Jon Taffer rescues The Hooch in Dearborn Heights, Michigan

The Hooch Bar now The Proving Ground (Google Street View)
The Hooch Bar now The Proving Ground (Google Street View)

Jon Taffer and crew will be performing their makeover magic at Dearborn Heights dive “The Hooch” this week for the latest episode of Spike TV’s Bar Rescue. The episode was filmed in late August.


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In this episode entitled “Vulgar Vixens,” Taffer takes on a failing Michigan bar with a confusing theme and foul-mouthed owner Chandra Phillips, whose vulgarity and rudeness drives away female customers and degrades her staff.

Like most bars featured on the show, Taffer reserves the option to change s bar’s name. Well, you can say goodbye to “The Hooch,” and say hello to “The Proving Ground.”

As it currently stands, the “Proving Ground” is the assumed name of the bar. According to the state of Michigan, an assumed name is a name other than the official name of the licensee as maintained in the state’s database.

A copy of the corporate entity details for the “Proving Ground” can be seen below.

Proving Ground name registration

“The Hooch” is just one of four bars Jon Taffer and his crew took over in southeast Michigan in recent months for new episodes that are set to air over the next few weeks.

Below is a photo of Jon Taffer at The Hooch during the rescue.

Jon Taffer at The Hooch
Jon Taffer at The Hooch (Facebook)

Below is a photo of the Bar Rescue crew at the scene of the crime in Dearborn Heights.

The Bar Rescue Crew
The Bar Rescue Crew (Facebook)

The Reviews Are In

Before the rescue, most Yelp reviews were negative. Since the rescue, reviews have improved and appear to be mostly positive. Prior to the makeover, The Hooch sported two stars on Yelp, post rescue, the Proving Ground Bar now boasts 3.5 stars on Yelp. A definite improvement.

On the Positive Side

  • Great neighborhood sports bar! While on the way here I remembered as soon as I saw the place that this was a bar recently rescued by Jon Taffer for his show Bar Rescue. We stepped in and instantly felt a comfortable neighborhood bar vibe.
  • So i stopped in on the official first night it was open, and under extreme stress the bartender cyn stepped up to the challenge and made me 3 drinks in a good time facing an extreme challenge, the new interior is top notch, it’s a great bar!
  • Came here on the first night it was open for the bar rescue “relaunch”. The drinks are pretty good, although very expensive.  The gravy and cheese tots are on point though.

On the Negative Side

  • Stopped in for an after dinner drink and to see the remodel after bar rescue. The vodka soda tasted exactly like soda water no vodka at all. Rating 2 stars only because it was brighter inside than before and didn’t try any of the food items.

If you’re in the area Sunday, the Proving Ground is hosting a viewing party starting at 7 p.m. The bar has a new website, but it’s a bit bland. They also have a Twitter account, but haven’t really been very active, and you can check out their Facebook page for updates and recent photos since the rescue. A few photos are also available at the Proving Ground’s Instagram page.

“Vulgar Vixens” airs Sunday, Nov. 15, at 10/9C.

The Social Media Scene

Proving Ground Bar & Grill

A photo posted by ☆ Proving Ground Bar ☆ (@provinggroundbar) on