Black Light District - Bar Rescue Update - Open or Closed?

Black Light District Rock and Roll Lounge Bar Rescue

In this Bar Rescue episode, Jon Taffer visits Black Light District Rock and Roll Lounge in Long Beach, California.

Black Light District is owned by Dave Franich and his friend Gabe Lopez

They bought the dive bar for $110,000 in 2012.

Since then, Gabe has invested around $17,000 into the bar.

Dave had a vision to turn this bar into a punk rock palace.

Dave has invested $50,000 of his own money into setting up the stage for the bar.

Dave’s staff says they aren’t a huge fan of punk rock music.

They also say that customers walk out of the bar due to the music being so loud.

Dave says that if people don’t like the music then he doesn’t want them in the bar.

Dave focuses more on the bands than the bar itself.

There are plumbing problems and the workers say the place looks like it hasn’t been cleaned in years.

Dave loses $3,000 a month and is currently in $160,000 of debt.

There are two months left before the bar shuts down for good.

Dave says that if Jon turns it into a non punk rock bar he’ll just turn it right back into one.

Jon brings in Phil Wills to help out with Black Light District.

Jon says it will be hard to get business as a punk rock bar with the demographic.

He thinks that maybe a rock and roll bar could work.

As they continue to watch the bar, they notice that Dave doesn’t really help out anyone.

Jon brings in Joe Escalante, Jennifer Allen, Sarah Colonna, and Jon Ryan for the recon tonight.

Black Light District is making $93 in sales per square foot, which is $57 less than the $150 per square foot break-even point.

Jon notices that some bottles don’t even have a pour spout on them.

Sarah points out how dirty it is behind the bar.

She also says that it looks as if the light socket could kill somebody at any moment.

With how bad the equipment is, they keep the volume up way too high.

Jon says this could cause irreversible ear damage for both the staff and the customers.

Joe says that the bar is not designed to have live music.

Jon looks through the reviews for the bar on Facebook, which are most poor.

Sarah says the vibe of the bar is very male and there is little appeal for females.

Jon says he can’t have his spies be exposed to this headache anymore and heads to the bar.

Phil takes a look at the bar .

Dave says he challenged Jon with this because he thinks Jon couldn’t handle the punk rock scene.

Dave is being very stubborn with handling Jon’s criticism.

He also says that he’d rather shut down than have a bar that isn’t punk rock, and tells Jon to get out of his bar.

Dave’s friend and his bartender Valerie tries to convince him that getting Jon’s help is more important.

Jon discusses goals with the owners and staff.

Jon mentions that the bar is not a good place for bands to perform and something has to change.

Jon brings Phil in, who first mentions the importance of having the same type of pour spout for each bottle.

Jon shows the bartenders that they are overpouring around $4,100 a week in liquor, $16,400 a month, and $197,000 a year.

Phil points out the smell and how badly the bar needs to be cleaned.

There are dead mice in the bar as well.

After Jon and Phil pointing out how gross the bar is, Dave starts to laugh.

Phil shows the bartenders a new type of pour spout called Cap On and the proper way to count while pouring.

He shows Dave how to pour properly so he can help out at the bar instead of standing around.

Tonight for the stress test Phil says he wants to see proper pouring.

Right away, they waste seven drinks from overpouring.

Dave is helping out quite a bit at the bar compared to what Jon saw last night.

However, he starts to get very distracted and is not listening to Phil.

Some customers are saying that the acoustics in the bar are very bad.

The bar gets backed up very quickly and there’s a huge collection of messed up drinks.

The bartenders open up about how it’s difficult to communicate with Dave sometimes.

They say that he just doesn’t listen or seems to be forgetful.

Gabe says that Dave needs to take responsibility.

Jon says that it amazes him that Dave has owned this bar for four years and still doesn’t know anything about making drinks.

Jon wants to put a sound and lighting system in the bar, along with remodeling it.

They have 36 hours to completely renovate the bar.

They add low-density foam to help with the acoustics and black lights.

Phil takes them to another bar to practice their mixology skills.

Phil shows them a few new cocktails including the Royal Vandal.

With each cocktail Phil shows them, Dave finds something negative to say about them.

Jon says that bars are for the customers, not the owners.

He also says that he’s going to build Dave a beautiful bar and Dave is just going to bring it down.

Jon decides to have a one-on-one meeting with Dave to try to make his attitude better.

Dave says he thinks Jon is going to turn his bar into some fruit loop bar and that what he wanted was a kitchen.

Jon mentions that Dave can’t even make a cocktail so he asks how he expects to manage a kitchen.

Jon tries to make Dave understand that his negativity will only bring the place down even further.

Dave tells Jon to go home and that he doesn’t want him here anyways.

Jon asks his crew to stop what they are doing and leave the bar.

He explains to the staff that he is done.

He won’t continue due to Dave’s attitude and that he knows he would undo all of his changes.

Jon says good luck to the staff and leaves.

Jon explains to the construction crew that they won’t be remodeling this bar and that they only help those who are worth helping.

Dave’s workers are aggravated and say that they put their all into this bar just for Dave to throw it all away.

Jon says that he is going to go where he has purpose and that this bar does not give him purpose.

Dave says that he feels like they missed out on a great opportunity.

The episode ends with Dave’s staff walking out on him as he suggests they should all have a drink.

What Happened Next at Black Light District Rock and Roll Lounge?

Reviews after the show were mostly negative although many were in response to the episode and aren't genuine experiences.

The reviews that appear genuine are mixed with praise for the staff, the bands performing and the dive bar atmosphere.

Blacklight District Lounge closed in July 2018.

Dave was critical of the show and claimed that he threw Jon out rather than him walking away.

A bar named Supply & Demand opened in its place and it has excellent reviews.

This post was last updated in February 2022.


  1. They went out of business?! I'm blown away by this news, I thought they had a sure winner there with the punk rock scene! LOL.

    1. Been in the bar and music scene for over 25 years. This bar was doomed to fail for multiple reasons and it doesn’t surprise me to discover that it did.

    2. Obviously you haven't watched the episode "Drunk on Punk" yet, or you would know a Punk Rock venue wasn't bringing any customers in. It wasn't a profitable venture.

  2. With that kind of attitude, how could he fail? (Sarcasm)

  3. I bet he wished he would of listened. He blew his friends money like he didn't care,I need his money he just trashed it all and that's sad. His staff was on his side and he didn't care


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