Nielsen Law Group

A Tale of Bankruptcy: Rocky Point Cantina's Fate in the Hands of a Reality TV Show Makeover

Signing up for a reality TV show makeover does not spell success all the time. This for sure is the lesson that Rocky Point Cantina in Tempe, Arizona learned.


Chandler, AZ -- (SBWIRE) -- 07/28/2014 -- Rocky Point Cantina, a bar in Tempe, Arizona being owned by Francis Massimiano that was featured in a reality makeover has recently filed for bankruptcy.

According to reports, the business was on its rough times when Massimiano acquiesced to come out in Bar Rescue, a reality show of Spike TV which offers professional expertise, renovations and equipment to desperately failing bars to save them from closing. The show doesn’t charge the makeover that they offer to selected bars. Massimiano said that the offer of Bar Rescue was enticing and the entire plan for the new image was sound and that made him say yes. He didn’t know that this move would force him to file for bankruptcy.

So what was wrong with the total makeover?

Proper permitting was the culprit. The show, being overly confident that they know what they were doing, made all-encompassing modifications in the menu, the business got a new name, and most of the building was repainted. This repainting was actually the trigger for the enforcement office of the city code to investigate. The inspectors said that the number of improvement in the building including the firepit on the roof installation were done without securing proper permits.

Two months after the team of Jon Taffer (host of Bar Rescue) left Tempe, Massimiano was forced to file for bankruptcy. Hundreds of thousands of dollars would be needed for repairing the building in order to bring it back to code.

Lesson Learned

Bar Rescue might be an expert in night clubs and pubs businesses. But the Rocky Point Cantina experience must be a lesson learned for both Spike TV’s Bar Rescue team and business owner Massimiano. Had proper permitting was made, Rocky Point Cantina would still be in business.

Same Story

This is not the first time a bar filed for bankruptcy after Bar Rescue injected a makeover. In Scottsdale, Arizona, comedy venue Stand Up Scottsdale received a makeover from Bar Rescue only to find themselves sharing the same perils with that of Rocky Point Cantina. The reason? Same issue with securing proper permits. According to reports by AZ Central, “Changes to the venue included a new exterior paint job and marquee but both, it turned out, were against Scottsdale city code and done without proper permit approval.”

Wrong Practice

According to the Code Compliance Administrator for Tempe, Bar Rescue was making changes to the exterior of the buildings without securing proper approval from the city. Elevation changes and paint jobs are being made and other considerations like building code and safety code are not being followed.

Right Thing To Do

In resuscitating flat-lining bars or any business, it is imperative for the management of any reality TV show and business owners alike to properly review the requirements of any city or state prior to finalizing changes. And push comes to shove, it is equally important to have a reliable Tempe Bankruptcy Attorney that would better assist any business owner in times of a business downhill.

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