Aug. 30, 2014 By Christian Murray
Hundreds of fans lined Skillman Avenue Friday night waiting to get inside the revamped Jack’s Ale House and become part of the Spike TV reality show Bar Rescue.
The fans waited until 11 pm to be get inside, where they were greeted to several TV cameras and cheers from the three McGowan brothers–John, Jimmy and Brian– who own the establishment.
Bar Rescue, a show starring the hard-charging nightlife expert Jon Taffer, helps troubled bars come back from the brink.
Taffer and his crew revamped the 39-46 Skillman Avenue bar in recognition of the firefighting background of the McGowan brothers—all three of whom are current or former firefighters.
The establishment is now called Jack’s Fire Dept and the exterior resembles a firehouse—complete with the name: “Lad Co. 39-46 NY.” Inside, the front of a fire engine juts out from the wall accentuating the theme. Furthermore, there is firefighting equipment and various motifs placed throughout the bar.
The name “Jack” remains, since the name is in honor of the McGowan brothers’ late father.
Taffer unveiled the do-over to the McGowan brothers—and family—at about 7:30 pm after he gave them a pep talk in preparation of the night (see photo below). The family screamed with excitement when they opened the doors to the bar and noticed the transformation.
Many people showed up to support the McGowans. For instance, firefighters from FDNY’s Ladder Company 161 parked outside the the bar for 30 minutes to celebrate the occasion. Many who lined up outside were family friends.
More than 500 people waited in line to get in last night. The line went from the corner of Skillman and 40th Street all the way to 39th Place, before wrapping around the corner.
Once inside, the production company was strict about letting anyone take photos—particularly of Taffer.