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Pepe’s Mexican Food and Cantina on Bar Rescue: Everything We Know

May 17, 2020
4 min read

Jon Taffer’s experience as a food and beverage consultant comes in handy when he is called by ailing bar-restaurants that need a glam up. ‘Bar Rescue,’ thus, works with practical reasons as to why a restaurant may not be appreciated by its customers. While this sees its own set of drama unfold, one cannot help but be hooked to the makeover process.

The latest episode of ‘Bar Rescue’ features Pepe’s Mexican Food and Cantina, in Canyon Lake, California. The restaurant’s owners, Victor and Laura Demoreno, purchased the bar for quite the sum, but when their losses started adding up to $ 6,000 each month, they knew they had to do something. The main reason being the owners’ lack of enthusiasm to mingle with the customers. After Taffer’s suggestion, the restaurant has made significant changes, including changing the bar’s name to Par Bar.

Pepe’s Mexican Food and Cantina: What Do They Serve?

Although the name of the bar has changed to Par Bar, it’s official re-opening hasn’t had a chance to take proper effect due to COVID-19. In fact, the restaurant has even closed temporarily due to this. Most of the food is now delivered through take away orders. The earlier website of the restaurant has expired. But if we go by their Instagram page, they now serve Chile Colorado burritos, shredded beef chimichangas, and a general variety of tacos, quesadillas, and muliatas.

Although it is now closed, the drinks offered earlier included leprechaun cocktail, lucky charm mojito, and skinny Irish Rita.

The bar also has a weekly schedule that is inclusive of taco Tuesday, Bogo drinks and DJ, etc. They have added more items to the menu. The ‘Bar Rescue’ makeover happened in February 2020, and it seems to have changed some things.

Pepe’s Mexican Food and Cantina Reviews Post Bar Rescue

It is a tough call to really gauge how the bar-restaurant has been doing post its makeover, as the rising pandemic seems to have taken its toll on all businesses, including this one. It did make both interior and exterior renovations to its bar. The bar now aims to attract golf players. The new Par Bar Yelp page and Facebook page offers some basic insights into how it has been doing. “Not much has changed sadly other than the decor. Service was horrible and the place was not that busy. Asked for food and she never came back. Ended up asking for the check and moved on to a place with better service.” (Yelp)

Posted by The par bar canyon lake ca on Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Another review read: “Went in thinking it would have been a bar rescued but there was no rescue. Same draft beers,  same bar… some wallpaper and new chairs.  It wasn’t much of a rescue. I’m actually embarrassed for the place… It’s so cheesy…Literally they have a wood prop by the entrance… such a joke. Go take a look for yourself. Nothing special.” (Yelp)

While this makes it seem like the renovated bar is not doing well, there are some recent reviews on their old Pepe’s social media page that shows that customers still appreciate their service, food, and drinks. One of the Facebook reviews said: “great food service nice atmosphere.”

We used the side room for my 50th birthday party! Peggy was awesome to deal with as we were organizing it from out of…

Posted by Susan Spiro on Friday, February 23, 2018

Some customers still post on their old Yelp page, and one its regular customers said: “Pepes is a staple for those of us that live in Canyon Lake. I suppose as a regular, we may receive better service. We always have excellent service. The drinks are strong and yes, a little pricey but reliable. Here are a few of the best things on the menu- Chili Colorado burrito, bean dip, nachos borrachos.”

Just a few days ago, the restaurant opened itself up to take to-go orders. They have even provided a food menu on their Instagram page.

It now looks like it may take some time for the new Par Bar to separate itself in operation from Pepe’s. Check out the snippet of their episode on ‘Bar Rescue’ below:

Read More: Kalaveras Cocina Cantina on Bar Rescue 

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