(keep reading to learn what happened)
Season: 8 | View All Season 8 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: March 5, 2023
The Bar's Original Name Was: Rockabillies
Bar Retro Address: 12363 W 64th Ave Arvada, CO 80004
Rockabillies, later renamed to Bar Retro, was an Arvada, Colorado bar that was featured on the third set of Season 8 of Bar Rescue.
Though the Bar Retro Bar Rescue episode aired in March 2023, the actual filming and visit from Jon Taffer took place in the summer of 2022.
It was Season 8 Episode 25 and the episode name was “Outta Touch, Outta Time”.
In this episode, Jon Taffer visits Rockabillies bar in Arvada, CO.
You’ll also see it spelled as Rock-A-Billies in some places.
If you’re not familiar with Arvada, it’s a suburb of Denver CO located to the northwest of the downtown city.
Rock-A-Billies is a retro 1950s bar, as you can probably guess by the name.
According to the Rockabillies Bar Rescue episode, the bar was opened by Virginia Nigg in 2018.
I say “according to the episode” because I saw a Facebook post saying the bar has been around for longer than that.
If you look at the Rockabillies Yelp page, there are reviews for Rockabillies going all the way back to 2011.
So maybe they mean that Virginia purchased Rockabillies from the previous owner in 2018 and the show is taking some liberties there, because I’m pretty sure the bar has been around since 2011.
Virginia said she opened the bar with her children because her kids talked her into it.
Her goal was for her kids to eventually take over, but it quickly turned into a full-time job for just her.
Instead, one of her sons opened his own business and the kids haven’t been involved since 2019.
To add even more difficulties, Virginia’s ex-husband Jim invested money into opening the bar, and then another $35,000 later on into keeping the bar going.
Because he invested the money, Jim feels entitled to getting comped stuff at the bar all the time.
Overall, the staff feels like there’s noone running the ship.
And that lack of leadership has led to the bar supposedly losing up to $15,000 per month at the time of the Rockabillies Bar Rescue episode.
With such losses mounting, Virginia says that she only has enough money to keep the bar open for six more months if nothing changes.
Beyond that causing Virginia to lose her retirement savings, she’s also worried about what would happen to the bar’s employees.
For all these reasons, she’s hoping that Jon Taffer and his crew of experts will be able to breathe new life into the Rockabillies Arvada CO location.
As part of the rescue, Jon Taffer renamed the bar from Rockabillies to Bar Retro.
Beyond that, the Bar Rescue crew renovated the bar with a new old-timey theme to match the name.
Personally, I like the Rockabillies name better.
Spoiler alert – the Rockabillies owners seem to agree with me – more on that in a second.
So was the Rockabillies Bar Rescue episode a long-term success? Keep reading to learn what happened next and if Bar Retro is still open in 2024.
Bar Retro Update - What Happened Next?
Now that we’ve recapped the Bar Retro Bar Rescue episode, let’s talk about what happened after Jon Taffer and his crew left Arvada, CO.
First off, it does not seem like the Rockabillies owners have kept the Bar Retro name that Jon Taffer gave them.
All of their social media profiles still use the Rockabillies name and I don’t see any mention of Bar Retro anywhere.
The only mention I can see is this June 2022 event posting that says it’s at “Rock-a-billies/Bar Retro”:
I also see some Facebook events using the same terminology in July 2022:
However, more recent events just refer to the bar as Rock-A-Billies. For example, here’s an event from January 2023 that just uses the Rockabillies name:
I also found this Yelp review that said they answered as “Rockabillies” despite being listed as Bar Retro on Google Maps (at that time), which seemed to cause some confusion:
I’m sure this place is lovely, but good luck ever finding it.
GPS routes to a place called “Bar Retro” which doesn’t exist on the map.
Called the number and they answered as “Rock-a-Billies”.
We were convinced we had somehow slipped into an alternate dimension trying to find this place and decided to just go somewhere else
Even right after the rescue, Virgina was quick to refer to it as “Rockabillies Bar Retro” rather than just “Bar Retro”:
Unfortunately, the Google Maps street view picture of the Bar Retro Arvada CO location has not been updated since February 2022, so it’s not any help.
It still shows the Rock-A-Billies sign:
Is Bar Retro still open after Bar Rescue?
As of 2023, Bar Retro is still open and serving customers in Arvada CO, but it’s doing so under the original Rockabillies name as it seems like the owners haven’t kept Jon Taffer’s name.
The bar seems to be doing well, as it’s still hosting lots of events and live music.
Reviews are ok but not great – I’ll share some examples below.
If you’re in the area and want to learn more, you can check out the official Rockabillies Arvada Co website by clicking here.
Rockabillies reviews after Bar Rescue
Overall, Rockabillies has a 3.5 star rating on Yelp, which includes reviews from both before and after the visit from Jon Taffer.
On Google, the bar has 4.1 stars.
Let’s take a look at a few Rockabillies reviews that were written after the visit from Jon Taffer…
2 star Yelp review from June 2022:
Thank you for coming to town Jon! Here is my latest Yelp review.
The only reason I’m writing this review is because Jon Taffer is here to do a bar rescue to this place.
I sure do hope it works!!
I live directly across the street and only come here when I’m alone.
I would never bring my wife, family, my buddies for happy hour, a date or anyone that has any kind of class.
Let me list a few reasons for this.
First off the staff.
There is clearly no leadership team here.
No owner or any sense that that any, one person is in charge.
The food is definitely hit or miss.
The staff know the regulars and regulars know the staff.
I have ordered Bacardi and Coke here before and got sick from the cheap stuff they poured in the Bacardi bottle.
The place has a great theme and a ton of potential, but I have the feeling that after Jon does his miracle work the place will go right back to the way it was.
Kind of like putting lipstick on a pig.
I have a ton of love for Jon, supporting locally owned and my neighborhood.
I will be the first to go in and try the entire breadth of the place when completed, and will be the first to write about a business owner who takes advantage of Jon, his training and knowing what your guests want and deserve.
2 star Yelp review from July 2022:
Heard this place got a make over [on Bar Rescue] so thought I would stop by and give it another chance.
They decor is now retro inside and looks really nice!
The service and food quality is the same as my first experience.
There was one waitress and one bartender for a fairly busy Sunday evening.
The waitress didn’t write our orders down so some of orders were not correct, like we had received someone else’s order instead.
The kids meals were perfect size and great.
I don’t recall being asked how I liked my burger cooked and it came out very rare.
I didn’t get the side salad I had requested and no pickle.
My friend got a completely different burger than she had ordered.
I’ll be looking for another local joint to grab and pint and a burger at for next time.
4 star Google review from February 2023:
Nice spot to grab a beer and hang out.
Bar Retro restoration provided nice bar seating but limited quality of seating.
Good fish fry tonight
5 star Google Review from August 2022:
I have not been here in awhile.
The new remodeling looks great.
Food was good and the bartender was friendly.
Thanks Nicole. 💯
Kid-friendliness: Before 7:00pm is acceptable.
I also found this funny Facebook review and response from the Rockabillies owners:
That wraps up my Rockabillies Bar Rescue update!
Overall, the bar seems to have ditched Jon Taffer’s Bar Retro name pretty quickly, only using it for a couple of months at a maximum.
As of 2023, it’s now operating exclusively as Rockabillies as far as I can tell.
Rockabillies was the only Bar Rescue Arvada CO episode, but Jon Taffer did visit a number of bars in Denver.
If you want to see those bars, you can check out my updates for Summit House in Lakeland, Zanzbar / Solids and Stripes in Denver, The Kasbah in Aurora, Champions Colorado Sports Cafe / Blue Sports Grille in Loveland, and St8 Pub / Downstairs Bar in Englewood.
Thanks for reading!
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Last updated: 2023-04-01 04:44