Proving Ground Bar Rescue Update (The Hooch) – Still Open in 2023?

Is Proving Ground Bar & Grill still open today?

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 Taffer 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 and whether Proving Ground is still open in 2024.

Proving Ground Bar & Grill Update - What Happened Next?

Now that we’ve recapped the Proving Ground Bar Rescue episode, let’s talk about what happened after Jon Taffer and his crew left Detroit Michigan.

First, let’s talk about the reviews.

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

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

Overall, The Hooch Yelp page had just an overall 2 star review.

Proving Ground had its own separate Yelp page with an overall 3 star rating, so there was some improvement.

Some visitors remarked positively – here are a few examples:

5 star Yelp review from November 2015:

Sometimes you need to appreciate the good with the bad.

Everything about the service is wonderful.

Some things that the bar had no control over such as the paint and the tables that bar rescue provided are to be looked over until they are able to make changes.

I will write a review for bar rescue for their upgrades I am not happy with.

The service is wonderful, the drinks are strong, the food is out of this world.

Here’s another positive review:

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”.

However, there were also some negative or neutral reviews.

Here’s an example of a neutral review – a 3 star rating on Yelp:

Makeover looks nice since Bar Rescue.

There has never been more than 3-5 people when I’ve gone though.

Often only the bartender :/ decent drink prices.

And then here’s an example of a much more negative review:

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.

When announcing that Proving Ground closed, Chandra didn’t seem too happy with her Bar Rescue experience:


the bar is now closed…


thanks BR!

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

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

You can see the Hooch / Proving Ground sale post on You can see the description in this screenshot:

The Hooch sold

Interestingly, the description notes that Bar Rescue spent around $100,000 on the remodel.

As always, the bar owners don’t need to pay for the renovations, so Chandra and co. got all of that for free.

As of 2023, the old Proving Ground Detroit location seems to be occupied by a Citgo gas station, so there won’t be any more beer sold.

I assume they demolished the old building and rebuilt it with the Citgo station.

Here’s a look at the old Hooch / Proving ground location in the most recent picture from Google Maps street view:

As I mentioned earlier, 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, Chix on Dix / Power Strip in Detroit, and Back Beat Piano Bar / Jazz Katz in Southfield.

Thanks for reading!

More Information

What did you think about the Proving Ground Bar & Grill Bar Rescue episode? I'd love it if you shared your thoughts on the episode in the comments below!

You can also click the buttons below to share this post!

And don't forget to check out all of the other Bar Rescue updates.

Last updated: 2023-02-27 06:51

62 thoughts on “Proving Ground Bar Rescue Update (The Hooch) – Still Open in 2023?”

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

      • This ‘bar owner’s’ Mouth would make a Marine blush…and She was Proud of this reality. If she Ever talked to Me like that, she would’ve had a drink thrown into her ugly, loud, filthy mouth. Her poor husband is one sad sack who has been roped in to paying for this skank’s bar. I hope all
        of her employees found excellent jobs esewhere. This ‘bar owner’ is a Huge Failure in a Lot of ways.

    • You can tell during the meeting between Jon & Chandra, her heart just wasn’t in it. The way she spoke about changing everything (changes to the bar, even for her own “esteem”) it was obvious she was pulling Jon’s leg, and I’m sure that she wanted the updates so she could sell it eventually, which she did.

    • #Vulgar and disgusting
      I’m glad she no longer is dealing with the public. I pity those poor boys and their dad is just sad.

  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

        • I’ve watched this episode a couple of times and every time I cringe. The owner was the most disgusting rude person I have ever seen on one of our rescues episodes. She went back to her old ways of degrading people and talking to them the way she did she deserves what she got. I agree with a lot of people she probably just wanted the bar rescue so she could get rid of the place it looked like it had potential if it had somebody else running the place.

  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.

      • I see no trace of Turrets syndrome in her attitude.

        Sometimes an asshole is just an asshole.

        She reverted to her old ways because it was easier.

        I hope the staff found better jobs. They were great.

        • More like Aspergers. It can make people mean and cognitive disorders. She most likely is just trash. Was she always like that? 13 years she had the place. Maybe all that time failing more and more made her become worse over time and ultimately a lost cause. Either way she likes treated people the way she does. She really thinks she’s being funny and thinks others do too. Her BR regrets are most likely that her bartenders weren’t getting naked anymore and her acting like a cruddy strip club owner making money off the girls not the bar.

          • I’ve met one or two strip club owners who were more respectful of women than this lady ever was. And of course she’ll blame her failure on Jon Taffer.

  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.

    • He tells her in their sitdown that if in 6 months if there wasn’t a big enough improvement in sales to sell the bar and she agreed. So Jon Taffer went into this particular episode knowing it would fail. He could tell she would be the reason and im sure he wasn’t surprised about her selling.

  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!

    • I feel sorry for her husband. That poor guy looks Like he’s been a doormat for a long time. Hopefully selling it was the best for the whole family.

  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 🐾❤️🐾

    • No. The owners do not have to pay for the renovations. The show does. Jon taffers money doesn’t go into either. Most of the equipment is donated by the companies, that’s why you hear Jon mention the company names. The labor is contracted by some of Jon’s preferences and local businesses and people are all contracted for the actual physcial labor paid for by the show.

      The owner and Jon go into a contract where he immediately own 50% of the business. If ever a bar sells he gets half of the final sale price. Now if it stays open does Jon own 50% forever and get half the profits the entire time? Or is for a set amount profit of 50 or less% and be bought back out of their business for a set amount? I’m not entirely certain the details. But it’s probably something like that.

  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!

  26. When the husband came in after the remodel for the first time they were hugging and kissing each other. The camera didn’t stay on them very long.

    The husband looks like he’s frightened and emotional. Hes been a doormat for a long time. The awkwardness was between him and Jon. He looked like he was about to cry and Jon went in to hug him and they had their awkward hug.

    With that said Chandra is just trash. She thinks she’s funny amd thinks others do too. I’ve had friends like her and it is a term of endearment how they speak, plenty of girls talk that way to each other. But usually it’s things like I love this bit h. Or there’s my sext slut. Things like that.

    Some people don’t know when to quit or when the conversation and environment at the given time isn’t receptive to it. I don’t think Chandra could tell the difference and delusionally thought it was being received as being funny and on that adult xxx vibe.

    I guarantee you her regrets are because her staff wasn’t getting naked and acting like a white trash strip club making money off the girls not the bar. That’s the only environment Chandra could operate in. A good old fashioned sleazy pole hole.

  27. It’s not everyday that I get to see Michigan trash! Now I know what it looks like & it’s horrid. And no, I don’t mean the bartenders; I do mean that wretched bar owner who *clearly* hates women. She is the stereotype of a woman who grew up hideous inside and out & then takes it out on other women for the rest of their lives.

  28. That owner is a worthless piece of trash, if someone talked to me like that they’d be in the hospital. GLAD she failed, she doesn’t deserve anything in life.


Leave a Comment

Share to...