Sunday, July 26, 2015

Bar Rescue - Panic Room Bar (Tonic Lounge) Update

On tonight's episode of Bar Rescue, Jon Taffer and crew are in Portland, Oregon to try to rescue Tonic Lounge.  The Tonic Lounge is a failing music venue that has ants and bugs all over the kitchen when Bar Rescue visits.  Jon Taffer needs to motivate the inattentive owner of the bar in hopes of turning it around.

During the Bar Rescue makeover, Tonic Lounge was renamed to Panic Room Bar and it appears the bar has kept their new name.  Let's take a look at some information, reviews, and updates for Panic Room Bar since Bar Rescue came and made all of the changes to the bar (All reviews are post-Bar Rescue):

  • No recent reviews of Panic Room on review sites.

Other News and Links:
  • The Bar Rescue makeover happened in April 2015
  • Here is a preview video of the episode from the Spike TV website that shows bugs all over the place in the kitchen.
  • Here is the Panic Room Facebook Page
  • Here is the Panic Room website.
  • The Facebook pages of most of the people on the show are tagged in this post.
  • A review of the bar after the makeover called the Panic Room sign "the worst in Portland."  Also revealed in that review were things such as:
    • The new paint inside the bar was already peeling
    • The aging sound system was left alone and not improved by Bar Rescue
    • The lighting stack installed by Bar Rescue is actually on a four-month lease and will be repoed after the show airs.
  • There are over 60 comments on that article discussing the makeover and many agree about the bad sign.  Joe Gallagher from the Panic Room responded to the review with a comment supporting the show, stating, "Jon Taffer and his team were actually very cool and did a great job with the facelift of the bar. The new look is a starting point that we at panic room will build from. Your article smacks of eliteism and the too cool for school attitude that Portland sometimes has for everything in it. Don't like the new look and feel of Panic Room, fine, but don't be so scared of change. How about some positives as well. The underground music that is booked at the venue and the local bands that play those shows will likely gain greater exposure now. Cheers- Joe - Panic Room"
  • The Panic Room thanked Bar Rescue for the makeover and advice right after the makeover, and there were a lot of negative comments about the name change and sign.   The bar also said they are still going to be known for their live music and nothing changed with that.
  • A Reddit thread after the makeover also has locals complaining about the new name and sign.  A more recent Reddit thread has locals complaining about the makeover as well.
  • The Panic Room sign was recently vandalized to make it read "Penis Room."  (Pictured below) - It has since been fixed.


The Panic Room has kept the name given to them by Bar Rescue and are happy with the changes and the advice given by Bar Rescue.  The local Portland community seems to be very critical of it though and does not like the new name or sign.  It seems like despite the new bar name, people think the new bar is pretty much the same due to the fact that not much was changed inside and they still offer live music.  It is interesting that an article said the lighting system is on a lease and will be removed after the episode airs.

UPDATE 8/2016 - The Panic Room has re-branded and now goes by the name "The Raven" according to a local interview.  When asked if Bar Rescue helped, he responded, "Um . . . not really. The sign and name were horrible, the show was absolute staged and edited bullshit, the props were cheap and silly, and all the actual stage and lighting gear was rented or borrowed and we didn’t get to keep. The show did irreparable damage to the venue’s image, and provided no benefits other than a small amount of decent furniture"

UPDATE 1/2017 - The bar closed in January 2017 - More information on the closure.

UPDATE - Local bar owners decided to open a bar at this location and named it Tonic Lounge.  They have no affiliation with the owners from Bar Rescue.

*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. Friends don't let high friends own bars.

  2. Portland sounds like a town full of douche bags who are too cool for school.