(keep reading to learn what happened)
Season: 4 | View All Season 4 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: March 1, 2015
The Bar's Original Name Was: Heat Restaurant & Lounge
Ele Lounge Address: 1936 Hollywood Blvd Hollywood, FL 33020
Heat Restaurant & Lounge , later renamed Ele Lounge, was a Hollywood, Florida bar that was featured on Season 4 of Bar Rescue.
Though the Ele Bar Rescue episode aired in March 2015, the actual filming and visit from Jon Taffer took place before that.
It was Season 4 Episode 14 and the episode name was “All Twerk & No Pay”. It aired right after the Bonny and Read’s/Toucans episode, which was also filmed in Hollywood, Florida.
Heat Restaurant and Lounge is located in Hollywood, FL, a beach town between Miami and Fort Lauderdale.
Vin Durand and his wife Vanessa Santos own the bar, which they opened in 2012. That means the bar has been open for around three years before Jon Taffer’s visit.
They were successful at first, but Hollywood, FL, is a very competitive location.
Vin tried to get the customers back by cutting prices.
The more they gave away, the fewer tips people left.
Vanessa’s 23-year-old sister Samantha was hired as general manager.
Samantha couldn’t handle the staff.
They are now losing $5,000 a month and are in debt, which is why the Heat Restaurant Bar Rescue episode exists.
Jon brings in mixologist Phil Wills to assist. Phil tells Jon the outside of the bar is not welcoming.
Heat offers a deal that a party of six or more will get a free bottle of liquor, no purchase necessary.
That seems like a crazy deal! There should at least be a minimum spend on that, right?
For the recon, Jon brings in two locals as spies.
They ask for a menu, but the kitchen is unused.
The bartender doesn’t know to make a Cosmo for the girls.
Jon says they will close very soon if they don’t start making money.
Bella, the bartender, is too drunk to listen to Samantha.
Jon goes into the bar to talk to Vin and Vanessa.
He says he won’t help the bar until the staff settles down.
Jon tells Vin if he comes back to help, it will be for Vanessa, not for him.
Vin tells the team that their poor behavior ends tonight.
The following day Jon comes and talks to the bar staff.
The bartenders lie about how many drinks they gave away for free.
Jon tells the team they have given away over $11,000 in free liquor in three days.
That’s just an insane amount!
No wonder Heat Restaurant & Lounge is losing so much money.
Jon tells Vin he needs to fire someone right now.
He doesn’t fire anyone but says everyone’s job is on a day-to-day basis.
Jon suggests to Vin that they should start selling food.
To help with that, Expert chef Jamika Pessoa is brought in.
While Jamika is helping with the food, Phil tests the bartenders on their drink-making skills.
He has them make drinks and see who can complete them the fastest.
Jon wants the purpose of the stress test to serve customers and get them to return.
Vin and Vanessa are put in the kitchen.
Almost 100 people are coming in for the stress test, so it’s really all hands on deck if the test is going to be successful.
The chicken that comes out of the kitchen is not fully cooked.
Nini is the only one of the bartenders who is doing a good job.
Isabella, a member of the staff, is dancing on the bar. She is sent home.
Jon shuts down the bar for the night, but all the customers have already left.
The following day Jon meets with Samantha and the two owners.
Samantha is now also an owner.
Jon wants a happy hour and late-night concept.
Jamika shows them new recipes, and Phil shows them how to make new signature drinks.
Jon remodels and renames the bar to Ele instead of Heat Restaurant & Lounge.
The staff loves the bar and their new uniforms.
They have two concepts, one for the older patrons during the day and one for the younger crowd at night.
Vin and Vanessa are proud of the place.
So was the Heat Bar Rescue visit a long-term success?
Keep reading to learn what happened next and if this Hollywood, FL bar is still open in 2024.
Ele Lounge Update - What Happened Next?
Now that we’ve covered what happened in the Ele Bar Rescue episode, let’s talk about what happened after Jon Taffer left Hollywood, Florida.
Six weeks after Taffer’s visit, things seemed to be looking up.
The happy hour sales had doubled and late-night sales were also way up from before Jon’s changes.
However, the Bar Rescue bump would not last, and things at Ele Lounge started to go down hill pretty fast.
Is Ele from Bar Rescue still open?
Ele Lounge closed for good in August 2015, just a few months after the Ele Bar Rescue episode aired on TV and less than a year after Jon Taffer’s visit.
The bar didn’t specify any reason for its closure and they didn’t make any announcement on social media.
While the bar did keep a lot of Jon Taffer’s changes, they also slid back into some bad habits, such as having the bartenders dance for tips.
I’m guessing this had something to do with Ele Lounge closing.
At the time of its closure, the bar didn’t have any Yelp reviews on its new page.
However, it did rack up about a dozen Google Reviews, which only had a mediocre 3.6 star rating.
Here’s the one real review that I was able to find, which was written some time in 2015:
Its July 4th…
Me and my girlfriend visited the bar because of Bar Rescue (we like to go to these bars when we are in the area).
We weren’t too impressed with the look but that’s on Taffer lol.
But the service was another story.
We sat and waited to at least be serviced for 7 min.
We didn’t know any specials so we had to wait again to even get a chance to ask.
Now on the episode the lady was a manager/owner but she was a bartender when we were there.
Anywho a guy asked what we wanted (tequila shot and PEACH martini ).
He told her, she made the drinks.. we got a tequila shot and a banana martini… ok we’ll play dice.
My gf hated the drink – too strong.
We did see the owner finally.
Then I ordered another shot.
We actually never got charged which was fine with us lol but I didn’t feel right not paying.
Yes we do critique these bars when we go to them because we want to help them in our reviews.
A lil more energy in the place will go a long way as I am a native of South FL.
Hope my next visit can leave a better review.
Keep hope alive.
Overall, this one never really got off the ground, so it definitely doesn’t go on Jon Taffer’s success list.
As of 2023, the old Ele Hollywood Florida location is occupied by a new Peruvian restaurant named Cabo Blanco Restaurant.
Here’s an interactive Google Maps street view embed that shows the old Ele bar Hollywood FL location:
The reviews for the new restaurant don’t seem great, however, as it has just a 3 star rating on its Yelp page.
If you want to see some other nearby South Florida Bar Rescue episodes, you can check out my updates for Bonny and Read’s in Hollywood FL, Sandbar / Hot Rock in Coconut Grove, and Bamboo Beach Tiki Bar in Fort Lauderdale.
Or, you can check out my full list of all 26+ Bar Rescue Florida episodes, including the 2024 status of each bar.
Thanks for reading!
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Last updated: 2023-03-20 06:16