(keep reading to learn what happened)
Season: 6 | View All Season 6 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: August 26, 2018
The Bar's Original Name Was: Island Sports Bar and Grill
Island Lounge Address: 13414 Olde Western Blue Island, IL 60406
Island Sports Bar and Grill, later renamed to Island Lounge, was a Blue Island, Illinois bar that was featured on Season 6 of Bar Rescue.
Though the Island Lounge Bar Rescue episode aired in August 2018, the actual filming and visit from Jon Taffer took place long before that in late 2016.
It was Season 6 Episode 24 and the episode name was “There Will Be Family Blood”.
Island Bar and Grill is located in Blue Island, IL.
Blue Island is a city in Cook County, Illinois that’s located around 16 miles south of Chicago’s loop.
Basically, it’s in the Chicago metro area, so there are a lot of people who might be interested in going to the bar.
Adam Shorter owns the bar, and he has hired his family.
His uncle Jerrod and mother Linda are the restaurant’s managers.
Servers Tricey is his cousin and his sisters Yumeka and Sharee also serve.
Kenaz, Adam’s cousin, works in the kitchen as the cook.
In 2012 Adam invested in the bar to help his niece, who was declared brain dead in an automobile accident.
Because of the medical bills, he thought the bar would be extra income on top of his regular salary.
Everyone works at the bar to help Adam’s sister Alicia and her daughter despite no one having experience.
Adam refuses to hire more qualified staff and keeps his family on despite making mistakes.
Prentis is another Island Bar and Grill manager and complains that Adam will not allow him to fire his family members.
The bar has different themed nights like salsa, soul food, and comedy.
The bar is in mounting debt, and no staff has proper training, which is why it needs help from Jon Taffer and his crew.
Jon Taffer cannot make it to the recon for the first time, so he sends experts Lisamarie Joyce and Aaron Miccargo to help.
The inside of the bar looks worn and dated, while the outside is dim and dark.
A manager is seen playing pool instead of doing any work.
Spies are sent in. They are locals who have never visited the bar before.
Tricey is the spy’s server, and she is rude. The spies order drinks that are too strong and served in the wrong glass.
The experts see black oil in the kitchen in the hidden camera footage.
The food is sent back, and upon hearing that, the cook gets up and leaves the kitchen.
The experts enter the bar and call out the staff for the dirt and grime everywhere.
Jon Taffer shows up and tells Adam he needs to step up.
Adam does and fires Tricey and Kenaz.
Beyond getting rid of the bad staff, the remaining staff also need to be properly trained if the bar is to be successful.
Lisamarie shows the bartenders how to make simple drinks in average-sized glasses.
The stress test begins, and customers pack the bar.
Food takes close to twenty minutes to come out when it should take less than ten.
Jon Taffer shuts down the test and tells Adam it went okay but not great.
Adam thinks the food should be high-end finger food, and Lisamarie believes they need more vodka-based drinks.
Jon reminds Adam to treat his employees like staff and not family.
Linda tells Adam to manage and lead the bar. Adam promises to change.
Jon may change the name of the bar, which makes Adam nervous.
A new drink, City Limits, made with cucumber vodka, is added to the menu.
Aaron instructs the kitchen staff on elevating a simple dish like shrimp and grits.
The bar is reopened on Alicia’s birthday.
While Jon Taffer didn’t completely change the name, he did make a small adjustment. Instead of Island Bar and Grill, it will now just be Island Lounge.
There are new workstations, unbreakable glasses, and chandeliers. A new DJ system is also added.
Adam’s wife comes to the relaunch and is proud to see the change in the bar and her husband.
The shrimp and grits are popular at relaunch and things seem to be going well for the newly named Island Lounge.
Jon Taffer leaves and wishes Adam and his family the best.
So was the Bar Rescue Island Bar episode a long-term success? Keep reading to learn what happened next and if it’s still open in 2023.
Island Lounge Update - What Happened Next?
Now that we’ve recapped the Island Lounge Bar Rescue visit, let’s talk about what happened after Jon Taffer and his crew left Blue Island, IL.
At the six-week check-in with the Bar Rescue producers, we learn that sales at Island Lounge are up by more than 10%, which seemed like a promising start.
Adam seems to be grateful for Jon Taffer’s help, though he didn’t totally adopt the name change.
While Adam didn’t reject the name, the bar seemed to use “Island Lounge” and “Island Sports Bar and Grill” interchangeably on its profiles.
Is Island Lounge from Bar Rescue still open?
Island Lounge closed in March 2018, which was five months before the Island Lounge Bar Rescue episode aired on TV but more than 1.5 years after the actual visit from Jon Taffer.
Remember – Jon Taffer actually visited Island Sports Bar in late 2016, even though the episode didn’t air until almost two years later.
So why did Island Lounge close? Well, that’s a debate.
In March 2018, there was a shooting outside the bar involving one of the bar’s bouncers.
It seems super dramatic. Here’s what allegedly happend:
There was an argument inside the bar that led to the bouncers removing “a male and female with the same last name”.
After the couple were forced out, the man allegedly fire some gunshots and then got into a car to drive away.
At that time, the bar’s bouncers allegedly had their own guns and fired at the car as it drove away. They allegedly shot out the read window and hit the female driver.
The bouncer who allegedly fired the shots also lacked a license for his gun and the bouncers in general weren’t properly licensed.
While it sounds crazy, you can read all about this in the Chicago Tribune.
As a result, the bar’s business license was suspended on March 31, 2018 and the bar never reopened.
In addition to this shooting incident, the police had also been called to the bar more than 190 times over the past five years.
However, Adam Shorter, the Island Lounge owner, said that the bar was closed due to racism rather than its issues being worse than any other bar.
You can see some of his statements in this CBS news article.
I have no idea where the truth is, but the story of what allegedly happened with the shooting sounds like a scene out of an action movie.
As of 2023, the old Island Lounge Blue Island, IL location is occupied by a new restaurant/bar called City Limits Kitchen and Bar.
Reviews for the new bar seem good, as it has a 4 star rating on Yelp and a 4.5 star rating on Google Reviews.
Here’s a Google Maps street view embed that shows the old Island Lounge Chicago location:
If you want to see some other Bar Rescue episodes from Chicago, check these out:
- Clear Bar / Underground Wonder Bar update
- Blue Frog 22 / The Local update
- The Abbey / The Green Room update
- The Dugout / Press Box update
Thanks for reading!
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Last updated: 2023-01-20 06:09