Russell City Sports Bar / Fog Line Bar and Grill - Bar Rescue Update - Open or Closed?

Russell City Grill & Sports Bar Bar Rescue

In this Bar Rescue episode, Jon Taffer visits Russell City Grill and Sports Bar in Hayward, California.

Russell City Grill and Sports Bar is owned by Lee Bellot, a construction worker who bought the bar in 2014.

He used money inherited from his deceased mother to fund the purchase.

The business was initially successful making $50,000 a month, with no competition in the area.

His lack of experience showed and has led to a decline in business.

The staff have no inventory or proper tools so have checked out of their jobs.

They are in constant conflict with themselves and their customers.

Lee sees all of this happening at the bar but does not react.

This has led to his own friends taking advantage of his generosity, getting free drinks.

One friend in particular, Church, crosses the line with the bartenders.

He goes behind the bar to make his own drinks while getting into fights with staff.

These behaviours have driven paying customers away.

Lee has borrowed over $100,000 from his father and is currently in $280,000 debt.

Jon recons the bar with expert bartender Lisamarie Joyce and expert chef Aaron McCargo.

The bar is in a great location and the only one around an industrial area so the business is busier in the daytime.

They observe the exterior of the bar is a grey box like the surrounding buildings and it does not stand out.

Jon fills them in on Lee’s situation and introduces the staff.

L-Boogie, Pineapple, Nykita and Josie are all bartenders and Sherrie is the cook.

They see the bartenders taking shots on the job with Church, Lee’s friend.

Sherrie is cooking in a dirty kitchen with a leaking grease trap.

The bartenders are very unprofessional and are swearing at customers.

They are getting dressed, undressed and making up behind the bar, over pouring drinks and taking pictures.

Josie is the only bartender working and she is made aware of raw chicken that was served.

She has to return the chicken to the kitchen whilst Lee is playing pool at the bar.

The other bartenders are horsing around and complain loudly when Josie gets a bigger tip than them.

Church gets behind the bar to make a drink and L-boogie tries to stop him.

A physical fight ensues with breaking glasses and pushing equipment off tables.

The police are called and the fight is broken up.

Lee is disappointed when Jon meets with him.

Jon gets him to realise what happened was unacceptable and he needs to act.

Lee fires L-boogie and bans Church from coming into his bar anymore.

The next day, Jon has a meeting with staff, they say they are not protected in their jobs and they cannot control Church.

The staff believe the bar has no structure, system or management.

Lee allows his friends drink for free but he is not happy hearing this and gets defensive.

Jon introduces his experts and they inspect the kitchen and confirm the grease trap is full and leaking, causing a fire hazard.

The kitchen is in a state but Sherrie says she is all alone in the kitchen with no help while Lee is also held accountable.

Lisamarie gives feedback to the staff on their antics the night before.

She has them work as a team to make a basic drink from set ingredients.

Pineapple and Nykita are up and they struggle through, guessing the name and trying to make it.

When Lee is asked for help he does not sound interested.

Aaron trains Sherrie on making a meatball hero sandwich, which is quick and easy to make.

They are soon ready for the stress test night and Lee is the manager.

Jon has given Lisamarie and Aaron a hundred penalty cards to use on the staff anytime they fall short.

If a third of the penalty cards are used the staff would have failed the stress test.

The bartenders start off struggling right away, they are moving slowly and making drinks incorrectly.

Food is backed up in the kitchen as it is not going out.

Lee has to help run food to guests who have been waiting.

Lee gets confused and almost double serves a table.

It is clear that he is not respected by his staff and the penalty cards quickly pile up to over thirty.

Lisamarie is angry when Lee makes a comment about his bartenders making him look bad so she sets him straight and tells him off.

The bar is shut down as the stress test is a disaster.

The next day, Lee apologises to the staff for how he treated them and wants to work to earn their respect.

They are told they should target the working group in their area.

They are trained by Lisamarie on making a coffee cocktail.

In the kitchen, Aaron trains them on making a pasta and fish dish that they can make quickly and at a low price point.

Jon sits with Lee and his father and is reminded not to let Church back into the bar.

He apologises to his father for mishandling the funds and promises to do better.

The bar is renovated and while the staff are training Lee tells them they will be sharing tips.

This does not sit well with Pineapple who walks out after a verbal argument.

Nykita and Lee have an argument and she walks out as well while he calls in a new team.

The staff is gathered at sunset to reveal a new bar.

The bar has been renamed and is no called the Fogline.

The exterior has been repainted so it pops with a call to action describing all they have to offer.

The interior has been cleaned up and lit properly.

It now looks sleek and classy.

There are three new 2Touch POS systems and new equipment and bar tools.

On relaunch, the bar is opened to customers and they are loving the drinks and the food coming out.

Josie is training the new staff and doing great behind the bar.

Leemack Snr, Lee’s father is at the relaunch and is impressed by Lee, who is problem solving and working all areas of the bar.

What Happened Next at Russell City Grill & Sports Bar / Fog Line Bar and Grill?

Six weeks later, it revealed sales increased by 15%.

Pineapple and Nykita never returned to work at the bar.

The customers still love the new food and drinks.

Lee has plans on completing repayment to his father in a few months.

Fog Line Bar and Grill is closed.

They closed after the owner was convicted of drug offences.

Reviews were mostly positive with praise for the food and drinks.

This post was last updated in February 2022.

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