(keep reading to learn what happened)
Season: 5 | View All Season 5 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: August 7, 2016
The Bar's Original Name Was: Champagne's Cafe
Champagne's Cafe Address: 3557 S Maryland Pkwy Las Vegas, NV 89169
Champagne’s Cafe was a Las Vegas, Nevada bar that was featured on Season 5 of Bar Rescue (and then again on Season 8)
Though the original Champagne’s Bar Rescue episode aired in August 2016, the actual filming and visit from Jon Taffer took place before that.
The original episode was Season 5 Episode 1 and the episode name was “The Perks of Being a Wallpaper”.
Jon Taffer then rescued the bar again in Season 8 (the Covid-19 pandemic season). The second visit episode aired in May 2021. It was Season 8 Episode 3 and the episode name was “A Twice in a Lifetime Opportunity”.
For our Champagne’s recap, though, we’re going to focus on the first visit in Season 5.
Champagne’s Cafe is in Las Vegas, Nevada.
It was purchased in 2015 by owner Greg Simms, which means he’s only been the owner for around a year at the time of the Champagne’s Bar Rescue visit.
The bar has had a successful history with visitors from the rat pack in the fifties and mobsters during the eighties.
Frank Cullota, a former mob associate, confirms the mob’s dealings with the cafe.
The decor is still the original and looks outdated.
The staff is untrained and does whatever they feel.
Many locals do not want Jon Taffer to save the bar, which is a bit odd.
Jon brings in expert mixologist Lisamarie Joyce.
They sit outside the bar, examine the exterior, and watch the footage from inside.
There are three bartenders, but two are off that evening, leaving Autumn as the only bartender.
Hospitality experts Laurie and Ryan go into the bar as spies.
They are greeted right away and order two drinks, a martini, and a godfather.
Greg has to show Autumn how to use a shaker, and both drinks come out too strong.
Next, they order a jack and coke and a bee’s knees, but the bar lacks the items needed to make them.
Lisamarie heads inside to order an old-fashioned.
However, she has to wait a while before her order is taken.
Greg trains Autumn on making it, but it is still wrong.
Lisamarie goes behind the bar to train Autumn.
Lisamarie notices Greg doesn’t have the essential equipment needed to make drinks.
Greg tells her he has been producing drinks the same way for many years and does not need tools.
They do not serve food, only snacks, even though the outside sign advertises fine food.
Jon tells Greg he is embarrassed for the bar because Las Vegas is a city known for its hospitality.
There is no respect between Greg and his staff.
Lisamarie stays to continue helping behind the bar, and Jon leaves.
When Jon arrives the next day, he walks in on two bartenders talking bad about Greg.
Jon doesn’t like their attitude and tells the staff if they continue to disrespect their boss, he will leave.
The team then confided in Jon that they walked out on Greg the night before because they knew they could.
Greg then walks out after Jon gets brutally honest with him.
Lisamarie is introduced and begins teaching the staff.
She takes them through making a manhattan and a bee’s knees the proper way.
Candy, a bartender, makes a drink and does great.
Jon wants to see the bartenders’ skills, so he assesses their skills in a game.
Autumn is nervous, but Candy does better and gets the point.
Raleigh, another bartender, gets the second point.
Greg watches the bartenders so he can make improvements and changes.
Candy wins the game with Raleigh second and Autumn third.
The bar staff is trained on using bar equipment like a crystal pitcher.
She then takes them through making a vesper cocktail.
While that’s happening, Jon Taffer and his crew get started on the renovation.
However, because of the bar’s rich history, Jon decides to keep the Champagne’s name rather than changing it like a lot of the other bars that appear on Bar Rescue.
However, he does make some changes to the physical space.
The wallpaper is changed during the relaunch.
Antique chairs are refurbished and placed in the bar to connect with its history.
Greg’s mom comes by the bar and enjoys the changes.
The relaunch starts, but Autumn is still nervous.
To help things go smoothly, Greg jumps in to assist her.
Eventually, things seem to be going great.
The second Champagne’s rescue happened during the Covid-19 pandemic, where things were pretty bleak for the bar as it dealt with restrictions.
Here, you can see a sign on the door saying that Champagne’s could only have 20 people in the building, which is obviously tough for any business.
Greg even had to resort to driving ride share just to stay afloat financially.
So were Jon’s two visits to Champagnes Las Vegas enough to save the bar?
Keep reading our update to learn what happened next and if it’s still open in 2023 and beyond.
Champagne's Cafe Update - What Happened Next?
Now that we’ve recapped the Champagne’s Bar Rescue visits, let’s talk about what happened to the bar after Jon Taffer left Las Vegas.
You obviously know that it survived the Season 5 rescue because it was still around to be featured on Bar Rescue Season 8.
But was it also able to survive the Season 8 rescue and Covid-19 pandemic? Well, that’s a different story…or is it.
Is Champagne’s from Bar Rescue still open?
As of 2023, Champagne’s is still open and serving customers in Las Vegas, NV.
That means it’s survived not one, but two different Bar Rescues.
That’s pretty rare, so congrats to Greg and the crew!
Reviews for the bar also seem pretty decent, as it has a 4 star rating on the Champagne’s Yelp page.
If you’re in the Las Vegas area and you want to check it out, you can learn more at the official Champagne’s website.
Here’s what the Champagnes Las Vegas location looks like in the most recent picture from Google Maps street view:
Prices don’t actually seem bad – I was surprised by how cheap it is.
Here’s an example of the Champagne’s Cafe Las Vegas drinks menu to give you an idea of what’s on offer:
Champagne’s Cafe reviews after Bar Rescue
Reviews for Champagne’s in Las Vegas generally seem positive after both of its Bar Rescue episodes.
It has a 4.4 star rating on Google Reviews, a 4.5 star rating on TripAdvisor, and a 4 star rating on Yelp.
Here’s a sampling of some recent reviews that were written after both of the Champagne’s Cafe Jon Taffer visits.
4 star Yelp review from July 2022:
Been coming to this place for a few years.
Just a basic dive bar with some history.
Karaoke on Saturday nights and seems to get a lot of semi-pro singers. Some sound just like the record.
We like to order Champagne and the prices are pretty good for a glass.
Overall nice atmosphere and highly recommend for a great dive bar experience.
1 star Yelp review from April 2022:
Watched this bar on Bar Rescue and since I live in Vegas I wanted to check it out.
I was excited to visit a place with the history of Vegas attached to it.
What a disappointment!
Nothing was left from the Bar Rescue episode.
I was hoping to take a few pics but why would I?
The first thing that hit me was the god-awful smell as soon as I walked through the door!
It smelled like an old, wet, mildewed blanket and mold.
The bar is dark and run down, it’s become a dump, not a dive.
5 star Yelp review from December 2021:
Been Coming in for over 2 years fairly regularly and couldn’t have found a better place.
Drinks are always consistent and delicious.
All the vibes are good between everyone.
Karaoke is such a great time it should be rated best in the valley cheers to many more years Of coming here
5 star Yelp review from June 2021:
We were in Vegas for our honeymoon trip and we visited the bar because of Bar Rescue!
It was such a cute place.
Our bartender was so nice and considerate and made great drinks!
We will be back when we come to town again!
5 star Yelp review from November 2016:
Another trip to see if much had changed since the bar rescue.
Nice to say that it is much the same as it was, great classic vegas lounge/dive bar.
Bartender was one that was on the bar rescue episode and was great.
Friendly and informative and funny.
Sorry I can’t remember the name but she was the rookie and is doing a great job!
Other notable details about Champagne’s Cafe
Sadly, there was a security incident at the bar that had tragic consequences.
In 2021, a Champagne’s bartender passed away after an altercation in which he refused to serve a guest who was too drunk.
The angry drunk went behind the bar and attacked the bartender, who passed away as a result of a heart attack during the assault.
That’s really sad to hear.
Greg, the Champagne’s owner, did create a GoFundMe page to support the bartender’s family.
Below, you can see a screenshot of the GoFundMe:
You can learn more about this incident in this article from the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
To see some other Las Vegas Bar Rescue episodes, you can check out these updates:
- The Bradley update
- Gipsy update
- Paradise Cantina update
- The End update
- Bacon Bar update
- Garnet Lounge update
Or, you can check out my full list of all 21+ Las Vegas Bar Rescue episodes, which makes it one of the most-visited cities from the show.
Thanks for reading!
What did you think about the Champagne's Cafe Bar Rescue episode? I'd love it if you shared your thoughts on the episode in the comments below!
You can also click the buttons below to share this post!
And don't forget to check out all of the other Bar Rescue updates.
Watch Bar Rescue Episodes at Amazon
Last updated: 2023-04-01 05:12