Menara Bar Rescue Update (The Palace) – Still Open in 2023?

Is Menara still open in 2023?

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

Season: 4 | View All Season 4 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: July 19, 2015
The Bar's Original Name Was: The Palace
Menara Address: 1276 W 7th St Upland, CA 91786

Menara Bar Rescue Update (The Palace)

Episode Recap

The Palace, later renamed Menara, was an Upland, California bar that was featured on Season 4 of Bar Rescue.

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

It was Season 4 Episode 25 and the episode name was “Brokedown Palace” .

In this episode, Jon Taffer visits The Palace, located in Upland, CA.

Ghazi and his brother-in-law Sam own the bar.

In 2013 they bought the bar and designed it with a Moroccan theme.

However, since their opening, they have never made a profit, which is why The Palace Bar Rescue episode exists.

Given that the episode aired in 2015, that means that they’ve already been losing money for a couple of years by the time Jon Taffer visits the bar.

Mia Mastroianni and Mediterranean cook Penny Davidi come in to help Jon. 

As they arrive at the bar, they notice the bar has no Moroccan exterior, which doesn’t match the theme.

Iddo Goldberg and Alexander Sidic act as spied for Jon.

The pair think the restaurant gives off more of a Roman theme than a Moroccan one.

There are no stools at the bar, and they find a table but are ignored by the server.

The spies order martinis, but they are served weak, so they order something else. 

Ghazi is acting as a customer, eating peanuts at the bar.

Some ladies are belly dancing, but no one is paying any attention to them.

The spies then ordered a Tagine which was not on the menu.

They also order one of every appetizer on the menu.

The food situation is a bit dicey, though…

There is cross-contamination in the kitchen, and the cutting board is dirty. 

Jon comes in to check out the bar while the spies notice a hair in their food.

The owners and Jon go outside. Ghazi blames Sam for their losses because he gives out freebies.

Jon leaves and tells them he will be back the next day. 

The next day Ghazi gets very defensive when his drinking becomes the topic of conversation.

Jon gets angry and turns to leave but returns when Ghazi takes responsibility for the failing bar.

Sam typically works in the kitchen while Ghazi takes care of the front of the house.

To test things out, Jon Taffer makes them switch places. 

Penny teaches the kitchen staff how to make Moroccan cuisine.

The stress test is going to be held at another rescued California bar, Stein Haus Brau & Brats, because remodeling at The Palace needs to start immediately.

I never really like when they do the stress test at a different bar because I feel like it’s not realistic since everyone is working in a new environment.

At the stress test, the bartenders are not making martinis correctly.

The kitchen is serving hard bread, and the bar is getting overwhelmed. 

After a bartender takes her bag and leaves, Jon shuts down the stress test.

He blames the owners for the staff’s conduct.

Jon and the owners sit down for a meeting the following day.

The owners make up and mend their relationship.

While that’s happening, Penny trains the kitchen staff on how to make a proper Tagine.

Mia also works with the bartenders on their pouring techniques. 

As part of the renovations, the bar is renamed Menara instead of The Palace.

The exterior looks more Moroccan, as does the inside.

There is a water fountain and three new POS systems.

During the relaunch, the patrons are treated to a performance by belly dancers.

The staff holds it together and does well during the relaunch. 

So was the The Palace Lounge Bar Rescue episode a long-term success? Keep reading to learn what happened next and if it’s still open in 2023.

Menara Update - What Happened Next?

Now that we’ve recapped the Menara Bar Rescue episode, let’s talk about what happened after Jon Taffer and his crew left Upland, CA.

Six weeks after Taffer’s visit, the bar is doing much better and has already cleared a cool $70,000.

They’ve also cut down on some of the bad habits. For example, Ghazi is no longer slinging free drinks to people, which helps them avoid losing money.

However, they decided not to stick with the new name from Jon Taffer.

Soon after the show aired, the Menara owners went back to using the old name and it’s currently known as The Palace Lounge.

Is Menara from Bar Rescue still open?

As of 2022, Menara is still open and serving customers in Upland, CA. However, they’re doing it under their old name, The Palace Lounge, after having ditched the name that Jon Taffer gave the bar.

The bar’s name on Facebook is The Palace.

You can also see The Palace branding in the most recent Google Maps street view shot for the Palace Upland CA location (it’s a bit hard to see though because I could only get an updated image from the strip mall across the street):

The bar is quite active on its Facebook page, regularly posting about events and specials.

They seem to have regularly live music and DJs, along with food specials.

They also do a lot of set dinners with preset meals and prices.

However, they do have some nights with a minimum spend requirement, which has led to some complaints in the reviews.

The Palace Lounge event after Bar Rescue

Reviews for the bar are good but not great as it has just a 3.5 star rating on Yelp.

Many of the newer reviews online are positive, with a few negative ones in regards to guest service and valet services.

Here’s a sampling of a few reviews that were written after the visit from Jon Taffer…

4 star Yelp review from January 2016:

I am so confused on what this place is.

The sign on the building says its a Moroccan restaurant.

The reviews on yelp says this place was featured on Bar Rescue.

The website says they have taco Tuesdays.

My friends told me to come here on Wednesday where they have fried Red Snapper prepared the middle eastern way, that comes with french fries, salad, hummus, and baba ganoush while being serenaded by a pretty good Arabic singer.

I foolishly came at 7:30, and the singer doesn’t start until 9:30.

Not everyone on our table wanted the whole fried snapper, so the waiter gave us the mixed kabob plates for the same special.

The food was excellent. I want to come back another day and try their Royal Mezza so I can compare it to Eden Garden in Glendora.

We were a table of 3 and tip was already added on our bill.

I want to come here on the weekends, but based on other reviews its a pseudo club on Saturdays???

4 star Yelp review from July 2015:

I stopped by in the early evening after seeing this place on Bar Rescue.

Lamb kabob was awesome!

Drink service was very slow – our server explained it was due to a missing bartender.

1 star review from April 2021:

Rude waiters , bad service, rotten food,high prices, toxic environment ,don’t recommend for families or couples.

Went there twice both were bad experience and the owner as usual apologise.

I gave this place a chance not to write a bad review but it happened twice.

3 star Yelp review from January 2020:

The vibe was good, the hookah was great but the food was subpar.

For one, there is no Moroccan food despite being advertised as having middle eastern and Moroccan cuisine.

Second, the menu is extremely minimal.

Lastly, the meat tasted old; as if it was about to turn.

They were kind and removed it from the bill but it was rancid! Yuck.

In short, go for the vibe, go for the hookah but steer clear of the food.

Overall, the The Palace Bar Rescue episode seems like a success so far, even though they decided not to keep Taffer’s name.

While the reviews aren’t amazing, they’re pretty good and the bar has managed to survive for over seven years after Jon Taffer’s visit.

If anything changes, we’ll be sure to update this post.

If you want to see some other nearby Los Angeles area Bar Rescue episodes, you can check out my updates for Stein Haus / Friar Tucks in Pomona, Britestar Tavern in Glendora, and Rack’s Billiards / Angel’s Sports Bar in Corona.

Thanks for reading!


More Information

https://www.yelp.com/biz/the-palace-lounge-upland
https://www.facebook.com/ThePalaceRestaurant/


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Last updated: 2022-12-02 05:49

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