Sunday, October 16, 2016

Bar Rescue - Sam Jordan's Update

On tonight's episode of Bar Rescue, Jon Taffer and crew are in San Francisco, California to try to rescue Sam Jordan's. Sam Jordan's is a bar that has been open since 1959 and is named after its founder Sam Jordan who was a boxing champion and a Navy veteran. The bar was the first African-American owned bar in the city and received historic landmark status in 2013. Sam passed away in 2003 and the bar was inherited by his children.  The bar is supposedly $500,000 in debt, which is why Bar Rescue is there.

During the Bar Rescue makeover, Jon Taffer decided to keep the name of the bar due to its history and it still goes by the name of Sam Jordan's. Let's take a look at some information, reviews, and updates for Sam Jordan's since Bar Rescue came and made all of the changes to the bar (All reviews are post-Bar Rescue):

Positive Reviews:
  • "I gotta say that even though I like the drinks and that's what I'd expect to be the speciality, the food is very delicious here. I've had the fried chicken, ribs, and corn wheels and I would recommend those to anyone trying to decide what to order....The drinks go pretty well with the food too and I've had a couple I liked...I thought the service was very friendly and easy to talk to....It's got a nice neighborhood bar feel to it."
  • "Why do San Franciscans avoid a neighborhood with culture and flavor? Come to this place and get amazing cocktails with a side of great food! Treasure took great care of us. Yeah, we were the only peeps of the Caucasian Persuasion in the place but the staff and patrons made us feel welcome. America and unity is alive and well in this age and for that I thank love for all and love for Sam Jordan's!"
  • "Great food and good music tiffany is a great bartender my favorite and dj hype is awsome"
Negative Reviews:


*Reviews from Yelp, Google

Other News and Links:
  • The Bar Rescue makeover happened in July 2016.
  • Here are two preview videos of the episode from the Spike TV website - Video 1, Video 2.
  • Here is the Sam Jordan's Facebook Page.  There is also another Facebook Page for the bar which is a little less active.  They also have an Instagram page which is big on wishing people happy birthday.
  • The bar did have a website, but it looks like the domain name has expired.
  • Here are the Facebook pages of Ruth (owner), Vikki (bartender), and  Tiffani (bartender).
  • Here are more Yelp reviews of the bar from before the makeover and they are pretty much all positive with a 4-star average.  There are a lot of compliments on the BBQ.
  • In a local article a few weeks after the makeover, it was revealed that:
    • Ruth Jordan wrote Bar Rescue a letter about four years ago, and they finally got the call to be on the show.
    • It was a 10-day makeover that included a "modern interior, with marble walls covered in framed photos that showcase the history of the bar. New barstools and tables, complete with customized table tents displaying the food menu, have been added, as have three large flat-screen televisions for sports enthusiasts."
    • Ruth said that although Jon Taffer is known for belittling people, he didn't do that with her.  She is pleased with what they did with the bar and anything else that needs to be worked on can be done themselves. 
  • Here is the Landmark Designation Report for Sam Jordan's, which is about 30 pages long.  So if you want to know more information about the history of Sam Jordan's, it is all in that report. 


The bar kept the name of Sam Jordan's as Bar Rescue decided not to change the name due to its history.  The few reviews the bar has have all been positive with complements on the food and atmosphere.  The bar is happy with the makeover and it seems like things went smooth with the Bar Rescue makeover.  It also seems like the bar had positive reviews before the makeover and it is hard to see how there was a $500,000 debt for a bar that has been in business since 1959.

UPDATE - Sam Jordan's closed in November 2019 - More info on the closure.

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

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