Sunday, August 26, 2018

Bar Rescue - Island Lounge (Island Bar & Grill) Update

On this week's episode of Bar Rescue, Jon Taffer and crew are just outside of Chicago in Blue Island, Illinois to rescue Island Bar & Grill.  Island Bar & Grill is owned by Adam Shorter who has staffed the bar with his family members which is causing friction at the bar.  The bar was opened about four years ago and is supposedly losing $5,000 a month.  While doing recon (without Jon Taffer), it is discovered that the kitchen is dirty and the staff has a lack of professionalism.

During the Bar Rescue makeover, Jon Taffer decided to slightly change the name of Island Bar & Grill to Island Lounge.  The bar seems to use the names interchangeably.  Let's take a look at some information, reviews, and updates for Island Lounge since Bar Rescue came and made all of the changes to the bar (All reviews are post-Bar Rescue):

Positive Reviews:

  • "Food: The BEST wings I've had in a very very long time! Honestly I was sorta thrown back with the size of the 12 piece I ordered but the flavor made up for that! Extremely fresh as well as the fries!.. Drinks: I had two Long Island ice teas.....the bartender made them so great! Service: Jayda was really nice...the only thing I would suggest is training with the drink menu! She doesn't drink, which is fine, but couldn't give clear answers on what they offer or unaware of certain drinks! However, her polite attitude made me not hold that against her! Would definitely go back! Good night, great food/drinks and entertainment!"
  • "Always a good time at this place. Food is amazing and staff friendly and accommodating.  If you visit on Saturday night, you must reservations for a table, it is standing room only. One manager by the name of Ken was most helpful to me and my group. He was able to find us a table for the night. That was truly appreciated because if I had to stand I would most likely have left.....I appreciate the crowd at this club, not too bougie not too hood. To management team, keep it up! Good job on providing a safe place for adults to drink, eat, and dance!"

Negative Reviews:

  • "If you go on a comedy night I suggest that you go very early. Please do not be surprised at all if you are treated rudely by SOME of the staff, including one of the bar managers. Also... please don't expect to be served in a pleasant or timely manner... otherwise enjoy"
  • "I recently attended a friend's Bday party and this place is gross. I ordered two glasses of wine and the second glass had someone elses lip print on it,i had to pount it out to the bartender. There's also no consistency in prices as the first glass was eight dollars and he tried to charge me nine for the next glass. When we went in the back to the VIP area it was horrible. The furniture was raggedy with duck tape everywhere and wobbly chairs. I would definitely not recommend this place as there drinks are over priced and they're unclean."
  • "The Island Bar is whack....first. ...the dj doesn't allow a song to play long enough...he jumps all over the place...second....the big black guy at the door (security ) thinks he is God....his demeanor is terrible....and he shows favoritism. ....third....the bar maids are slow... disorganized and simply crazy (my guy was approached by a bar maid after we walked to our seats...she stated she gave him the incorrect amount of change....ARE YOU SERIOUS)....I will never return to this place...a complete waste of my time."
*Reviews from Yelp

Other News and Links:

  • This episode of Bar Rescue was filmed all the way back in September 2016, so about two years before this episode aired. (Link)
  • Here is a long preview video of the episode from the Paramount YouTube page.
  • Here is the Island Bar & Grill website.
  • Their website points to an Island Entertainment Facebook page which has tons of promotions for events at other bars.  There are also some reviews of Island Bar & Grill on there.
  • Here are the Facebook pages of Adam (owner), Allison (bartender), Sharee (server) Kenaz (cook)
  • A search of Illinois liquor licenses shows that Adam Shorter is an owner/involved in four different bars.  These are the bars that are advertised on the Island Entertainment Facebook Page.
    • The four bars are The Rockin Horse (2-star Yelp rating), Red Star Cocktail Lounge (3-star Yelp rating), Imla's Lounge (no reviews), and Redwood Luxe Bar & Grill (3.5 star Yelp rating).
  • Here are some pictures of the makeover from September 2016. (Link)
  • There was a shooting at Island Lounge in March of 2018 which involved the bouncer of the bar. City officials revoked the liquor license and closed the bar due to this.  The bar remains closed.  Adam Shorter claims the was closed due to racial discrimination as his clientele is African American.  The news story about it is below:
  • Here is a Chicago Tribune article that covered the city council meeting about the restaurant being shut down.  Neighbors said Island Bar patrons created nuisances with late-night noise, littering and illegal parking.  A resident also said, “It’s not like the other places on Olde Western. It’s not a quiet business at all. People are tired of garbage being thrown on their lawns. I haven’t had to pick up garbage since the place closed.”
    • The security guard who fired the shots lacked the proper licenses to carry a gun and to work as a security guard.  Other security guards employed by Island Lounge also did not have the proper licenses.
    • The article also says police were called to the bar 190 times in 5 years. This was three times more than any other establishment in Blue Island.


Bar Rescue slightly renamed Island Bar & Grill to Island Lounge and the bar kept the name, but also seemed to use the two names interchangeably.  The Bar Rescue makeover happened about TWO years before this episode aired.  In March of 2018, the bar was shut down due to a shooting incident that happened at the bar which involved Island Lounge bouncers.  Adam claims it was closed due to racial discrimination.  Police were supposedly called to the bar 190 times in five years and the bar remains closed.  Owner Adam Shorter is involved in four other bars in the Chicago area, so he still has other bars to take care of.

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

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