STONINGTON — The handlebars are off the roof, and the name of the bar has been covered up on the mural on the side of the Handlebar Café. Both were removed Thursday in response to the town’s cease and desist order to Elizabeth Mitchell-Cipriano, the bar’s owner.
The handlebars and mural were installed at the bar as part of “Bar Rescue,” a reality TV show on the Bravo network.
However, the show never filed for permits for the bar improvements.
The mural was considered a sign, and the oversized handlebars were considered a safety hazard.
The show did not check with Town Hall first before making the improvements because the changes to the bar were kept secret until they were completed, according to First Selectman Edward Haberek Jr.
The Handlebar Café episode of “Bar Rescue” premiered on July 21, and continues to air in re-runs. Jon Taffer, the star of “Bar Rescue,” finds a bar that could use some help, and fixes it up. Among the aesthetic improvements Taffer added to the bar were the handlebars above the doors, the biker-themed mural along the side wall, and a Harley-Davidson motorcycle on display behind the bar.