Bar Rescue - Badlands Saloon - OPEN

Bar Rescue Badlands Saloon

In this Bar Rescue episode, Jon Taffer visits Badlands Saloon in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Badlands Saloon is owned by Jim, his partner Michael and best friend Dan.

They all partnered to buy Badlands Saloon in 2019.

Badlands Saloon is a thirty-year-old bar and the oldest gay bar in Las Vegas.

It had everything they needed, including clientele so they thought it would be easy to coast.

They left Dan, who is a retired teacher to run the bar.

For eight months they did well and the bar was profitable.

The global situation put a pause on their success and they closed for six months but still had to pay bills.

When they opened back up at reduced capacity they were restricted in their events and they are struggling to bring customers back.

They are in danger of losing the bar, which is an investment for their retirement.

Jon recons the bar with expert mixologist Mia Mastroianni.

Jon fills her in on the shared ownership situation.

We see Travis, Ben and Jordan, who are the bartenders.

Mia is given a hat and will be doing the recon at the bar.

She is unrecognisable with a mask and hat on so they know her cover won’t be blown.

She asks for a drinks menu but they have no menu to give her.

Instead she asked for a best-selling drink but the bartender cannot tell her anything except ‘vodka-based drinks’.

He makes her something he came up with and it tastes like cough syrup.

Jon makes her order a draft beer and she is served in a plastic cup.

The beer has a lot of foam which is wasted during the pour.

The beer is warm and she regrets not buying a bottle beer.

Another bartender recommends an old fashioned, which is made incorrectly.

The drink is awful and tastes like it is watered down.

Jon has seen enough and enters the bar where he is recognised almost immediately.

He meets Jim and Dan, Michael and Dan live in Los Angeles and come down to help at the bar from time to time.

They meet with Mia and hear feedback from her about the issues at the bar.

She tells them that the beer draft system is bad, the back-bar has glasses instead of liquor on display and the energy of the bar is non-existent.

They are appreciative of the feedback and it is a base to make improvements.

The next day Jon meets with the staff.

All the bartenders are relatively new having only been there for just a few months.

Jon points out how they are losing money from the beer and the liquor as well with a partender report.

The bartenders were also slow the night before during the recon.

Jon introduces his expert Mia to the bar staff.

She trains them on making a consistent drink starting with a cosmo with a rainbow twist.

They are then told to practice the drink and she uses a buzz button to point out when they do something wrong.

For the stress test they will be given consistent orders of drinks for thirty minutes straight while Mia is there to oversee the quality of the drinks.

A few customers are let in for the stress test.

They start well making one drink a minute but when getting ambitious to make multiple drinks they start to make mistakes.

The few drinks that leave the bar are great and well received by the customers.

Travis is making drinks in less than a minute and picking up everyone’s slack.

However only twenty-five drinks have been made in fifteen minutes by all of them.

At thirty minutes into the stress test they start to hurry and start breaking glasses.

They do well with fifty-nine drinks in thirty minutes minus the drinks they dumped.

For feedback they are reminded they will need to train some more to learn more cocktails.

The next day Jon takes Dan and Jim to meet with an MGM senior manager to pass on some sage advice on reinventing themselves to keep the brand fresh and encouraging staff to get vaccinated.

Mia trains the staff on some more signature drinks.

Dan got hurt and the other two investors are stepping in to manage until he is back on his feet.

The bar is renovated and the staff are brought back at night for the reveal.

The bar name has not been changed, respecting the legacy of the bar but the sign has been changed to be more modern.

The inside has been updated and reorganised.

The warmth has been kept, there is a dance floor area and atmosphere TV for ambience,

There is Pathspot for hand scanning and two independent stations with one in the bar area and one in the nightclub area.

Bluezone air purification system, ceiling fans with purifications systems and lifetime access to Partender.

There is also a food ordering kiosk system and three Harbour Touch POS systems.

The bar is ready and customers are let in for the relaunch.

Patrons are happy with the changes that have been made and say the place is more inviting.

The bartenders are more confident and the owners wish Dan could have made it.

Jon has the amazing Derrick Berry from Ru Paul’s Drag Race perform to inject some energy into the relaunch to the applause of the patrons.



What Happened Next at Badlands Saloon?


Reviews after filming are mostly positive with praise for the atmosphere and a few negative complaints on bartenders.

Click for more Bar Rescues

Previous episode - Nevada Brew Works

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This post was last updated in July 2021.

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