Bar Rescue - The Los Angeles Brewing Company / LA Brew Co - CLOSED

Los Angeles Brewing Company Bar Rescue

In this episode of Bar Rescue, Jon Taffer visits the Los Angeles Brewing Company in downtown Los Angeles.

Los Angeles Brewing Company is owned by who Richard Ramos, who invested $250,000 into the Brewing Company in 2012.

LA Brewing Company at the time was newly renovated in the historic Chapman building.

Richard says that he sees great potential in this place.

Richard says when he first invested in the bar it was making $2,000,000 a year.

Richard had a legal dispute with the owner and borrowed $250,000 for a buyout.

Richard took over ownership and was general manager.

In order to keep up with labor costs, Richard fired the original staff and hired his family members.

He also slashed the inventory in half.

Richard’s nephew Abel says that working with his uncle is hell.

He doesn’t listen to his staff and the bar is losing $15,000 a month.

Richard is using the profits from his family’s glazing company to cover the losses.

His sister Keyla says that they don’t know anything about running a bar.

Richard and his family are $1,000,000 in debt.

Richard makes a call for help to Bar Rescue.

Downtown Los Angeles is home to the historic Broadway theater district.

For over 50 years, Broadway was the busiest street in all of Los Angeles.

The economic recession of the 1970s changed the landscape of Broadway, which forced businesses to close.

In 2008, the city launched a 10-year revitalization project called Bringing Back Broadway.

Since then, Broadway has turned into a trendy nightlife spot.

Broadway has bars averaging $300 per square foot in annual sales.

However, the Los Angeles Brewing Company is failing to match up to the other neighborhood bars.

Jon brings in Maria Menounos, a celebrity and television host.

The bar is missing most of its beer tap handles.

Jon says that this bar is his biggest challenge yet due to the bar’s size of 7,000 square foot.

The bar is only averaging $100 per square foot in sales, which doesn’t even cover the operating costs.

This bar is losing so much money that it’s causing the family to grow apart.

Jon says that him and Maria will do the recon and he also has another set of people for recon.

Jon brings in his friends Jon and Jason for the recon.

Jon asks them how many beers they have, which is 18.

Yet, the sign at the bar says they have 100 beers.

Jon orders every beer they have.

Jon points out that the beer wasn’t poured correctly and he makes the bartender try again.

He got it right the second time.

Meanwhile, Jason and Jon are struggling to get a bartender’s attention.

Maria says the beer was really nasty and bitter.

Monica, the cook, is squishing the hamburger.

Jon says this can make the burger dry.

Jason and Jon ordered burgers and the meat is raw.

Jon tells the owners to shut the bar down.

Jon meets with the staff to discuss what is going on in the bar.

Abel says that Richard doesn’t know what he’s doing when it comes to running a bar.

The staff thinks that Abel can’t handle running a bar.

They say that the fact that Richard uses the money from their family’s money from the glass business to help fund the bar.

They want to sell the bar but Richard doesn’t want to.

Jon asks who thinks that Richard is the reason this bar is failing and everyone raises their hand.

The next morning, Jon meets with the staff.

Jon says he needs to get some confidence from Richard before the bar can succeed.

Richard says there’s no excuses for the way he does things but there are reasons why he does them this way.

Jon says that Richard can’t fix the simplest of problems.

Jon brings in BBQ expert Kevin Bludso.

He says that for the stress test tonight, he will be putting Kevin in the kitchen.

He brings in Neil Witte for the bar as he is an expert in beer and draft systems.

The chromes on the beer taps are disgusting and need to be cleaned.

Jon wants Neil to go through the beer system from top to bottom.

There’s mold growing in the beer lines.

Neil says there’s obvious signs of neglect in this system.

He says Richard needs to learn more about his draft systems to serve the best beer he possibly can.

Jon says that they have to replace some of the lines and rotate kegs.

The kitchen has a lot of debris that will need to be cleaned.

Jon tells Kevin to not show them a thing until they clean the kitchen.

Jon says he’s not sure he can fix this.

Richard says he’s going to learn to be the best businessman he can be.

Neil says he wants to teach the staff how to properly pour the right beer to the right customer.

He explains how the beer goes bad if kept on keg for an extended amount of time.

They cleaned up the kitchen and Kevin is going to show them how to cook chicken wings.

They also cleaned the pipe lines to the beer.

Jon says he wants Richard to step up more for tonight’s stress test.

The bar opens for stress test.

Neil says if they can’t get beers out right then to stop serving it altogether.

Jon says that they can’t serve this beer and customers are upset.

Richard doesn’t know where to get nitrogen from for the beer.

Jon says they have to close the bar down for the night.

Jon tells the customers that they can’t serve the customers and to go home.

Jon gives them a choice to continue with this bar or sell it after remodel.

Richard puts Israel as acting manager.

Jon is installing a brewing system in the bar.

Neil shows the staff a drink called the Snake Bite.

Kevin shows them a few recipes they will be adding to the menu.

Jon begins the remodel on the bar.

Jon brings the staff back to the bar to see the new changes.

The bar has been renamed and is now called LA Brew Co.

The staff all think that this bar looks amazing now.

Jon installed SmartBrew.

He also added a system that will ensure they never run out of gas again.

Jon says that this is the most expensive bar rescue he has ever done.

LA Brew CO opens for the first time since remodel.

On relaunch, everything is going smoothly.

The customers are very happy with the new food and drinks.

Jon says now there’s no stopping them.

Jon shakes Richard’s hand and says that his work here is done.

Richard says that Jon brought his family back together.


What Happened Next at The Los Angeles Brewing Company / LA Brew Co?

Six weeks after relaunch, food sales are up by 25% and drink sales are up by 30%.

Israel is successfully managing the bar.

Richard is no longer using money from his family’s glass company to help run the bar.

The Los Angeles Brewing Company / LA Brew Co closed in April 2015.

The bar closed after their licence was suspended and the building was put up for sale for $500,000.

They closed just two months after Jon rescued the bar.

Reviews complained of limited beers on offer and the wings were never available despite being on the menu.

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Previous episode - Friar Tucks / Stein Haus

Next episode - The Holding Company / Patriot House

This post was last updated in September 2021.

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