(keep reading to learn what happened)
Season: 5 | View All Season 5 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: August 13, 2017
The Bar's Original Name Was: Sidelines Sports Grill & Bar
Lake House Bar and Grill Address: 315 N Highland St Mount Dora, FL 32757
Sidelines Sports Grill and Bar, later renamed to Lake House Bar and Grill, was a Mount Dora, Florida bar that was featured on Season 5 of Bar Rescue.
Though the Lake House Bar Rescue episode aired in August 2017, the actual filming and visit from Jon Taffer took place around a year earlier in 2018.
It was Season 5 Episode 27 and the episode name was “Daddy Dearest”.
In this episode, Jon Taffer heads to Sidelines Sports Grill and Bar in Mount Dora, FL.
Mount Dora is a small city in central Florida.
It’s known for antique shops and annual festivals, so there’s a lot of history there.
Basically, it’s a cute little town.
The nearest major city is Orlando, which is located not too far to the southeast.
Rich Marinacci, the owner, took over a buffet restaurant in 2006.
He is also a franchise owner and used money from that as an investment to turn the buffet into a sports bar.
After opening in 2009, the bar was very successful.
Soon, Rich sold his franchises but failed to manage the bar properly, which led to a decline, which is why the Sidelines Bar Rescue episode happened.
Rich has borrowed a large sum of money from his father and has made his sons work for him even though they are busy with school.
The two brothers argue at the bar often.
Due to the stress of the bar, his marriage has begun to fail.
Because of this, Rich has been drinking a lot, even when he’s supposed to be working at the bar.
Jon Taffer, mixologist Phil Wills, and expert chef Michael Ferraro watch the footage from inside the bar.
Ashley, the manager and bartender is shown.
In the kitchen are Richie Jr and Joey, the cooks.
Finally, Nika, a bartender, is shown, and Katie, a bartender and server.
Two locals, Alex and Dawn, spy on the bar for Jon Taffer.
Alex and Dawn must order fifteen items from the menu.
The two first-order a margarita and a long island iced tea.
The cocktails are not served in the proper glasses.
As the spies order more items from the menu, the bartenders know Richie Jr will not like this.
Joey cooks the food while Richie Jr does nothing.
Joey cross contaminates the food, and Chef Michael runs into the bar to stop the customers from eating because of the health risk.
Chef Michael confronts Joey and admonishes him, and Joey gets angry and punches a hole in the wall.
Rich then slaps his son Richie Jr. Yup – it’s some pretty crazy classic Bar Rescue drama going on.
Jon Taffer angrily confronts Rich while Joey cries and tells Jon his dad is an angry drunk.
Before Jon Taffer leaves, he tells Rich and the staff to clean the kitchen.
The next day Jon meets with the team and Bonnie, Rich’s wife.
Rich’s father is in charge of the financials, and when he is around, Rich acts like a different person.
At the meeting, Jon shows Rich’s father the footage of his son from the day before.
Rich wants to change, but no one is taking him seriously.
While the relationships will need work, the bar also has more immediate problems.
To fix those, Jon introduces the experts.
Phil begins to train the bar staff on making a mojito with Bacardi rum.
Michael teaches Rich and his sons about making a shrimp and chips dish.
Jon Taffer tells Rich not to drink and be respectful toward his employees and his family for the stress test.
The bar starts slow during the stress test.
Rich is confused when asked to help run food from the kitchen.
The bar is being served, but those sitting at tables have not received their drinks yet.
The test fails, and the bar shuts down for the night.
Rich tells his sons he is proud of how they worked during the stress test.
The next day Jon brings Rich together with his sons.
The three have a heartfelt talk and a tearful hug.
While the relationships are getting back on track, the experts also add some new details to the bar.
The bartenders learn how to make a pina colada the right way.
Jon Taffer and his crew have also been hard at work on renovating the bar.
As part of the changes, Jon introduced a new name and concept – Lake House Bar and Grill.
Given the atmosphere of Mount Dora, I think the Lake House concept makes a lot more sense than just another sports bar.
Beyond the new name, there are new soda guns and Harbor Touch POS machines.
When the bar opens for the relaunch, customers are impressed.
The customers love the new décor and food and drinks.
The bar does get overwhelmed, but Rich steps up as a leader and fixes the problem.
So would the changes from the Sidelines Bar Rescue episode work out?
Keep reading to learn how Lake House Bar and Grill is doing and whether or not it’s still open in 2024.
Lake House Bar and Grill Update - What Happened Next?
Now that we’ve recapped the Lake House Bar Rescue visit, let’s talk about what happened to the bar after Jon Taffer and his crew left Mount Dora, FL.
At the standard six-week check-in with the Bar Rescue producers, we learn that sales at Lake House Bar and Grill are up by more than 15% year-on-year.
While that increase isn’t as big as some of the other bars from the show, it’s nothing to sneeze at.
Rick has also stopped drinking while at work.
Unlike a lot of other bars from the show, Lake House seems to have also stuck with Jon Taffer’s new name and concept.
So did it work? Well, it did for a while…
Is Lake House from Bar Rescue still open?
The Lake House closed in November/December 2023 after a long run of success.
The bar closed because it was sold to new owners.
The new owner wanted to perform a full renovation.
In addition to renovating the bar, the new owner is going to change the name from The Lake House to Whiskey Kitchen.
Here’s a Facebook post from the owner announcing the sale and closure. I’ve also added a screenshot below in case it gets deleted.
For those reasons, I have now marked The Lake House closed on the Bar Rescue updates page.
Prior to its closure, the bar was very active on its Facebook page, regularly posting about events and specials.
Lake House Bar has all of the specials that you’d expect from a bar, including karaoke, sports, and food specials.
Here’s an example of a karaoke posting from November 2022:
I also took a look at some customer reviews from before it closed.
The Lake House bar reviews seemed average but not amazing, as it had a 3.5 star rating on TripAdvisor, a 3 star rating on Yelp, and a 4.1 star rating on Google Reviews.
Here are some recent reviews that happened after the original Sidelines Bar Rescue visit (and before the bar closed, obviously)…
4 star Yelp review from Feb 2022:
It’s a delightful little bar tucked away right outside downtown Mt. Dora.
When we were there, it was 2 for 1, drinks.
It was a nice surprise as well as the friendly bar & wait staff!
We can’t say enough about our server Kailey.
She was fabulous & made us feel so welcome.
If your in town, I would suggest you stop by & have a few drinks.
5 star Yelp review from Feb 2022:
Absolutely the best phillie cheese steak sandwich with onion rings and petal sauce.
You can’t beat the service or the servers.
AND if the weather is nice then you can eat outside under umbrellas.
1 star Yelp review from November 2021:
I went to this grill yesterday.
It said wait to be seated and we waited with no acknowledgement or someone to seat us.
So okay they are busy.
We got our own menus and went to sit down.
After 12 minutes or no acknowledgement, and another couple that were there longer then us with no one helping them either.
We finally got fed up and left.
And when I a waitress know, she dismissed me.
We will never come back to this bar/grill.
And I hope others will read this review and reconsider.
1 star Yelp review from June 2021:
I can’t believe after all that Jon Taffer did for this place and it’s all gone down hill it was dirty outside and inside.
We stood at the door way waiting for a host to great us for 15 mins before we decided to leave we will not be back !
Four star Yelp review from Feb 2022:
First visit, the service is laid back but very friendly.
Thoroughly enjoyed the chicken bbq pizza.
The bar has let its website expire, which seems a bit odd.
Here’s what the old Lake House Mount Dora FL location looks like in the most recent Google Maps street view update:
Overall, it seems like the Lake House Bar Rescue episode was, if not a huge success, at least a modest success because the bar was able to continue operating under Jon Taffer’s concept for over six years after his visit.
However, The Lake House closed because it was sold to new owners who are putting in their own concept named Whiskey Kitchen.
If you want to see some other Bar Rescue Florida episodes from this area, check out my updates for Copper Rocket in Maitland, Lucky Leprechaun / Lucky’s Corner Pocket in Davenport, Murphy’s Arcade / Throwbacks in Sanford, and Rockin’ Rhonda’s Neighborhood Bar in Sanford.
Or, for even more Florida goodness, you can read my full list of all Florida Bar Rescue episodes, which covers the status of all 26+ times that Jon Taffer has visited the state.
And if you want to share your thoughts on the Lake House episode, you can do so using the comments section below.
As always – thanks for reading!
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Last updated: 2023-12-18 08:31