'Bar Rescue's Jon Taffer Feels 'High Pressure' from Fans as He Expands His Own Restaurant Concept

·2 min read
Jon Taffer greets guests outside of the new DC location of Taffer’s Tavern ahead of it’s grand opening on September 1st, 2022 in Washington, DC
Jon Taffer greets guests outside of the new DC location of Taffer’s Tavern ahead of it’s grand opening on September 1st, 2022 in Washington, DC

Nathan Posner/Shutterstock for Taffer's Tavern

Bar Rescue host Jon Taffer has managed several of his own establishments in the last 30 years of his career, but to see his name above the door feels different.

"I've always owned bars, but I've never had my name on the sign before. That's a big difference," Taffer, 67, tells PEOPLE of his full-service restaurant concept, Taffer's Tavern, which recently expanded in Washington, D.C. and Boston.

With so much competition in the industry and the nature of his job, the entrepreneur knows there are expectations from his fans.

"It's got to be perfect all the time," he says. "I've never had a media audience of 100 million people that have a high expectation of my brand before. I would say it's high pressure, but I've got a great team of people around me that alleviate that pressure, to be honest with you, and in today's world, it's all about the people around you."

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Jon Taffer New Restaurant Taffer's Tavern
Jon Taffer New Restaurant Taffer's Tavern

Nathan Posner/Shutterstock for Taffer's Tavern

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Since he knows a thing or two about turning bad bars around, the larger-than-life television personality hopes to set a positive tone from the moment patrons walk in his doors.

"I'm all about personality," Taffer says. "You show me somebody who has the right personality, who's never worked in a restaurant before and I'll show you a great employee. Because it's all about connectivity in the restaurant business and in Taffer's Tavern, we employ unbelievable technologies in the back of the house to cook foods and provide consistency and quality. But in the front of the house, there's no tablets to order from. I am a big believer in connectivity."

With at least three more locations coming soon, the restaurant owner is excited to keep expanding across the country while remaining confident in his perfectly curated menu items.

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Jon Taffer New Restaurant Taffer's Tavern
Jon Taffer New Restaurant Taffer's Tavern

Taffer's Tavern

"I'm really big on providing foods that people expect," says Taffer. "I'm not going to put goat cheese on veal parmesan. That's not my approach. We have unbelievable burgers [and] roast beef sandwiches. We think we have the best au jus sandwich in the country."

On top of expanding his name in the culinary space, Taffer is hard at work filming Bar Rescue, now in its eleventh year — and has no plans of going any easier on those bar owners he helps anytime soon.

"It is tough love," says Taffer, "but it's from the right spot because I'm not there to fight with them. I am truly there to help them, and I couldn't live with myself if I wasn't."