(keep reading to learn what happened)
Season: 5 | View All Season 5 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: August 20, 2017
The Bar's Original Name Was: Rockin' Rhonda's
Rhonda's A Neighborhood Bar Address: 2617 S Orlando Dr Sanford, FL 32773
Rockin’ Rhonda’s, later renamed to Rhonda’s A Neighborhood Bar, was a Sanford, Florida bar that was featured on Season 5 of Bar Rescue.
Though the Rockin Rhonda’s Bar Rescue episode aired in August 2017, the actual filming and visit from Jon Taffer took place a few months earlier.
It was Season 5 Episode 28 and the episode name was “Rickety Rockin’ Rhonda’s”.
Rockin’ Rhonda’s is located in Sanford, FL.
If you’re not familiar with Florida geography, Sanford is a small city of about 61,000 people.
It’s located in central Florida, just a bit northeast of Orlando.
As the name of the bar suggests, Rhonda owns the bar.
She is a former stockbroker and karaoke singer who loves performing.
If you want to see her in action, I found this old 2016 YouTube video of her singing karaoke at the bar:
In 2011 Rhonda bought the bar, which means she’s owned it for a little over half a decade at the time of the Rockin Rhonda’s Bar Rescue episode.
The bar was very successful at first.
However, in 2015 a hurricane rolled through and negatively affected the bar.
Since the building was old, her insurance denied her claim. Because of this, Rhonda has checked out mentally.
Rhonda also began partaking in bad business practices like giving out free shots to customers, which is a classic mistake on Bar Rescue.
The bar is falling apart but is in a good area so it has potential.
Due to the disrepair of the bar, Jon Taffer had to cancel the recon.
Jon meets Rhonda at the bar, and she breaks down in tears when she sees him.
The floor of the bar is slanted because of flooding from the storm.
There are problems with everything from the floors to the equipment.
Jon is also worried about Rhonda and sits down with her.
He asks her questions about the financial status of the bar, but she doesn’t have answers.
The construction team starts working on the remodel right away.
Jon Taffer and the staff meet to talk.
The team tells Jon they have had no training and that the bar is not consistent.
Many employees drink on the job.
Rhonda admits she is overwhelmed and has failed her staff.
Jack is Rhonda’s friend and co-worker and realizes she has changed.
Derrick Turner is brought in to help with the bar, and Jason Santos helps in the kitchen.
Derrick trains the bartender’s on accuracy.
Jason takes Rhonda through barbecue foods like BBQ chicken flatbread.
Jon tells Rhonda she can not cry for the stress test that night.
Freddy is working in the kitchen but keeps getting confused.
The bartenders are also too slow.
The bar has been served food, but no one has their drinks.
Rhonda is a bad server and can’t find her tables.
Jon shuts down the stress test just as the bar picks up speed.
After the stress test, it’s time to really get to work on training and improving the staff.
Derrick trains the staff on how to make cocktails using Bacardi.
Jason trains the kitchen staff on a chicken pan dish.
While the training is happening, Jon Taffer and is crew are hard at work on finishing the Rockin’ Rhonda’s renovations.
The team waits outside to see Jon’s changes to the bar.
As part of the changes, Jon Taffer made a slight tweak to the name, changing it from Rockin’ Rhonda’s to Rhonda’s A Neighborhood Bar.
There is a new entertainment system that excited Rhonda.
The bar has also been given new POS machines, ice machines, and a new draft beer system.
The bar is open for customers.
The mayor shows up for the relaunch and is invited to cut the ribbon.
The bar keeps up with serving customers in a timely matter.
Rhonda takes the stage to sing a song about Jon and how he saved the bar.
So was the Rockin Rhonda Bar Rescue episode a long-term success?
Keep reading to learn what happened next and if this Sanford FL bar is still open in 2024.
Rhonda's A Neighborhood Bar Update - What Happened Next?
Now that we’ve recapped the Rockin Rhonda’s Bar Rescue episode, let’s talk about what happened to the bar after Jon Taffer and his crew left Sanford, FL.
Things seemed to start off well for the newly named Rhonda’s A Neighborhood Bar.
At the normal six-week check-in with the Bar Rescue producers, we learn that sales are way up to the tune of 50%.
Rhonda is also performing at the bar again, which is great to see.
Rhonda also seemed very happy with the Bar Rescue experience, posting the following message on her personal Facebook page:
Bar Rescue did an AMAZING JOB!
Thank you Jon Taffer!!
And THANK YOU TO ALL MY LOYAL CUSTOMERS WHO BELIEVED IN ME AND STILL DO!!
The film crew has left and we will reopen the doors at 8 pm tonight.
Let’s try this again!!
I LOVE YOU ALL!!
Here’s a screenshot of the full post:
So far, Rhonda seems to be successfully implementing what she learned from Jon Taffer and the experts.
This doesn’t surprise me because Rhonda seemed like she really wanted to be on Bar Rescue and learn from Jon Taffer.
In the run up to the episode being filmed, she had several posts detailed the interview process and how excited she was at the chance to get help from Bar Rescue.
For example, this post back in July 2016 while she was still interviewing with the Bar Rescue producers:
It’s great to see someone really appreciate the opportunity.
Given that, it’s probably no surprise what happened next…
Is Rockin’ Rhonda’s from Bar Rescue still open?
As of 2023, Rockin’ Rhonda’s is still open and serving customers in Sanford, FL using the name that Jon Taffer gave it – Rhonda’s A Neighborhood Bar.
The bar is quite active on its Facebook page, regularly posting about events and specials.
Rockin Rhonda’s seems to have all of the bar staples, including lots of sports and events like karaoke (hosted by Rhonda herself).
The bar also has live music and other fun events such as a red light party.
Here’s what the Rockin’ Rhonda’s Sanford FL location looks like in the most recent Google Maps street view update from June 2022:
Reviews for the bar seem quite good as it has a 4.5 star rating on both Yelp and Google Reviews, which is higher-than-average for bars that have appeared on Bar Rescue.
It also seems like Rhonda is still a regular at the bar.
Here’s a sampling of reviews that were written after the Rockin Rhonda’s Bar Rescue episode happened…
5 star Yelp review from March 2022:
We go here every time we are in town!
Great little hole in the wall, family vibe place!
Staff is very friendly and Rhonda is friendly!
5 star Yelp review from September 2021:
Cute little karaoke bar (with every song u can think of) !
Rhonda the owner makes you feel like you’ve just walked into your own neighborhood bar back home, everyone is so friendly and her drinks specials are over the top affordable.
There isn’t a drink she can’t make!
The back yard patio is super cute.
I’ll be back for sure !
5 star Yelp review from April 2021:
I didn’t see the episode of Bar Rescue until the next day after visiting Rockin’ Rhonda’s and obnoxiously singing to a crowd after a “few” drinks with friends on a date night.
Cold beer. Good tracks. What more do you need?
I will say that I am damn glad that she stayed true to what Rhonda’s is supposed to be, and didn’t cave to the lush suggestions of a TV show.
She does her thing, and she does it well.
I’ll be back over and over again.
See you next time.
5 star Yelp review from August 2021:
Had a blast Friday night!
Rhonda and her staff were amazing.
This is a great place, if you haven’t been to Rhonda’s make sure you go.
Awesome people from staff to regulars.
Made my friends and I feel like family.
Thank you Rhonda and staff we will all definitely be back.
5 star Google review from March 2022:
Occasionally when you travel often far and wide you find a place that supersedes the old location location location oft sputtered by real estate moguls.
And indeed this is one of those.
Bar Rescue is a small pat of this story.
The real narrative is a quaint and lovely place to relax and get ready for whatever is next.
1 star Yelp review from May 2018:
Since Bar Rescue aired, the owner, Rhonda, has been rude and bullying customers.
If you go to another bar in the area and she finds out about it, she will berate you in front of other customers, that is when she is there.
She was witnessed during a Plenty of Fish event yelling at customers to buy more drinks or leave.
Overall, there are far more positive reviews than negative reviews so it seems like Rhonda and her crew are doing a great job. I’m glad it’s working out for them.
So far, this is definitely a Bar Rescue success story.
Congratulations to everyone involved!
If you want to see some other Florida Bar Rescue episodes, you can check out these posts:
- Throwbacks / Murphy’s Arcade update (also in Sanford)
- Bonny and Read’s / Toucan’s update
- Freaki Tiki’s / Frankie T’s update
- Cap’n Odie’s Lounge update
- Kings Duck Inn update
Or, you can check out my full list of all 26+ Florida Bar Rescue episodes.
Thanks for reading!
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Last updated: 2023-03-18 04:47