Saturday, April 29, 2023

Layla's Pizza Pub (Papa Joe's Sports Bar) - Bar Rescue Update

In this week's episode of Bar Rescue, Jon Taffer and crew are in Moreno Valley, California to rescue Papa Joe's Sports Bar.  The bar was opened in 2012 by restaurateurs Joe Naim and Raja Batchon.  The bar was initially a success and Joe took a back seat as an owner to somewhat retire from the bar. Then Raja passed away and Joe had to become more involved.  The hope is that Raja's kids can take over the bar, but right now Joe is supposedly losing about $5,000 a month and is supposedly over $200,000 in debt.

During the Bar Rescue makeover, Jon Taffer decided to change the name of Papa Joe's Sports Bar to Layla's Pizza Pub, but the bar changed their name back to Papa Joe's Sports Bar and also refers to themselves as PJ's Sports Bar. Let's take a look at some information, reviews, and updates for Papa Joe's Sports Bar since Bar Rescue came and made all of the changes to the bar (All reviews are post-Bar Rescue):

Positive Reviews:
  • "I was on lunch so I didnt get to sit at the bar but boy did I want to! I loved the beer selections and one of the patrons at the bar said their sandwiches are the best you can have. Unfortunately, they ran out of this special bread and was waiting for the restock. I ordered a medium pepperoni pizza, a side salad and the bartender was friendly while i waited. The pizza was really good and tasted fresh. The salad i was able to eat half and save the rest for the next day. I will come back so i can enjoy the inside of the bar and watch the tvs and discuss more beer options."
  • "One of the best pizza spots in Moreno Valley! As long as Joe owns it he knows what he is doing with pizza."
  • "This establishment was packed because of the 49ers versus Cowboys playoff game. It's really great feeling the excitement in the air. Server Maddie was hella quick delivering our beer and whiskey shot. She also informed us that the chef had lots of pizza orders but to please be patient. Armed with our pints and a shot, we were happy campers. Before polishing off the pint our delicious pizza arrived. It sound crazy but the Island Blue was phenomenal. Keep up the good work making this a go-to local place."
  • "All the pizzas were good and our waitress was very patient and accommodating for a large party. Hot Wings were top notch as well. Recently redesigned and it looks sharp."
  • "I always have a good time watching the Dodgers and Rams play. Friendly waitresses. Good bar food. To me, they serve one of the best pizza I've tasted. Great mature bar atmosphere.
  • Nice bars to hang out after a long week. Nice mature crowd."
  • "Pizza was great and the beers were cheaper than I expected. Great place to watch football and shoot so pool."

Negative Reviews:
  • "If I could give 0 stars I would!!! DO NOT COME TO THIS PLACE! I asked for a classic margarita on the rocks and received STRAIGHT PATRON, the drink was so clear you can tell they did not even try to make a margarita. It was DISGUSTING !!! :( After I asked if they can fix my drink the bartender realized the clear drink was no margarita and attempted to "FIX" it by watering it down. John Taffer needs to come back to this place and teach them how to make a margarita. These people are raunchy and only care about their friends visiting and do not care about their customers."
  • "Bar rescue fail. Went back to their old ways. Sucks to see a place fail after help. Staff only cares about their family/friends coming in."
  • "After bar rescue That place is not the same I'm not going back"
*Reviews from Yelp, Google

Other News and Links:
  • The Bar Rescue for Papa Joe's Sports Bar happened in the September of 2022.
  • Here is a preview video of the episode from the Bar Rescue YouTube page.
  • Here is another preview video on YouTube that shows footage of the stress test.
  • Here is the Papa Joe's Sports Bar website and Facebook page. Here is another website that has the PJ's Sports Bar logo. And here is yet another Papa Joe's website.  I am not sure why they have 3 different ones.
  • The bar changed their name from Layla's Pizza Pub back to Papa Joe's Sports Bar shortly after the makeover and it seems they refer to themselves as PJ's Sports Bar now.
  • Here are the Facebook pages of Joe (owner), Victoria (Raja's daughter/bartender), Lana (GM/Bartender)
    • Lana said she was promoted from bartender to GM. (Link)
  • Here are the reviews for PJ's Sports Bar from Yelp 1,  Yelp 2TripAdvisor, and Google.
    • For some reason there are 2 Yelp pages for PJ's Sports Bar and one says the name of the bar is 1960, but that is not accurate.  The 1960 Yelp page seems to have all of the older reviews.


Jon Taffer decided to change the name of Papa Joe's Sports Bar to Layla's Pizza Pub, but the bar quickly changed their name back to Papa Joe's Sports Bar.  They also go by PJ's Sports Bar and they have a new logo. The reviews for PJ's Sports Bar are positive with people liking the pizza and atmosphere for sporting events. The bar has duplicate websites and duplicate locations on Yelp, so they may want to clean things up online.  Layla's Pizza Pub was short lived and none of the sites refer to that name. 

*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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