(keep reading to learn what happened)
Season: 5 | View All Season 5 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: July 2, 2017
The Bar's Original Name Was: Casual Tap
Casual Tap Address: 5924 W Montrose Ave Chicago, IL 60634
Casual Tap was a Chicago, Illinois bar that was featured on Season 5 of Bar Rescue.
Though the Casual Tap Bar Rescue episode aired in July 2017, the actual filming and visit from Jon Taffer took place before that.
It was Season 5 Episode 22 and the episode name was “Casually Tapped Out”.
Casual Tap is located in Chicago, Illinois.
Steve Magna bought the 60-year-old bar in 2008, which means he’s owned it for almost a decade at the time of the Casual Tap Bar Rescue visit.
He was also a fireman, and due to that, the bar was successful when it first opened.
The bar has irregular hours due to Steve’s stress from firefighting.
The staff was left to run the bar, and they did not have any structure.
Louie is Steve’s friend and manager of Casual Tap, but he hasn’t stepped up as a leader.
Sadly, Steve’s daughter’s mother is in the end stages of Huntington’s disease.
Because this is a genetic illness, Steve’s daughter is at risk of contracting it.
Casual Tap hasn’t been opened for months but will reopen for the visit from Jon Taffer.
Bar Rescue wouldn’t usually do this, but it seems like they wanted to help out because of the situation with Huntingdon’s disease and drawing awareness to it.
Jon Taffer also donated money to a charity that supports Huntingdon’s disease, as you’ll learn later on.
Mixologist Rob Floyd arrives at the bar with Jon Taffer.
The bar is closed, so the men drive to Steve’s firehouse.
Steve informs Jon that the bar has been closed so he can focus on his family.
Jon promises to help Steve reopen Casual Tap.
The following day Steve and the staff begin to clean the bar as they wait for Jon.
Zee and Louie have some tension between them as they clean.
There is no draft beer at the bar even though a sign outside says they offer it.
The bar does not accept credit cards, which holds them back during the stress test.
Louie makes too many mistakes, and all of the drinks he makes have to be dumped.
There are bugs in the beer bottles, and the stress test is forced to shut down.
Steve doesn’t take accountability for the test’s failure and blames the bugs.
Steve doesn’t make Louie take accountability either, despite having just graduated bartending school.
Jon Taffer wants Steve to pick a staff member to manage the bar while he spends time with his family.
Louie is Steve’s choice, but Jon wants Zee.
Both Louie and Zee are taken through Jon’s management training program.
Jon tells the staff he is not going to change the bar’s name, unlike the changes he makes on a lot of other episodes.
Rob is creating new, fun cocktails for the bar to serve so they can make more money.
Jon sets up a mock scenario with issues to see how each management candidate responds.
Zee is first and resolves all the problems.
Louie makes mistakes when it is his turn.
Rob shows the staff how to make cocktails themed to the Chicago fire department.
Louie and Zee are called on to make the drinks Rob has shown them.
Steve and Jon look over the blueprints for Casual Tap and get excited. The bar is remodeled over a day.
The bar has created a signature cocktail, with all proceeds going to benefit the research of Huntington’s disease.
Jon also makes a generous, private donation to the foundation.
Customers come in for the relaunch. Louie has cut his finger and has to go outside to an ambulance.
Steve’s family comes to the bar and is proud of him.
So was the Casual Tap Bar Rescue visit a long-term success?
Keep reading to learn what happened next and if this Chicago bar is still open in 2024.
Casual Tap Update - What Happened Next?
Now that we’ve recapped the Casual Tap Bar Rescue visit, let’s talk about what happened after Jon Taffer and his crew put down their deep dish pizzas and left Chicago, IL.
This one is not an exciting update because there’s really nothing to report and this one had zero chance of being successful. Here’s why…
Is Casual Tap from Bar Rescue still open?
Casual Tap was already closed at the time of the Bar Rescue visit and it remained closed even after Jon Taffer’s changes and the Casual Tap bar Rescue episode aired on TV.
Steve originally planned to reopen Casual Tap in time for the episode’s air date on TV, but he wasn’t able to achieve that.
Casual Tap remains closed permanently as far as I can tell.
With that being said, I’m not 100% sure what’s happening because some commenters pointed out that it’s no longer marked as closed on Google (whereas it was before).
However, it is still marked as closed on Yelp and the Facebook page hasn’t had a new post since 2015.
Assuming it’s still closed, there was zero chance of this one being successful because the bar was already closed when Taffer visited and it never reopened.
As of 2022, the old Casual Tap Chicago, IL location seems to still be empty.
In a Google Street View picture from October 2021, the building still has the Casual Tap signage up even though the bar had been closed for multiple years at this point.
Here’s the picture of the building from October 2021:
It still looks exactly the same in this image from October 2022.
The sign is still there and the windows are still boarded up.
I really don’t get why nothing has happened with the property, but it really does seem to just be sitting there vacant.
If you want to connect with Steven, you can do so on Facebook here.
If you live in the area and know what’s happening, please let me know so that I can update this.
I suppose it is possible that Casual Tap has miraculously come back from the dead and is open again.
However, I don’t see enough information to confirm that, yet.
If you want to see some other Chicago Bar Rescue episodes, check these out:
- Clear Bar / Underground Wonder Bar update
- Blue Frog 22 / The Local update
- The Abbey / The Green Room update
- The Dugout / Press Box update
Thanks for reading!
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Last updated: 2023-03-18 04:58