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Reality show spotlights Fort Worth bar

Posted 2:45pm on Friday, Dec. 13, 2013

As of this writing, you can still find the XII Whiskey Bar & Grill’s website, which opens up with a message saying in part, “XII took part in a reality TV show project! XII participants are not supposed to say what network or what TV show -- stay tuned!”

But the secret has long been out about the network and show, because our Bud Kennedy wrote about it in October: Food Network’s bar-makeover show On the Rocks worked its magic on XII Whiskey -- now The Science Lab Bar & Grille -- for an episode that will air at 9 p.m. CST Saturday, Dec. 14 on, you guessed it, Food Network.

One of many restaurant/bar/business makeover shows on the air, On the Rocks features consultant John Green helping out struggling bars. “John quickly assesses the location, identifies the problems and finds the solution,” says the show’s description.

Here’s an abridged version of the episode synopsis: “John Green visits 12 Whiskey, a whiskey lounge in Fort Worth, Texas that is located directly across from a college campus [well, maybe not directly across, but near TCU]. He stops by at the peak of happy hour and, to his surprise, finds it completely empty. John completely re-brands the place by turning it into ‘The Science Lab.’ John tests the bartenders on speed and accuracy and introduces them to tasty, themed cocktails that play into the bar’s new theme.”

There are other problems -- including being embezzled by a former business partner, and pressure from the unrelated co-owners’ respective loved ones -- that led to the bar needing help. The episode features a couple of other Fort Worth locales, including Stage West.

Not to spoil too much, but Bud’s October Eats Beat column about the visit gave us a hint of what’s in the episode. “The Science Lab brings chemistry-geek chic to Fort Worth,” Bud wrote, “serving drinks in test tubes and beakers and dishes such as a Weird Science Sandy ham-and-pickled cabbage sandwich or ‘skewers von Braun with chicken and sweet potato.”

Here’s a clip of the show intro; it might be the first time reality TV has referred to Fort Worth as “a bustling college town” and not as a place where cattle walk the streets.

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