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Jon Taffer talks Columbus and college bars

Credit: Courtesy of Aaron Marion

Credit: Courtesy of Aaron Marion

On Spike’s show “Bar Rescue,” bar consultant Jon Taffer is often shown screaming and yelling at lazy bartenders and overwhelmed owners.

But during a phone call with The Lantern, Taffer was calm despite being amidst another feud.

Taffer mentioned that he was calling from the rival state of Michigan. “But we don’t have to talk about that,” he said.

Taffer does have some Ohio State ties, however. He worked as a consultant at the Holiday Inn on Lane Avenue before it was transformed into the Lane Avenue Residence Hall in 2009.

Bar consulting was not the career path Taffer envisioned when he was in college himself. At the University of Denver, Taffer studied political science. But after working as a bartender, he found his passion.

“I just fell in love with it,” Taffer said.

Taffer said trends in college bars have changed since he was in school, naming specifically the increased interest among college students in craft beers.

Challenges in running college bars have remained the same.

“There’s competition to have the cheapest drinks on campus, but bars will price them so low that there’s no way they can make a profit,” Taffer said.

Underage drinking is another threat to college bars that Taffer pointed out — mentioning that he takes the issue seriously, imagining if it was his daughter or son at stake.

Taffer ended the interview by displaying more vulnerability beneath the yelling exterior on camera.

“I have enough money,” Taffer said. “It’s the hugs at the end that make it all worth it.”

New episodes of “Bar Rescue” air on Spike on Sundays at 9 p.m.

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