(keep reading to learn what happened)
Season: 3 | View All Season 3 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: March 31, 2013
The Bar's Original Name Was: Dimples Karaoke
Dimples Karaoke Address: 3413 W Olive Ave, Burbank, CA 91505
Dimples Karaoke was a Burbank Los Angeles, California bar featured on Season 3 of Bar Rescue.
Though the Dimples Bar Rescue episode aired in March 2013, the actual filming and visit from Jon Taffer took place before that.
It was Season 3 Episode 8 and the episode name was “Karaoke Katastrophe”.
Located in Burbank, California, Dimples was America’s first karaoke bar.
Dimples was opened in 1982 by the current owner, Sal Ferraro.
At first, Dimples was booming, and many celebrities came into the bar.
Today though, the bar is in debt and failing.
The owner, Sal, is very inappropriate with the female customers.
The bar just doesn’t bring in young clientele anymore.
Jon brings in expert chef Brian Duffy and mixologist Joe Brooke for recon.
As Jon arrives, he notices the exterior doesn’t have a karaoke sign.
In fact, many signs are layered on top of one another, making the concept confusing.
Every staff member is older and has been there for a long time.
The youngest employee is a cocktail waitress that has been there for two years.
The audience is shown video footage of the customers giving feedback.
The customers say there is too much female objectification, and the sound system is old.
They also state the customer base is too old.
Four entertainment workers go in as Jon’s spies.
The drinks they are served are too sweet and strong.
There is no POS system; the servers use handwritten tickets to take orders.
It seems like they use the exact same system from 1982 when Dimples first open.
There is cross-contamination in the kitchen.
The burgers the cook is making are served overcooked.
The meat is also freezer burned.
Basically, it’s all the bad stuff that is so common in the kitchens of bars that appear on Bar Rescue.
Sal visits the table full of the spies.
He begins to say suggestive and inappropriate things to the female spy.
She begins to feel uncomfortable and she leaves.
Jon Taffer comes in and promises Sal he will be respectful of the bar during the updates.
Jon meets with Roberto, the cook, and calls him out on the terrible food.
Roberto becomes very defensive until Jon uses a device to show him how much bacteria is on the surfaces.
Roberto stays the clean the kitchen.
The next day Roberto is apologetic as Jon uses the same device to show that there is no more bacteria.
Sal is told how offensive he is and Jon brings in karaoke expert Fred Medrano.
Chef Brian teaches Roberto how to properly cook a burger and the bar is trained on classic Hollywood cocktails.
During the stress test the bartenders spill a lot of alcohol and Roberto gets overwhelmed in the kitchen and collapses on the floor.
An ambulance comes and Chef Brian is left alone in the kitchen.
There is also feedback from the karaoke machine.
The staff is told Roberto is sick and may not be coming back.
Jon wraps up all of Sal’s old memorabilia and leaves it outside on the street.
Sal is not happy when he finds this out.
That night the staff gathers to see the bar.
They have a new POS system and many new appliances, thanks to the renovation from the Bar Rescue team.
The mayor gives Sal a special certificate for being in business for so long. The customers come for the relaunch and love it.
So was the Dimples Bar Rescue episode a long-term success? Keep reading to learn what happened next and if it’s still open in 2023.
Dimples Karaoke Update - What Happened Next?
Now that we’ve recapped the Dimples Karaoke Bar Rescue episode, let’s talk about what happened to the bar after Jon Taffer and his crew left Burbank, CA.
At first, things seemed to start off well for Dimples Karaoke bar.
At the standard six-week check-in with the Bar Rescue producers, we learn that sales at the bar have boosted by 30%.
This increase in sales gave Sal a chance to start paying down his debt.
What’s more, Roberto was back in the kitchen.
However, the only negative was that Sal had started bringing back some of his memorabilia.
In an interview the the Los Angeles Daily News, Sal seems to suggest he had a mixed experience on Bar Rescue.
When asked about Jon Taffer and Bar Rescue, Sal said the following:
They did 50% good, 50% bad to me.
They took out my dance floor, took down my sign, rearranged a couple of booths.
I didn’t like it.
They (also) bought new carpeting, new bar stools, a sound system and a cash register.
They spent a lot of money.
So would the increase in sales lead to long-term success? Unfortunately, not.
Is Dimples still open after Bar Rescue?
While Dimples did manage to keep operating for a few years after the episode aired, Dimples did eventually close down in January, 2015.
Why did Dimples close?
Well, the city approved a new $165-million mixed-use project at that location, which means that Dimples couldn’t stay.
Some regular patrons claimed that Dimples should be marked as a “a historical monument” and that it “has to be preserved”.
Nevertheless, Dimples is gone for good as of 2015.
As of 2023, the old Dimples Karaoke Los Angeles location has been demolished and replaced by the large development that houses a Whole Foods Market on the bottom floor with apartments up top.
Here’s what the old Dimples Burbank CA location looks like in the most recent Google Maps street view update:
Because of that, I’m pretty confident that there will be no more karaoke sung at that location in 2023 or beyond.
Jon Taffer Dimples Karaoke Back to the Bar Episode
In Season 4, Jon Taffer did a Back to the Bar episode on Dimples where he discusses some of Sal’s behavior.
Beyond that, they also cover Dimples getting a 60-day notice to vacate the premises for the new development.
I wasn’t able to find the full episode, but I did find a 2.5 minute segment on YouTube that covers some of the most relevant information.
You can watch it here:
Dimples Karaoke Bar reviews after Bar Rescue
At the time that Dimples closed, it had an overall 2.5 star rating on its Yelp page, which isn’t very good.
While there were some positive post-Bar Rescue reviews, most of them were still generally negative
Here’s a sampling of a few reviews that were written after the visit from Jon Taffer…
2 star Yelp review from November 2013:
We went here after seeing Bar Rescue and realizing that is was a part of LA history that we wanted to be a part of our vacation.
The inside is cluttered and feels like someone’s living room rather than an actual bar and the karaoke books are dated (severely – no Michael Buble? Seriously?).
Anyways – the drinks that were there were pretty good and our waitress was wonderful.
My husband got up and sang (he’s pretty good) but it sounded bad because the carpet absorbed the good sound and the ‘props’ didn’t allow for the proper sound experience to put it nicely.
We were in the back of the room and I scraped my back on the huge camera that was in the back room on a long metal rod that was sticking 6in out from it, it was poorly lit so I wasn’t able to see it and I’ve had back surgery so it could have been a MUCH bigger problem.
We ordered food and while some of it was good, the pizza tasted like soap was certainly frozen.
On top of it all, the menu says a two drink minimum.
What about designated drivers? AND I have NEVER been to a bar that required a minimum.
After all the work put into this place we were disappointed – and for those who have seen the show, it’s clear that the owner hasn’t changed a bit.
5 star Yelp review from February 2013:
This place has had a deteriorating series of reviews, and for good reason.
However, Dimples has been remodeled by Spike TV’s show “Bar Rescue”.
It is now a first class joint.
My favorite bartender is Boyan.
2 star Yelp review from July 2013:
Staff so concerned with me wearing a hat, they dont notice that their owner is still being creepy to ladies, even after Jon Taffer & “Bar Rescue” tried to fix that earlier this year.
He walked up to me and my lady and said “get your pussycat to sing” with a sly grin.
Then, in order to fill the gaps between amateur singers, they INSTANT REPLAY the entirety of each performance immediately after they’re done.
But its full sound, and on their TVs, so its like en echo/ deja vu until a new singer goes on stage.
But drinks are cheap.
1 star Yelp review from February 2015:
This place is a dump all over again.
I went there for my birthday after watching this place be rescued on that TV show bar rescue.
The drinks were warm and the service was lousy.
I ordered the jalapeno poppers they brought them to me a half hour later and they were a microwaved frozen food version that was still cold in the middle.
The place looks like a run down and beat up since the renovation on that TV show.
The junk is all still up on the walls….
I will never go there again and I recommend that neither should you.
Spend your money somewhere else.
Final thoughts on Dimples Karaoke Bar
Overall, Dimples Karaoke Bar seemed to be doing fine as a business (even if Sal was slipping back to his old behavior), so it’s hard to say that the Dimples Bar Rescue episode was a failure.
Instead, the business was forced to close because the city wanted the Dimples Burbank location for a new development.
It does seem like Sal tried to reopen Dimples somewhere else, but he was never successful and Dimples Karaoke remains closed.
If you want to see another Bar Rescue karaoke episode, you can check out my Ninja Karaoke Las Vegas update from Season 8.
Or, if you want to see some other nearby Bar Rescue Los Angeles episodes, you can check out my updates for Champ’s Sports Pub in Burbank, Pat’s Cocktails / Mixology Bar in North Hollywood, and Los Angeles Brewing Company / LA Brew Co.
Thanks for reading!
What did you think about the Dimples Karaoke Bar Rescue episode? I'd love it if you shared your thoughts on the episode in the comments below!
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Last updated: 2023-02-13 06:34
17 thoughts on “Dimples Karaoke Bar Rescue Update – Burbank – Still Open in 2023?”
All comments are the sole opinion of the commenter and are not endorsed by RealityTVUpdates.
Saw the place revisited. City came in and tore the place down. That guy should just retire. Another dinosauer knocked in the head.
He brought a lot of his collectables back after Jon left. Just shows he cared more about showing off than having a nice establishment. I don’t feel bad for him at all. City had the right idea, knock it down and replace it with something modern.
I loved all the history the owner showed off on the walls. Its was terrible seeing that wonderful neon sign removed.
Also, the PC vibes from the tv show were annoying. While I would not speak to anyone as the owner does, they cried and put on a show of hurt and offense. It’s California, with as much filth and smut being pushed with sinful pride, its odd that a normal red blooded American male is getting crap for being overly sexual. I think this time Jon hurt the appeal of the bar, but I like old things. Older people have experienced so much. We van learn from them.
And that’s exactly how you fail. Reverting back to the exact behaviors he was doing when he was failing. Did the owner and you really think that scamming the show to get some remodeling done was all it needed to succeed? You said it yourself, California has enough filth and smut. Why would anyone want to go to yet another dive bar POS? They will just go to their local s h i t hole on the corner.
And seriously? You think the average redblooded American male is anything like this owner? A creepy gross geriatric sexually harassing hoarder? The redblooded American male does not act like this. They may think like that but they dont act it out, especially not a business owner, unless you are a strip club owner. PC vibes? You think women not liking that gross old guy behaving that way is PC? Reality check that’s not a PC thing. And i am anti modern liberal, Dem, and sure as hell am not a conservative. I like old things too. My fiance collects all kinds of stuff just like this stuff and thrown up on walls and tossed around looks like a dump. It doesnt show off the good stuff and it only appeals to a small amount of people. And it reviews people have been injured b the crap he has up, post bar rescue. There’s nothing to be learned by that owner except how to fail and how to be gross. Even if the city didn’t evict them they would’ve closed because of everything you think was okay. Clueless.
From the show I thought the guy who owned it was an old pervert and needed to retire! As a female I would have been offended and creeped out by his sexual comments. Glad the hoarder’s palace is gone.
This episode, as well as the Austin, Texas, makeover with the creepy “Steve” were both stomach-turning to me.
As one of the bartenders said, Steve did not deserve the makeover, but the employees certainly did. Not surprised it is closed and hope the staff found better jobs.
Wasn’t surprised to see that “Dimples” also shut down. The owner was so offensive it made me cringe and then he brought back all the relics of the past after Jon Taffer left. Although in a different age bracket, he was just as creepy as Steve.
Found these episodes by accident and am now obsessed with watching them every morning. Jon Taffer is a great and amazing guy with a huge heart.
Bar Rescue is definitely addicting! I can’t get enough. Thanks for sharing.
It’s totally a part of my daily morning routine as well!!
It appears that someone was on a mission to destroy Dimples and succeeded. There wasn’t a single positive comment made in the article or episode. That’s not really fair.
The owner has a deep reverance and respect for Hollywood movies and celebrities. He has a SAG card and was in a movie himself. He was inspired to name an earlier bar after “Now Voyager” and keeps a copy of the movie in his small movie collection. Dimples was eponymously named for the child actress, he had a Shirley Temple doll among his collection of Hollywood memorabilia.
He also had a bust of Elvis on the bar stage, and statues of Monroe and Elvis prominently displayed on the rooftop. In his collection, were cameras which were actually used to make Hollywood movies, a detail that tourists probably enjoyed seeing if Bar Rescue didn’t. He loved describing the movie equipment he collected to interested customers and loved showing them his collection of photographs of celebrity customers.
Another show of his love for Hollywood was several honorific plaques he had set into the bar counter where screenwriters, movie producers and actors regularly sat. If you were there at the right hour, the former producer might share his stories with you of working with Bridgette Bardot or meeting Elvis on a movie studio lot, or he might even buy you a drink. Those plaques are now gone.
His love and fascination with celebrity was seen one night when he kept the bar open after business hours for Britney Spears, whose friends brought her there and wanted to continue the fun after hours. Olivia Newton John came in with her daughter for her daughter’s birthday and Sal caught the moment in a photo for them and has a copy in his collection.
The owner had a large collection of photos of former patrons, including many former actors – are those trash now? It must depend on who owns them.
Where is the admiration for someone working past retirement age? The owner walked miles a day, which involved personally walking over to customers to give them a free copy of their performance on a tape or DVD, something they could share with family and friends, and enjoy watching years later. The bar kept him alive, he looked forward to going to work, not everyone can say the same. It was his life.
What is that saying, dump your own stuff before you try to calculate the worth of someone’s stuff? !
Lastly, I completely disagree with Bar Rescue on the issue of throwing out the Hollywood collection. I think it adds atmosphere, a unique one among karaoke clubs. To remove that would’ve made Dimples common and Sal is a+nything but common, he stands out among karaoke club owners, he’s recognized whereever he goes. Frequent-ly, former customers, some who only went there once , but keep tabs on the bar, call out to Sal from across a restaurant, “I went to Dimples. Is it going to reopen?” He always talks to them, answering, “I have to find a new place. I’m looking for one.” He is recognized like a celebrity and often gets celebrity treatment. Like a celebrity, sometimes the fame slows him down and holds him up, but he’s always polite and gracious about it, laughing it off. Or just goes on with his day as if all that matters is whatever he’s doing in the moment, never fretting about whether or not Dimples will be closed for good. He wants to reopen, but he’s living his life and is enjoying it.
Better advise would have been to pare down the Hollywood collection and streamline it, not to dump it all on the street. There are many better things that could’ve been done with the look of the interior, throwing out what made it interesting and special was not good advice. Dumping on that aspect was not thoughtful, or creative, it was merely an opinion from someone who didn’t know the love of the owner for Hollywood, it was bad advice from someone who didn’t get it.
When I went there to karaoke, I looked at the memorabilia while waiting for my
time to try to sing the right notes on beat, which is not as easy as the pris name ut seem. Mostly, I just wanted to do it to get over stage fright. I went up on the stage in a bundle if nerves afraid the microphone wouldn’t be on and that that would make me freeze up in embarrassment. I was stuck in my thoughts and fear, putting down one mic and picking up another, tapping on then to test them for sound and volume level. In the corner of the room came a strong, calm, confident voice saying, They all work.” It was Dennis Haskins, he was standing with Sal as he always did. Reassured by a pro, I choose a mic and did my best to try to sing. Later he celebrated his birthday at Dimples and invited me to be in his group birthday photo.
On closing night, Dennis was there, standing near Sal. Remembering his kindness, I went over to give him a hug goodbye. He turned and gave me a sweet kiss on the cheek. Lucky me! I’d only ever wanted to sing a duet with him, but never got to. It wasn’t surreal, it was like saying goodbye to friends at a real party.
Sal provided the opportunity to anyone to emulate a professional singer, to mingle with Hollywood, or to just watch a pro perform. He created a good business that many considered a part of Hollywood. He deserves appreciation for giving people the opportunity of a lifetime, which many from outside of tinseltown might never get again, certainly not so cheaply- he was probably the only bar owner who didn’t have a one drink minimum. The first thing he asked anyone who entered his bar is”, What are you going to sing, kid?” Often he walked around with his clipboard, personally taking names of patrons and the song they wanted to sing.
He loved it. He lived for it. He deserves some credit and I give him credit for getting me over my stage fright by urging me to get up and try to sing again and again.
Sal, that you?
Exactly what I thought! No one could revere that old perv that far, and most of that dust-collecting junk should have been tossed, but wasn’t. You wrote that it was brought back in. That guy shouldn’t be allowed within 100 feet of any woman!
Ha ha! I thought the same thing. Wow. Just wow. Had he stuck with Jon’s suggestions he may have stayed in business.
You need serious help. This owner was a pig who deserved his place being torn down.
This bar was NOT the place to get a 20-35 yr old group of people to Drink, Eat and have fun. It was cluttered and too Blah… It needed to be trimmed down at a minimum. Way to much Hollywood garbage.
They called Bar Rescue, they knew what was going to happen, the bar was losing $2k / Month. Keep it the same, everyone is out of a job in 6 months. The young workers at Dimples loved the changes BUT the 70 yr old owner didn’t what’s the difference. It NEEDED to either close or be sold. The Owner was the issue.
I’ll NEVER forget the first time I went to Dimples (the 90s). Honestly, I had driven passed it hundreds of times on my way to our high school’s hangout, Dalt’s diner or going to Hollywood via Barham.
My friend described it as a small, dark, karaoke/bar “with a really hot bartender “. She stated “you’ll either love it or hate it” but at least we can get together on a weeknight and not have to leave “town” to have some fun.
When I saw the Bar Rescue episode for the first time tonight I just had to tune in … feeling nostalgic. Thankfully we didn’t ever experience Sal’s disrespectful and completely inappropriate behavior towards women. He wasn’t the host back then and in all the years of going we only saw him a couple times. Otherwise I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have been polite. I probably would’ve slapped him or told him to go “blow” himself!
In any case I was saddened when I heard it was closing down for good to make room for the development. Burbank is not the quaint “town” it once was but I’m sure glad I’ve lived here long enough to have experienced it as such.
Thanks for sharing your experience!