Baltimore Tavern Looks (Predictably) Bad on TV

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“I am willing to get kicked in the balls a bit if it’s good for business,” Keith Murphy, co-owner of Fells

Point bar J.A. Murphy’s, told Baltimore magazine in February. The ball-kicker in question was Jon Taffer, host of SPIKE TV’s Bar Rescue (think Kitchen Nightmares, but with more Jagermeister). Now that the episode is scheduled to air (it premiers on August 5), we’re wondering whether Murphy regrets his decision.

In the clip above, Taffer storms into the kitchen to berate a cook who was preparing chicken bare-handed. After stomping into the dining room and insisting that all the food — even the meals the customers are eating — be thrown out, the mood in the kitchen is incredibly tense. “That could’ve gone better,” one staffer remarks.

But potential food poisonings may be the least of the Murphys’ worries; the episode description deems the tavern “a dirty, binge-drinking bar owned by two fraternity brothers” but notes that Taffer’s rescue “gets derailed when Jon discovers the building is about to collapse.”

Spoiler alert:  as any Fells Point bar-hopper has noticed, the bar re-opened this spring with a new name (Murphy’s Law) and a new look (“a vaguely corporate feel,” according to the Baltimore Sun). According to visitors, some of the noticeable changes in the bar’s second iteration include a reconfigured bar and plastic pint glasses. We’re not sure that qualifies as a rescue, but we may have to watch the show to find out.

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  1. Pretty sure Murphy’s Law was open for about two weeks and it’s already closed for good now. I first heard of this show when they trashed the best pirate bar ever in Silver Spring. This guy seems like the worst.

  2. Everything that Jon Taffer and Bsr Rescue did to Murphy’s was awesome and necessary! Some patrons didn’t like it because they were used to dollar shots and drinking contests that we found out were illegal for us to serve based on alcohol content. The bar has since closed, it was open for about 6 weeks after the show left but it was because of shitty management. It’s easy to fix a bar, it’s not easy to fix people in a week and a half. If the show had not come, the bar would not have even been open those additional weeks.

    In regards to the Piratz Tavern, don’t even get me started. Nice people but ungrateful and dumb in business.. Probably a lot like the owners of Murphy’s.

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