Zanzibar Bar Rescue Update (Solids and Stripes) – Open or Closed in 2022?

Is Solids and Stripes still open in 2022?

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

Season: 3 | View All Season 3 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: March 10, 2013
The Bar's Original Name Was: Zanzibar
Solids and Stripes Address: 2046 Larimer St Denver, CO 80205

Zanzibar Rescue Update (Solids and Stripes)

Episode Recap

Zanzibar (also spelled Zanzbar), later renamed Solids and Stripes, was a Denver, Colorado bar that was featured on Season 3 of Bar Rescue. Though the Zanzibar Bar Rescue episode aired in March 2013, the actual filming and visit from Jon Taffer took place before that.

It was Season 3 Episode 5 and the episode name was “Empty Pockets” .

Zanzibar is located in Denver, CO, and is owned by Ami Benari. You’ll see the bar’s name spelled both ways – Zanzbar and Zanzibar, though we’re going to use the Zanzibar spelling in our Bar Rescue update.

Ami was in the Israeli army and moved to America, where he opened Zanzibar in 2009.

It was the first bar in downtown Denver and was very successful.

At first, it was in the black to the tune of $450,000 per year, which is quite good.

However, things obviously went down hill from there, which is why the Zanzbar Bar Rescue episode exists.

In 2011 Ami was in a debilitating accident, and while he was away, the staff misbehaved and drove the bar into the ground. Customers stopped coming in. 

Six months ago, Ami returned to the bar. He fired his senior staff and hired a new team.

He had lost thousands of dollars and now has six months until the bar closes for good. That’s why he desperately needs help from Jon Taffer and his team to get the bar back on trip.

Smirnoff master bartender Jenny Costa and expert chef Brian Duffy help Jon with the recon. 

Two college students spy for Jon, Nick, and Camio.

The bar has ten pool tables and eight beers on tap – it’s a definite billiards bar.

While they sit waiting, Nick gets no service. Customers begin harassing Camio.

The staff is overpouring and losing money. Ami keeps giving free drinks to the customers and his friends.

Jon catches the cook coughing into his hand and touching food. 

Jon storms in, and he is outraged. He yells at the staff for overserving the guests and tells them everything in the kitchen has to be thrown away because it is contaminated.

Cook Dave stays to clean the kitchen. Dave can’t lose this job. In 2009 he lost his trucking job because of a brain aneurysm.

The next day Jon visits the kitchen and says it looks better. 

Ami gets angry when Jon informs him how much money he has lost on his staff overpouring alcohol.

They have lost thousands of dollars. Ami begins throwing plates against the wall. I’d be mad to if I was losing so much money.

Chef Brian Duffy has Dave cook the three most popular dishes as Jenny works with the staff on pouring. 

The stress test is about to start, and Jon wants twelve-minute tickets.

The staff is still overpouring, and the bar runs out of clean glasses.

Jon shuts down the stress test because Ami was useless. Ami gets mad and calls Chef Brian Duffy ‘fat boy.’ That’s not a nice thing to say to someone who’s trying to save your bar.

As Jon tries to leave, Ami swings at him; Jon stays because he has a responsibility to help the bar. 

Jon makes Ami apologize, and the two have a one-on-one discussion.

Chef Brian Duffy creates a ten-minute express menu revealed during the relaunch.

Jenny has added six new drinks to the bar menu.

The interior looks amazing when the staff returns for relaunch night.

As part of the renovations, Jon changed the name from Zanzbar to Solids and Stripes, which fits with the bar’s focus on pool.

Ami loves the concept.

The team is working hard, and Jon and Ami shake hands. 

Sales are up by fifty percent six weeks later. Ami is very grateful for Jon’s help. Jon returns one year later to Solids and Stripes and is not happy to see that Ami changed the bar’s name back to Zanzibar. The bar is still open today and has many positive reviews. 

Solids and Stripes Update - What Happened Next?

So – was the Solids and Stripes Bar Rescue episode a success? Let’s talk about what happened after Jon Taffer’s visit…

Six weeks after the visit, sales at the bar were up a massive 50%, which is a huge improvement that shifts that bar back to its earlier success.

About a year later, Jon Taffer returns to Solids and Stripes in Season 4 of Bar Rescue.

However, he finds out that the bar is no longer called Solids and Stripes!

Ami went back to using the Zanzibar name not too long after the Bar Rescue episode.

The full name is now Zanzibar Billiards, though it still has a sign that spells it Zanzbar.

Despite that, the bar seems to be doing good as a business.

Is Zanzibar from Bar Rescue still open?

As of 2022, Zanzibar is still open and serving customers in Denver. Ami has added more gaming tables and brought back free pool. Reviews are mixed but generally positive, with many patrons loving how many pool tables Zanzibar has.

With that being said, the reviews aren’t amazing – it has just a 3 star rating on Yelp and a 3.4 star rating on Facebook.

Zanzibar did have some issues with the local Denver government during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The bar was cited and temporarily closed for violating Covid-19 restriction orders by the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment (DDPHE). The citation happened in July 2020.

The issues seemed to have something to do with face masks and general public health order violations such as no social distancing, no seating system in place, and normal bar operations.

Despite that, Zanzibar still seems to be doing well in 2022, so this is definitely a boost to Jon Taffer’s success rate.

If anything changes, we’ll be sure to update this page.

More Information

What did you think about the Solids and Stripes Bar Rescue episode? I'd love it if you shared your thoughts on the episode in the comments below!

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Last updated: 2022-01-24 07:36

5 thoughts on “Zanzibar Bar Rescue Update (Solids and Stripes) – Open or Closed in 2022?”

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

  1. Surprised it’s still open, didn’t believe in Ami at all. He was an ass, and going back to free pool is losing him money. He probably has most of the shitty regulars he had back in there and lost out on good patrons.

    • He owns another bar called Tarantula on stout. Until someone else comes in and does better, that’s the only choice. Tarantula is more profitable only because it’s smack in between 10 hotels, so for people who come down and want to do something, Tarantula is the first thing they see and go. It’s not because it’s some hot destination for billiards: the tables are all nasty, as the players are mostly drunks who know nothing about billiards. Tarantula has better players, as Zanzibar is strictly drunks who know nothing about pool, just hitting balls randomly and trying to get lucky.

  2. As a truck driver traveling the country & fan of the show I try to stop at many bars I see on the show. This is 1 of the few I won’t visit! From watching the show and seeing owner acts he not worth giving my hard earned money to. Also I asked locals about the bar and was really surprised by how many people know of or have been there. The sad part not 1 person said anything good about this place!!! I believe people don’t change and the owner of this bar is the same A-hole he was in the beginning change at the end for the show but from what I hear he went back to who he really is.

  3. I can’t believe how much patience Jon has for this ass hole.This is one I wanted him to walk out on. Jon and his staff are amazing.


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