(keep reading to learn what happened)
Season: 8 | View All Season 8 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: June 27, 2021
The Bar's Original Name Was: Badlands Saloon
Badlands Saloon Address: 953 E Sahara Ave Ste 22B Las Vegas, NV 89104
Badlands Saloon was a Las Vegas, Nevada bar that was featured on Season 8 of Bar Rescue.
Though the Badlands Saloon Bar Rescue episode aired in June 2021, the actual filming and visit from Jon Taffer took place before that during Taffer’s Covid-19 visits in Las Vegas.
It was Season 8 Episode 7 and the episode name was “A Bar to Take Pride In”.
Note – there was another bar named Badlands that was featured on Bar Rescue in Season 3. If you’re looking for that update, check out our Longshots Sports Bar / Badlands Country Nightclub update.
Jim, Michael, and Dan are the owners of Badlands Saloon in Las Vegas, NV.
Badlands is the oldest gay bar in Las Vegas, and the owners believed it would be easy to run since they had an existing customer base.
It’s been open for more than 30 years, which is quite a storied history.
The bar is located on Sahara Ave, just a few minutes drive from the main Las Vegas Strip.
It’s literally right around the corner from The Bradley / City Bar, which was featured on Season 5 of Bar Rescue.
In 2019, the owners purchased the bar and allowed Dan, a retired teacher, to run it.
This means they’ve been running it for around two years at the time of the Badlands Saloon Bar Rescue episode.
The bar was successful for the first eight months, but due to the global Covid-19 pandemic, Badlands Saloon had to close for six months.
During the closure, the owners still had to pay the bills.
Even after the bar was allowed to reopen, it still had to do so under very strict occupancy limits for a time:
The owners are now close to losing the bar they bought as an investment for their retirement.
This is pretty much the case for all of the bars from the first half of Season 8.
To help the bar, Jon Taffer brings Mia Mastroianni, an expert mixologist.
The hidden camera footage shows the bartenders Travis, Ben, and Jordan.
Mia is sent into the bar as a spy wearing a hat and a mask.
There is no menu for drinks, so Mia asks for a recommendation.
All the bartender can recommend is something vodka-based.
The drink the bartender makes for Mia tastes like cough medicine.
Mia also orders a beer served to her in a plastic cup.
Someone says Mia should order an Old Fashioned, which is made the wrong way.
Jon Taffer enters the bar and is immediately recognized by the staff and customers.
The owners meet with Jon and Mia, who provide them with feedback.
Jim and Dan are very appreciative of Mia’s feedback.
Jon Taffer leaves and returns the following day for a staff meeting.
Many of the employees are new since the bar just reopened recently.
Mia is introduced to the staff, and she trains them on making a Cosmo with a rainbow twist.
As the bartenders create the drink, Mia walks around with a buzzer which she uses when someone does something wrong.
The stress test begins, and the bartenders have to make consistent drinks for a half hour.
The bartenders begin to fall behind as they make multiple drinks at once.
The cocktails that the customers do receive taste deliciously.
Soon glasses start to break, and the stress test is shut down.
Jon Taffer tells the staff members that they will need more training.
Jon, Jim, and Dan meet with an executive from the MGM senior manager, who gives the men advice.
Back at the bar, Mia continues to train the bartenders on signature cocktails.
Sadly, Dan has been injured, but the other owners are stepping up to help out.
Jon kept the bar’s original Badlands Saloon name because of its legacy and the fact that its biggest issue was Covid-19 rather than a bad reputation.
This is the case for most of the bars from the first half of Season 8, as Jon Taffer kept the original name for almost all of them.
Bluezone air purification systems, POS systems, and a new dance floor are given to the bar at no cost.
Customers are pleased with the changes made to Badlands Saloon.
The bartenders are doing great behind the job, and everyone wishes Dan was there.
Derrick Berry from Ru Paul’s Drag Race comes for the relaunch to perform and things seem to be looking up for Badlands Saloon.
So was the Badlands Bar Rescue episode a long-term success?
Keep reading to learn what happened next and if this Las Vegas bar is still open in 2024.
Badlands Saloon Update - What Happened Next?
Now that we’ve recapped the Badlands Saloon Bar Rescue episode, let’s talk about what happened to the bar after Jon Taffer and his crew left Las Vegas, NV.
Overall, things seem to be going well for the bar and it has made it through all of the Covid-19 health restrictions and closures.
Is Badlands Saloon from Bar Rescue still open?
As of 2023, Badlands Saloon is still open and serving customers in Las Vegas, NV.
The bar regularly posts events on its Facebook page.
Common events include drag shows, live music, games, karaoke, and more.
For example, here’s a Facebook post advertising its regular Wednesday karaoke night:
And then here’s what the Badlands Las Vegas location looks like in the most recent picture from Google Maps street view…
Last I checked, the picture was taken in early 2022, so about a year after Jon Taffer’s visit:
Reviews for the bar seem generally quite good.
Overall, Badlands Saloon has a 4 star rating on Yelp and Google Reviews.
Reviews that were written after the Badlands Saloon Bar Rescue episode also seem to be more positive than before.
There are some negative reviews here and there, but most of those that happened after Taffer’s visit are 4 or 5 stars.
Here’s a quick sampling of reviews that were written after the episode.
5 star Yelp review from December 2021:
We enjoyed Badlands.
Don, one of the owners was very welcoming.
Service very good – bartender was attentive without becoming obnoxious and cute!
Plenty of parking.
5 star Yelp review from November 2021:
I love this bar for it’s laid back vibe.
Everyone is welcome!
Been coming and spending way too much for years!
They do have a new bartender in the AM who is extremely rude and told me I would get “beat up” and won’t hand drinks to me…
probably worst customer service I’ve had even after apologizing for preconceived slights.
Not a nice person and turned the juke box off which cost me $20.
But all of the others are great.
4 star Yelp review from November 2021:
I love the bar, the staff, the drinks and the clientele.
I would go more often if it were not so smoky on busy nights.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had a great experience every time I have gone to Badlands, just don’t like walking out of there smelling like smoke.
5 star Yelp review from October 2021:
I hadn’t been to Badlands in years, but was in town last week for business and some local friends took me by for a drink.
The new look is great, by far the classiest gay bar in Vegas.
And the bartender was making creative drinks for us to try, which was really fun.
Wonderful evening! Thank you!
1 star Yelp review from July 2021:
They supposedly remodeled the place but it looks worse.
Kinda like when you put lipstick on a monkey.
The new owners don’t allow cigars not even during their failed leather night with Latino music.
I can see this becoming the next Backdoor.
The place totally sucks.
If you’re in Las Vegas and you want to check it out, you can learn more at the official Badlands Saloon website.
And again, if you’re looking for the Missouri bar that was featured on Season 3, check out our Longshots / Badlands Country Nightclub update.
To see some other Las Vegas Bar Rescue episodes from the first half of Season 8, you can read these updates:
- Ninja Karaoke update
- Paradise Cantina update
- Capo’s Restaurant update
- Cork and Thorn update
- La Casona update
- Nevada Brew Works update
- Griff’s Bar and Billiards update
Or, you can read my full list of all the Las Vegas Bar Rescue episodes.
Thanks for reading!
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Last updated: 2023-04-01 05:11