(keep reading to learn what happened)
Season: 3 | View All Season 3 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: March 17, 2013
The Bar's Original Name Was: The Kasbah
The Kasbah Address: 15373 E 6th Ave Aurora, CO 80011
The Kasbah Nightclub was a Denver/Aurora, Colorado bar that was featured on Season 3 of Bar Rescue.
Though the The Kasbah Bar Rescue episode aired in March 2013, the actual filming and visit from Jon Taffer took place before that.
It was Season 3 Episode 6 and the episode name was “Jon T, He Don’t Like It” .
Shelton Bouknight is the owner of The Kasbah. He opened the bar all the way back in 1997, kickstarting it with money from his 401k.
The bar is located in Denver, Colorado.
Well, technically it’s located in Aurora, Colorado, but that basically counts as Denver.
When The Kasbah first opened its doors, they were very successful.
They were making $85,000 a month and over $800,000 a year, which ain’t too shabby for a business.
The bar decided to target a younger crowd, but that brought problems, and they began to fail.
There were many fights, and eventually, the police had to get involved.
Shelton has no control over the staff.
They do whatever they please, and now Shelton is in debt – over $130,000 in debt, to be exact.
That’s why he needs help from Jon Taffer and why the The Kasbah Bar Rescue episode exists in the first place.
After all, successful bars don’t usually go on Bar Rescue.
Jon brings in Chef Aaron McCargo and mixologist Elayne Davis to help him with the bar.
Jon recruits two locals to spy on the bar for him.
The bar is 5,800 square feet with a dance floor and a stage.
The spies pay to enter the nightclub but quickly realize there is no sound system and the atmosphere is not fit for a club.
The spies order drinks that are too strong, and the servers aren’t working.
There is a creepy man who won’t leave the two locals alone.
Security doesn’t help, and a fight is about to break out.
Jon comes in to talk to Shelton, the owner.
He thinks Shelton should fire the security guard for not stepping up to help the spies.
The kitchen is a nightmare, and Jon makes the owner and chef clean the kitchen.
Jon then meets with the staff who have had no proper training.
The team says the dress code is the biggest issue with the bar.
Elayne shows the bartenders how to do a proper high pour.
Jon also calls in Doc, a security expert.
Doc tells the security team to pat down everyone to ensure they are not bringing alcohol or drugs into the establishment.
Younger clients line up for the stress test, and some have snuck in alcohol since security didn’t do their job.
The staff struggles to cook during the trial.
The owner fires the security guard for failing during the stress test.
Elayne shows the bar staff how to make new drinks that will show on their menu.
The two new drinks include DJ Mix and Kings Crown.
These drinks are aimed to help the bar reach a younger customer base.
Chef Aaron offers the kitchen new recipes.
Doc trains the security staff on proper protocols.
After the renovations, the staff returns to see the construction crew’s work.
Unlike a lot of bars, Jon Taffer didn’t change the bar’s name here – he kept it as The Kasbah.
The outside is more modern, and the inside looks fantastic.
Jon has installed a new sound system and shot machine.
There is also a new POS machine, which Jon almost always installs when he renovates a bar.
On relaunch night, everything seemed to go pretty well for the newly renovated The Kasbah bar.
The staff stepped up, and Shelton saved the night.
So was the Kasbah nightclub Bar Rescue episode a long-term success? Keep reading to learn what happened next and if The Kasbah is still open in 2023.
The Kasbah Update - What Happened Next?
Now that we’ve recapped The Kasbah Bar Rescue episode, let’s talk about what happened to the bar after Jon Taffer and his crew left Denver, Colorado.
Two months later and the bar is packed every weekend.
They are making almost $9,000 per night on good nights, which is a massive change from where the bar was before.
Shelton has paid back all of the debts he owed with the profits from the bar.
That’s pretty incredible because he was in $130,000 of debt at the time of Jon Taffer’s visit.
To be able to pay down so much debt is very impressive.
Hennessy also named the bar the best seller in Denver, CO.
In a Back to the Bar visit with Jon Taffer, Shelton even said that business had doubled (more on this below).
With that being said, there were some issues.
In 2018, there was a shooting outside The Kasbah that left one person dead and three injured.
The fight allegedly started inside of The Kasbah and then moved outside where the shooting occurred.
However, Shelton disputes that story:
I did go back and review my surveillance and was able to determine that there was no fight in here that spilled out into the parking lot.
No subsequent shots were fired in the parking lot.
The people definitely got shot somewhere, though, because the police found four people with injuries when they arrived.
You can learn more in this news article.
I also found a short YouTube news segment from CBS Colorado that covers the incident:
The Kasbah Jon Taffer Back to the Bar Visit in Season 5
Jon Taffer revisited The Kasbah and talked to Shelton as part of a Back to the Bar episode from Bar Rescue Season 5.
I can’t find the full segment, but I did find a 2.5 minute segment on YouTube if you want a taste.
It shows Jon Taffer walking into the bar and surprising Shelton.
Then, the two hug and talk for a bit.
It seems like they genuinely like each other, which is great to see.
Shelton even calls Jon Taffer a teddy bear – I’m not sure if I agree with that, though. Haha.
They also discuss how Shelton was able to pay off all of the Kasbah’s debt.
The Kasbah reviews after Bar Rescue
After Jon Taffer’s visit, reviews for The Kasbah were generally ok but not amazing.
Overall, it had a 3 star rating on Yelp and a 4.1 star rating on Google Reviews.
Here’s a sampling of a few reviews that were written after the visit from Jon Taffer…
5 star Yelp review from November 2017:
We went to the Kasbah to celebrate my cousins 42nd birthday and we had a great time.
I live in Dallas, this was my first time coming here, and I was pleasantly surprised.
When we walked in, they had our reserved area set up and ready to go, and the staff was very attentive from the second we walked in.
The live band was awesome and very entertaining.
When the live music was over, they switch over to a DJ and the music was current with some nice throwbacks in between.
The drinks were excellent, they were served in a timely manner, and honestly you can’t beat the price.
3 star Google review from 2016:
The crowd is real, the vibe is inviting, and there’s a sense of community.
But the energy is a bit low in my opinion — granted, it was poetry night.
Definitely better than alot of options, but not what you would typically consider a nightclub if you’re used to the downtown scene or you like fast paced, high energy stuff.
Very diverse; a potentially great spot to meet new people.
1 star Yelp review from February 2016:
My buddy and I wanted to go see how this place was since the Bar Rescue show.
Well things obviously have reverted back to how they were before.
First thing I notice was everyone walking up to the little pickup window getting their food in them disgusting styrofoam containers, it just don’t look classy at all.
The music was too loud and they took all the drink items from the bar rescue show off of the drink menu, looking behind the bar, all I saw was cheap liquor, there was no premium liquor.
Service at the bar was ok but the drinks wasn’t made with any consistency.
Security was OK some drunk guy fell out on the floor and security quickly came over and scrapped him off the floor and layed him down on the couch in the corner to let him sober up.
At the end of the day this place will never be able to compete with the other bars and clubs such as the view house and many of the others.
This is just a neighborhood dive bar type place where everybody knows everyone.
Is The Kasbah from Bar Rescue still open?
While The Kasbah stayed open for a long time after Jon Taffer’s visit, The Kasbah closed in 2021 as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The bar closed because of the pandemic and has not reopened since 2020.
As a business, it seems like The Kasbah Nightclub was doing well. It just couldn’t survive being closed because of the health restrictions.
If anything changes and the bar reopens, I’ll update this page and change its status on our Bar Rescue Closed/Open list.
But I don’t think it’s coming back, which is sad.
Someone did recently post on The Kasbah Facebook page in October 2022, but it’s to advertise an event at a different location.
The Kasbah website is also dead and it’s marked as closed on Yelp and Google.
I also did a search on Google Maps street view to see if I can find the current tenant.
I can confirm that the Kasbah is no longer there.
However, I can’t read the signs of the businesses that now occupy the old The Kasbah Denver Colorado location.
It seems like one of the tenants is a minimart, but I can’t read the other one.
Overall, though, The Kasbah survived for almost a decade after The Kasbah Bar Rescue episode and it took a global pandemic to bring the bar down.
So, I’d say that still kind of counts as a success for Jon Taffer.
In addition to The Kasbah, Shelton also owned a restaurant in Aurora called Diego’s Restaurant BBQ and Soul Food (which was covered in the Back to the Bar visit).
However, that restaurant is also now closed as of 2023.
If you want to see some other Bar Rescue Denver episodes, you can check out my updates for Wildfire Bistro / The Prime Bar in Aurora, St8 Pub / Downstairs Bar in Englewood, Zanzibar / Solids and Stripes in Denver, Malloy’s / GI Jodi’s in Littleton, Rockabillies / Bar Retro in Arvada, and Summit House Grill and Tap in Lakewood.
Thanks for reading!
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Last updated: 2023-03-07 06:35