Sunday, March 29, 2015

Bar Rescue - Patriot House (The Holding Company) Update

On tonight's episode of Bar Rescue, Jon Taffer and crew are in San Francisco, California to try to rescue The Holding Company.  The Holding Company has been in San Francisco for about 40 years and was recently bought by four Irish sisters.  Their bickering is supposedly causing the bar to go downhill and The Holding Company is supposedly losing $6,000 a month with a total debt of $600,000.

During the Bar Rescue makeover, The Holding Company was renamed to the Patriot House.  They have kept the name of the bar and still go by Patriot House.  Let's take a look at some information, reviews, and updates for the Patriot House since Bar Rescue came and made all of the changes to the bar:

Positive Reviews:
  • "Came in here last Friday to watch some March Madness. New owners must be doing something right the place was packed. Thankfully they had a TV outside on the patio. Score!...Service was swift and food was good...Bottom line is that the grub hit the spot, folks are super friendly and prices are decent for FiDi."
  • "I hadn't been here in a while, and now i've been twice in the past week.  I love the subtle but definite new changes. The place has life in it again!.... it felt like they kept the charm, and warmth of the old fashioned feel, but just gave the menu, service, and ambience a much needed update!"
  • "We had a corporate dinner and I have to say I was completely impressed.  From the very attentive service (from cocktails all the way through the end) to the food.  Everything was spot on."
  • "Great food, great service and a new look! Patriot House is a staple for Happy Hour in FiDi. Great for any game or a bite to eat!"
  • "The new Patriot House is great for watching sports! We came here to watch a Warriors game, and the place was packed. We still got a seat, they have tvs everywhere in the bar and restaurant so you can sit pretty much anywhere."
  • "Great food great service and atmosphere! So busy for happy hour and big parties! Def stop by for a tasty cocktail if your in the FiDi"

Negative Reviews:
  • "Well Bar Rescue, you have managed to mess up yet another decent bar. Patriot House, formerly known as Holding Company, is a sad excuse for a bar in the Financial District. A patriot house theme is probably the worst theme you could pick for this neighborhood - the FiDi is swarming with young professionals...First off, WHY ON EARTH WOULD YOU TAKE FLAT SCREENS OUT OF A BAR?!..Second, bring back the old menu with the old recipes..Third, seriously get rid of that UGLY 1776 sign... Fourth, if you are going to remodel, for god's sake at least change the faulty lighting in the corner by the bar....Sixth, get rid of those stupid barrel tables. Have you tried sitting at them?"
  • "I wish I could give this place a zero star review. They charge $10 for a shot of Jameson here. Bar Rescue was not enough. They also charged me and my colleagues full price for beers during happy hour"
*Reviews from Yelp

Other News and Links:
  • The Bar Rescue makeover happened in January of 2015.
  • When Bar Rescue was casting in San Francisco, they were calling all kinds of bars, including successful ones to try to get them to be on the show according to this article.
  • Here are two preview videos of the episode from the Spike TV website - Video 1, Video 2
  • Here is the Patriot House Facebook Page, and the old The Holding Company Facebook Page.
  • The bar recently had its 1-year anniversary party where they gave away a $1,000 bar tab as a prize. (Link)
  • Here is the Patriot House website that has a menu with food and drinks.  Here is The Holding Company website that has all Patriot House information.
  • Owner Marissa Browne was quoted in a local article saying, "It was so worth doing the show. We had such a good time doing it. I feel like they gave us direction. I feel like I have a brand new business. I feel refreshed"
  • Marissa Browne also owns another bar in San Francisco called the Napper Tandy, which seems to be popular and has good reviews. (Link)
  • Here are the Facebook pages of the sisters Marissa, Danielle, Leona, and Natalie
  • Many people commenting on the articles about the makeover seem to thing the Patriot House theme is strange for San Francisco and that it belongs somewhere like Boston or the East Coast and not in San Francisco.


The bar has kept the name of the Patriot House and has been getting mostly positive reviews.  People like the food, service, and atmosphere and multiple reviews said the place was packed.  There was a negative review complaining about no TVs, but it appears all of the TVs are back as other people say it is a great place to watch sports.  Also, some people think the Patriot House theme is confusing for San Francisco and belongs on the East Coast.

The reviews of The Holding Company were not bad before Bar Rescue came and it ran successfully for 40 years before the sisters bought it.  With Bar Rescue contacting many bars in San Francisco to be on the show, who knows if The Holding Company was actually struggling.  Also Marissa Browne owns another bar (which seems to be successful), and the Patriot House recently gave away a $1,000 tab as a prize which doesn't indicate a lot of struggle.

*To see how all of the bars from Bar Rescue are doing, go to the Bar Rescue Update page, and also Like us on Facebook or Follow Us on Twitter to stay up to date with all things involving Bar Rescue.

*If you didn't see, Piratz Tavern from Bar Rescue announced this week that they will be closing.


  1. This show gives the bars some of the stupidest names. The makeover for this episode looks the same.

  2. Well, I give it a thumbs up. The bar needed management help more than anything - the theme wasn't all that important. I do agree about the barrel tables though - As soon as I saw that I thought "those are a pain in the ass to sit at." They block your legs unless you have a giant table top.

  3. I have been going there for several years and have been disappointed on my last 3 visits with the quality of the potatoes used for the fries. I thought it may have been a one time thing but the last 2 visits I got the same (black spotted?) fries. Overall the food and service are quite good so am confused that the kitchen continues to serve these fries and doesn't notice the poor quality of the potatoes?

  4. Alexander ThompsonMarch 30, 2015 at 6:23 PM

    I haven't even watched the episode yet. Just seeing the intro, I see four ladies fishing for their own reality show.

  5. I confess I've never felt contempt for stupid, egotistical owners like I did at the sight of these four. Maybe the bar didn't need any cosmetic changes, but those four immature girls needed a slap upside the head.

  6. Mia has such a dazzling smile when she's working that Boston shaker. I find the jiggling of her arm cellulite oddly sexy.

  7. Wow. Jon Taffer is an absolute ass-clown. Why would anyone let such a jerk tell them how to run their business?
    This guy comes into town with his theme bar idea already cooked up and implements it, regardless of whether it's a good idea or not, no matter if a bar like The Holding Company has a 40 year old pedigree.
    Bar Rescue destroys yet another business. Why does a lunch/happy hour bar need a brand new theme? It's basically a cafeteria with booze. Why throw away a 40 year old name? Jon Taffer would rename the Tadich Grill if someone let him.

  8. I have to admit that the idea of a William Howard Taft-themed cocktail was rather abstruse.

  9. Um, because he's wildly successful at what he does?

    You throw away the name once the name becomes Mudd. Rebranding is a much easier way to get people back in than trying to convince them that a place they didn't like has turned over a new leaf.

  10. Plus he was from Ohio. No connection to the Patriot theme or California

  11. Are you familiar with The Holding Company?

  12. If they were losing $4000 a month, I don't have to be......

  13. I think too many people are getting hung up on the Patriot name. I got the impression that the theme of the bar was a celebration of America, as it were. One of these days, next time I got up to the city, I'll have to check it out....

  14. So, "no." OK.
    I guarantee you that more people knew The Holding Company name but didn't know they were serving a shit product for the past 11 months than were turned off by the "depths" to which the brand had fallen in that time.
    The problem is that Taffer is on a 72-hour, reality show turnaround schedule, and his producers' cluelessness is demonstrated by the list of incredibly successful bars in San Francisco they tried to line up for a "rescue." It was obvious that he came to town with a quiver of "bar themes" ready to deploy, and simply monkey-wrenched an justification for the theme into whatever venue was dumb enough to let him yell at their owners for three days.
    $4,000 a month? That's the equivalent of one or two additional lunch four-tops per workday from breaking even, and it's hardly the basis for not knowing what you're talking about but holding forth as if you do.

  15. You guarantee it, huh? So, did you go and do a survey to come to this conclusion? Because the owners did. Guess what they found out? People's opinions on The Holding Company were very polarized.

    In the end, it doesnt matter. The sisters are happy with the result. The reviews are mostly positive, so it seems to be working, your tirade about the na.e value notwithstanding.

    As for me, I have a meeting in the city tomorrow. I think I know where I'm gonna have lunch now....

  16. Sunnyvale man comes to the city for lunch. Stop the presses.

  17. If you're like 99% of restaurant patrons (a figure I just made up, but which restaurant owners should assume to be accurate) you didn't mention the problem to your waiter or restaurant management, but you have mentioned it to other potential patrons and it is affecting your decision about whether or not to return to the business.

    This is a huge reason why food quality is so important and why "It's not coming back, so it must be okay" is the comment of an incompetent manager. Any bar or restaurant that serves food needs to establish quality standards, constantly monitor food quality, and hold staff to those standards.

  18. At the end of the day, the owners decided to keep the new name and theme. I have no sense that they believe their business to be harmed or disadvantaged by the name change and, if I take them at their word, they seem to be pleased with the changes.

  19. Perhaps it's a "no publicity is bad publicity" thing -- the more people grumble about the name change, the more people will hear about the bar and its changes.

    If the theme is unique to the market, even if some people perceive it as better suited to the east coast, there's something to be said for being unique.

  20. Well, guess where I had lunch today? Since I had a morning meeting in the City, I thought I'd swing by and check out Patriot House.

    I got there just before noon, and the place was about a 1/3 full, but was about 2/3 full by time I left. I really liked the motif; I don't get why people think Boston is the only place that should have an American Revolution themed restaurant. For those complaining about the barrel tables, I only saw two of them in the bar area. The rest were regular tables.

    I went ahead and sat at the bar. I chatted with the bartender a bit about the rescue. She said she'd seen a bit of an uptick in business since the episode, and that she hadn't seen the episode proper yet, but really wanted to. It seems that keeping the existing bar was not only good for aesthetic reasons, but for practical ones as well. The bartender said that it was one of the few bars she's worked behind in 14 years that was logically set up to function as a bar. Most other places she's worked at, the bar was hard to work behind since it wasn't built with someone actually having to tend behind it.

    I ordered a glass of Zinfandel (Seven Deadly Zins). It's a nice Zinfandel, but I paid almost what I'd pay for a bottle of it at Safeway. I also ordered the burger with fries. Contrary to what someone mentioned below, the fries didn't look like they were poor quality. I did notice that they were natural cut, perhaps that what threw that guy off. They tasted fantastic! The were crispy on the outside, nice and soft on the inside. The burger was also delicious, and cooked just the way I like it. My only complaint is this: when I pay $14 for a burger, I'd expect the patty to be a 1/2lb, or at least a 1/3lb. This patty looked like it was about 1/4lb. Then again, this is San Francisco. Everything is expensive there.....

    Time from food order to serving me the food was about 12 minutes. The service was nice and friendly (my bartender always made sure to acknowledge people coming in when the seater was busy seating others). When I got up to leave, the bartender shook my hand and asked my name, and introduced herself (I think it was Camille? I always have a bad time remembering names....) and asked me to come again.

    Since I don't go to the City that often, I don't know when the next time I'll be there is. I would definitely go again if I had the opportunity to.

  21. I can answer that question. My bar was also up for being on the show. People were being cold called in San Fran area in April. The same month the girls bought the bar. I waited 9 months struggling being promised they would come and the week they were here this bar was chosen over mine. I had been struggling for years. They had owned the bar for a month the first time they were interviewed. It's just bullshit.

  22. You seem to have some sort of axe to grind and unresolved anger issue. I will pray for you.

  23. Did you reach the point that surveillance cameras were installed in your bar?

    At heart, Bar Rescue is a TV show, so if they're choosing between bars they're apt to pick the bars that they believe will make for the most compelling television. That mean that the show's priorities will involve more than "Which bar is in the worst financial shape", or "Which bar owner has struggled the longest." The bar owner's salesmanship can factor in -- at least one bar owner has described how she crafted a narrative for the show to work with, starting with her initial application, such that the producers would be able to envision a story of rescue and redemption that was not duplicative of prior episodes.

  24. Yup did all that, they were at mandala, producer said one more week, they were at holding company, producer said one more week, the next week came and he said it's either you or this other bar, give me one more week. Then the answer was unless there is a disaster of some sort it's going to be the other bar. Funny though, that bar isn't scheduled yet to air since Mandala was the last one for season 4. The bar that was filmed instead of us wasn't even on the list when I met with the contractor the month before. And from their facebook and yelp reviews looks like they stayed the same, haven't even established a new facebook page. Regardless, it's over, my landlord asked me to leave as soon as I told them they weren't coming. I closed my bar a month after they told me they weren't. Our income had gone down by half from the initial interview to the time they were supposed to show up. Mostly due to stealing bartenders I couldn't get rid of or risk not being on the show, and a declining interior that I wasn't supposed to change. I could get sued probably from all of this since I'm still under contract but really what are they going to take from me now.

  25. What is the name of the other bar? Its interesting that there are 9 episodes this season when there was supposed to be 10

  26. I find your explanation to be interesting, but honestly... if you were failing due to your dated decor, and more so if you were failing because you tolerated theft by your employees, those are issues you should have addressed years ago.

  27. Well, it would be nice if it fit into a great little explanation like that but no. My doors shut because for nine months I let it go to hell on the belief and reassurance I got that we would be on. Decor wasn't dated, we had only been open since 2012. I said declining...One of the bartenders that was stealing I had had for a month when we were initially interviewed. I don't think he was stealing at that point at least that I am aware of. The other I wasn't aware of until months later. When your employees know that they can do whatever they want and you can't do a thing because you might lose the opportunity of being on the show they do whatever they want. Probably the point don't you think. And yes, it was my choice but they could have just told me that I was a back up bar and given me the option of letting my bar go to shit or try to save myself. That's the reason I am posting this. I couldn't find anything and I spent literally hours and hours and hours searching for someone who had been left as a backup bar until the last possible minute. It was just mean honestly it was. I had 18 employees. If I had known I was a back up bar I wouldn't have put everything into it. But it's the chance of a lifetime and I really didn't think they would be as cruel as to keep someone hanging until literally the last possible moment. For the first couple of weeks they were here I thought they were just messing with me, trying to get me on edge. But nope, they really were that mean. It's just about what they need. I just can't help but think that in every city there are bars just like mine that are lead to believe they are going to be on and then at the last possible moment are left behind.

  28. I don't want to say that would really piss them off if they are reading this since it hasn't aired yet if it's going to. It takes a lot to find it. There is literally nothing in the news about it like there was with the Holding Company and Mandala Lounge but if you are able to find their Facebook they do talk about it and hashtags help to locate it.

  29. You can email me at [email protected] if you don't want it on here

  30. If in fact a producer told you that you would be disqualified from participation if you fired an employee for stealing from you, I think you should take that up with the production company.

  31. Just wanted to let all you haters know, San Francisco was founded in 1776. And last time I checked California and San Francisco were still a part of the US!

  32. It's hard to trump a bar that had a freaky porno taped in it.......