(keep reading to learn what happened)
Season: 7 | View All Season 7 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: March 22, 2020
The Bar's Original Name Was: The Union
The Midway Tavern Address: 7176 S 900th E Midvale, UT 84047
The Union, later renamed to The Midway Tavern, was a Midvale, Utah bar that was featured on Season 7 of Bar Rescue.
Though the Union Bar Rescue episode aired in March 2020, the actual filming and visit from Jon Taffer took place earlier in late summer 2019
It was Season 7 Episode 4 and the episode name was “Still Bill”.
The Union is in Midvale, UT.
If you’re not familiar with Utah, Midvale is a city in Salt Lake County.
It has a population of just 34,000 people, but it’s right outside Salt Lake City proper, so it’s part of a much larger metropolitan area.
In 2017 Bill Rowe, a construction worker, purchased the bar.
That means he’s owned the bar for about two years at the time of the The Union Bar Rescue visit by Jon Taffer.
Bill hired his daughter, Noelle, and his friends to work in the bar. He works as The Union’s manager.
The bar is advertised as a sports bar, yet they only have two TVs, and they do not even work.
Outside the bar sits a broken-down limo that Bill owns.
Chef Ryan Scott and mixologist Rob Floyd join Jon Taffer for this rescue.
The experts and Jon notice the limo in front of the bar and think Bill is missing out on an opportunity to use it as branding for the bar.
The camera shows Bill and Jon then informs the experts that he took out a loan from his in-laws for the bar and still owes them a lot of money.
T-Bear is the manager of the front of the house. Emjay and Meghan bartend.
Cristella and Amaya are the cooks in the kitchen. Noelle, Bills’ daughter, manages The Union part-time.
The hidden camera footage shows the kitchen serving over cooked wings.
Jon and his experts are distraught by how poorly the wings are cooked – yelling “look at the pull” over and over as the meat was stringy.
I found this scene funny so I had to capture a picture of “the pull”:
It also offers a bartender overpouring, and that is breaking Utah law.
The law requires no more than 1.5 oz of alcohol per glass.
That’s why I could never live there lol – way too weak!
Fifty people, sent by Jon Taffer, storm the bar, escorted by the experts.
The expert asks the bartender for drinks, who then snaps at them.
Bill is not helping the bar even though they are swamped.
The experts ask him if he makes drinks, and he says he has his expert bartenders do that.
I gotta be honest, that seems like a fair answer to me.
I’m not sure why that’s supposed to make Bill look bad.
He’s the owner – that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s an expert at making drinks (though he probably should know the basics).
The glasses that are served are terrible and are spit out.
Jon tells Bill that he has wasted his in-law’s loan because he doesn’t even care enough to learn how to make cocktails.
The experts and Jon come back the next day and ask Bill to make a Moscow mule for Rob.
Rob thinks the drink is okay for the first time.
Bill confides in Jon that the bar only has funds to stay open for a few more months, which is why The Union Bar Rescue episode is so important.
Chef Ryan tells Bill the kitchen has promised but needs his support.
Rob also tells Bill that they felt unwelcome the day before.
The employees tell Jon their busiest nights of the week are Thursday and Friday.
On those days they offer bingo and karaoke.
Ryan shows the kitchen staff how to make a sweet and sour chicken dish.
Rob communicates with the bartenders as they make a mule drink.
During the stress test, the ends f the bar are neglected.
Mistakes are slowing down the bar, and it takes seven minutes to serve one drink.
After the kitchen burns the chicken wings, Jon Taffer shuts the bar down.
Now, it’s time to build on the issues in the stress test and train the staff to fix them.
Rob shows the bar staff how to use the Berg machine to make multiple drinks at a time.
The kitchen learns how to make a bison burger.
The bison burger will be served at the tables for sharing.
Jon meets with Bill, who tells him his family keeps him motivated and he is going to pay back his in-laws.
While that’s happening, Jon Taffer’s crew works on renovating The Union.
As part of the changes, the bar is renamed from The Union to The Midway Tavern.
East Coast Chairs and Barstools gifted The Midway furniture.
A carousel horse has been put on the wall to go with the theme park atmosphere.
The bar works hard to serve the customers during the relaunch.
Everyone is pleased with how the night goes.
So was The Union Bar Rescue visit a long-term success? Keep reading to learn what happened next and if this Midvale, UT bar is still open in 2023.
The Midway Tavern Update - What Happened Next?
Now that we’ve recapped the Midway Bar Rescue visit, let’s talk about what happened to the bar after Jon Taffer and his crew left Midvale, UT.
Things seemed to start off well for the newly named The Midway Tavern.
At the normal six-week check-in with the Bar Rescue producers, we learn that sales at the bar are up by more than 20%.
They did get rid of some of Jon Taffer’s changes to the menu.
They said they did this to bring back dishes that regular customers requested.
That seems fair enough to me.
While they do seem to be attracting new customers after The Union Bar Rescue episode, you still don’t want to drive away your regulars.
Some regulars also seemed to be upset the bar had been made to cater more towards families instead of just adult bargoers.
Is The Midway from Bar Rescue still open?
As of 2023, The Midway is still open and serving customers in Midvale, UT.
They did close for a brief period during the Covid-19 pandemic and associated health restrictions, starting in March 2020.
However, they’re fully reopened as those restrictions have been lifted and seem to be doing well.
You can see an update about this in this March 18, 2020 Facebook post:
Due to Covid-19 a state mandated closure for all bar and restaurants is in effect.
It is with heavy hearts that we will be observing a closure until we are allowed to reopen.
Thank you our amazing customers for understanding in these hard times!!!!
Here’s a screenshot in case the post gets deleted:
They reopened a little over a month later on May 6, 2020 – you can see the Facebook post here.
And then here’s what the Midway bar Utah location looks like in the most recent picture from Google Maps street view:
Reviews are good but not great. The Midway has a 4.2 star rating on Google Reviews.
On Yelp, it now has a 3 star rating.
When I originally wrote this post in early 2022, it still had a 3 star rating.
That rating bumped up to 3.5 stars in late 2022…but now it’s back to 3 stars in early 2023.
Here are some of the examples of positive and negative reviews that happened after the Midway Bar Rescue visit.
Positive Yelp review:
This place is the bees knees.
Great friendly service.
Also a cute dog running around she is the best girl.
Definitely will come back soon.
I’m a dog lover, so that’s a definite plus.
Negative Yelp review:
Drive by here almost every day, so we decided to stop by for a drink after dinner and finally try it out.
Looked like a busy and fun night but the only open tables or seats had dirty dishes and we couldn’t get any service so we left.
As we walked out, one of their staff suggested we were leaving because we were “scared” of the clientele.
Won’t bother coming back.
Positive Yelp review:
Best wings I’ve found in Utah, hands down (Sriracha Bourbon is definitely our favorite flavor).
Yes, much better than trolley, wingstop, wing coop, bww and any other’s I’ve forgotten.
My wife and I have made it a weekly ritual to come on Wednesday for dinner because wings are 1/2 off and we just like hanging out at this place.
Don’t judge me, but on a few occasions I’ve eaten here for lunch and dinner on the same day….
It’s quirky and attracts every kind of person you can imagine,
Negative Google review:
Couldn’t get anyone’s attention.
Half of my order came out wrong after more than half an hour.
It was just the patty and bun.
The other half of my order for another person didn’t get put in for probably 45 minutes.
And then only half of that came out 20 minutes later.
The place didn’t seem terribly busy.
Others seemed to be served well enough.
3 star Yelp review from November 2022:
Like many other locals, we came to visit this place because we saw it on Bar Rescue.
Overall, it was okay.
Would’ve been nice if they had a drink menu.
Didn’t get a chance to try their food.
Overall, The Midway seems like it’s got a solid business going, which is evidenced by the fact that the bar has managed to survive the Covid-19 pandemic and come out still doing well.
If you’re in the Midvale, Utah area and you want to check out The Midway Tavern, you can learn more at the official The Midway Tavern Website.
If you want to see some other Utah Bar Rescue episodes, you can check out my updates for The Roost / Broadway Club in Tooele, The Fifth in Bountiful, and Linda Lou’s / Purser’s Bar in Layton.
Thanks for reading!
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Last updated: 2023-02-13 09:51