The Abbey Bar Rescue Update (The Green Room) – Open or Closed?

Is The Abbey still open in 2022?

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

Season: 1 | View All Season 1 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: July 31, 2011
The Bar's Original Name Was: The Abbey
The Abbey Address: 3420 W Grace St, Chicago, IL 60618

The Abbey Bar Rescue Update

Episode Recap

The Abbey Pub, later renamed The Green Room at The Abbey, was a Chicago, Illinois bar featured on Season 1 of Bar Rescue. Though The Abbey Bar Rescue episode aired in July 2011, the actual filming and visit from Jon Taffer took place before that.

It was Episode 3 of Season 1 and the official episode name was “Shabby Abbey”.

The Abbey Pub is located in Chicago, IL. The pub was opened up twenty-four years ago by Tom Looney, an Irish immigrant.

The club is more than an Irish pub; it is also a music venue. In fact, it’s a very celebrated and historic music venue in Chicago.

In the beginning, Abbey Pub was very successful and brought in $50,000 most weeks.

Tom’s son Pat ran the bar for fifteen years and the bar was a hotbed for up-and-coming bands, which made it very popular with music fans.

Pat left to pursue his dream of becoming a fireman, so his other son, Tom Jr., became the bar manager.

Since then, the business has been declining, which is why it’s in need of help from Jon Taffer and the Bar Rescue crew.

The bartender, Krysten, is very frustrated with the state of the bar.

There is a lot of tension between the brothers. Tom Sr. and his wife want to retire but can’t.

They are three months away from losing the bar. 

The Abbey Pub is separated into two sections. The venue section and the bar section.

Chief O’Neils is their competitor, so Jon goes there for a drink to see what is making them so successful.

Nicole, Jon’s wife, heads in to do recon.

Nicole tells Jon the restaurant’s furniture is stained, and there is trash lying around.

The general manager isn’t working and is sitting down eating. 

The venue side is packed, but the bar is empty.

They are losing big money by not getting the venue side over to the bar side.

Jon heads into The Abbey Pub bar to meet the owners and discuss the bar’s future. Tom Jr and his brother Pat see the bar in two different ways. 

Master of whiskey, Peter O’Conner, goes through Abbey Pub to find its issues. Peter says the bar is disorganized, and the bartenders overpour.

Expert chef Brian Duffy also comes in for the recon. He meets with the owners to tour the kitchen.

Jon then meets with everyone and is told by Chef Brian Duffy that the menu needs an upgrade.

The family then discusses Tom Jr as a good fit for a manager. The family tells Tom Jr. what they expect from him. 

Peter tests the staff’s ability to make drinks, and Chef Brian tests their skills in the kitchen.

Peter then shows the staff new recipes, and Chef Brian trains the staff on the new menu.

The Abbey Pub has a soft opening, and the team is quickly overwhelmed.

Tom Jr. can’t keep up with the food orders, but the customers do love the food. 

The Abbey Pub’s name is changed to The Greenroom at the Abbey. The staff sees the changes, and the relaunch begins. The bar is packed, and Tom Jr steps up, feeling optimistic. 

In June 2015, the building was sold, but the family entered into a lease with new owners. There was a fire in the building in 2015, and a few months later, the restaurant closed for good. They entered into a legal battle with the new landlord. In 2019 the bar reopened with new owners despite the legal troubles. 

The Abbey Update - What Happened Next?

After The Abbey Bar Rescue episode, the bar seemed to be doing much better. They went from being three months away from the bar closing to successfully running the bar for a number of years.

However, the success would not last forever.

In 2015, the owners of The Abbey sold the building that it was in to raise money and then negotiated a lease with the new owner of the building.

However, a 2015 fire gutted The Abbey and led to its closure.

After the fire, the Looneys got into a legal battle with the new building’s owner.

The Looney family was demolishing the damaged interior of the bar with plans to rebuild it. However, the new owner refused to fully cover the repairs.

The Looneys wanted $500,000 to cover the repairs, but the new owners only offered $250,000 and then $300,000.

The lawsuit was filed over the Looney’s claim that the new owners broke an agreement to allow the Looneys to rebuild The Abbey.

While were not sure what happened with the lawsuit, we are confident that the Looneys were not successful.

As of 2022, the old The Abbey Chicago location is occupied by newly renovated apartments – not a bar or restaurant.

In 2019, a new group of investors announced plans to reopen The Abbey at a new location. However, the new version of The Abbey has no connection to the original owners or location, which is why we’re still marking The Abbey as closed.

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Last updated: 2022-01-25 04:31

5 thoughts on “The Abbey Bar Rescue Update (The Green Room) – Open or Closed?”

  1. I lived in the up stairs apartment when i was a kid 43 years ago. There was a bar there it was called The Keg. The building is old and there used to be a speak easy. The basement area even had a door with bars and a sliding window. Basement was very creepy.

    • Yeah a bar is being reopened with the same name, but it’s not connected to the original owners from Bar Rescue as far as I can tell.

      I’m going to leave this marked as closed because it’s a brand new bar even though the name will technically be the same.


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