(keep reading to learn what happened)
Season: 1 | View All Season 1 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: July 17, 2011
The Bar's Original Name Was: Angel's Sports Bar
Racks Billiards and Bourbon Address: 1650 E 6th St Corona, CA 92879
Angel’s Sports Bar, later renamed Rackss Billiards and Bourbon, was a Corona, California bar that was the first bar ever featured on Bar Rescue. Though the Racks Bar Rescue episode aired in July 2011, the actual filming and visit from Jon Taffer took place before that.
It was Season 1 Episode 1 and the episode name was “Fallen Angels”.
Angel’s Sports Bar is located in Corona, California. Renee Vicary is the owner.
In 1992 Rene invested her life savings into a run-down biker bar.
The spot became very popular to hear a local band or watch a game.
At its peak, the bar was making close to $100,000 per month.
Soon, the customers stopped showing up, and Rene did everything she could to try and bring them back.
General manager Wayne is not in control of the bar. Wayne admits the bar stopped investing money into the things falling apart.
The interior is crumbling. The staff and customers are unruly and out of control.
They are now losing $4,000 per month, which is why they need help from Jon Taffer.
Jon and his wife Nicole read Yelp reviews in the SUV. This is the first ever rescue, so it’s cool to see where they got their start.
The reviews say there are too many biker gangs and that the staff also works at the gentleman’s club next door.
The bar is 2,500 square feet and has an elevated stage and dartboards.
The martini Nicole orders is too strong. The bar is very dirty.
Jon thinks both the inside and outside look like a low-class gentleman’s club.
Jon enters the bar to talk to Rene. Jon tells her she needs to start caring and have a staff meeting in the morning.
Wayne is a slacker and doesn’t seem to care about the state of the bar.
Michael Tipps, a mixologist, joins Jon to help rescue Angel’s Sports Bar.
Nightclub expert Deborah Maguire is also brought in.
Many staff members say they do not like working at the bar anymore.
Jon and the experts meet and decide to turn Angel’s Sports Bar into a more upscale whiskey bar.
Michael teaches the bar staff how to do a long pour.
The managers are lazy, and Jon tells them there is no excuse to have loose staples hanging in the walls they walk past every day.
Wayne is demoted to assistant manager (assistant to the manger?) because he doesn’t do anything at the bar.
The stage takes up twenty percent of the floor space, and Jon informs Rene that the sales are also lost.
They say removing the stage is better for the bar. Jon also begins to tear down the neon lights.
The bar opens for a soft opening. Michael teaches the staff new drinks.
Waitress Britney is disrespectful to Deborah and is promptly fired.
Jon tells Rene that Wayne also needs to be fired, so he does it since she can’t.
Renovations begin at the bar that night. As with all of the Bar Rescue renovations, these renovations are done at no cost to the bar owner.
The bar is now completely different and doesn’t look like a gentleman’s club anymore.
As part of the relaunch, Jon changed the name from Angel’s Sports Bar to Racks Billiards and Bourbon.
There are no more neon lights, but there are new flat-screen TVs.
There is a new POS terminal and working credit card machines.
The customers love the new bar, and women feel much safer.
Racks Billiards and Bourbon Update - What Happened Next?
So – was the Racks Bar Rescue a success? Well, yes and no.
Two months after Jon Taffer’s visit, the sales at Racks Billiards and Bourbon have doubled, so things got off to a great start.
Wayne has not returned since he was fired. Rene is proud of the bar.
For quite a few years, the bar was doing well and Jon Taffer’s Bar Rescue success rate got off to a good start with his first ever rescue.
However, the bar was not without its problems.
In 2015, there was a fatal stabbing outside of Rack’s Billiards and Bourbon at around 11 pm on Sunday August 10, 2015. A man was later arrested as a result of the stabbing. You can read more in this Los Angeles Times article.
The bar kept going on after that stabbing, but they did change the bar’s name around a year later.
The owners changed it from Rack’s Billiards and Bourbon to Bar 1650. However, the bar would eventually close a couple of years later.
Is Racks Billiards and Bourbon from Bar Rescue still open?
Racks Billiards and Bourbon closed for good in 2018. We’re not sure why, but the bar’s Corona California location was empty for a time.
In May 2019, a year after the closure, there was an arson fire at the empty Rack’s Billiards and Bourbon location.
No one was inside at the time of the fire, but several firefighters were injured.
The fire was deliberately set and there was a $5,000 reward in exchange for information.
As of 2022, the old Rack’s Billiards location seems to still be empty. We’re not sure if it ever got restored after the fire, but it seems like there hasn’t been a new tenant.
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Last updated: 2022-01-22 12:09