Theory Bar Rescue Update (Paladino’s) – Still Open in 2024?

Is Theory A Vintage Parlor Bar still open today?

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

Season: 6 | View All Season 6 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: March 25, 2018
The Bar's Original Name Was: Paladino's
Theory A Vintage Parlor Bar Address: 6101 Reseda Blvd Tarzana, CA 91335

Theory Bar Rescue Update (Paladino’s)

Episode Recap

Paladino’s, later renamed to Theory A Vintage Parlor Bar, was a Tarzana, California bar that was featured on Season 6 of Bar Rescue.

Though the Theory Bar Rescue episode aired in March 2018, the actual filming and visit from Jon Taffer took place before that in April 2017.

It was Season 6 Episode 3 and the episode name was “Weird Science”.

In this episode, Jon Taffer visits Paladino’s, which is located in Tarzana, CA.

If you’re not familiar with California geography, Tarzana is a suburban neighborhood in Los Angeles.

More specifically, it’s located in the valley, right near Topanga State Park.

John and Jonathon are the Paladino’s owners. There are a lot of “Johns” in this update, so I’m sorry for any confusion.

Jonathan Paladino's owner on Bar Rescue

The pair are cancer researchers who bought the bar in 2012, which means they’ve owned it for around half a decade at the time of the Paladino’s Bar Rescue visit.

Jonathon was a patron of the bar during graduate school and bought the bar.

The bar doubles as a live venue and many famous bands have performed there, including the Foo Fighters back in 2007.

That’s pretty cool. You can see a full video of the Foo Fighters’ performance at Paladino’s in this video:

However, the bar is in trouble now, and the owners can’t seem to increase their customer base.

Putting all the issues together, the Paladino’s owners are dealing with over half a million dollars in debt.

It is also falling apart, and the staff is unmotivated and untrained.

John Paladino's owner on Bar Rescue

Mary, a bartender, helps the owners with managerial duties. John is overwhelmed. 

Expert mixologist Rob Floyd and Chef Jason Santos assist Jon Taffer with rescuing the bar.

Jon tells the experts the bar has been open since the 1960s and was once a country bar.

The logo is confusing, making the bar look more like a gentleman’s club.

The bartenders are Mary, Wolfie, and Leah.

The kitchen isn’t operational, and the guys watch the bartenders microwave a frozen pizza for a customer. 

Julien Douglas, a promoter, and his friend, Phil, spy on Paladino’s for Jon Taffer.

The spies try to order signature cocktails but are told there are none.

There is also no draft beer, which is pretty weird for a bar.

The men want a Manhattan, but the bartenders have to google how to make it.

They also order an old-fashioned, but they cannot make that either. 

I’m kind of left wondering why they are bartenders if they can’t make these classic drinks.

Finally, Wolfie makes them a cocktail of tequila and tabasco, but it is too sweet.

The spies order a pizza but are told the wait is close to an hour since they only have one small oven and several people waiting.

A band takes the stage to perform even though the bar is empty.

Jon Taffer has seen enough and enters the bar to start dishing out his knowledge.

The next day Jon gives the staff feedback from the spies.

The owners admit they have never made a profit from the bar, and it is stressing them out.

Jon Taffer at Paladino's

Mary is owed money but still takes on more duties at the bar.

After the experts are introduced, training begins. 

Rob shows the staff how to make a well-balanced tequila drink. Wolfie does well making the drinks.

Al is called in to run the kitchen. John and Al are trained on making fresh pizzas on their new turbo pizza oven gifted by Jon Taffer.

John will work in the kitchen for the stress test, and Johnathon will manage. 

Drinks are dumped right away because they are not well balanced.

Jon Taffer sees the cash bag unattended at the bar and takes it to test the owners.

Mary finally notices, and Jon condemns her for the mistake.

The bar is shut down because too many things have gone wrong. 

Rob shows the staff a scientific cocktail called butterfly pea flower tea. The drink can change taste and color.

Mary is given back pay from the owners. They also apologize to her.

As part of the renovations, Jon Taffer renames the bar from Paladino’s to Theory: A Vintage Parlor Bar. 

The stage now has a curtain to close off when it is not being used.

The bar has been given a new top, glasses, POS systems, and an entertainment system for when they do not have live music.

The kitchen has been given warmers for the pizza. 

The bartenders are making the new drinks with confidence.

The owners are leading the bar, and the customers are pleased.

The spies return and are impressed. 

Theory A Vintage Parlor Bar Update - What Happened Next?

Now that we’ve recapped the Theory Bar Rescue visit, let’s talk about what happened after Jon Taffer and his crew left Tarzana, CA.

Things started off well for the newly named Theory A Vintage Parlor Bar.

At the six-week check in with the Bar Rescue producers, we learn that sales are up at the bar, including a 30% increase in food sales.

However, the owners seem to be unable to decide on a name, as they kind of used the original Paladino’s name interchangeably with the new Theory A Vintage Parlor Bar name.

On the bar’s social media profiles and Yelp pages, they seemed to stick with the Paladino’s name.

However, they didn’t completely give up the name from Jon Taffer, which led to some confusion, as this Facebook post indicates:

Paladino's name confusion

They seemed to use the Paladino’s name for live music events (which makes sense given the bar’s history as a venue) and then the Theory A Vintage Parlor Bar name when acting as just a bar.

Is Theory from Bar Rescue still open?

Theory A Vintage Parlor Bar closed in July 2018, which is a little over a year after the visit from Jon Taffer and just a couple of months after the Theory Bar Rescue episode aired on TV.

I’m not sure why the bar closed, as the owners didn’t really provide any explanation for the closure.

They just stopped posting on their Facebook page (though they do still use the page to promote some events now).

The owners seem to be affiliated with a new bar named Petie’s Place, as they post about it on the old Paladino’s Facebook page.

As of 2022, the old Paladino’s / Theory bar Tarzana, CA location is occupied by a new bar called VLounge Bar & Night Club. You can learn more about it on the new bar’s Yelp page.

Here’s a Google Maps street view shot that shows the new tenant at the old Theory Tarzana location:

Old Theory Bar Tarzana location

At the time of the bar’s closure, it had a four star rating on its Yelp page (which still used the Paladino’s name).

However, a lot of the post-Bar Rescue reviews were pretty negative (at least on Yelp), so I’m not totally surprised it closed.

Here’s a sampling of a few reviews that were written after the visit from Jon Taffer but before Theory closed.

2 star review from May 2017:

My group was 4 women. We came for the Salsa and Bachata lessons, dancing and drinks on a Sunday.

Formerly Paladino, it is now called Theory.

Parking lot was full but there is ample street parking. Got our table pretty quickly, then went to the bar to order drinks.

The Tom Collins was good but also ordered a martini with Grey Goose and it was the worse martini ever made or had. For $17 it was a rip off.

I only drink Grey Goose vodka and I can tell you with 100% certainty it was not Grey Goose.

… (review continues)

1 star review from September 2017:

$10 cover charge to spend money at the bar? When I’m not seeing the band play? Seriously?

Lady asking for the cover charge was the rudest woman I’ve ever encountered at a business.

Been here many times. Won’t be back.

5 star review from April 2017:

I’ve been going here for years, and I’ve always had a great time.

Just recently went, not knowing my friend’s band had cancelled their show that night so that the the tv show Bar Rescue (which I’m a huge fan of) could film an episode there.

Wasn’t thrilled with the new decor and the name change, but the new cocktails were amazing.

Was blown away by a lychee flavored drink that contained the extract of a tropical flower that changed colors from a beautiful periwinkle purple to a fuchsia pink when I squeezed a wedge of lemon into it.

I love this bar, and I’ll continue to come, drink amazing drinks, eat their delicious new pizza, and enjoy the top notch entertainment they provide for as long as the doors stay open.

3 star review from January 2018:

I was visiting LA for the holidays and went here for the latin night on Thursday.

The crowd was small. This is mostly like a local place.

They place mix music of bachata, salsa. Mostly bachata because it was a bachata night.

The songs that they played was pretty ok.

Overall, I’m not sure why the Theory Bar closed. However, the fact that it only survived for around a year shows that this one wasn’t a long term success.

If you want to see updates for some other nearby bars that were featured on Bar Rescue, you can check out my updates for Weber’s Rum Bar in Reseda CA and Pat’s Cocktails in North Hollywood CA.

Thanks for reading!

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Last updated: 2022-11-09 06:21

7 thoughts on “Theory Bar Rescue Update (Paladino’s) – Still Open in 2024?”

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

  1. Well, I worked at former Paladino’s bar back in 2004-5 as a bartender helper and cleaner, my routine was couple of whiskeys with redbull helped two cute waitresses there and all the usual 4 bartenders, as an illegal immigrant mexican with good looks and spoke english fluently, I got along great with all my white brothers and sisters, I was introduced to work at the bar by another Mexican who work there for a few years, I finally left when I started a job with Paramount pictures as a set and prop builder/designer, Hollywood paid handsomely so very rarely had time for free time ,fun and drinks, kind of sad but that was my life. Then one day got pulled over by a crazy cop in Burbank, he got me arrested for a blinker not working on my then Green Volkswagen Westfalia, didnt have a license so was channeled to ICE unfortunately got deported never returned to America. But my days in Los Angeles and San Fernando valley will never be forgotten. Awesome people, good times, and great country. God Bless America !!

  2. Seriously, not joking this time, the rebranding was off base this time. Paladino’s had a history and cachet; “Theory” and “Parlor” sound like an old ladies’ club. Jon outsmarted himself on this one.

  3. A huge place that holds hundreds of people, and a one-at-a time pizza oven? Best possible to guarantee failure. Ridiculous solution for Taffers people.

  4. I never saw the episode until yesterday and I knew immediately that Taffer was wasting his time. He should’ve advised the owners to just sell the place and get the hell out of the valley. I would go to Paladino’s once in a while to see a decent cover band like The Iron Maidens. They booked mostly cover bands or very obscure local bands. The only famous act I ever saw there was Uli Jon Roth. No Rock Club has ever done really well in the Valley in a long time, especially after The Country Club closed down.

    The other problem with this club/bar is it’s not in a very good area. Very limited parking in the lot so you have to park on a very dark street nearby. And the demographics have changed in the Valley, it’s becoming Tijuana. All the good American restaurants are closing down, and even big-name fast food and pizza places aren’t doing that well. L.A.’s not what it used to be. It looks like a 3rd world country now. That, and it’s incredibly expensive to live in or run a business here. Yet they allow street vendors on almost every corner that don’t pay taxes and leave behind trash from their customers, not to mention there are homeless people everywhere. No wonder people are fleeing in droves.


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