The Iron Horse Bar Rescue Update (Joe’s Thirsty Lizard) – Still Open in 2024?

Is The Iron Horse still open today?

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

Season: 6 | View All Season 6 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: April 8, 2018
The Bar's Original Name Was: Joe's Thirsty Lizard Bar & Grill
The Iron Horse Address: 6541 Hwy 51 S Horn Lake, MS 38637

The Iron Horse Bar Rescue Update (Joe's Thirsty Lizard)

Episode Recap

Joe’s Thirsty Lizard Bar & Grill , later renamed to The Iron Horse, was a Horn Lake, Mississippi bar that was featured on Season 6 of Bar Rescue.

Though the Iron Horse Bar Rescue episode aired in April 2018, the actual filming and visit from Jon Taffer took place in late 2017.

It was Season 6 Episode 5 and the episode name was “Mississippi Rears”.

Joe’s Thirsty Lizard Bar and Grill is located in Horn Lake, MS.

Horn Lake is a small city with a population of around 26,000 people.

While it’s in Mississippi, the town is not too far away from Memphis and the Tennessee-Mississippi border.

In 2015, Joe Scott, a Navy veteran, opened the bar without a liquor license.

That means he’s owned it for about three years at the time of the Joe’s Thirsty Lizard Bar Rescue visit.

Mike, the former dishwasher, was promoted to the manager even though he had no leadership experience.

Mike from Joe's Thirsty Lizard

Joe also made poor decisions when hiring staff members. 

The bar is in disrepair, and sadly Joe cannot afford to make the changes the bar needs.

To help save the bar, Mixologist Sean Ford and Chef Michael Ferraro join Jon Taffer.

The experts and Jon watch the cook, Dirty Red, make many mistakes in the kitchen. 

He also gets angry whenever people order food, which seems like a bad attitude for a chef to have haha.

Dirty Red from Bar Rescue Joe's Thirsty Lizard

Katie, Jen, and Starr (the bartenders) are also shown on camera.

The bartenders smoke at the bar since it is legal.

To see how the bar works, Jon Taffer recruits locals from the area to spy on the bar.

After the spies receive their flat beers, they order food.

The beers taste bad, and the spies ask for a bloody mary that the bartender makes out of view. 

The cook and the bartender are cross-contaminating.

Jon Taffer and the experts enter the bar to stop the customers from eating any food.

Joe and Jon Taffer talk, and Jon tells him how disgusting the bar is and how rude Dirty Red is in the kitchen.

Dirty Red doesn’t care what Jon is saying about him.

Before leaving, Jon makes the staff clean the kitchen. 

The next day, Jon makes Joe tell the employees how close the bar is to shutting down so they will feel motivated to fight for their jobs.

The experts are introduced, and Chef Michael compliments Dirty Red for the hard work cleaning the kitchen. 

The bartenders are taught how to make a consistent bloody mary at the bar.

Chef Michael elevates two of the dishes already on the menu.

The stress test is about to begin, and Jon Taffer splits the bar into two sides.

Joe will manage one side, and Mike will handle the other. 

When the customers enter, Mike’s side steps up and makes more than one drink at a time while Joe’s side falls behind.

Dirty Red sweats so much in the kitchen he is having issues with the gloves.

Mike leaves the bar when he gets overwhelmed, and Mike’s side has to jump in to save Joe’s.

Many customers have brought their drinks but haven’t paid, so Jon shuts down the test. 

The Joe's Thirsty Lizard owner

Jon Taffer thinks Mike tried but didn’t have the experience to be a manager, and he blames Joe for giving him the responsibility with no knowledge.

While Jon Taffer is trying to work out staffing issues, the experts get to work on improving the bar.

Chef Michael takes the kitchen employees through the steps of making a tasty steak dinner.

Rob and the bartenders make a whiskey and cola cocktail.

Mike’s role as manager will decrease, and Joe will do the rest.

While all of this is happening, Jon Taffer and his crew are also hard at work renovating the bar.

As part of the changes, the bar is renamed from Joe’s Thirsty Lizard to The Iron Horse.

The bar also gets improvements inside, including new equipment from the show’s sponsors.

Dirty Red is also given a custom chef’s coat with the name Clean Red stitched to show his growth. 

The customers come in for the relaunch.

The bartenders can keep up with the fast pace.

Although Dirty Red is nervous, he is not sweating and is staying calm.

So was the Joe’s Thirsty Lizard Bar Rescue visit a long-term success? Keep reading to learn what happened next and if this Horn Lake, MS bar is still open in 2024.

The Iron Horse Update - What Happened Next?

Now that we’ve recapped the Iron Horse Bar Rescue visit, let’s talk about what happened to the bar after Jon Taffer and his crew left Horn Lake, MS.

At first, things seemed to be going well for The Iron Horse, as sales at the bar were up.

While there weren’t a ton of reviews for the new Iron Horse name, the few reviews that I did find seemed to generally be positive.

For example, the bar had a 4 star rating on 12 reviews on its Yelp page.

Here’s the most recent review, which is a five star rating:

Been there twice for food. First time ordered the Philly cheesesteak (off menu). It’s was good.

The next time I had the cheeseburger which was outstanding.

The steak fries are really really good.

Friendly waitstaff (I had the same waitress both times).

Good atmosphere. Laid back crowd, good mix of people.

DJ with karaoke and good music mix both times.

Here’s another four star review from December 2017, which was after Taffer’s visit but before the episode aired on TV:

They call this place for whatever reason the Iron Horse now.

It seems a friendly little place where everybody knows your name. Even the customers were friendly and outgoing.

No reason to be shy in here. This is a bar. They have two bars in fact.

This is a place for smokers so don’t b*tch about it if you go.

They don’t have many choices to offer on the menu, but they do have the normal bar food.

I ordered the burger.

It was really, really good and I’m kicking myself in the ass for not remembering to ask for medium.

Had the waitress asked, it would have been ordered correctly.

What I got was a properly cooked well done burger.

Unfortunately, the Iron Horse seemed to run into issues not too long after the relaunch.

Is The Iron Horse from Bar Rescue still open?

The Iron Horse closed in October 2019, which was around two years after the actual visit from Jon Taffer and 1.5 years after the Iron Horse Bar Rescue episode aired on TV.

In October 2019, Joe posted the following message on his Facebook page:

I want to thank,from the bottom of my heart,all those who have supported me and my staff for these past five years.

I’ve made mistakes but I put my heart and soul into the lizard.

im so happy that kelly and Nancy were able to step and keep the doors open and the girls employed.

i know they’ll do a great job.

once again,thank you and I love you all❤

Here’s a screenshot of the Facebook post in case it gets deleted:

The Iron Horse closed

For a time, the property was occupied by a bar called the Lazy Lizard, which seemed to be a throwback to Joe’s Thirsty Lizard and an attempt to keep the same vibe going on.

However, that bar would also eventually close in February 2020, so it didn’t have a very long run.

At that point, the property was listed for sale online, but I can’t see if it successfully sold.

Here’s what I do know, though:

As of 2023, the old Iron Horse Horn Lake, MS location is occupied by a new restaurant called Flights Fish and Wings.

You can see this in a Google Street View shot from June 2022:

New restuarant replaces the Iron Horse

Reviews for the new restaurant seem solid as it has a 4.5 star rating on its Google Reviews page.

Overall, though, Joe’s Thirsty Lizard and The Iron Horse are officially gone.

What happened to Dirty Red from Bar Rescue?

A lot of people are wondering what happened to Dirty Red from the episode, as he was definitely a character.

He does have a Twitter account here, but he hasn’t posted since 2018.

If you want another dose of Dirty Red, he recorded a video on Twitter here:

That’s all I know about Dirty Red!

Joe’s Thirsty Lizard was the only Mississippi Bar Rescue episode that I’m aware of.

However, if you want to see an update for another nearby bar, you can read my Robusto by Havana Mix Cigar update, which is just over the border in Memphis, TN.

There are also some other Tennessee Bar Rescue episodes that aren’t too far away – The Legacy / Game Time Sports in Arlington TN and The Dickson / wanted Saloon in Dickson TN.

Thanks for reading!

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Last updated: 2023-01-27 05:28

4 thoughts on “The Iron Horse Bar Rescue Update (Joe’s Thirsty Lizard) – Still Open in 2024?”

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

  1. The thing that gets me is Jon Taffer throws a fit about cross contamination… usually from raw chicken coming in contact with other foods because of lack of gloves or wearing the ‘contaminted’ gloves while handling other foods. I can hear Taffer now…’you’re going to get someone sick!!’ But Taffer never even mentions the cook taking a shower in the kitchen. The KITCHEN!!! How utterly irresponsible that cook is but Taffer ignoring it, and even giving Red a chef’s jacket is nuts! SMH

  2. Dirty Red not living up to his name. Lathering up head to toe and spraying down in the dishwasher area, haha, my man, I was rooting for him.


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