Around 9 pm on a Friday night, a girl walks into a bar. Not just any bar but a bar that is directly off a long desert highway. One of the only places to get food (conveniently) off the highway in the past 25 miles.
Pulling up to the Kid Chilleen’s Bad Ass BBQ, it’s a ghost town. It’s dark, it’s down a dirt road and at one point I wondered if I was pulling up to the correct location. For a female in her late 20’s I would have normally kept passing by and suffered the starvation.
I knew that this place was in need Jon’s help. The décor was dated, everything was dirty and beyond anything else the whole area had a smell and I haven’t even stepped inside yet.
When I walked in, a host didn’t greet me so I proceeded straight to the bar. On normal occasions, I love sitting at a bar but this was different. Walking up to the bar, there was no seating just one empty lonely stool. I grabbed the stool and parked myself down in between a handful of locals; some who were friendly but some barely gave me enough personal space that made me feel uncomfortable.
Being greeted by the bartender, Aleah. She was sweet and took very good care of me as a customer. It was then I knew that this place had something special and it was her.
Shortly after receiving my food, a heavily sauced BBQ chicken, cold broccoli and mashed potatoes I could barely even look at, let alone eat. I was introduced to one of the owners, Donna. Whose solution to my food problem was to offer me another Fireball Shot (my first shot was offered to me as I walked in and sat at the bar). I was shocked at her level of intoxication.
After several conversations with other guests, I felt as though the owners treated their bar as one big place to party every night. Most regulars come here to have a good time and get free drinks.
I quickly came to realize what a great place Chilleen’s could be if the owners didn’t participate and allow their friends, acquaintances, and customers to take advantage of them. They needed help, they needed sobriety and they needed to make a change in 25 days or the bank was closing Chilleen’s for good.
Jon Taffer was able to work with the Chilleen’s staff and see what a great story this place has. Scott Chilleen’s hales from a long line of restaurateurs with a family name that has been in the business for over 50 years. He too can now feel that he can carry the family name on with continuing success.