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

Is The Morgue still open today?

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

Season: 6 | View All Season 6 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: April 21, 2019
The Bar's Original Name Was: Kiva Lounge and Bar
The Morgue Address: 202 N LBJ Dr Ste A San Marcos, TX 78666

The Morgue Bar Rescue Update (Kiva Lounge)

Episode Recap

Kiva Lounge and Bar, later renamed The Morgue, was a San Marcos, Texas bar featured on Season 6 of Bar Rescue.

Though the The Morgue Bar Rescue episode aired in April 2019, the actual filming and visit from Jon Taffer took place before that.

It was Season 6 Episode 32 and the episode name was “Miles from Success”.

Kive Lounge and Bar is located in San Marcos, Texas.

If you’re not familiar with Texas geography, San Marcos is a small city located almost in the middle between Austin and San Antonio.

The bar is owned by Miles and Henry, two musicians who met in college and are close friends.

Kiva Lounge owners

To give themselves a chance to continue their musical interests, they picked up the bar for $150k.

However, they have no experience in the bar industry.

Miles drinks too much at the bar. He also has been giving out too many free drinks to his friends. 

At the time of the Kiva Lounge Bar Rescue episode, the bar is now losing around $5k per month, which is tough for these two musicians to handle.

They’re already have trouble paying their bills – checks that are being used for payment keep bouncing.

To make matters worse, women avoid the bar like the plague, which isn’t a great recipe for success.

Expert mixologist Ashley Clark and Chef Vic Vegas join Jon for the recon.

Jon recons the bar from the back of the SUV.

The staff is cooking French fries using their bare hands and keeping dirty towels near the food.

Jon sends in two local college-aged girls as spies.

The girls order two drinks, a daiquiri and a Cosmo, but the bartender doesn’t know how to make them.

Once the drinks do arrive, their glasses are dirty. 

Jon is timing how long it will take for the girls to get their food.

Chris, the cook, is preparing the food using his unwashed hands. The stove is also filthy.

Jon has had enough and goes into the bar.

When Jon tells them that Chris needs to use the gloves, the owners laugh.

This also leads to Spencer, the general manager, walking out of the bar:

Kiva Lounge general manager

Jon wants the owners to commit, but they are too busy laughing and drinking at the bar. 

Like – hey guys! Maybe there’s a reason you’re losing $5k per month and maybe that’s a sign you should listen to Jon Taffer?

Henry is told to clean the kitchen, and Jon believes that Chris needs to be fired.

Since Chris was never trained, he is given a second chance to prove himself after proper training.

Jon returns the following day to talk to the staff about the lounge.

The owners have difficulty making payroll; they barely have money to pay the team.

The bar needs to cater to its customers. 

Jon informs the owners that the bar lost almost $500 due to overpouring the Saturday before Jon arrived.

Losing $500 in a single day goes a long way to explaining that $5k monthly deficit, right?

The expert Ashley takes the staff through making different types of cocktails while Vic trains the kitchen on a patty melt.

During the stress test, Miles is the leader, with Henry assisting.

The bartenders are too slow, and it takes too long for the customers to receive their drinks.

Miles is very lost and doesn’t seem to be able to cope with the overloaded bar.

The grill is too dirty to make sandwiches and shut down.

After the bar runs out of glasses, the stress test is shut down.

The staff is trained on easy and cheap cocktails the next day.

While that’s happening, Jon Taffer and his team are also hard at work renovating Kiva Lounge and Bar.

As part of the changes, Jon has renamed the bar to The Morgue.

The building was previously a morgue, and Jon Taffer wants to build on that history.

It’s an…interesting concept. I’m not sure that I want to drink at a morgue, but it is cool to bring in the location’s history.

The interior has been brightened, and there is a photo booth.

The bar staff works slow during the relaunch, but Miles assists.

After some time, live music is played, and everyone has a great time. 

So was the Kiva Lounge Bar Rescue episode a success? Keep reading our update to learn what happened and how the bar is doing in 2024 and beyond.

The Morgue Update - What Happened Next?

So – was the The Morgue Bar Rescue episode a success? Let’s talk about what happened after the visit from Jon Taffer.

Six weeks later, things seemed to be going much better and sales were up.

However, the owners didn’t go all-in on Jon’s changes and ended up going back to using the Kiva Lounge and Bar name.

Here’s a post from the Kiva Lounge Facebook page explaining why the owners went back to the old name:

Friends and family we have realized very clearly that The Morgue is where bars go to die, and Kiva was a shining beacon of local community that needs to thrive!

We originally wanted to keep the name to garner attention from the show, but we found out the show isn’t airing till next year, and The Morgue is just not our vibe.

We appreciated the opportunity to do Bar Rescue, but their vision was clearly different from ours and it is time to get back to what we love doing!

We appreciated the opportunity to do Bar Rescue, but their vision was clearly different from ours and it is time to get back to what we love doing.

Here’s a screenshot of the full post:

Kiva Lounge name change

Before we get to where The Morgue is now, let’s talk about the reviews.

Spoiler alert – they weren’t very good!

The bar’s Yelp page sported just a 2 star rating, though only on 8 reviews.

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

1 star review from July 2019:

We came because my husband had a gig here.

I looked at the menu on their yelp site beforehand and was excited to try the wings only to find out that they don’t even serve food!!

Why had a menu with all that false advertising?!

We drove all the way from the Northwest side of San Antonio, I could have stopped at a plethora of restaurants on the way.

So disappointed!

The only people in here are the one’s gigging and their guests.

At least the live music is good.

1 star review from February 2019:

I have been here previously before.

And now I remembered why I stopped going.

There is a bartender who is extremely rude and has always look passed us when being served.

I would literally have to try and wave him down after he would get other individuals drinks.

I had then waved him down stating I needed another drink he gave me the thumbs up.

Completely ignored my request starting serving everyone else.

Until I waved him down again since he wouldn’t even look my way.

Finally a nice young lady came and checked on me.

But he has always been like this with me and certain friends.

Idk what his problem is.

Given the ratings, you might be able to guess where this is going…

Is The Morgue from Bar Rescue still open?

The Morgue closed for good in October 2019, around six months after The Morgue Bar Rescue episode aired on TV.

They announced the closure with a short message on their Facebook page.

As of 2023, the old The Morgue San Marcos TX location is occupied by a bar named Axis.

Axis was created by the original The Morgue owners, so there is a connection to the bar that you saw on Bar Rescue.

Miles is one of the Axis owners, which you can see on his Facebook page.

However, I’m not sure who else is involved and if it’s the full crew of the Kiva Bar Rescue owners.

They posted on the Kiva Lounge Facebook page confirming that Axis is connected to Kiva Lounge / The Morgue:

I know all you Bar Rescue fans are dying to know what really happened to Henry and Miles right?!

Well after Bar Rescue we did a complete turnaround and rebranded the bar to Axis in 2019.

We turned it into a college bar, and stopped doing live music.

We are still in the same location and business has been growing every month, every year.

Sales are up 25% from last year and overall from Kiva 1,000%

Here’s a screenshot of the full post:

Kiva Lounge concept Axis

You can find the website for the new business here.

And then here’s what the old The Morgue San Marcos Texas location looks like in the most recent picture from Google Maps street view – you can see the new Axis bar:

Overall, while the Kiva Bar Rescue episode seems to have not been successful, the original Kiva owners have created a successful bar at that location.

However, I’m still going to leave The Morgue marked as closed because both the name and concept are totally different.

If you think I should switch it to “Open”, please let me know in the comments section.

If you want to see some other San Antonio or Austin Texas Bar Rescue episodes, you can check out these posts:

Thanks for reading!

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Last updated: 2023-03-18 04:54

25 thoughts on “The Morgue Bar Rescue Update (Kiva Lounge) – Still Open in 2024?”

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

  1. I just watched the Kivas bar rescue and was really ticked off. These owners are a Joke.
    I used to live in this town in the 60s and was very proud of the town for its hometown feel.
    Taffer did a great job but his efforts were in vain. My 9 year old Grandaughter could run this bar better than those two yahoos. I am ashamed to be from there.😞

    • Id say mark it as open/saved. The owners were completely incompetent and had no chance for success under any name until taffer educated them. Recent success with new name is only because of the taffer bar boot camp he provided

  2. Those guys made a huge mistake not taking the changes to heart. The concept was neat and the drinks were interesting. Jon set them up for success, turned their kitchen around and they repaid him by slipping back.

  3. Stupid stupid mistake not to stay the course Jon set them upon. I feel bad for them but, damn, they had it in the palms of their hands!!

  4. I just watched the episode and it pisses me off when idiots like Jesus & Stev-O are so ungrateful. I doubt they learned anything about cleanliness because you can see that they just care, when he gave someone a drink that someone else sent back…
    Gross! They should have renamed the bar Stupidity because that seems to fit their ‘ vibe’

  5. Even though the owners didnt stick with the new name and concept from Taffur, the must have learned something… it does say something that they did a rebrand on their own and in the same building.

    • I have to agree. They may not have kept everything exactly the way JT left it, but they obviously must have listened and learned something about the important things Mr. T, was teaching them.

      I can understand not wanting to call their place “The Morgue.” After all, that is one of the last places people most people want to visit.

      No matter the name change,If they’re in the same location and making profits almost 4 years later, I would count this one as a successful rescue.

  6. I think The Morgue was a terrible name for the bar. Can’t really blame them for changing it. Though I think those dingdongs will be scraping by no matter what they make that place, I hope I’m wrong though they are probably fun to hang out with

  7. Made the mistake of watching episodes from friends visiting from Japan. Martians could have come down and they wouldn’t be more surprised than viewing such laziness and incompetence. In Japan, you might be a toilet scrubber, but you are gonna take pride in being a great toilet scrubber. Also, it’s a generational thing, I grew up working in restaurants and we took pride in kicking ass. Working hard. Now it’s “this job is beneath me” with an arrogant smirk. It’s embarassing man, have a little pride. Customer service is beneath Gen Z, entitled, arrogant, lazy.

  8. Swing and a miss on The Morgue name in my opinion. The connotation with death is terrible unless you’re doing a touristy zombie thing. Kiva wasn’t that much better, but Axis is.
    I’d call it a successful rescue, being that the owners rebranded into something successful using what BR/Taffer taught them, in the same location.

  9. Holy Christ. That cook, wiping his sweat and raw meat juice all over the fries and brussels sprouts. There’s no way I would walk into any bar either of those knuckleheads owned. Friggin disgusting.

  10. Where are the health inspectors in all these towns? How are these places even open?!?! I know the inspectors are stretched thin but something must be done so that places like this are not permitted to get people sick or worse!!!!

  11. If still open I’d say open! They did learn, just wonder why they didn’t come up with axis when changed sign? The name kiva was already dead lol. As hard as it is to say they were young, glad they learned though. Another bar rescue success! Did the job as promised, seems like owners soaked up the knowledge and grew up.


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