Champagne’s Cafe Bar Rescue Update – Still Open in 2024?

Is Champagne's Cafe still open today?

Status: >> OPEN <<
(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 Bar Rescue Update

Episode Recap

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.

In this episode, Jon Taffer heads to Champagne’s Cafe, located in Sin City (Las Vegas, Nevada).

Greg Simms purchased Champagne’s Cafe in 2015, which means he’s only been the owner for around a year at the time of the visit from Jon Taffer and company.

However, the bar has a long and 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. 

Champagne's Cafe owner

However, you can see that “long history” in the design of the bar.

The decor is still the original and looks outdated.

The staff also aren’t trained very well and seem to just do whatever they want at the bar.

Many locals do not want Jon Taffer to save the bar, which is a bit odd.

To help rescue the bar, Jon Taffer brings in expert mixologist Lisamarie Joyce.

Jon and his experts sit outside the bar, examine the exterior, and watch the footage from inside. 

There are supposed to be three bartenders working that night, but two are off that evening, leaving Autumn as the only bartender.

To get some hands-on experience with Champagne’s bar, Jon Taffer sends in hospitality experts Laurie and Ryan as spies.

The recon spies 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. 

Champagne's Cafe bartender training

Next, they order a Jack and Coke and a Bee’s Knee’s (a cocktail made with gin, honey syrup, lemon juice, and a lemon twist).

Unfortunately, the bar lacks the items needed to make them.

How can you not have the ingredients to make a Jack and Coke? Lol…

The Bee’s Knee’s also seems pretty simple, though I guess some bars might not have the honey syrup on hand.

After seeing the recon spies’ experience, Lisamarie Joyce heads inside to order her own cocktail – an Old Fashioned.

However, she has to wait a while before her order is taken, because the bartenders are short staffed that evening.

Greg trains Autumn on making it, but it is still wrong.

Again – how can you be a bartender and not know how to make an Old Fashioned? That’s wild…

To fix things, Lisamarie goes behind the bar to train Autumn.

Once she’s back there, Lisamarie notices that Greg doesn’t have the essential equipment needed to make drinks.

So maybe it’s not all the bartenders’ fault…

Lisamarie training the bartender at Champagne's Cafe

Greg tells Lisemarie that he has been producing drinks the same way for many years and does not need tools.

Beyond the issues with drinks at Champagne’s Cafe, there are also some other problems with what’s on offer.

They do not serve food at Champagne’s Cafe, only basic bar snacks.

This is a bit weird because 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 Taffer leaves. 

When Jon arrives back at the bar 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. 

Once they get things back on track, Lisamarie is introduced and begins training the staff at Champagne’s Cafe.

She takes them through making a Manhattan and a Bee’s Knee’s cocktail 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. 

After the game, Lisamarie continues to train the bartenders on other important equipment and principles.

While that’s happening, Jon Taffer and his crew get started on the renovation.

Champagne's Cafe renovations after Bar Rescue

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, Jon Taffer does make some changes to the physical space.

For example, he changed the wallpaper at the bar to make it feel a little more up to date.

He also wanted the wallpaper to be a “centerpiece” at the bar.

The Bar Rescue crew also refurbished the antique chairs, which allowed the bar to have better quality chairs while still connecting with its long history in Las Vegas.

Jon Taffer says that the changes were not about “remodeling”, but were instead about “respect”.

After the renovations are finished, 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, which is where the first rescue ends.

However, Jon Taffer also came back and rescued the bar a second time (though I won’t go into a detailed recap for the second Champagne’s rescue visit).

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.

Champagne's Bar Rescue covid occupancy sign

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 my update to learn what happened next and if it’s still open in 2024 and beyond.

Champagne's Cafe Update - What Happened Next?

Now that we’ve recapped the two 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 2024, Champagne’s Cafe is still open and serving customers in Las Vegas, NV.

That means it’s survived not one, but two different Bar Rescues.

Overall, it’s been open for nine years after the first rescue now, with no signs of that slowing down any time soon.

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 drink menu

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 4.1 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:

Champagne's Cafe GoFundMe

You can learn more about this incident in this article from the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Final thoughts on Champagne’s Cafe

Overall, Champagne’s Cafe seems to still be doing quite well.

Despite having had to have been rescued twice by Jon Taffer, the bar is still open.

It has a lot of reviews from customers, which makes it seem like it’s doing good business.

More importantly, most of those reviews seem positive, with a 4+ star rating on all of the major review platforms (Yelp, Google, and TripAdvisor).

Given that it’s already survived for nine years since the original rescue now, I wouldn’t be surprised to see this one stay open for a long time.

That wraps up my update for Champagne’s Cafe and the two episode.

If you want to see some other Las Vegas Bar Rescue episodes, you can check out these updates:

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.

And if you want to share your thoughts on Champagne’s Cafe or the episode, you can do so using the comments section below.

I especially love hearing from people who have been able to visit the bar in person.

As always – thanks for reading!

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Last updated: 2024-01-31 07:49

9 thoughts on “Champagne’s Cafe Bar Rescue Update – Still Open in 2024?”

All comments are the sole opinion of the commenter and are not endorsed by RealityTVUpdates.

  1. I just watched the season 5 episode.

    I’m happy that most of the bar was unchanged for history sake. Though I wasn’t a fan of the sign change…glad to see they changed the sign back to the original. In a city that seems to be constantly ripping down historic places/remodeling them so they look nothing like they did…it’s nice to see some history saved. Just wish some of the casinos would do the same :/

    One thing that surprised me was even though they had a kitchen, Jon didn’t try to do a food menu? Usually he uses the kitchens in bars…wonder why he didn’t here?

  2. Tried to look up which bartender was killed but got blocked with cookies and requested to subscribe which I won’t. Anyone know which bartender died and the circumstances without me having to pay for a subscription to a newspaper I will never read?

  3. Not buying the owners “gee golly, yeah I need to do XYZ,
    Now I get it, this time I really get it.” That place
    Is doomed, Guarandamnteeja

  4. First, I’m a fan of when it comes to updates on Bar Rescue. Kudos!

    Now, a note about the show. Although, I’ve skipped a few episodes here and there during my binge watching in my own Covid-forced retirement, I’ve seen the progression of the quality of the show itself. I’m known to be a thoughtful observer. In the early episodes and seasons, I watched just to see how businesspeople failed in certain areas while having strengths in other areas. There was one episode where a bar employee called out Jon for being a TV personality more than a ‘real expert’. While I know of Jon’s authentic expertise, I felt I had been seeing more of a reality show actor in him. I imagined that producers pushed Jon to bring out his more dramatic qualities for the sake of entertainment excitement. A lot of that rubbed me the wrong way. So, lately I’ve been watching the last season. Now I’ve seen the kinder, gentler expert in Jon. To me, his humanity has come out. He’s shown a higher quality leadership rather than be a bulldog nipping at everyone’s heels. I appreciate how his heart has rescued himself. I wish there were more seasons of a more-seasoned Jon Taffer. With all due respect and regards.

    • Thanks for the kind words! I agree that Taffer seems to have calmed down a bit. It bugs some other people but I don’t mind him chilling out a bit these days.


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