P’s and Q’s Auto Body from Bar Rescue has had a rather tough run after the show, and the bar has now changed ownership and been renamed.
Longtime food and beverage consultant, Jon Taffer, and his team of expert bartenders, mixologists and hospitality professionals have never been known for keeping their Bar Rescue makeovers small or holding back by any means.
But there are some episodes that continue to stand out for their spectacular transformations.
One such episode, “Bug Bite,” from the show’s fourth season, which aired back in 2014. In this episode, the Bar Rescue team completely transforms a dingy and filthy bar in Huntington, New York.
What really happened to P’s and Q’s Auto Body from Bar Rescue
When Taffer and his team first arrived, the then Artful Dodger was filthy and mismanaged.
But by the end of the episode, the space had undergone a real upgrade, with new décor and a secret Auto shop-inspired entrance, fit for this vintage-inspired speakeasy, hidden in plain sight.
And while this Bar Rescue makeover seemed to have done the trick at first, the renamed P’s and Q’s Auto Body really could not seem to catch a break.
In reality, P’s and O’s Auto Body had been forced to close its doors temporarily due to a fire just months after the Bar Rescue episode aired.
And although the bar did eventually re-open a while later, Mike Matarazzo ended up buying out all of the bar’s other partners and renamed the bar a few years down the line.
The P’s and Q’s Auto Body timeline
P’s and Q’s Auto Body only ended up lasting four years after Taffer’s visit, though the bar’s entire history is as follows:
|Mike Conforti buys the Artful Dodger
|Brian Gordon becomes part owner
|Jon Taffer and the Bar Rescue team arrive, start filming and the bar is renamed to P’s and Q’s Auto Body
|The “Bug Bite” episode premieres
|The fire erupts
|P’s and Q’s Auto Body re-opens
|P’s and Q’s Auto Body is renamed to Repeal XVIII
What happened after the Bar Rescue episode aired?
About six weeks after Taffer and the rest of the Bar Rescue team packed up their bags and left Huntington, things seemed to be going well at the newly made-over P’s and Q’ Auto Body.
Both of the bar’s owners, Brian Gordon and Mike Conforti, had learned how to take their managerial skills to the next level, and sales at the bar reportedly increased by up to 30 percent.
The reviews for P’s and Q’s Auto Body also seem to suggest that local customers absolutely fell in love with the speakeasy design.
Only one out of five total reviews on Yelp for 2015 gave the bar less than three stars, and the earliest review from TripAdvisor, posted in October of 2016, states that P’s and Q’s Auto Body had “a pretty good vibe”.
The real reason why P’s and Q’s Auto Body closed down
Though P’s and Q’s Auto Body had real potential to become one of the most popular bars in the bustling area of Huntington, there is nothing quite like an unexpected fire to make this kind of success come crashing down (literally).
When news first broke that the Laundromat next to P’s and Q’s Auto Body had caught fire in March of 2015, the then-owner of the bar, Conforti, reportedly told bystanders that this up-and-coming spot had suffered “some serious damage”.
This statement turned out to be much truer than Conforti probably initially realised, as P’s and Q’s remained closed for more than a year after the tragic incident, which likely plunged the owners back into debt pretty quickly.
The bar that has taken P’s and Q’s Auto Body’s Place
P’s and Q’s Auto Body has certainly had its fair share of makeovers through the years. So though it is not technically correct to say that the bar has closed down, its most recent change to Repeal XVIII seems more permanent than the previous ones.
Mike Matarazzo had been the head bartender at the former versions of the Repeal XVIII for over 11 years before he took over as the owner, and his vision for the space has kept the old speakeasy feel, while introducing some new edgy craft cocktails and beers.
Overall, Repeal XVIII seems to be doing very well. In fact, one of the most recent 5-star Yelp reviews from September 2023 read: “I can't say enough about how great everything was” and another from June 2023 stated “I would give a rating of more than 5 stars if I could!!!”