Bar Rescue Updates: Who’s Still Open and Which Ones Closed

How many “Bar Rescue” bars survived the revamp?

The premise of Bar Rescue is simple: veteran nightlife consultant Jon Taffer uses his decades of experience in managing bars, restaurants, and nightclubs to help failing establishments get back on their feet.

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bar with various bartending tools and liquor bottles on the selves

Jon meets with owners and staff members to assess what needs improvement and attempts to help these struggling bars with his expertise in hospitality management.

Viewers fascinated by the fate of establishments have been tuning in to Bar Rescue since its launch in 2011, eager to glean insights on how businesses can succeed or fail. Today, the show is in its eighth season and will have 244 episodes. But what happens to all these bars after Jon leaves? Read below for some Bar Rescue updates.

Bars Jon Taffer Was Able to Save

Some of the more well-known successes from the show include:

Spirits on Bourbon from Episode 3.1, “Turtle on Its Back”

In this season three premiere, Jon Taffer visits a bar called Turtle Bay on Bourbon Street in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Taffer helps the bar’s owners, Brad Bohannan and Steve Smith, improve the bar’s operations and increase its profits. Taffer and his team address various issues, including outdated decor, an ineffective marketing strategy, and a lack of control over the bar’s inventory and staff. 

One of the episode’s most memorable moments is when Taffer introduces a new concept to the bar, the “Resurrection” cocktail, which includes a small bottle of liquor set on fire before being poured into the drink. The drink became an instant hit with customers and has since become a signature item on the bar’s menu. 

Taffer renamed Spirits on Bourbon, and it’s still open and successful today. The bar still features the signature cocktail, “The Resurrection,” and the barber’s chair. Jon Taffer and owner Brad Bohannan have a great relationship and consider the makeover a success. Spirits on Bourbon proudly displays its association with Bar Rescue, which has helped attract customers due to the show’s popularity and the bar’s location in a busy tourist area.

Moonrunners Saloon from Episode 3.16, “Character Assassination”

This episode featured a bar called Characters Quarters, located in Garner, North Carolina, struggling with low sales and an outdated, unfocused concept. 

In the episode, Jon Taffer and his team visited the bar and identified several issues that were affecting the business. These included a lack of clear branding and identity, a poorly designed menu, and a lack of efficient systems and procedures. 

To address these issues, Taffer and his team made several changes to the bar. They developed a new concept that highlighted the bar’s focus on moonshine and Southern cuisine, updated the menu with more profitable items, and created new systems and procedures to improve efficiency. They also updated the decor to create a more welcoming and inviting atmosphere.

Taffer rebranded the bar Moonrunners Saloon. They’re still open today, and in 2016 expanded by opening a food truck.

El K’rajo Beach Bar from Episode 6.19, “Operation: Puerto Rico”

“Operation: Puerto Rico” is a special episode of Bar Rescue that focuses on the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, a devastating hurricane that struck Puerto Rico in 2017.

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The episode features Jon Taffer and his team traveling to Puerto Rico to help local bars and restaurants that were struggling to recover after the hurricane.

Taffer and his team visited several bars and restaurants in the San Juan area, including El K’rajo, which was severely damaged by the hurricane. Taffer helped the bar rebuild, redesigned its space, and worked with the owner to develop a new menu and marketing strategy.

Taffer, who grew up in Puerto Rico, also rebuilt the neighborhood’s community center, basketball court, and Little League baseball field.

This episode featured collaborations with socialite and businesswoman Bethany Frankel, actor Luis Luis Guzmán, Puerto Rican athletes J.J. Barea and Bernie Williams, and businessman Mark Cuban.

The episode highlights the resilience and spirit of the people of Puerto Rico and serves as a reminder of the importance of community and support during difficult times. As of 2023, El K’rajo remains open and has good reviews on Google and Yelp.

Bars That Jon Taffer Couldn’t Save

Unfortunately, despite Jon’s expertise and effort, some bars are past saving by the time he arrives. Here are some of the more notable closures.

Downey’s Irish Pub from Episode 1.2, “Downey’s and Out”

The Downey’s Irish Pub episode of Bar Rescue aired in 2015. It featured a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania bar that needed better management, high debt, and a lack of cohesive identity.

Jon Taffer and his team worked to address the bar’s issues, which included overpriced drinks, an unsanitary kitchen, and a need for more teamwork among the staff. Taffer also helped the bar develop a new identity highlighting its Irish heritage and creating a new menu featuring traditional Irish dishes.

Unfortunately, it was too little, too late. The bar reportedly struggled to keep up with the changes Jon made and ended up closing just before a sheriff’s sale.

Piratz Tavern from Episode 2.1, “Yo-Ho-Ho and a Bottle of Dumb”

The Piratz Tavern episode of Bar Rescue, which aired in 2011, was one of the show’s most controversial and talked-about episodes.

The episode featured Piratz Tavern, a pirate-themed Silver Spring, Maryland bar. The bar’s owners, Tracy and AB, needed help with low sales and a poorly executed concept that alienated their regulars and left them in serious financial trouble.

During the show, Taffer and his team attempted to transform the bar into a more successful establishment by rebranding it as a more traditional and upscale bar focusing on craft cocktails and gourmet food.

However, the owners and some regulars resisted the changes and clashed with Taffer and his team.

The episode culminated in a heated confrontation between Taffer and the owners, with Taffer ultimately deciding to walk away from the bar and withdraw his offer to help them. The owners reverted the changes made during the show, and the bar eventually closed its doors in 2015.

The Los Angeles Brewing Company from episode 4.17, “Lagers and Liars.”

The LABrewCo episode aired in 2015 and featured a brewery and restaurant in Agoura Hills, California, struggling financially and having significant operational issues.

Jon Taffer and his team worked to address the bar’s problems, which included a lack of proper equipment, poor management, and an inconsistent product.

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The team also helped the bar develop a new menu and branding, including a new name, The LAB Brewing Co. & Kitchen. This renovation was the most expensive ever, valued at around one million dollars.

The LAB Brewing Co. & Kitchen implemented the changes Taffer, and his team suggested. The bar’s revenue increased significantly following the renovation and operated successfully in Agoura Hills, California.

In 2019, The LAB Brewing Co. & Kitchen announced that it would permanently close its doors. According to a statement from the owners, the decision to close was due to a combination of factors, including rising costs, competition, and changes in the local business landscape.

However, eyewitness accounts say differently. Witnesses claimed that the bar didn’t continue to use Jon’s changes, never actually brewed beer, and may have been operating on a suspended liquor license.

How Many Bars are Still Open from Bar Rescue?

Of the 215 bars that have been on Bar Rescue to date, 106 of them are still open. These are:

Season one:

  • Champs Sports Pub
  • The Canyon Inn, renamed The Canyon Saloon

Season two:

  • The Bamboo Beach Tiki Bar, renamed Bamboo Beach Club & Tiki Bar
  • The Olive Pitt, renamed The O.P.
  • The Black Sheep, renamed The Public House
  • Extremes, renamed Second Base Bar and Grill

Season three:

  • Turtle Bay, renamed Spirits on Bourbon
  • TJ Quills, renamed The Annex
  • Zanzbar, renamed  Solids & Stripes
  • The Kasbah 
  • Lona’s Wardlow Station, renamed Lona’s City Limits Cantina
  • Kid Chilleen’s Badass BBQ, renamed Chileen’s on 17
  • Handlebar Cafe, renamed Handle Bar and Grill 
  • Characters Quarters, Renamed Moonrunners Saloon
  • Cliques, renamed 22 Klicks Bar and Grill
  • Kerry’s Sports Pub, renamed Bacon Bar
  • The Bungalow Bar
  • Mary’s Outpost, renamed Thirsty’s Roadside Bar
  • Pat’s Cocktails
  • KC’s Neighborhood Bar & Grill, renamed Johnson County Line
  • The Holding Company, renamed Patriot House
  • Sandbar Grill, renamed Hot Rock Bar & Grill
  • Toucan’s Oceanside Bar & Grill, renamed Bonny & Read’s
  • Second Base Bar & Grill

Season four:

  • Park 77, renamed The Lister
  • The Bullpen at Aspen Glen, renamed Oak Tavern
  • Six Point Inn, renamed Easy Bar & Breakfast
  • The Palace Lounge, renamed Menara
  • Pro’s Sports Bar, renamed BR Steak
  • Myerz Pourhouse, renamed The Study Lounge
  • Club Caribe, renamed La Luz Ultra Lounge
  • Molly Malone’s, renamed Way Point Saloon
  • The Royal Oaks
  • Martini Brothers, renamed The Federal
  • The Filling Station, renamed Off Base Bar
  • Mac and Chester’s Standing Room Only, renamed Boulder Lodge Bar & Grill
  • Van Goghz Martini Bar & Bistro, renamed Crafted
  • George & Dragon English Pub & Restaurant
  • The Bridge Lounge
  • City Bistro, renamed The Beechwood
  • Baseline Sports Bar, renamed Brick and Barley
  • Gallopin’ Goose

Season five:

  • Champagne’s Cafe, renamed Champagne’s
  • The Wheelhouse Bar, renamed Derby’s Bar and Grill
  • Schafer’s Bar & Grill, renamed R. Lee’s
  • Tradewinds Bar
  • Triple Nickel Tavern
  • The Dugout, renamed Press Box
  • Big Mike’s Sports Bar & Grill
  • Desi Romano’s Sports Bar & Grill
  • Sidelines Sports Bar, renamed Lake House Bar & Grill
  • Rockin Rhonda’s, renamed Rhonda’s, A Neighborhood Bar
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Season six:

  • Havana Mix Cigar Emporium, renamed Robusto By Havana Mix
  • Kings Duck Inn
  • Club Platinum
  • Cap N Odies
  • The Cave Sports Bar
  • Barley Pop’s, renamed The Valley Saloon
  • No Name Saloon
  • Phish Heads, renamed Phish Tales
  • El K’rajo Beach Bar
  • Shibo
  • Country Nights, renamed Madame Daila’s Country Bar
  • RJ’s Replays, renamed The Frozen Cactus
  • The Original Hideout
  • The Recovery Room, renamed The Base Line
  • Gil & Rick’s Sports Bar & Pizzeria, renamed Sauced
  • Thunderbolt Bar & Grill, renamed Thunderbird KSC Tavern
  • Harbor Point Club & Grill, renamed JB Taco
  • Drunken Donkey Bar & Grill, renamed Butcher & Brew Pub
  • Stix & Stones Bar and Grill, renamed Pit Stop Bar & BBQ
  • Edge of Town, renamed Water’s Edge Bar & Grill
  • GI Jodi’s, renamed Malloy’s Bar & Grill
  • The Fifth Amendment

Season seven:

  • SacTown Sports Bar & Grill, renamed Brannan Manor Restaurant & Spirits
  • The Union, renamed The Midway Tavern
  • VFW Post 6216
  • The Grant Bar & Lounge, renamed Leia’s Restaurant, Lounge, Nightclub
  • The Broadway Club, renamed The Roost Bar
  • Rob Ben’s Restaurant & Lounge, renamed Rob Ben’s Neighborhood Soul
  • Kalaveraz, renamed Sierra Madre Cantina
  • Pepe’s Mexican Restaurant & Cantina, renamed Par Bar
  • Bottom’s Up Bar & Grill
  • Silver Dollar
  • Pineapple Hill, renamed Renz Social House

Season 8:

  • True Grit Tavern, renamed The Roost
  • County Line Lounge and Grille, renamed The Billy Bar
  • Ninja Karaoke
  • Griff’s Las Vegas
  • VFW Post 10054
  • Badlands Saloon
  • Nevada Brew Works
  • La Casona
  • Cork & Thorn
  • Champagne’s
  • Capo’s Restaurant & Speakeasy
  • Paradise Cantina

Frequently Asked Questions

Why was Bar Rescue canceled?

Bar Rescue has not been canceled. The first five seasons aired on Spike, and the most recent three seasons aired on Paramount Network due to a shakeup by the parent company of both networks, ViacomCBS.

Who pays for Bar Rescue renovations?

The renovations and changes made on Bar Rescue are typically funded by the production company of the show, 3 Ball Entertainment. The owners of the bars featured on the show do not pay for the renovations directly. Still, they do have to agree to certain conditions, such as relinquishing some control over the bar’s operation during the renovation process and agreeing to follow the advice and direction of host Jon Taffer and his team. Additionally, the owners may be responsible for any ongoing costs associated with maintaining the changes made to their bar after filming the show.

What is the latest episode of Bar Rescue?

The most recently aired episode, “Hideaway From Reality,” aired on March 12, 2023, and had Jon rescuing the Hideaway Bar & Grill in Meridan, Idaho. Six more episodes are scheduled for the rest of season eight.

Final Thoughts

Jon Taffer and Bar Rescue have a good record of saving failing bars.

While some bars ultimately don’t succeed, he works hard to turn things around.

Please drink responsibly, be fully accountable with your alcohol consumption, and show others respect.

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Paul Kushner

Written by Paul Kushner

Founder and CEO of MyBartender. Graduated from Penn State University. He always had a deep interest in the restaurant and bar industry. His restaurant experience began in 1997 at the age of 14 as a bus boy. By the time he turned 17 he was serving tables, and by 19 he was bartending/bar managing 6-7 nights a week.

In 2012, after a decade and a half of learning all facets of the industry, Paul opened his first restaurant/bar. In 2015, a second location followed, the latter being featured on The Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

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