The Hooch Bar / Proving Ground Update – Bar Rescue – Open or Closed?

Is Proving Ground Bar & Grill still open in 2022?

Status: >> CLOSED <<
(keep reading to learn what happened)

Season: 4 | View All Season 4 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: November 15, 2015
The Bar's Original Name Was: The Hooch Bar & Grill
Proving Ground Bar & Grill Address: 5157 S Telegraph Rd Dearborn Heights, Michigan 48125

The Hooch Bar / Proving Ground Bar Rescue Update

Episode Recap

The Hooch Bar and Grill, later renamed to Proving Ground Bar and Grill, was a Dearborn Heights, Michigan bar that was featured on Season 4 of Bar Rescue.

Though the Proving Ground Bar Rescue episode aired in November 2015, the actual filming and visit from Jon Taffer took place before that.

It was Season 4 Episode 38 and the episode name was “Vulgar Vixens”.

Originally named The Hooch Bar & Grill, Jon Taffer visited this bar back in 2015.

It’s located in Dearborn Heights, Michigan, which is an area of Detroit.

The Hooch Bar was owned by Chandra and Ron Philips.

Chandra was, to put it lightly, an extremely unlikable person.

She was foul-mouthed, insulted her wait staff, and was just generally horrible to be around.

Perhaps that’s why she was, at the time the show aired, losing a massive $4,500 per month from her struggling bar.

However, when Chandra bought the bar all the way back in 2003, it actually started off pretty well.

At its peak, the bar was earning $20,000 per month.

However, the 2008 financial crisis hit Detroit especially hard, which led to the bar’s decline.

Even worse than the bar’s monthly losses, Ron and Chandra are in over $350,000 of debt, which is a tough hole to climb out of.

The Hooch bartender

The Hooch Bar and Grill has also picked up a bit of a bad reputation, as many people believe it’s a lingerie bar.

It’s not, though. That Bar Rescue distinction belongs to another Detroit Bar Rescue episode – the Chix on Dix / Power Strip bar from Season 4.

In order to even offer his help, Jon Taffer required that Chandra start showing some respect to her staff, something which had been sorely lacking up until now.

Once he got that out of the way, Jon commenced with rescuing the bar.

To help him, he also brought in Lisamarie Joyce and Keith Breedlove as the experts for the episode.

The rescue has its share of difficulties. Most notably, the bartenders break a glass into the ice bin during the stress test, which means they have to get rid of all the ice.

Customers also find mold in their drinks, which obviously is pretty disgusting. The mold could’ve also come from the ice bin.

Put these issues together, and Jon Taffer has to shut down the stress test.

The Hooch stress test fail

Eventually, he seems to be able to get through to Chandra after an off-site talk.

During the rescue process, Jon Taffer renamed The Hooch Bar & Grill to Proving Ground Bar & Grill, which Chandra seemed to have accepted.

So – was Jon able to successfully save The Hooch? Keep reading the next section for exactly what happened.

Proving Ground Bar & Grill Update - What Happened Next?

While the bar kept the name of Proving Ground Bar and Grill, Yelp reviews were not that much better after the remake.

They did increase slightly, but not enough to save the struggling bar over the long term.

Some visitors remarked positively, saying things like:

We stepped in and instantly felt a comfortable neighborhood bar vibe. Lots of TV’s all over to keep on top of your favorite sports teams.
The staff was very polite, even the bartenders on the other end of the bar (whose section we didnt sit in) said ” Hi”.

While others were a bit more negative with tough reviews like

I was just passing through the area on a motorcycle trip. I decided to opt for plain old, purely American burger. I specifically asked for no mustard. After about an hour, I was brought a bottle of mustard. That’s it. No bun, burger, or cheese. What the heck?

Is the Proving Ground bar still open?

The Proving Ground closed on May 23rd, 2016, which Chandra announced in a Facebook post.

This was under a year after the Hooch Bar Rescue episode, though a bit more than that after the actual visit from Jon Taffer.

The bar later sold for ~$225,000 on May 26th, 2016.

So it appears that we can officially mark Chandra’s foul-mouthed Hooch Bar / Proving Ground Bar as closed.

As of 2022, the old Proving Ground Detroit location seems to be occupied by a Citgo gas station, so there won’t be any more beer sold.

Interestedly, Chandra did not seem to have a good experience on Bar Rescue.

According to her, there wasn’t any money to keep the bar going and Bar Rescue was the “Worst mistake in my whole life” (she posted this on Facebook).

If you want to see some other Michigan Bar Rescue episodes, you can check out my posts for The Arena in Ann Arbor and Back Beat Piano Bar / Jazz Katz in Southfield.

More Information

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Last updated: 2022-10-05 06:16

47 thoughts on “The Hooch Bar / Proving Ground Update – Bar Rescue – Open or Closed?”

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

  1. Just watched this episode, and since living real close in Canada, I was thinking of trying the Proving Ground. Very disappointed to see that it is now closed. I guess that’s the difference between inferior ownership and superior ownership. One closes, the other prospers.

    • That will do it every time. Some anti social people can close a bar faster than anything else. Takes a special person to run a bar. This dumb ass didn’t have a clue what she was doing. Somebody else will take it over and make a fortune.

      • I jyst read what happened after she sold the bar, apparently the building was either gutted or bulldozed and another business unrelated to bar/food is now in it’s place…the owner went back to her bad attitude and the way she treated people but she blamed Jon Taffer fir her failure

  2. She was simply uninterested in being a business owner. She was a tyrant. It’s difficult to get a leopard to change it’s spots. The staff seemed eager to make it work. I doubt she was honest about how much debt she was in.

  3. She was the Bar Trash she kept telling her girls they were. Miserable people try to make everyone around them as miserable as they are. She’ll never be anything but nasty unless she really sees what a horrible person she is.

  4. I just watched the episode, if you watch Jon closely at the end you can kind of tell he has his doubts. I feel sorry for the husband. Woman is just repulsive in her attitude.

  5. Chandra should NEVER be in the hospitality business! Being a huge fan of Bar Rescue I can judge which bar will live and which one will DIE! I KNEW Chandra was going to fail because she deserved to FAIL!!!

    • I’ve gotten pretty good at predicting which ones are still open too. I’m about half way through binge watching all the seasons. Sometimes, you can tell when a loser will just continue to be a loser, or if as Jon says, “we have a good person in a bad place”

  6. The very first time a boss calls me a slut, whore, or anything along those lines, I walk. I don’t care how bad the economy is. That’s not acceptable. She is lucky she was able to keep her staff.

  7. She is just a miserable person! She can’t be happy so no one around her should be. I feel sorry for her kids if she acts that way in public I hate to see what she is like at home!!! Poor kids!

  8. I use to work there before she bought The Hooch. It was actually called The Glass Mug & the owner Earnie was the BEST boss. If he watched this I’m sure he was PISSED. We NEVER kept that bar in that condition. If we were not busy, we were to be cleaning. I made a TON of money when it was The Glass Mug. I would have NEVER put up with that woman’s crap. It really saddened me to see this episode. I went home this past week for a visit for the 1st time in 11 years & was SHOCKED to see that it’s now a gas station. When Earnie sold that building he reopened another bar just up the road called The Glass Mug Again & from day 1 of The Hooch people would come in our bar & say how sleazy The Hooch was. So sad I have some GREAT memories of fun times in there from The Glass Mug.

  9. I just watched that train-wreck of an episode. My mother owns a restaurant that has been open for over 16 years. I think I would fall out if I ever saw momma treat one of her staff the way that Chandra. Honestly, I felt sorry for her husband and kids. If she will treat STAFF that way, just imagine how she treats her immediate family. Personally, if I worked for her and she talked to me the way she talked to her staff……one of us would be in jail overnight. That woman needs to really stay away from any business where SHE has to deal with the public or any employees. Put her in a basement banging on a computer keyboard all day. The general public will not have to put up with her abuse towards others. God bless her poor husband and children. I really can’t imagine the abuse they have to live with. She’s blessed the man has stayed with her.

  10. Its a Damn Shame. John Taffer gave her all the tiols she needed to succeed. She had a slam bangin staff. A total remodel. Raised her income. But she let it All crumble. Blaming Bar Rescue. When she clearly had No Chance when Mr.T walked into that slum. I kinda had a feeling she would revert back to her abusive and lacksidasical ways of bar ownership. Her best emoloyee leaving proves it was all on her. She’s the Loser here.

  11. I had just watched this episode. I was blown away how an owner thought she could treat the people she employed, to be so nasty to them. You could see how much in pain her husband was in. Side note wonder if he couldn’t take it any longer and failed for divorce with a huge debt over his head and her spending and drinking habit. The home life had to be brutal. I live watching Jon Taffer rescue bars. If she had listened to Jon she would still be open and making money. But the gooey crp between her ears wont let any new info in. She spews negativity in prolly everything and where she is or goes.
    Jon Taffer is The Man. I dont care what people say he fricken rocks.
    Negative people will say the opposite. But as usual they are wrong.
    Keep on trucking Jon

    • Totally agree…. Just watched the episode on 3/16/2022. Love the show Bar Rescue and Mr. Taffer and always sets up the owners for success….. she truly didn’t deserved a remake with her negative outlook. Since the bar was local I was hoping to visit and check it out…. Sorry to hear she ran it back down…. 😩

  12. What a fat, lazy, stupid person she is, no way would she ever do anything with that nasty mouth of hers, John shouldn’t have been there to help her.

  13. Her intent was probably getting the bar remade the whole time! Then she could sell it for a big profit. She obviously was not invested in saving the bar or taking care of her employees. What a POS! I KNEW it would close

  14. Her intent was probably getting the bar remade the whole time! Then she could sell it for a big profit. She obviously was not invested in saving the bar or taking care of her employees. What a POS! I KNEW it would close

  15. When you’re disrespectful to your staff you deserve to loose your Bar, I felt sorry for the staff who had kids to support.

  16. I agree. Chaundra has NO BUSINESS WORKING WITH OR MANAGING PEOPLE. She micromanages from her own insecurities. You can tell she’s an insecure person by her passive aggressive behaviors. My gosh her mouth is awful! I felt sorry for her staff. THANK GOD FOR JOHN TAFER TO COME IN & TELL HER ABOUT HERSELF?! It not good when a MAN has to tell A WOMAN her mouth is foul and disrespectful. Her husband seemed nice. Poor thing he probably gets he’ll at hone from her?! She needs someone to straighten her up; a lot of work and self development or she will find herself down the same road?! AND CAN YOU IMAGINE WHAT KIND OF KIDS SHE IS RAISING? Gosh? Poor kids.

  17. I know jon helps every Bar owner out, they do not pay for the remodeling, the show does! John gives them the start and know how!! Up to the owners to deal with their Bussiness. After a great start and laid out plan from Jon Taffer, That bar owner did not respect herself or respect ppl period!! Her fault.

  18. Chandra was a real piece of work. Her husband is “whipped” for giving her all of that money only to fail.

    To say that Bar Rescue was a mistake is wrong. If you would have called me any one of those names, I would have decked her out and her fat ass would have hit the floor.

    Glad she lost it. I hope the new owner is prospering from the remodel

  19. I just watched this episode. I very well may have gone to jail had she spoken to my daughter that way if she had worked there. I was absolutely horrified – pretty much like Jon and everyone else that’s seen this episode. He gave her the tools along with everything else to keep this bar going and she blew it. The only thing that I was not too crazy about was the new name. I love watching these episodes. Jon and his chosen team are amazing at what they do. I love doing research as I’ve been wondering- the amount of money he puts in to renovate these bars – who’s footing that bill? Can’t be the owners because there near bankruptcy when they contact him. Do they sign some type of contract so they are to pay him back? Can’t wait to learn more! Jon, if you ever read these comments – you are WAY cool! Heck, I might see if your on IG! Cindy in Pensacola 🐾❤️🐾

  20. I thought the concept was too much for a bar in that area. If the bar was located in Dearborn closer to Ford, maybe. But it was more of a neighborhood bar. I thought Jon missed the mark on this one.

    That said, a personality like Chandra’s does not change that quickly. It was inevitable that she would backslide.

  21. I just watched the episode and I can relate to how she acts I feel sorry for how she was treated and totally can see why she closed up and acted this way sorry to hear the bar is closed but I wish her good luck in life

  22. Well…not Tourette Syndrome. Because she exhibited an ability to control it.
    She was willfully defiant and unwilling to change.
    And then she had the gall to blame “Bar Rescue” by saying it was the worst thing she ever did.
    So add delusional to that list.
    I was a bartender and before that a waitress. If my boss had called me a “slut”…I would have sued for sexual harrassment.
    I feel very bad for her staff!

  23. She is a POS. Trying to blame Jon just proves that she is braindead !! If I were her husband I would have dumped her ass long ago !! Mike

  24. This was by far the most foul mouthed loser of an owner I’ve ever seen. She was big and ugly inside and out. That’s why she was so mean to others. I pray her husband wised up and left her hateful behind.

  25. Sad to see it sold. What a great staff who all have tolerance and patience. The cook was impressive. I love his can-do attitude and smiles. I hope the staff all found better jobs after receiving the training and attention to detail that is necessary in the hospitality business. I saw some inner reflection of the owner during the show. To learn she went back to her old ways was a real bummer. I hope she continued her path of healing after she sold the bar. One good thing about her is that she did keep her promise to Jon. I also feel bad for her family. Am I the only one that noticed there was a strange vibe when the husband thanked Jon in front of her? No hugs between husband/wife…as if they are strangers. I hope all of these relationships have improved. Jon, I love your shows. Makes me want to go back to the hospitality business. It’s inspiring and motivating to watch them. I do believe there is an amount of “drama” added to really grab the viewers attention, but boy I don’t know about this bar owner…yikes!


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