Stonington bar gets Spike TV makeover Stonington

Stonington - A team from the Spike TV show "Bar Rescue" unveiled its transformation of the Handlebar Cafe Wednesday night.

The show and its host, Jon Taffer, had been working at the bar, at 210 S. Broad St., since Saturday.

The parking lot was filled with workers and trucks, and the front windows were blacked out. On Wednesday afternoon, an elaborate mural could be seen along the side of the bar.

The show's website states that Taffer helps give "failing drinking establishments one last chance to transform themselves into vibrant profitable businesses." Taffer, who is described as having three decades of experience in the food, beverage, hotel and hospitality business, comes in and makes changes to decor, menus and operations, sometimes upsetting the owners.

Spike spokesman Salil Gulati said Wednesday that Taffer was unavailable for comment. Bar owner Betsy Mitchell could not be reached for comment.

Gulati said the Handlebar renovation is one of 10 new episodes now being filmed that will air this summer. He could not say exactly when the Handlebar episode would appear.

- Joe Wojtas

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