Tim “Ripper” Owens was the guy who went from being Judas Priest’s #1 fan to the lead singer of the heavy metal band. He left his Judas Priest cover band to replace Rob Halford as the lead singer from 1996 to 2002. (The movie 2001 Rock Star starring Mark Wahlberg and Jennifer Aniston is loosely based on Owens’ life.) After leaving Judas Priest, Ripper opened up a bar-restaurant called Ripper’s Rock House in his hometown of Akron, Ohio, about 40 miles from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. It was a hit at first but the restaurant was quickly pigeonholed as just a heavy-metal bar. So Ripper called in Jon Taffer of Bar Rescue to give his place a makeover. Ripper jokingly said of the experience working with Taffer on the show, “It cost me my manhood.”
Part of the makeover included a name change. Ripper’s Rock House is now Tim Owens’ Traveler’s Tavern. Ripper’s Owens’ hard-rock memorabilia was taken down to make room for a more contemporary look. And the paper-lined plastic baskets that served food have been replaced with ceramic plates – with the exception of the Tavern’s famous wings ($15.95 gets you a bucket of 20). Bar Rescue airs Sundays at 10pm on Spike.