There’s no way to discuss the Piratz Tavern saga — the one laid out in the schadenfreude-dripping “Bar Rescue” season debut this Sunday on Spike TV — without spoiling a scene or two. So spare the ombudsman your protestations and just imagine yourself in Tracy Rebelo’s shoes.
Rebelo is co-owner of Piratz in Silver Spring, and not long into the episode, she gets a tongue-lashing from “Bar Rescue” host Jon Taffer, the man who’s supposed to stop this sinking ship of a tavern from taking on more water. Taffer thinks he’s identified the problem: Rebelo and her bodice-heaving desire to play pirate, as if she were invited to some amped-up adolescent Halloween party that’s dragged on until middle age.
“Do you want to be a pirate, or do you want to send your daughter to college?” Taffer bottom-lines it for Rebelo.
Taffer has his reasons for using Rebelo’s own flesh and blood against her. At the time of filming in February, Rebelo, her husband, Juciano, and their teenage daughter were living with Tracy’s parents. Neither husband nor wife drew a salary, and they were, according to “Bar Rescue,” $900,000 in debt. To Taffer, Tracy and Juciano were in hard-core denial about the viability of their pirate playground. (While Rebelo doesn’t deny the debt, she insists Piratz’s five-year-plus lifespan proves some kind of viability.)