Royal Oaks Bar Rescue Update – Youngstown, OH – Still Open in 2022?

Is The Royal Oaks still open in 2022?

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

Season: 4 | View All Season 4 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: October 18, 2015
The Bar's Original Name Was: The Royal Oaks
The Royal Oaks Address: 924 Oak St Youngstown, OH 44506

Royal Oaks Bar Rescue Update

Episode Recap

The Royal Oaks was a Youngstown, Ohio bar that was featured on Season 4 of Bar Rescue.

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

It was Season 4 Episode 34 and the episode name was “Blowing Royal Smoke”.

Royal Oaks is a bar located in Youngstown, Ohio.

If you’re not familiar with Youngstown, it’s a city of around 60,000 people located in the eastern part of the state right near the Pennsylvania border. It’s about halfway between Cleveland and Pittsburgh.

The bar opened in 1934 and was the first bar to be granted a liquor license following the prohibition, which is a pretty cool backstory in my opinion.

John and Louie Kennedy are the owners (no relation to the former President and his bootlegger family).

They bought the bar in 2000 and have been successful with locals and repeat customers. However, because of the recession, the area started to become desolate, and Royal Oaks began losing money. 

John Kennedy has children and is in danger of losing a lot if Royal Oaks closes, so they really need the Royal Oaks Bar Rescue visit to be a success.

Beyond the economic troubles, the brothers drive patrons away because they are annoying. 

Jon and the mayor of the town, also named John (but spelled differently), arrive and think the bar’s exterior looks unsafe and dangerous.

They watch the hidden camera footage and see Louie cursing while customers are in the bar. 

A group of local women goes into the bar as spies: Emily and Arliya and the bartenders.

The decor is weird with adult sex toys on the walls. That’s not exactly the vibe of a place I’d enjoy hanging out in.

The bar advertises icy beer, but the girls are given warm beer.

Billy, the cook, serves food that he has taken out of the owner’s car. The owner makes the food at home in his smoker and brings it to the bar, which is illegal. Just think of all the potential hygiene issues with that…

The customers appear to not mind the precooked food.

The owners begin roasting each other, showing tension.

The spies leave, and Loue drops his jeans and flashes everyone in the bar his privates. Ummm…WTF?

Jon has seen enough and comes into the bar. I’ve seen enough, too!.

Jon comes in and yells at the owners. They are not taking him seriously and are laughing at him because they have been drinking.

Gerry Graham, an expert in whisky, and Kevin Bludso, an expert chef, come in to back Jon Taffer up.

John, the owner, is upset about the way he acted the day before.

Louie has no idea what is happening in the bar, and John also believes he is not pulling his weight. 

The staff told John that the customers had offered to remodel the bar, but Louie told them not to.

Many of the employees are emotional because they have been at the bar for a long time.

Louie defends the creepy décor when Jon questions it. 

The staff begins training with Gerry on improving their bartending skills.

They tell him they throw out 50% of the beer foam and spend a lot of money on ice monthly.

To improve things, they are taught how to make a cocktail with mead which will tie into the theme of the bar.

Meanwhile in the kitchen, Kevin teaches the owners how to properly marinate and cook chicken. They learn how to do this in the kitchen – not in their car!

During the stress test, Louie doesn’t do anything. Jon has to make him go and take orders.

The customers do like the food, but Louie isn’t stepping up.

He only wants the guests to order beer or shots because cocktails are too complicated. 

Since there isn’t a smoker in the kitchen to cook BBQ, they are gifted a new smoker.

John and Louie also come to an agreement and begin to work together.

Jon reveals all of the bar’s renovations. He got rid of the weird décor and remodeled the bar, but he kept the original Royal Oaks name because of its rich history.

They now have the best beer cooling system in the city, which is a big upgrade from where they were before.

The relaunch is a huge success, with customers loving the food, drinks, and décor. 

The Royal Oaks Update - What Happened Next?

Now that we’ve recapped the Royal Oaks Bar Rescue visit, let’s talk about what happened after Jon Taffer and his crew left Youngstown, OH.

At first, the owners debated bringing back the weird décor that you saw in the episode. However, they eventually decided to trust Jon’s choices and keep his decorations.

That was probably a good idea given the bar’s current situation…

Is Royal Oaks from Bar Rescue still open?

As of 2022, Royal Oaks is still open and serving customers in Youngstown, OH. What’s more, the reviews for the restaurant are quite good. It has a four star rating on both Yelp and TripAdvisor.

That’s one of the higher ratings that you’ll see for a bar from the show, as even many other Bar Rescue bars that stayed open are still in more like the 3.5 star range.

Overall, this one seems like a real Bar Rescue success story. Congratulations to John and Louie Kennedy and good job from Jon Taffer on this one!

More Information

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Last updated: 2022-03-10 08:03

5 thoughts on “Royal Oaks Bar Rescue Update – Youngstown, OH – Still Open in 2022?”

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

  1. If I’d walked into the bar before the rescue, I’d have walked straight out again, that decor was nasty. Now, it sounds like a place I’d like to kick back and enjoy a meal and some drinks.

    • As a native and long-time frequenter of the Oaks for many years before moving away, I can’t say I noticed the dildos etc. Too dark, too busy paying attention to what matters–good people and good food. It is in my top 5 Youngstown bars. For as long as I was aware, the Oaks was one of the few places that generally had a very mixed crowd –by age race gender sexuality etc.–in a city and region that are very segregated. Racially and culturally: the Cult of SportzBall (sports fans) and the rest of us did not / do not mix well. The Royal Oaks was/is a place anybody could go and feel comfortable and have fun.

      I hope the Kennedys’ main reason for being on the show was for laughs. I for one laughed out loud when I read the stuff above complaining about the owners swearing or the “illegally” home-smoked “food out of the owners’ car trunk” thing. That is Youngstown. Pragmatic, post-New Deal libertarian-ish. There’s nothing wrong with home cooking. If you don’t have an ancient church potluck-type crock pot on the bar serving up pulled pork, stuffed cabbage, Italian meatballs or sausages or the like then you’re doing it wrong.

  2. I always love seeing the before and after. I truly thought Louie and John were going to go there separate ways. Especially after Louie pulled his pants down exposing his privates. I believe that Louie must have some kinky sexual issues. From hanging dildos on the wall, a creepy looking doll in sexual bondage, and exposing himself. Etc……. I was glad to see him falling in line and acting like an owner. To me, Louie has a Steve Perry, the lead singer for Journey vibe going on. This episode was one of the better Bar Rescue episodes. I do have a question. How does Jon Taffer get the “secret cameras” inside the bar? Do the managers or owners let Jon and his workers in the bar at closing time? And if so, how in the world do the managers, cooks, and owners allow themselves to be filmed acting so bizarre? If I knew I was being watched, I would be on my best behavior. There is no way I would expose myself, drinking until I was falling down drunk, etc…..

  3. I totally agree with you been wondering the same thing. What really bugs me…if I called for Jon’s help & even if I had no idea if, or when he would come I’d make damn sure the bar & kitchen were clean!!!


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