This week on Bar Rescue, Jon Taffer and crew are in Long Beach, California to try to rescue the Blacklight District Lounge. The owner, Dave Franich, purchased Max Steiners, a local dive bar back in 2012, changed its name, and transformed it into a live punk rock venue.
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In order to secure the $110,000 asking price, Franich convinced his lifelong friend Gabe Lopez to invest. As a result, Lopez jumped on the money train and invested $17,000.
After taking ownership of the bar, Franich, a construction worker by trade, who also dabbled as a musician locally for years, transformed the bar into a “punk rock palace” and renamed it the Blacklight District. The bar’s legal name is the “Black Light” District, but “Blacklight” appears to be the adopted name.
Franich says the bar hasn’t made a cent in the past four years, is losing $3,000 a month – and he’s in debt to the tune of $160,000.
Although Franich refuses to accept it, his staff recognized early that operating a bar dedicated exclusively to punk music failed to attract enough of the local demographic. Consequently, Taffer’s biggest obstacle in this rescue will be convincing Franich to cut back on the punk and add a touch of funk. But Franich, described by staff as being “stubborn” refuses to compromise.
Did Jon Taffer Walk Out?
I just want to point out that this is not a spoiler, so you can read on if you haven’t already watched the episode. However, I want to throw out the question – Did Taffer walk away from this rescue or was he pushed out? Check out what Elsy Santamaria had to say about the Blacklight District in a recent Facebook review post:
“No wonder Jon Taffer didnt want to save that shitty ass bar for obvious reasons!”
Read the entire post below:
They have lame ass security that dont even card you lmao, a dumb bitch blonde bartender named Val that talks shit about…
A Closer Look
The Blacklight District has a regularly updated Facebook Page and you’ll find even more action from the bar on Instagram. If you’re interested in more info on Dave Franich, you can check out his personal Facebook Page. Back in September, 2013, the Long Beach Post reported that Dave Franich was accused of making sexist and homophobic comments. Franich denied the allegations.
Where Do We Go From Here?
As Bar Rescue fans know, Taffer is keen to rebrand and rename most the bars he rescues – for obvious reasons. In this case, let’s just say the bar’s name is unchanged, and it’s still a live punk rock venue, owned by Franich.
Here’s a look at the Blacklight District’s liquor license:
Bar Rescue Promo Videos for the Blacklight District Episode
Punk Rock Owner Has Terrible Attitude
The owner of BlackLight District in Long Beach, CA thinks he knows more about the bar business than Jon Taffer. He doesn’t.
SoCal Punk Bar Is Stage Diving
The concept of a punk rock dive bar is beloved by die-hard fans, but there aren’t enough customers to keep this bar open without expanding to other genres.