Bar Rescue - The Hammer / Hammer and Ales - CLOSED

The Hammer Bar Rescue

In this Bar Rescue episode, Jon visits The Hammer in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The Hammer is owned by best friends and chefs Chris and Mitch .

They opened The Hammer in 2010.

They started well and were making $25,000 a month.

Mitch did almost everything at the bar whilst Chris took a backseat.

In 2011 he got sick and ended up in hospital for 3 - 4 months leaving Chris to run the bar.

On his return, Chris struggled to keep up and they had fallen behind on so many things.

They now have a rocky relationship and they are in $200,000 debt.

Jon recons the bar with expert chef Nick Liberato.

They see the sign outside and it is uninspired, facing the wrong way of oncoming traffic.

Jon fills Nick in on the dynamics of the bar.

Mike and Tom from Turbo Taps are the spies that go into the bar to test the bar service.

Chris is at the bar smoking and doing nothing while Mitch is in the kitchen working.

The spies order a Guinness and it is bitter and warm.

They order Nachos but it is unavailable.

They decide on catfish which they see Mitch make incorrectly.

The fries taste like fish.

Jon goes into the bar to confront the owners.

They tell Jon that Chris is the majority owner through a loan and they have just six months left of business.

Chris is complementary of Mitch but Jon points out what he said in his letter.

Chris blames Mitch and they start bickering, accusing each other of different things.

Soon, it comes out Chris has been saying things that are untrue and he has not been talking to Mitch.

They inspect the kitchen with Nick.

They see dust and the grease trap is full of food bits and grease.

There are a number of items stored incorrectly in the walk-in.

Jon is especially disappointed as they are both chefs.

They are made to clean that night and Jon goes in early to check on the kitchen.

Jon is happy so they start the staff meeting.

The staff say the bar is falling apart, Chris is unreliable and the staff do not like him because of his character.

The staff have not been paid and they are frustrated.

Jon introduces his experts including beer expert Adam Carmer.

Adam goes ahead and tests their beer from the tap, taking the temperature of the beer.

A member of staff demonstrates how she pours a beer and is corrected.

He trains them on the components of beer and what the ingredients do.

For the stress test they are serving three type of beers and three food items.

Nick trains them on making fish and chips properly.

The stress test begins and it is packed with customers.

The bartenders forget their training and keep pouring beers incorrectly.

Chris is supposed to be helping but keeps getting in the way.

He serves a table the wrong beer and cannot remember the name of the beers.

In the kitchen, the orders pile up and Mitch is buried with a backlog.

Customers complain of the beer being foamy and warm.

The customers are also hungry and fed up of waiting for food.

The ticket times are up to thirty six minutes.

Jon figures out why the beer is foaming.

They also find meat in the walk-in at the wrong temperature and are thrown out.

Chris is upset by this and tries to salvage the meat because of the costs.

Jon has a feedback session after the staff and he finds out what Chris said about the meats.

Mitch is encouraged to speak up about Chris.

Jon comes in the next morning and meets with the staff.

Chris is apologetic and says he sold his prized car to raise the back pay for staff.

The staff are emotional and happy.

Chris also gets a painting of him and Mitch in the kitchen as a present for Mitch.

Jon has Chris tear up the letter he wrote to Bar Rescue about Mitch.

Training commences with Adam letting them know the best beer pairings with food.

Nick trains them on the recognisable dishes that can go with the beers available.

Jon renovates the bar over thirty-six hours and the staff are gathered at night to reveal the new bar.

The bar has been renamed and is now called Hammer and Ales.

There is a visible sign that is now facing the right way of oncoming traffic.

There is also an eye-catching mural.

Inside, it is warmer with extra seating from LD Liquidators.

There is now a game room that they can have pool contests in.

The kitchen has an extra fryer and the oven has been repaired.

The beer taps have tripled and the air circulation is fixed so the beer will stay cold.

They have turbo taps for speed and temperature control.

There are flags on all the taps for a loyalty perk with anyone who drinks all the beers getting their name on a mug.

The picture Chris gifted Mitch is framed and put up on the wall.

They have some time to get ready and then open up for the relaunch.

On relaunch, the bartenders are ready.

They are knowledgeable on the beers and recommending beers and food.

Chris is managing the front of the house.

He is knowledgeable and is supportive.

The kitchen is keeping on the tickets and Mitch is observant.

The customers love the beers and food pairings.


What Happened Next at The Hammer / Hammer and Ales?

Six weeks later, drinks sales are up 30%.

Food sales are 15%.

Mitch and Chris are getting along like they used to and Chris was invited to Mitch's house for dinner.

The Hammer / Hammer and Ales closed in March 2016 after the bar was sold to new owners.

Reviews prior to the closure were mostly positive with praise for the staff, drinks and food.


Click for more Bar Rescues

Previous episode - Libad's Bar and Grill / Libad’s Seaside Tavern

Next episode - Marley's on the Beach /St Michelle’s Beach Club

This post was last updated in September 2021.

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