(keep reading to learn what happened)
Season: 8 | View All Season 8 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: May 9, 2021
The Bar's Original Name Was: Capo's Restaurant and Speakeasy
Capo's Restaurant and Speakeasy Address: 5675 W Sahara Ave Las Vegas, NV 89146
Capo’s Restaurant and Speakeasy was a Las Vegas, Nevada bar that was featured on Season 8 of Bar Rescue.
Though the Capo’s Bar Rescue episode aired in May 2021, the actual filming and visit from Jon Taffer took place a couple of months before that during Bar Rescue’s Covid-19 inspired focus on Las Vegas.
It was Season 8 Episode 2 and the episode name was “Not Your Godfather’s Speakeasy”.
Capo’s Restaurant and Speakeasy is in Las Vegas, Nevada, which is where all of the bars from the first half of season 8 are located (because of the Covid-19 pandemic).
It’s about five miles away from the Las Vegas Strip.
The Capo’s Las Vegas owner, Nico Santucci, opened the bar in 2002 after moving to Nevada from Chicago.
Nico has many years of experience working in the restaurant industry.
The restaurant saw success for almost two decades before the Capo’s Bar Rescue episode.
They were making close to five million dollars annually, which is pretty incredible.
That probably makes Capo’s the most succesful bar to ever make an appearance on Bar Rescue, as I can guarantee that most of the other bars that Jon Taffer rescues never even sniffed $5 million.
Basically, while the bar isn’t perfect, this isn’t your normal clueless Bar Rescue owner – this is just a bar in a bad situation because of the Covid-19 pandemic, which is true of a lot of bars from the first half of Season 8.
Dominick is Nico’s brother, who also manages Capo’s.
Due to restrictions during the 2020 pandemic, Nico had no choice but to shut down the restaurant.
When Capo’s finally reopened, Nico had to cut down on staff to save money.
Sadly, Nico lost his mother during the pandemic and had a tumor removed from his throat.
It was like a constant train of bad things happening.
Expert chef Jason Santos and a local blogger Lindsey Stewart spy on the bar for Jon Taffer.
Nico is at the bar along with Ziggy, the doorman, floor manager Janeen, bartenders Geri and Fabiola, and the chef. Dominick is also there.
The spies have to ring a doorbell to enter and, upon entering, are given a QR code for menus.
This is part of the bar’s mob and speakeasy theme.
The spies order meatballs, an old-fashioned, and a chianti.
The chianti is not good, and when Jason asks how long the bottle has been opened, the bartenders have no answer.
The salad the spies are served is brown, and the meatballs are dry.
Nico doesn’t take the criticism well and gets into Jason’s face. Jon Taffer enters the bar to stop it.
Nico and Dominick are then shown the state of their bar.
There is chipped paint, dirty appliances, and sour wine.
Jon tells Nico he wants him to get angry about the state of the bar.
Then, Nico breaks down and tells Jon he reminds him of his father, who has passed away.
Jon returns the next day and condemns the brothers for making money but not updating the bar.
The bartender from the day before says the wine was not stale, but she still could not answer when the bottle was opened.
Chef Jason and expert mixologist Nancy Santiago are introduced.
Jason shows the staff how to make a meatball sub with a twist; it is made on a buttered baguette.
Because of Nico’s throat, he feels unwell and leaves while Dominick continues the training.
Nancy then trains the bartenders on making the Godfather cocktail.
The doors open for the stress test.
Fabiana does excellent during the stress test.
However, some of the wine they pour is sour and gets dumped.
To make matters worse, raw food is being sent back to the kitchen.
The bartenders are not as good as they seem, but the chef is, although he is working with lousy equipment.
The stress test is shut down.
Nancy instructs the bartenders to make Italian-themed drinks.
She also teaches them about consistency.
The chef is trained how to make homemade pasta by Jason in their new pasta maker by Pasta Biz.
The bar takes two days to renovate.
Because of its long and successful history, Jon Taffer keeps the original name of Capo’s Restaurant and Speakeasy (which you’ll notice happens with most of the bars from this season).
Nico returns for the relaunch.
The bar has been gifted three new Harbor Touch POS systems, and Standard Restaurant Supply supplied the kitchen with new tools and equipment.
Carrot Top, a famous comedian, comes to the relaunch. Lol…
The kitchen and bar serve great food and drinks.
Everyone is pleased with the changes Jon has made.
So was the Capo’s Las Vegas Bar Rescue visit a success?
Keep reading our update to learn what happened next and if it’s still open in 2023 and beyond.
Capo's Restaurant and Speakeasy Update - What Happened Next?
Now that we’ve recapped the Capo’s Bar Rescue visit, let’s talk about what happened after Jon Taffer and the Covid-19 pandemic left Las Vegas, NV.
The basic question here is whether Capo’s Restaurant was able to survive the Covid-19 pandemic or whether it was another small business that fell prey to the closures.
Well, there’s good news here..
Is Capo’s still open after Bar Rescue?
As of 2023, Capo’s Restaurant and Speakeasy is still open and serving customers in Las Vegas, NV.
While the bar did struggle during the Covid-19 pandemic and health restrictions, they’ve managed to survive and seem to still be doing well.
The bar is active on the Capo’s Las Vegas Facebook page, regularly posting about events and specials.
They have regular musical acts, including lounge-type singers that match the bar’s aesthetic.
Here’s a fun video of the Capo’s doorman playing piano:
Capo’s also has regular food specials, as you’d expect.
And then here’s what the Capo’s Las Vegas location looks like in the most recent picture from Google Maps street view:
Capo’s reviews after Bar Rescue
In terms of Yelp, Capo’s Restaurant and Speakeasy is probably the most popular bar that’s ever appeared on Bar Rescue, as it has over two thousand reviews.
For comparison, a lot of other Bar Rescue bars only have like 30 Yelp reviews. Some have even less.
In general, the reviews seem pretty good.
Even the “negative” reviews are still usually three star reviews and it’s rare to find one star reviews.
Here’s a sampling of some of the Capo’s Yelp reviews from 2022 (after Jon Taffer’s visit).
Five star Yelp review:
After seeing this local gem on Bar Rescue, I HAD to make a visit.
I made reservations in advance (a must via OpenTable) and our table was immediately ready upon arrival.
I will say the door to enter was confusing but also we had come from Bottomless Mimosa brunch, so there’s that lol.
The place was dimly lit which set a cool, romantic vibe.
The kicker was the live music! Such a dream!
We ordered the Bruschetta with a bottle of red Moscato.
I ordered the Carbonara and my friend got the Lasagna.
See pic below to see how HUGE the lasagna was 🙂
The food was beyond amazing.
We took the leftovers home (including the wine, thanks Nevada 🙂 and they were good the next day, too.
Five star Yelp review:
We’ve been coming to Vegas for years and finally ventures “off strip” for a couple of meals this trip.
Our taxi driver recommended this place to us.
We made reservations and showed up to find a remarkably plain restaurant that had a very unusual entrance since it is a throw back to the speakeasies of yesteryear!
Jerry met us at the door and personally seated us at arguably the best table in the joint right in front of the stage that Ronnie was singing from.
She was good but the food was even better.
Can’t recommend the chicken Parmesan & chicken Lucchese enough.
We will definitely be headed back when not in such a rush.
Four star Yelp review:
Great, homey Italian food!
We loved the vibe and live music.
We had a great Chianti wine.
A few mishaps with appetizers and food it being warm but I would recommend this place to people who want to get away from the crazy In Vegas!
It seems like Capo’s fixed its issues with Chianti, at least according to this review.
Three star Yelp review:
This place is definitely worth a visit, it has a fun ambiance and Italian mob theme throughout the restaurant.
You walk in to a surprise with how to get access into the main restaurant which was fun.
The service and attitude of staff is great but the food wasn’t too impressionable.
I ordered the capones carbonara and was disappointed.
It was pretty expensive as well but I’m hoping to come back and try something new and hopefully itl\l be better quality and taste.
The idea of this restaurant is perfect, I just wish the food was a bit better.
If you’re heading to Las Vegas and you want to check it out, you can learn more at the official Capo’s website.
Overall, the Bar Rescue Capo’s visit was definitely a success.
However, this was probably one of Jon Taffer’s easier rescues considering the bar’s long history and the fact that it was already quite successful before Covid-19.
Still, it’s great to see Capo’s Speakeasy get back on its feet and achieve success again.
Did Nico Santucci recover from his illness?
Nico Santucci was sadly dealing with an illness around the time of the Bar Rescue episode (the throat tumor he had removed).
He seems to be doing ok now, as far as I can tell from his public postings.
He looks healthy in pictures at Capo’s and he still actively posts on his Twitter account.
I hope Nico’s health has made a fully recovery and I wish him the best.
Both of those bars have closed, so Jon Taffer wasn’t succesful in implementing those speakeasy concepts.
If you want to see some other Las Vegas Bar Rescue episodes, here are a few updates to check out:
- Paradise Cantina update
- Gipsy update
- Champagne’s update
- The End / Underground Wonder Bar update
- Shattered Bar update
Or, you can read my full list of all 25+ Bar Rescue bars in Las Vegas and Nevada, including the 2023 status of each bar.
Thanks for reading!
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Last updated: 2023-03-27 05:26