Rockin Rhonda’s Bar Rescue Update (Neighborhood Bar) – Still Open?

Is Rhonda's A Neighborhood Bar still open today?

Status: >> OPEN <<
(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 Bar Rescue Update

Episode Recap

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 my full update 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 rescue and renovations, 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!!


The film crew has left and we will reopen the doors at 8 pm tonight.

Let’s try this again!!


Here’s a screenshot of the full post:

Rhonda Facebook post about Bar Rescue

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:

Rhonda on Bar Rescue interview process

It’s great to see someone really appreciate the opportunity.

Given that, it’s probably no surprise what happened next…

Is Rockin’ Rhonda’s still open after Bar Rescue?

As of my most recent check in 2024, 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).

Rockin' Rhonda's karaoke event

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:

Rockin’ Rhonda’s reviews after the Bar Rescue visit

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:

Awesome place!

We go here every time we are in town!

Great little hole in the wall, family vibe place!

Definitely recommend!

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.

Thanks Rhonda!

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.

…(review continues)

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:

Or, you can check out my full list of all 26+ Florida Bar Rescue episodes.

And if you want to share your thoughts on the bar, the episode, or Rhonda herself, you can do so using the comments section below.

Thanks for reading!

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Last updated: 2024-04-28 06:12

17 thoughts on “Rockin Rhonda’s Bar Rescue Update (Neighborhood Bar) – Still Open?”

All comments are the sole opinion of the commenter and are not endorsed by RealityTVUpdates.

  1. We were in the Orlando area with the family and wanted to find a good casual bar to go hang out. We heard about this place in Sanford, Fl called Rhonda’s A Neighborhood that happened to be a rescued bar from Jon Taffer’s Bar Rescue show…. been watching Bar Rescue for years but never had a chance to see what Taffer and his crew could do versus what you see in TV.

    I watched the show, which was called Rockin Rhonda’s prior to eventually going over to see the results of theses changes in person. What a cute a quaint and casual place to go if you are traveling and looking for pure Americana style bar. The owner, Rhonda, is very cool and a hot shit…the local entertainment is nothing more than pure entertaining…. A nice fun place … like redneck Margaritaville….only inland…

    • Thanks for sharing your experience! Always interesting to read firsthand experiences of people visiting the bars from Bar Rescue. Glad to hear that it’s doing well.

  2. The 2 star yelper gets ZERO stars for making ABSOLITLY NO SENSE! I haven’t a clue what they’re trying to say, for example,
    “…and coke to the regulars lemon drop shots” huh?
    If you’re going to be so critical of a place, be free of criticism yourself and make sense!

  3. Makes me wish I still lived in Orlando. I left in 2005. I loved Karaoke. I used to sing there with a wonderful singer named Vince Buscaglia and also Roger Chancey. Fun times. I wish you continued success, Rhonda. Sunshine

  4. Based on the Google reviews it looks like they aren’t serving food and are allowing smoking inside. This has apparently driven some of the reviewers away.

  5. I don’t mean to disrespect Florida in its role as Americas dick. Look at the map, it’s a phallus whose length and girth deserves respect. But, if u take away the beaches and beautiful ocean, Florida is my LEAST favorite state I’ve visited, seriously/ it’s like someone tipped America in its side and a whole lotta crap slid down to Florida and stayed there. Maybe I’m wrong, but every Florida experience away from ocean has been bad. it’s one of the last states I’d live in. Therefore there’s a lot of crappy bars and clueless people in Florida that need Taffer, surprised this one stayed open. How does a whole state smell like BO and Bunghole?

  6. Her weepy “woe is me” act is annoying as it gets. Not buying it. She’s phony, no idea how she stayed open unless front for something, which a decent % of bars are.

  7. By 2017 Taffers hair implants a are coming in nicely. You can tell he went to a good doctor probably in LA or NY. When done right, you cannot tell has had hair transplant surgery, but, sooo many MD’s make it look like someone took a thick black sharpie and drew a black line and then colored it in. Good docs place individual hairs and leave some thinning look at hairline or bald spot in back, just a little bit. That’s why his hair looks so authentic. Hair transplant they take hair from back of head and use a type of amost staple thing to replant them in scalp and they grow like normal hair. It’s always baffling when wealthy Hollywood types get bad implants that look like thick cords
    Or uncle Leo eyebrows from Seinfeld when he sharpied them on.

  8. I had a hard time getting through this episode because of Rhonda’s constant crying and “woe is me” every five seconds.

    I mean I’m glad the bar is still open, she must have learned something but…jeez…I was getting sick of her crying.

    • For the record… An episode that starts out a bit whiny, but ends with her saying “Please thank Jon Taffer for all he has done!” And stays open for years…

      Absolutely*not* the worst episode.

      Beats the heck out of the “Jon Taffer don’t know crap” mantra we hear from the losers…

  9. Let me see if I understood. Rhonda paid her insurance premiums every month, and the insurance company GLADLY accepted those payments. Then a hurricane destroys the property, and only then the insurance company claims the building is too old to make a claim???? I would have SUED the insurance company for scamming me for all the years I wrote checks to them. Was it State Farce???

    • Yep typical BS greedy POS insurance companies. The biggest money making scam in the world, insurance. And People worry about the mafia. lol


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