(keep reading to learn what happened)
Season: 7 | View All Season 7 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: September 6, 2020
The Bar's Original Name Was: Jolt'n Joe's
Gaslamp Social Address: 379 4th Ave San Diego, CA 92101
Jolt’n Joe’s, later renamed to Gaslamp Social, was a San Diego, California bar that was featured on Season 7 of Bar Rescue.
Though the Gaslamp Social Bar Rescue episode aired in September 2020, the actual filming and visit from Jon Taffer took place back at the beginning of 2020 before the Covid-19 pandemic.
It was Season 7 Episode 15 and the episode name was “The Gaslamp Redemption”.
Jolt’n Joe’s is in located in sunny San Diego, CA.
The bar is located in the Gaslamp Quarter of the city, which will become important when it comes to Taffer’s renovations.
Phil Paccione is the owner who bought the bar in 2004, which means he’s had it for over 16 years at the time of the Jolt’n Joe’s Bar Rescue episode.
He turned the bar into a sports and pool bar and an event center. In his words, he wanted it to be like Chuckie Cheese for adults (which pretty much sounds like Dave and Busters).
The bar was successful for years. Sadly, Phil got cancer and hired Sean Kisner as general manager to take over the work load.
Beyond Phil’s health issues, the bar’s finances are in bad shape.
Jolt’n Joe’s is losing around $10,000 per month and Phil has a total debt burden of over $1.2 million, which is obviously a huge albatross around his neck.
Phil is better and comes back to the bar, but he has a strained relationship with Sean.
The two are in dispute about sweat equity. Sean controls the staff and the business because of this.
The bar has been neglected and is falling apart.
Mixologist Alex Goode and Chef Vic Vegas join Jon Taffer to help save the bar.
Because there is no parking in front of the bar, Jon needs to park the SUV command center in another location.
The hidden camera footage shows the owner, Sean, bartenders Mindy and Angela, and Erica, the server.
Local radio hosts spy on the bar and order a Mai Tai and Bloody Mary.
The spies describe the Mai Tai as sour and say the Bloody Mary reminds them of a hotdog.
I’ve never heard a Bloody Mary described like that, but it definitely doesn’t sound good.
For food, the spies order a chicken sandwich and a steak burger.
The food is terrible, so they return it for tacos and cornbread, which are also awful. Notice a theme?
Jon Taffer enters the bar to meet with Phil and Sean.
Phil tells Jon more about his health issues and says he hired Sean to run things while he was out.
As the spies are giving Phil their feedback, Sean comes over. Jon immediately yells at him about the standards of the bar.
Sean places the blame on the cook. The cook tells Jon it is Sean’s fault for micromanaging.
Basically, everyone is pointing their finger at someone else.
The staff met with Jon the next day.
Phil tells his employees they only can afford to stay open for a few more months.
Then the team confides in Phil about the issues with the bar, including the foul-tasting food and inconsistent standards.
The staff goes for training while Jon Taffer sits down with Phil and Sean.
Sean tells Jon that he was promised part of the business through his sweat, but Phil denies this.
Phil thinks Sean makes too much money.
Jon says to see how Phil works for the stress test, and after that, they can make a business deal or part ways.
Alex trains the staff on how to make a Bloody Mary consistently.
Mo makes fried chicken in the kitchen, and Jason gives him feedback.
Jason shows him the correct way to make fried chicken.
Once the staff has had some training, it’s time for the stress test to start.
Mindy stands out as a great bartender.
Phil is in the kitchen and is pushing Mo to serve raw chicken. Raw food is being sent back.
Sean is running food in and out of the kitchen.
Jon has to shut down the test when he sees enough.
The next day the bartenders are shown new cocktails by Alex.
The kitchen is shown how to make spicy shrimp tacos.
Phil and Sean are left alone for a meeting.
They decide on a deal where Sean will receive fifteen percent of the bar’s earnings.
While all of that’s happening, Jon Taffer and his crew have been working on renovating the bar, including giving it a new name.
Instead of Jolt’n Joe’s, it will now be Gaslamp Social, named after the San Diego Gaslamp Quarter in which the bar resides.
The bar is updated and has been given new pool tables, among many other improvements.
Mo has been given a new chef’s coat.
Tasty food is served to customers who leave happy.
Gaslamp Social Update - What Happened Next?
Now that we’ve recapped the Gaslamp Social Bar Rescue episode, let’s talk about what happened to the bar after Jon Taffer and his crew left sunny San Diego, CA.
Things seemed to start off well for the newly named Gaslamp Social.
Sean was given more room to manage the bar and seemed to be doing well.
Sales were up and the bar was attracting new customers.
Reviews for the bar after the Gaslamp Social Bar Rescue episode seemed pretty good.
Here’s a sampling of reviews that were written after Jon Taffer’s visit.
5 star Google review from May 2020:
Recently remodeled, love the new look. Come check out new edition to Gaslamp. Food is on point.
5 star Yelp review from September 2020:
It’s the great cooking for me! They have the best chef hands down.The management and bartenders are great aswell. It’s an overall dope bar and an experience that will keep anybody coming back.
Unfortunately, the bar would become another victim of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Is Gaslamp Social from Bar Rescue still open?
Gaslamp Social closed in April 2021 because their landlord evicted the business due to non-payment of rent.
Where this gets tricky is that there was supposed to be an eviction moratorium at that time because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
You can see a video about the eviction and issues in this video from CBS 8 San Diego:
The landlord claimed that Gaslamp Social had a long history of non-payment of rent, even going back to before the Covid-19 pandemic.
Allegedly, Gaslamp Social violated a 2020 agreement that was signed before the pandemic to address past issues, which is why the San Diego eviction moratorium didn’t apply.
Here’s an excerpt of a letter from the landlord about the eviction, which you can read in full in this news article from CBS 8 San Diego:
The Sheriff conducted the lockout today, April 20, 2021 at 8:30 this morning. A copy of Jolt’n Joe’s eviction notice is attached. Unfortunately, this tenant has had a long history of non-payment of rent, lease defaults and non-performance of lease obligations. All of these defaults existed long before, and unrelated to, the pandemic. In a 2020 agreement the tenant was required to perform certain obligations before it went into effect, which he did not perform, therefore, the agreement became null and void and the eviction process began.
I checked Google Maps street view and you can see the Gaslamp Social building with boarded up windows in this November 2020 image:
As of 2022, the old Gaslamp Social San Diego, CA location seems to still be vacant.
I can’t find any record of a new business moving in since then, which makes sense because not many places were opening during Covid-19.
It also makes sense because the developer wanted to build a luxury hotel on the property. I can’t find any record of that happening yet, though.
If anything changes, I will edit the Gaslamp Social Bar Rescue update.
And if you know anything about what happened to that location, please let me know in the comments.
If you want to see some other San Diego Bar Rescue episodes, check out these posts:
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Last updated: 2022-04-29 05:30