Bar Rescue - Dimples - CLOSED

Dimples Bar Rescue

In this episode of Bar Rescue Jon Taffer visits Dimples in Burbanks, California.

Dimples is owned by Sal, who opened up the Hollywood themed karaoke bar in 1982.

It was the first Karaoke bar in America.

He was a success and an icon with celebrities visiting the bar.

Sal collects Hollywood memorabilia and they have taken over the bar, cutting capacity to less than half.

Repairs have been neglected, as well as the karaoke equipment which has not been updated since they opened.

Sal is also inappropriate with women in his bar and is in $250,000 debt.

The bar is also not attracting younger customers.

Jon recons the bar with expert mixologist Joe Brooke and expert chef Brian Duffy.

They see the exterior does not say karaoke anywhere on it.

Lots of signs have been layered on over the years confusing the concepts.

They meet Sal and his employees and they are all old from the cook to the DJ.

The head bartender has been there ten years and the youngest employee is the cocktail waitress, who has been there two years.

They see the clutter around the bar and are in awe.

There is video footage of customers giving feedback on the bar.

They say there is a lot of female objectification from Sal, the clientele is too old and the sound system is too old.

Jon has four entertainment professionals go in as his spies.

They get in and notice no one is singing and they pretend it is one of their birthdays.

The drinks they are served are too sweet and strong.

They order some food and the orders are taken by hand as there is no POS system.

The cook is cooking freezer burned meats while cross contaminating his kitchen.

The burger is cooked for over fifteen minutes on one side and served overdone.

Sal then decides to perform for the birthday table.

He says suggestive comments to the spies while also encouraging her to do suggestive things.

She is traumatised by it and they all leave quickly.

Jon and his experts enter and meet Sal.

Jon is gentle with him, promising him he will respect the bar while updating it.

They go to the kitchen to meet Roberto the cook and call him out on his bad cooking techniques.

Roberto is defensive until Jon brings a device to calculate the bacteria on frequently touched surfaces.

The count is high so the kitchen is heavily contaminated.

They are told to clean the kitchen that night.

The next morning, Roberto has deep cleaned the kitchen.

The bacteria test is re-done and is showing zero counts.

Roberto also apologises to Jon for his behaviour the night before.

They have a staff meeting and Jon says all the collected items will get to be displayed properly.

The maltreatment of girls is brought up and Sal is educated on how offensive it is.

Jon introduces his experts including Karaoke expert Fred Medrano.

Brian begins training Roberto on how to make a burger properly with tips for cooking quickly.

Joe trains the staff on classic Hollywood cocktails that can be made quickly.

He tasks them to compete to make multiple drinks in under two minutes and for every mistake he honks a horn.

Fred checks out the Karaoke machine and the sound quality is horrible with static.

They get ready for the stress test and Sal lets in the industry professionals Jon has invited.

The bartenders start well making multiple drinks but spill a lot and Joe has to honk his horn.

In the kitchen Roberto is slow and confused and keeping orders waiting.

He is overcome by the pressure and collapses.

An ambulance is called leaving Brian to cook alone for the rest of the night.

The Karaoke starts and it is too low at first and there is feedback, making the singers uncomfortable.

Sal was the karaoke host but he was boring and also still being derogatory towards women.

The night ends and the staff are told Roberto is sick and may not continue with the process.

Fred tells them that the Karaoke is very bad and Sal is the biggest problem.

The next day, Jon has all of Sal’s memorabilia wrapped and on the streets.

Sal is not happy seeing it when he arrives.

Jon tells him the amount of space he can free up and make money from.

He also has news on Roberto needing rest so he has hired a line cook to train with them.

Seeing the inside, Sal is unhappy seeing the space stripped of the memorabilia.

Jon informs Elle that she will train with Fred on Karaoke as she will be the new hostess.

She is young and can get the younger crowd energized.

Joe trains the staff on making some new cocktails.

The new line cook is trained on making a new signature burger by Brian.

Fred trains Elle on how to host a karaoke evening.

Jon has to use sixty hours to renovate the bar so they can cover all they want to do for Sal.

The staff are gathered at night to unveil the new bar.

The old signs have been taken down and now the name is central.

The Hollywood sign has been moved to the side.

Sal loves how it looks.

Inside the space has been cleaned up and is warmer.

The tables have been redone and the memorabilia is behind showcase glass.

The DJ booth has been turned around to face the audience and the stage has been extended.

There is now a changing room for people who want to perform in costume.

There is a new sound system and a Touch Tunes Jukebox so people can order their music on their phones.

There is a 2touch POS system, two workstations and a beer cooler.

Sal is appreciative of all of the changes.

Jon has a red carpet set up outside for the grand reopening.

The Mayor of Burbank gives Sal a certificate for the longevity of the business.

On relaunch, customers are let in and they are in love with the ambience.

The bar is doing great and the food and drinks going out are great.

The karaoke set up is also great with Elle being an excellent host.


What Happened Next at Dimples?

Six weeks later, it is revealed Sal is slowly redisplaying his memorabilia.

Sales have increased by 30%.

Roberto recovered and went back to work in the kitchen.

Business improved and Sal was able to clear his debt.

Dimples closed in January 2015 after the city council approved a new development where it was located.

They were looking for another location but do not appear to have found one.

Reviews prior to the closure suggest that Sal was still making inappropriate comments.


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This post was last updated in September 2021.

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