(keep reading to learn what happened)
Season: 8 | View All Season 8 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: July 18, 2021
The Bar's Original Name Was: Griff's Bar & Billiards
Griff's Bar & Billiards Address: 3650 S Decatur Blvd Las Vegas, NV 89103
Griff’s Bar & Billiards was a Las Vegas, Nevada bar that was featured on Season 8 of Bar Rescue.
Though the Griff’s Bar Rescue episode aired in July 2021, the actual filming and visit from Jon Taffer took place a couple of months before that during Bar Rescue’s Covid-19 inspired focus on Las Vegas.
It was Season 8 Episode 9 and the episode name was “Behind the 8 Ball”.
Griff’s Bar and Billiards is in Las Vegas, NV, just like all of the bars from the first half of Bar Rescue Season 8.
The bar is located on Decatur Blvd, about 2.5 miles from the main Las Vegas Strip.
In 2016, Mark Griffin bought the pool bar, which means he’s owned it for about five years at the time of the Griff’s Bar Rescue episode.
It is his seventh pool bar, so he has tons of experience running the billiards side of things.
The bar has 26 pool tables and just generally looks like paradise for a billiards player.
However, Mark didn’t have a lot of experience with the bar and restaurant part.
To fix that, he hired Gary Lutman as general manager, who did have experience.
Gary is in charge of the food and beverages while Mike works in the pool room.
The bar was successful when it first opened and experienced incredible growth.
The year on year growth was between 40-70%, which is pretty incredible success.
However, as with many small businesses in America, business slowed down during the pandemic.
People weren’t traveling to Las Vegas.
And even for the locals, people didn’t want to hang out in a pool bar.
The bar had to close three separate times. In total, it was closed for 59 days, among other restrictions.
To make matters worse, Mark had a health scare while the bar was closed during the pandemic.
Mark had a double lung transplant and then caught Covid-19, which almost killed him.
Because of the health issue, he can no longer be present at the bar like he used to.
Gary runs Griff’s Bar and Billiards by himself, and Mark is not happy with how he did.
Expert mixologist Phil Wills joins Jon Taffer to help save Griff’s Bar & Billiards.
Jon Taffer tells Phil Wills all about the business and the owner.
Chef Jason Santos and Phil go into Griff’s Bar and Billiards as Jon’s spies.
The bar has no drinks menu. The men order their beverages and pizza.
The well at the bar is not correctly set up, so the bartenders have to walk to the other end of the bar to make the drinks.
The drinks the spies ordered are too sweet and taste like the mixer.
As the pizza is served, Jon Taffer walks in.
Mark complains about Gary, who comes over to the conversation.
Gary is unaware of the bar’s costs but does tell Jon he has been there every day for seven years.
The next day Jon returns and sees the staff has stayed all night to clean the bar, for which he thanks them.
Even though the bar is clean, the team still makes inconsistent drinks.
The staff confides in Phil that Gary is a lousy manager, and they often run out of items.
Phil shows the bartenders how to make a green bloody mary.
The kitchen employees are taught how to make burger sliders by Jason.
The stress test is about to begin. A pool ball will be placed in a rack for every mistake made.
Once the rack is complete, the test is done.
Gary earns the bar a ball in the rack immediately.
The kitchen is keeping up and sending out tasty meals.
Wherever Gary goes, so does chaos.
He makes the kitchen fall behind, delivers food to the wrong tables, and needs someone to hold his hand the entire time.
When the test ends, there are seventeen balls on the rack.
Jon gives Gary feedback but tells him he has promised because he takes accountability for himself.
The bartenders performed well, and Phil trained them on challenging cocktails.
The new drinks will be served in a globe-shaped dispenser.
After thirty-six hours, the bar is renovated.
However, Jon Taffer didn’t have to make many changes because the space was already in good condition.
The bar’s name is the same, but the sign has been updated and is brighter.
The bar has been gifted three new POS systems, Atmosphere TV and Skytabs.
Gary steps up during the relaunch and runs food to the correct tables.
The kitchen does so well that Anthony helps run food as he is not needed.
Jon is pleased with how the rescue went and it looks like Griff’s will have a bright future.
Griff's Bar & Billiards Update - What Happened Next?
Now that we’ve recapped the Griff’s Bar Rescue episode, let’s talk about what happened to the bar after Jon Taffer (and the Covid-19 pandemic) left Las Vegas, NV.
Obviously, because Griff’s appeared on the first half of Season 8, Covid-19 was the biggest issue that it was facing, rather than just issues with poor management.
There were some management issues, though, which is why Griff’s fired Gary shortly after Taffer’s visit. Gary was the general manager at Griff’s.
Gary had some issues with how the show portrayed him, though.
It’s always good to remember that Bar Rescue is reality TV and people on the show might not be as good/bad as they’re portrayed.
With that being said, let’s get on with our Griff’s Bar Rescue update, starting with the most important question.
Is Griff’s from Bar Rescue still open?
As of 2023, Griff’s Bar & Billiards is still open and serving customers in Las Vegas, NV.
The bar generally has very positive reviews, with a 4 star rating on Yelp and a 4.5 star rating on TripAdvisor.
Here’s a sampling of some recent reviews that happened after Jon Taffer’s visit at Griff’s.
5 star Yelp review from April 2022:
This was an amazing experience.
We came because of the Bar Rescue episode however we were amazed at the outcome.
The customer service was top tier and we loved the atmosphere.
Our drink were well balanced, consistent, and flavorful.
Our bartender Vanna was absolutely GREAT.
She was very attentive, bubbly, and full of energy. 10/10 would definitely recommend.
4 star Yelp review from August 2021:
I like Griffs alot. I saw it on an episode of Bar Rescue this year.
If you are not familiar with the show, Jon Taffer and Team are focused on helping bad bars turn the corner. Griffs is one such bar.
I was happy to see it in real life.
This is a really nice pool bar with an updated bar.
I ordered the blood orange paloma drink.
Really nice drink to sip on while playing pool.
The potato skins were really good as well.
But what I saw on most tables were the pizzas. Hot and Cheesy .
I played a round of pool. High quality tables and by the looks of the camera equipment, they hold a lot of tournaments there.
Worth the visit while in Vegas if you play pool and want a nice bar to eat and drink at.
5 star Yelp review:
Best pool hall and bar you’ll find in Vegas! It’s clean and the service is phenomenal.
The happy hour specials are really good but we’ve ordered almost everything on the menu and nothing has let us down.
Great spot to have a great time with friends and family.
Did I mention how clean it is. Cause it really is clean.
It feels super safe as well, they have security and they’re not rude either.
If you go a few times, I’m sure they’ll start to remember you and it just feels like your only spot to go now in Vegas.
When you’re looking to play pool, have a good drink, and eat some really good bar food! Enjoy y’all
4 star Yelp review:
I have limited knowledge on pool halls & overall pool in general but Griff’s is by far the nicest one I have been in.
Honestly the whole place being non smoking is amazing! All the staff is super friendly and attentive.
We had a group of 11 people on a Friday night and got lucky that we were able to have 2 tables next to each other.
There was also a tournament going on later in the night, I guess they do a lot of them.
The waitresses walk around and take your food/drink orders which is great.
The place is pretty big so having to walk up to the bar all night while everyone is playing pool would totally suck.
The food is your standard bar food but it’s not bad for being at a pool hall. Overall we had a really great time!
The only complaints seem to be from people who had uniquely bad experiences (or who just sound like they’re A-holes themselves, if I’m being honest).
In addition to the reviews, here’s a look at what the Griff’s Las Vegas location looks like in the most recent picture from Google Maps street view:
Overall, the Griff’s Las Vegas rescue seems like a real success story, though it’s not a huge surprise because the bar was already doing fairly well before Covid-19 hit.
If you’re heading to Las Vegas and you want to check it out, you can learn more at the official Griff’s website.
In addition to having the menu, the Griff’s website also has details for the regular billiards tournaments and leagues that run at the bar.
They seem to pretty much always have a billiards tournament running from Thursday-Saturday, so you can always get in on the action.
They also have league play going on all the time, with various leagues operating on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.
Basically, if you’re a billiards player and you’re in Las Vegas, you should check out Griff’s!
You can win some serious money in the tournaments – recent winners pulled in $770!
If you want to see some other Bar Rescue episodes involving pool/billiards, you can check out my updates for Rack’s Billiards / Angel’s Sports Bar in Corona CA, Zanzibar / Solids and Stripes in Denver, and Lucky’s Corner Pocket / Lucky Leprechaun in Davenport FL.
If you want to see some other Las Vegas Bar Rescue episodes, check out these posts:
- Ninja Karaoke update
- Nevada Brew Works update
- Capo’s Restaurant update
- Paradise Cantina update
- Gipsy update
- Champagne’s update
- The End / Underground Wonder Bar update
- Shattered Bar update
- Jack’s Place / The Regan Lounge update
Thanks for reading!
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Last updated: 2023-01-30 07:30