is about science. If this cocktail was the same as everyone else’s, it wouldn’t be the same.

Was it based on experience or trial and error?

No, it was based on market research. It was based on looking at Bourbon Street and realizing that every cocktail was either read or green. And simply saying, ‘what could we do that when people walk by is uniquely us?’ How do I brand us in the street? How do I brand us two blocks away? And this is how we do it. And when these blinking cups go up and down Bourbon Street, everybody knows where their from, don’t they? That’s science.

What is reaction management?

It’s managing the reactions of others. And the premise is that he or she who creates the best reactions in life wins, end of fucking story. The bar that creates the best reactions wins, the girl who creates the best reactions wins, right? And the manager who creates the best employee reactions. We’re not in the business of selling food. Ryan in the kitchen might think he’s making an entreé, he’s not. He’s making a reaction; he’s achieving it through the entreé. When then entreé doesn’t create the reaction when it hits the table, then it ain’t worth shit. So I suggest that everybody in the business is wrong. We’re not in the food and beverage business, that isn’t our product, that is our vehicle. The product is the reaction.

We even made it on WGNO Saturday morning. Check out the video.

There you have it, folks. We thank everyone for coming out on Friday night, it was a blast. That’s it for now, but be sure to drop by and say hello. Until next time, here is a picture of a pair of hot twins to keep you occupied.

We love twins.

We love twins.

Get to know what’s happening at Spirits on Bourbon by following us on Facebook and Twitter @SpiritsonBourbo