Image taken from Google Streetview, pre-Bar Rescue.
The infamous Liquid Lounge of Long Beach is no more as of February when Spike TV’s Bar Rescue dropped in to give the struggling dive bar a makeover.
The episode, Silence of the Ants, which aired Sunday featuring Liquid Lounge owner Rob McCarthy and his loyal staff, Lola, Tomas, Raemone and Stacy, follows the show’s host Jon Taffer as he uncovers the bar’s health hazards and disrepair and attempts to stoke a fire in its mostly passive ownership.
The true state of the joint pre-Bar Rescue was made undeniably apparent when Taffer took a pool cue to poke at a crack in the wall, and out poured a stream of confused ants. Exterminators later said the tiny insects were attempting to infest the entire establishment.
“Your building is coming down in front of us,” Taffer practically shouts, as the owner, Rob McCarthy and his employees stand and watch, seemingly dumbfounded.
Following the ant extermination, a stress test (where Taffer brings in a typical Friday night crowd to find out what the employees can handle), a training at Alex’s Bar courtesy of mixologist Rob Floyd (as the Liquid Lounge is being remodeled) and a few dramatic attempts to get McCarthy to actually care (it’s tough to be in debt), the Liquid Lounge is given the TLC it has desperately needed for the past three years.
New cocktails are brought in to replace the lounge’s haphazardly thrown together drinks, such as the Long Beach Tea, with lemon juice, sweet tea and Jack Daniels Old Number 7, garnished with an orange wedge, and The Weekender, with lemon juice, orgeat syrup, and Jack Daniels garnished with a lemon peel.
Panko-crusted shrimp poppers replace the shrimp skewers Taffer’s daughter attempts to try pre-Bar Rescue, where a dirty kitchen and distracted chef throw McCarthy’s operation into serious question.
It’s a heartwarming end to the makeover, as the Liquid Lounge family sees Taffer’s vision for a beach-themed and classier watering hole replace what was proclaimed as a run down, bug infested eyesore, with three months to go before closing.
However, Long Beach locals certainly cherish their dive bars, and it’s yet to be seen whether this change in brand will both please the lounge’s original patrons and attract new regulars, or end up back the way it was, accruing debt.
Bar Rescue’s makeover team transformed the Liquid Lounge in February, so let’s give it a good year for Long Beach to get used to the new look.
Tidal Bay Beach Bar is located at 3522 East Anaheim Street.