The Bridge Bar Rescue Update (The Bridge Lounge) – Still Open in 2024?

Is The Bridge: A Local’s Bar still open today?

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

Season: 4 | View All Season 4 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: May 15, 2016
The Bar's Original Name Was: The Bridge Lounge
The Bridge: A Local’s Bar Address: 1056 N Pinellas Ave Tarpon Springs, FL 34689

The Bridge Bar Rescue Update

Episode Recap

The Bridge Lounge, later renamed The Bridge: A Local’s Bar, was a Tarpon Springs, Florida bar that was featured on Season 4 of Bar Rescue.

Though the Bridge Bar Rescue episode aired in May 2016, the actual filming and visit from Jon Taffer took place before that.

It was Season 4 Episode 53 and the episode name was “We’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat”.

The Bridge Lounge is located in Tarpon Springs, FL.

Tarpon Springs is a city on the Gulf Coast of Florida.

It’s just north of Clearwater and the nearest major city is Tampa, to help you get your bearings.

In 2003 Bill Cladakis bought the bar. 

Manny, his son, moved to Florida to help with the bar in 2007.

The Bridge owner on Bar Rescue

In 2015 Bill passed away, and Manny was left in charge of the bar.

That happened right before the Bridge Lounge Bar Rescue visit happened.

Anna is Manny’s sister and co-owns the bar.

After the BP oil spill, the bar lost a lot of money because it was a fisherman’s bar and the damage to the local habitat made fishing pretty much impossible.

Manny hired his friend Gary to manage the bar, but his family doesn’t think it is a good idea.

Crissy, Manny’s other sister, thinks Gary takes advantage of her brother.

Manny’s mom, Harriet, covers the bar losses with her retirement fund, which is sad to see.

You shouldn’t throw good money after bad, especially if it’s for your retirement.

Anna and her fiancé John join Jon Taffer in the SUV.

In the footage, they watch Crissy fight with Gary for being lazy.

The spies sent in are given expired orange juice in their drinks.

Crissy and Gary are still fighting, so Jon Taffer decides to intervene. 

When Jon asks Gary what his labor costs are, he has no answer.

That’s kind of important to know if you’re going to make money as a bar, right?

Jon also speaks to Harriett, who says she doesn’t trust Gary.

The Bridge manager on Bar Rescue

Phil Wills, an expert mixologist, joins Jon Taffer to help rescue The Bridge Lounge.

They check out the inventory and see that the bar has too much stock.

Phil also shows the staff rust coming out of the tap. 

The bar is half remodeled, and Jon makes Gary get the paint to finish painting a piece of wood.

Phil trains the staff on tricks to do while pouring drinks.

He also wants every cocktail to be made with a long pour.

The customers are given a fishing weight to put into a container if they feel as if they had terrible service.

If the horrible experience exceeds seven pounds, the bar is in trouble. 

Gary does not help during the stress test and wait times go up to 20 minutes.

Manny tells him to step up, but Gary quits instead.

Gary leaves, ending the stress test with nine pounds of weight in the lousy experience container. 

The next day Manny tells the staff he will keep going without Gary, which seems like it’s a good decision.

Phil trains the team on new drinks he came up with for the bar, like the Harriet’s Island Bliss.

While the bar is renovated, Manny and his family eat dinner at their dad’s favorite restaurant. 

Jon renames the bar The Bridge: A Local’s Bar.

It’s still quite close to the original name of The Bridge Lounge, but it now plays up the fact that it’s  a local bar.

After all, seeing “lounge” in the name doesn’t feel local – it feels exclusive.

As part of the renovations, a boat has been added to the side of the restaurant named after Bill.

Manny wishes his father were here to see the changes to the bar.

Jon has also given the bar new POS machines and a food truck.

Harriet loves the bar and says she knows Bill would love it too. 

The relaunch goes excellent.

The customers love the new décor and drinks.

They also love the food offerings.

Jon Taffer hugs the family goodbye before he leaves. 

So was The Bridge Lounge Bar Rescue episode a long-term success? Keep reading to learn what happened next and if it’s still open in 2024.

The Bridge: A Local’s Bar Update - What Happened Next?

Now that we’ve recapped the The Bridge Bar Rescue visit, let’s talk about what happened when Jon Taffer and his crew left Tarpon Springs, FL.

Six weeks after the visit, Manny is still running the bar without a manager.

The bars sales are also way up, and business seems much better than it was before Bar Rescue.

So did the Bar Rescue bump last? It seems so.

Is The Bridge from Bar Rescue still open?

As of 2023, The Bridge: A Local’s Bar is still open and serving customers in Tarpon Springs, FL.

They seem to have kept the new name from Jon Taffer, though they do use The Bridge Lounge on some of their social media profiles still.

They’ve also heavily leaned into karaoke.

While the main sign still says The Bridge: A Local’s Bar, the smaller sign on the bar says The Bridge, Karaoke Bar.

They also heavily promote the karaoke on their social media profiles.

Here’s an example of a Facebook post promoting the karaoke:

The Bridge Karaoke

Below, you can see a Google Maps street view embed of the Bridge Tarpon Springs FL location today.

You can see that they’ve really leaned into the karaoke branding on the outside of the bar.

Overall, it seems to be working since the bar is still open.

However, the reviews aren’t great as it has just a 3 star rating on Yelp and a 3.8 star rating on Facebook.

Here’s a sampling of a few reviews that were written after the visit from Jon Taffer…

1 star Yelp review from April 2018:

What a joke.

It was so much better before Bar Rescue ruined it.

Then again , it hasn’t been a “Locals Bar” since Bill passed away.

Prices are ridiculous.

Not worth getting out of your car.

4 star Yelp review from November 2022:

ok, we first went there because we saw the Bar Rescue sign.

We love the show, and had to look up the episode to watch it before we went.

It was cool to see the back story, and where it started vs where it is today.

Bear in mind, this is a dive bar.

So think dark lights, slightly smaller than it looks on TV, and a few changes from that time.

They know consider themselves primarily a karaoke bar, and we admittedly didnt stick around long enough to see that get going on the night we went.

They have some really good drink specials (2 for 5 fireball or screwball…who doesnt want a couple of shots??) and a handful of good beers to go along with their mixed drinks.

Couple of schmedium sized TVS for sportsball.

Service was ok, I come from a high volume bartending background, so just assume everyone can sling as fast as they speak.

The tenders there that night could do one or the other, talk….or tend bar.

I’m sure we’ll be back sometime, as its a cool lil dive bar and we’d like to see the karaoke.

And its always cool to be in a place where the legend has said “shut this place down!!”

4 star Yelp review from January 2017:

We came here because we saw it on Bar Rescue.

Large parking lot out back.

We made our way inside via the front door.

Decent sized bar with decent stools.

A few tables around on a raised floor.

Another bar in front of the karaoke stage.

The bartender poured us a couple of beers. $1 each. Meh.

We ordered the other special of lemons drops 2 for $3. Meh, so so.

They need to work on the sour mix.

The bartender was very friendly.

The patrons were decent other than one superb jerk.

The bathrooms definitely looked untouched by Taffer.

This is the second place we have been that was rescued where the bathrooms were untouched.

Not impressed.

We would return as the bar is nice.

They do allow smoking inside but it wasn’t uber smoky.

Decent prices. Nice bartender.

Still, at least for now, this one seems like a Bar Rescue success story.

Karaoke saves the day, I guess!

If you want to see another Bar Rescue karaoke episode, you can check out my update for Ninja Karaoke in Las Vegas.

If you want to see some other nearby Bar Rescue Florida episodes, you can check out my updates for Das Brauhaus / New England’s Ale House in Palm Harbor, Sauced / Gil and Rick’s in Largo, and Frankie T’s / Freaki Tiki in Clearwater.

Or, you can check out my full post that lists all 26+ Florida Bar Rescue episodes from the show.

Thanks for reading!

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Last updated: 2023-02-28 06:33

17 thoughts on “The Bridge Bar Rescue Update (The Bridge Lounge) – Still Open in 2024?”

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

    • I went to The Bridge Bar a few months ago with my husband, my daughter and her husband. There was only one man sitting in there talking to the bartender and the song Tiny Bubbles was playing. My daughter and her husband were appalled that they were playing a song about tiny buttholes! We ordered Long Island Ice Teas and they were clear and tasted horrible.

  1. The biggest disappointment is that John Daly, pro-golfer extraordinaire and self-professed beer aficionado (he boasts of regularly downing 35-40 beers a day in his competitive prime), did not feature more prominently in the episode. Why did Taffer even bring experts with Daly on the scene? No one since Chris Farley knows more about the glorious excesses of food and alcohol than Daly.

    Case in point, besides golfing inebriated on multiple occasions, back in 2008 he became so belligerently intoxicated at a North Carolina Hooters that EMS raced to his rescue in the parking lot to treat his alcohol poisoning after being 86ed from the restaurant only then to be unceremonious arrested by the local 5-0. (The silver lining from this kerfuffle is that Daly and his son just inked an NIL deal with the company. I hope NFTs will follow).

    And who can forget back in December after getting loaded one night his now-infamous order of almost $450 of greasy treats from Taco Bell? Will another sponsorship follow? Yes, please! Unquestionably, Daly is a living legend unmatched both on the links and with the drinks!!!

    The best part by far is watching Gary loaf about aimlessly and confused in a Crisco stupor, “Where’s Gary? Why’s Gary not doing this?” Instantly, he became a top-10 contender for the Bar Rescue Hall of Shame. Few managers have enjoyed the unparalleled ineptitude of this globular louse.

  2. I read a mention of hiring Greg as a general Manager, but there’s no mention of Greg again in the article, and Greg is not even shown at all in the episode on TV. Why is this Greg person not held accountable in any way?

    • Sadly pathetic John Daly was just getting an easy cash grab. I hate that show…. Jon staffer is the definition of a yankee asshole. Would love to punch him in his loud mouth

      • I’ll bet you’d like to have his millions of $ too! That’s what his “loud mouth” got him. I think he’s a great entertainer!

  3. It’s not Jon Taffer’s fault when bar owners don’t adhere to the concepts he creates and puts in place. A bar owner’s success relies solely on THEIR OWN determination for success.

    I have never seen a Bar Rescue episode that could not succeed if the owners of the bar kept the concept strictly in place and actually moved forward instead of getting lax, letting their business fall through the cracks, and becoming just another statistic. It’s all about them not Jon Taffer.

    I mean Jon Taffer hasn’t been doing this for 30+ years without knowing what the hell he’s doing. If he didn’t know his shit he wouldn’t be as successful as he is.

    The difference between Jon Taffer and other bar owners is Jon actually works toward a dream and is a problem solver. He runs head on to a problem a looks for resolution that benefit everyone. I don’t know why it’s so difficult for people to grasp that!!

    People get pissed and jealous when they see someone succeed while they can’t see their own faults and move toward resolving their issues. They beg for his help then get pissed when they won’t get motivated enough to move forward. Instead they stay in one place and wallow in their self pity.

  4. I keep wondering why Manny let Gary get away with so much; he clearly wasn’t helping the business OR Manny on any level at all. Gary was nothing more than a leech. So why did Manny pay him money he couldn’t afford just to sit on his fat ass and do nothing but wait for his paycheck and occasionally take out the garbage? Seriously, were they lovers or something? Was Gary blackmailing Manny? If not, then WHY did Manny just stand around helplessly while Gary destroyed the place? We’re not getting the whole story.

    • Friendship can do a lot of crazy things. I’m wondering what the condition of Gary and Manny’s friendship when Manny hired him. Could have been a whole different friendship. As far as why Manny didn’t say anything, the story told us, and I can certainly identify, that Manny does not like and cannot handle confrontation. You can almost tell that by looking a Manny’s personality. He’s a good guy. He wanted success for his father, mother, and whole family. I don’t that they were lovers. But I would have liked to know what Manny’s personal life consisted of. Also, is Manny still involved with the bar? So many questions.


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