A pair of longtime regulars at The China Grove Trading Post have achieved what blustery Bar Rescue host Jon Taffer failed to do — save their favorite watering hole. A bar employee confirms that Jim and Sue Sutter quietly reopened the spot, now called Mr. Jim’s Trading Post, in March.
The location drew the national spotlight on May 12, when it was featured on a particularly raucous episode of the hit Paramount Network show featuring, among other things, a visit from a wandering possum. With signature incredulity, Taffer went about correcting the sins and rebranded the place as The Tipsy Bull.
That concept didn’t live long enough to benefit from its television debut. The show was filmed in June 2018 and The Tipsy Bull was closed by October. Although China Grove Trading Post owners Wendy and Raymond Jenkins hinted on the show that they were close to retirement, they did not issue a public statement on the closure.
One reason why, however, may have been that business did not significantly increase after Taffer’s visit. Texas public records of alcohol sales only show a modest bump after the rebrand.
Perhaps because of Bar Rescue notoriety, Mr. Jim’s Trading Post operated under the radar until recently. It only officially announced the new ownership in a June 19 Facebook post. The Sutters, who purchased the property from the Jenkinses, obviously have a sense of humor about the former spot and even hosted a viewing party of the show on May 12.
Although spiffied up, Mr, Jim’s Trading Post remains a welcoming neighborhood place with trivia, live music, and plenty of ice cold beer. And in case viewers are wondering, the taxidermied coyote, featured in one of the episode's wildest moments, still howls proudly overhead.