Rich Morgan's contribution to a recent “Bar Rescue” episode may not have been featured on film, but it was one of the most crucial fixes to the embattled Tempe, Arizona bar in the hot seat.
“Momster's Ball”, which aired on Spike on July 17, tells the story of Baseline Sport's Bar's feuding bar-owning mother and her bartending daughters, whose family dynamics, broken equipment and bad customer service threaten to close the business down.
This January, a “Bar Rescue” producer called the president of Magic Touch Mechanical for a consultation and an invitation to be on the show.
“I thought it would a cool thing to be involved with,” Morgan, a veteran air conditioning specialist with nearly 30 years of experience. “We dispatched a technician out there to go see what was going on.”
The initial diagnosis was a bad door latch and a broken gasket, which prevented the door from closing properly. The bar owner was using ad hoc tools, like a chair or a ladder, to prop the door closed. And while a broken latch would have been a simple repair, Magic Touch found a more serious issue in the cooler.
“The technician found that the box wouldn’t cool down below 60 degrees, and diagnosed a bad thermostatic expansion valve,” Morgan said. Magic Touch was on site for about three days of filming to fix the issues.
Businesses, such as restaurants, who can't properly cool down food and products run the risk of spoilage or contamination. In the case of Baseline, the bad cooler was among a host of issues facing the bar.
But it didn't have to be.
The broken door latch and gasket could have been easily fixed, Morgan says. “They probably could have gotten more life out of it if they been doing regular maintenance,” he says.
The broken valve is another story.
“I think that was just mechanical failure,” Morgan says. “I don’t think there was much they could have done.”
That said, a broken cooler is something every commercial refrigerator/cooler owner needs to look out for.
“Most walk in coolers have a thermostat with a needle that sits right outside the door so they can see what the box temperature is,” Morgan says. “So it was very apparent what the box temperature was. It was 60 degrees and it should have been in the low 30s.”
There are easy lessons here for any businesses, not just struggling Arizona bars: “If you have a box that’s not keeping your products cool, don’t wait to have a professional come look at it,” Morgan says.
“It’s only going to get worse. It’s not going to fix itself.”
Morgan, who donated the estimated $1200 – $1500 worth of repairs, was invited to the bar's stress test, when the staff is put through the paces of a busy night. He was unable to attend, which is just as well, given that Baseline's bar staff fails their challenge miserably.
By the end of the episode, the bar gets a makeover into Brick and Barley, a neighborhood beer watering hole.
Morgan still hasn't been able to check out the new and improved space. “I had been in there in the past but I haven’t been there yet, namely because it’s been such a busy year for air conditioning companies,” he says.
And although his technicians were not shown on camera making the repairs, Magic Touch's contributions were noticed by their customers.
“After the show aired I got a bunch of calls —'I just saw your company!',” Morgan recalls. “I didn’t even know it was airing because I hadn’t kept up with it.”
He adds, “I got a text message where somebody took a screen shot of their TV and it was a picture of the list of sponsors,” including Magic Touch Mechanical.