Boulder Lodge Bar Rescue Update (Mac & Chester’s SRO) – Still Open in 2024?

Is Boulder Lodge Bar and Grill still open today?

Status: >> OPEN <<
(keep reading to learn what happened)

Season: 4 | View All Season 4 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: March 6, 2016
The Bar's Original Name Was: Mac and Chester's SRO
Boulder Lodge Bar and Grill Address: 18919 Lake George Blvd Oak Grove, MN 55303

Boulder Lodge Bar Rescue Update

Episode Recap

Mac & Chester’s SRO, later renamed Boulder Lodge Bar and Grill, was an Anoka, Minnesota bar that was featured on Season 4 of Bar Rescue.

Though the Boulder Lodge Bar Rescue episode aired in March 2016, the actual filming and visit from Jon Taffer took place before that.

It was Season 4 Episode 43 and the episode name was “Hard Heads and Softballs”.

Mac and Chester’s SRO is located in Anoka, Minnesota.

Anoka is a small town of just 17,000 people that’s right outside Minneapolis (it’s basically a suburb).

The owners are friends Scott Mac and Todd Chester.

SRO stands for Standing Room Only, the former name of the bar before Scott Mac and Todd Chester purchased it.

Scott Mac and Chesters

You can probably see where the name Mac and Chester’s SRO came from, right?

The bar is trendy and opened in 1976.

When the owners first took over, they were very successful.

Todd’s wife, Elise, was bought in to work the books, and soon the partnership began to sour. 

Todd and Elise Mac and Chesters

Todd parties at the bar, brings in bikers and gives out free drinks.

The bar has separate bars and softball fields.

Scott was fed up with Todd and began working on the softball pitch.

Jon Taffer arrives and recons the bar with Mia Mastroianni and chef Vic Vegas. 

The experts are dressed in disguise and go into the bar as spies.

The pair order a cocktail but are told the bar does not have the proper ingredients to make it.

Vic drinks his beverage, but it is too strong.

Mia heads to the second bar on property managed by Scott and his girlfriend, Linda.

Mia goes to the second bar but hates her drink.

Vic finds a piece of hair in his wrap, which also doesn’t taste good.

Jon calls off the spies as he talks to Elise.

Jon tells her that the bikers coming to the bar is chasing away the other customers.

The bikers burn picnic tables and rev their engines near a family playing softball. 

Yeah…that’s definitely not going to help with business (unless all your business is bikers).

When confronted by Jon, Todd is drunk and smiling.

Todd Mac and Chesters

He tries to fight Jon Taffer and has to be held back – not a good sign!

When Jon comes back the next day, he wants to talk to Scott first.

Scott tells Jon the issues with the bikers who come and why he went to work at the second bar. 

Jon then meets with Todd and Elise.

Todd admits fault and says he wants to step up to back things better.

Jon wants Todd to get rid of the biker gang, but Todd appreciates their loyalty.

Todd steps back to let Elise manage the bar. Elise tells the staff that Jon will help them, and they are happy. 

Phil Wills, another mixologist, is called because of how bad the bar is.

Vic teaches the kitchen how to make an easy grilled cheese sandwich the customers can take to the ball field.

Phil trains the staff at the softball field bar.

Mia shows the team how to set up the main bar. 

Jon is blacking out the bottles for the stress test, and bartenders will remember what bottle is what.

The main bar uses the wrong bottles on the first drink they serve.

The second bar is moving too slow, but the chef is progressing well in the kitchen.

The main bar eventually recovers, and Jon stops the stress test. 

Jon thinks that Todd and Scott need to part ways, so he proposes the bar pays Scott a monthly income until he reaches $20,000, then he can separate from the bar.

Deal for Mac and Chesters

Todd now has full ownership.

The bar is renovated, and the staff gathers to see the changes. 

As part of the renovations, Jon has renamed the bar from Mac & Chester’s SRO to The Boulder Lodge and Grill.

There are new beer systems and POS machines.

Jon surprises everyone with fireworks as the customers are let in.

Everyone does great during the relaunch. 

So was the SRO Bar Rescue episode a long-term success? Keep reading to learn what happened next and if it’s still open in 2024.

Boulder Lodge Bar and Grill Update - What Happened Next?

Now that we’ve recapped the Boulder Lodge Bar Rescue visit, let’s talk about what happened after Jon Taffer and his crew left Anoka, Minnesota.

Things started off very well – at the six-week check-in, we learn that the bar’s sales are up by more than 35% since the Bar Rescue visit.

Todd is running the bar as an actual business and Elise is doing a good job of managing both bars.

So – would it last? That’s the important question…

Is Boulder Lodge from Bar Rescue still open?

As of 2023, Boulder Lodge Bar and Grill is still open and serving customers in Anoka, MN.

However, it’s doing so under a new name – it’s now called Back to the SRO Bar & Grill.

Todd and Elise are still the owners, though, as far as I can tell.

Here’s what the old Boulder Lodge Anoka Minnesota location looks like in the most recent picture from Google Maps street view…

The image hasn’t been updated since 2019, though, so it doesn’t show the current branding.

The bar seems to have lots of events and specials, including live music and karaoke.

Here’s a nice screenshot from the website of everything that’s going on at the bar:

SRO events

The reviews are generally good, as it has a 4.2 star rating on Google Reviews (though only a 3.5 star rating on Yelp). I’ll share some real examples of reviews below.

The bar seems to get a lot of questions about why they changed the name, so they even have a dedicated section about it on their website. Here’s what it says:

A lot of questions why the Boulder Lodge changed their name.

It has nothing to do with failing, Bar Rescue or anything negative.

We have heard 406+ stories about the original SRO. We listened.

We changed some things, added some things but figured why not call the bar what it is?

This place is a staple.

It has been through a lot of different hands and management styles.

Some good.

Some not so good. But we live and learn and move on.

In the end…

it takes patience and a great group to keep it going in the right direction.

So the reason you see SRO back on the sign is simple…. it’s a bar & grill not a lodge.

And it’s what everyone calls it!!

So there you have it – that’s why it’s called Back to the SRO Bar & Grill instead of Boulder Lodge Bar and Grill.

If you’re in Minnesota and you’d like to check the place out, you can learn more at the official website.

Boulder Lodge reviews after Bar Rescue

Overall, the reviews for Boulder Lodge / Back to the SRO Bar and Grill are generally pretty good.

Here’s a sampling of reviews that were written after the visit from Jon Taffer…

5 star review from April 2022:

Great place for a burger. We tried the “Big Mac” burger and it was so tasty!

We stopped in for the first time during HH and the staff was super friendly and welcoming.

Can’t wait to go back for live music!’

4 star review from July 2016:

We have lived in the area for 7 years & have been looking for a place to eat locally that we could make a regular hangout.

While I had been to the SRO several times before, I’ll admit I had never eaten there.

Since the Bar Rescue makeover, we have been going 2-3 times per month because the food is really good.

Service at the tables is a little slow, but we usually sit at the bar and get terrific service.

I always get the burger because I like my burgers rare and it is hard to find a place that will serve a rare burger and actually knows how to cook one. My burger is fantastic every time.

My husband has tried several other things on the menu and has enjoyed everything except for the tacos they serve on “Taco Tuesday’s.”

I agree with other reviewers that the bathrooms should have been remodeled, but I’m sure that Bar Rescue has never done the bathrooms at any bar.

Maybe if enough people complain on Yelp, the owner will cough up some money & get it done.

I really love this place and have recommended it to my friends, the atmosphere is good and the food is great!

2 star review from December 2018:

Ok, I’ll admit that I haven’t been in for a while. However, I’ve stopped going.

This place used to be Boulder Lodge, and when we first started coming a few years ago, it was fairly good (see my review of Boulder Lodge).

Then the name changed. Slightly before that, we noticed a lot of staff turnover.

All of the friendly bartenders left one-by-one.

Then we ended up with either staff with zero personality, or who were combative.

One day I ordered a burger and got the wrong one (it had horseradish on it, which I HATE).

The bartender (owner?) rudely insisted that she didn’t get it wrong. I couldn’t eat it.

My husband took a bite and agreed that it had horseradish on it. Then she finally swapped it for a new one.

No apology. Seriously? We went there almost every week for two years.

We also got attitude when we tried to order nachos (which had recently been removed from the menu).

I get it, but you had all the ingredients, and everyone loves nachos…it also wasn’t busy…

So…we haven’t been back.

Overall, despite ditching the Boulder Lodge Jon Taffer name, this one seems like a success story.

As far as I’m aware, Boulder Lodge was the only Minnesota Bar Rescue episode.

But there were some nearby episodes in Wisconsin that you can check out if you want to see nearby bars.

I recommend looking at Nick’s House / Y-NOT III in Milwaukee and Packy’s Pub / Campbell’s Irish Pub in Milwaukee.

Thanks for reading!

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Last updated: 2023-02-01 06:33

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