Sunday, July 19, 2015

Bar Rescue - Menara (The Palace Lounge) Update

On tonight's episode of Bar Rescue, Jon Taffer and crew are in Upland, California to try to rescue The Palace Lounge.  The Palace Lounge is a Moroccan bar that seems to have an identity crisis and problems with authenticity.  Jon Taffer has brought in actors from Spike TV's mini-series Tut to help him do recon on the bar.

During the Bar Rescue makeover, The Palace Lounge was renamed to Menara, however it appears the bar has gone back to its old name of The Palace.  Let's take a look at some information, reviews, and updates for The Palace since Bar Rescue came and made all of the changes to the bar (All reviews are post-Bar Rescue):

Positive Reviews:
  • "Food was delicious! Customer Service was great! (We were the only diners on a Tuesday afternoon) had the place all to ourselves! Oh, and the Hookah!!!
    Will definitely be back on a Saturday night for the music and live entertainment!"
  • "Awesome restaurant. Great food, great people who really support the local community and culture."
  • "This an amazing place the owner hosted an organization I'm a participant in this evening with such extensive hospitality and warmth. It was a beautiful event and i know his business will thrive as a result of his wonderful treatment toward the community."
  • "Didn't even know this place was here but I'm definitely coming back food was delicious and the service was all around great. Hooka here is a must and you can sit and enjoy each others company while listening to great music outside in the patio area.."
  • "This place is awesome. The food is delicious! Beef kabob, kibeh,salad and the rice were amazing.  The drinks were good and the servoce was 5 stars. The waitress was super nice and the owner is super kind too."
  • "I was there last Saturday and I enjoyed the singer and the belly dancers. Great mediterranean food and brilliant customer service. This place has Reasonable prices and I highly recommend every one to go there."

Negative Reviews:
  • "Very friendly, but unorganized service. We asked for hot tea multiple times before serving ourself. Also, we waited well over 45 minutes between appetizers and dinner. The only reason why they get 3 stars and not less is because their kubba came out hot and steamy. Labne was great, hummus, baba ghanosh and tabboola all needed salt and lemon. I don't think will ever return."
  • "I went to this lounge on a Saturday afternoon for an event. I only ordered a couple drinks, which were good, but the service was bad. I had to flag down a waitress to order a drink on several occasions. Also, first they gave us free water when we arrived to the lounge but when we asked for more (after paying for drinks) we were told we had to buy a water bottle for $3. I have no problem paying for water, I just do not like the lack of consistency."
*Reviews from Yelp

Other News and Links:
  • The Bar Rescue makeover happened in March 2015.
  • Here are two preview videos of the episode from the Spike TV website - Video 1, Video 2.  It seems they are using Bar Rescue to cross promote Spike's new miniseries Tut.  The actors of the miniseries do the recon in the episode and Bar Rescue even got moved to 8pm for this week as Tut premieres at 9pm.
  • Here is The Palace Facebook Page. The cover photo has a mention of Menara Bar, but the page still goes by The Palace.  All recent bar flyers have no mention of Menara and only say The Palace.
  • Their Facebook page posts are mostly in Arabic and there are a lot of videos that show pretty large crowds before and after the makeover.
  • Here is the Menara website set up by Bar Rescue.
  • The Palace Lounge website is still under construction and is not up-to-date.
  • Here are more reviews of The Palace Lounge from before Bar Rescue, and it seems like the reviews were pretty good before the makeover as well.
  • They still have the belly dancers with the LED lights after the makeover - Here is a video from April with the dancers and the LED lights.  
  • The bar still has The Palace signs outside as well as the Menara sign installed by Bar Rescue (Link).


It seems like The Palace Lounge has kept their old name and does not go by Menara.  The reviews both before and after the Bar Rescue makeover are mostly positive with people liking the food and the atmosphere.

Perhaps a Moroccan bar was chosen so Spike could do some cross-promotion for their mini-series Tut.  They even moved Bar Rescue from its normal time slot for this week's episode.  Next week Bar Rescue will be back at its normal 9pm time slot.

*To see how all of the bars from Bar Rescue are doing, go to the Bar Rescue Update page, and also Like us on Facebook or Follow Us on Twitter to stay up to date with all things involving Bar Rescue.


  1. Sure looked like there was some cross promotion going, particularly considering the spies who were sent in.

  2. When Taffer was thinking about a new name, he didn't factor in those of us with the sense of humor of a 9 year old. When I saw the new name, the first thing I thought was know, as in cow...just spelled a little differently.

  3. I was actually thinking Menorah, as in the Jewish Candelabra.

  4. I wonder if there's another story to why the stress test was at a different bar. Taffer said it was b/c his crew needed "more time" for the renovation, but how can a staff be evaluated at a place that's unknown to them? I wonder if producers wanted to show a bar that actually kept Taffer's new name/concept.

  5. Menorah was actually the first thing that popped into my head as well. Now THAT would be an interesting rescue, a Jewish/Moroccan theme bar! Free Baba ganoush and pita with every Brit milah performed! :)

  6. The show is getting les and less fun to watch. I have to DVR it because it has 30 minutes of commercials.
    I'd like to see just a bar being rescued and not a bar/restaurant. I'm sure one has been done already.

  7. That's kinda like saying "A person shouldn't be able to drive any other car than their own becuase it's unknown to them".

  8. I respect your opinion, but I do not believe these folks even know how to drive. I don;t even think they have their Learner's Permit, or they would not be on Bar Rescue. I;m not convinced Taffer and Co. could not delay the renovations a half-day or a full-day to have the Stress Test.

  9. I understand what you are saying, but I do not believe these folks are good cooks or good bartenders. I think if they were, they would not be on the show to start with.

  10. As far as the cross promotion for the Tut series goes, they did the same on Ink Master last week. The main actor was brought in to judge Egyptian style tattoos. Seems Spike is really hitting Tut hard. They must have a fortune sunk into it.

  11. I hate when he uses that Mia Mastrioanni bar recon specialist. She is the worst. She is very negative and never offers any constructive praise. In every episode she offers very little praise and always seems to have a chip on her shoulder. Its very annoying and her new drinks don't even look good. a dried fig as garnish? what is this amateur hour? Bring back Duffy! for the kitchen!

  12. but she knows everyone thinks she is hot! Jon thinks she super skilled too.

  13. I agree. She does not have a very positive personality.

  14. Agreed. Very negative and always seems to have an issue with people not giving her what she feels is the proper respect.

  15. I got the impression that she absolutely did not want to be there. She looked really unhappy and seems to be getting increasingly negative and impatient with each episode she's on. Maybe she's getting burnt out, who knows? Whatever the case, they shouldn't be using her in the show. Taffer gets pretty rough in his criticism, but he balances it out with encouragement and praise, as do the other bartenders and chefs.