Sunday, April 23, 2023

Gateway Pub & Grill (Corner Pocket II) - Bar Rescue Update

In this week's episode of Bar Rescue, Jon Taffer and crew are in Hickory, North Carolina to rescue Corner Pocket II.  The bar is owned by former college football player Carlos Walker who bought the bar in 2009.  He is an absentee owner and the bar is falling apart and needing repairs.  There are also issues with cleanliness as there is moldy cheese and bugs in the kitchen.  The bar is supposedly losing $5,000 a month and Carlos is supposedly $150,000 in debt. 

During the Bar Rescue makeover, Jon Taffer decided to change the name of Corner Pocket II to Gateway Pub & Grill and the bar has kept the name. Let's take a look at some information, reviews, and updates for Gateway Pub & Grill since Bar Rescue came and made all of the changes to the bar (All reviews are post-Bar Rescue):

Positive Reviews:
  • "Great place to play pool, the bands are good, ( most of the time), people are friendly. This place is starting to catch on and I enjoy going there several times a month, and it getting better with every visit"
  • "The bartender Paige was amazing, great service to me and my friends. The wings were fantastic as well."
  • "The best tender is very good and friendly. My fries come out crispy as requested and a good burger!! They have Modelo beer on tap and I can play pool for free on Tuesdays. Perfect for me"
  • "Great atmosphere plenty of tables and great staff and food. Beer and ciders all the time only complaint is the bathrooms not very up to date other than that I'd return if back in the area. Now given it was very crowded on a Sunday."
  • "Good place to relax. Food is awesome, and the atmosphere is great."

Negative Reviews:
  • "We came in here after hearing Bar Rescue was revitalizing the bar to see the new setup. The new renovations look decent, but are mostly focused on the dining area (so bathrooms exactly the same). The cocktails we ordered were also both delicious, so things were mixed correctly there. That's unfortunately where my compliments end. The chicken and waffles were horrendous. The thigh I was given had about 3 bites of rough meat on it, the rest was bone, which is an odd combination on top of a waffle (see how Dame's does it). The waffles were Eggo waffles I'm pretty sure and that cost me $13. Service was also not great. We had taken a booth, but waitress only came for orders and food. I had to go up to the bar to get silverware for my chicken and waffles and it took 5 minutes to get acknowledged. This place is fine if you're stopping in for a drink at your local watering hole, but the food needs a complete overhaul again since I think that chicken/waffles was the worst meal I've had this year."
  • "This place is now called The Gateway Bar and Grill. The food wasn't bad, but bf said the Hamburger steak was absolutely made from a frozen patty. I tried ordering one of their specialty drinks, but they didn't have the ingredients. Would I return? No. But I'm glad I tried it"
  • "It may be an ok place to shoot pool but it’s definitely not a good place to eat lunch. They originally told us their fryer was broken so we ordered cheeseburgers. They sent them out wrong 3 times!! The third time I just removed the lettuce and ate it. It wasn’t a hard order just ketchup, mustard, and pickles. Also they do not carry lemons for water or tea."

*Reviews from Yelp, Google

Other News and Links:
  • The Bar Rescue for Corner Pocket II happened in August of 2022.
  • Here is a preview video of the episode from the Bar Rescue YouTube page.
  • Here is another preview video that shows how filthy the bar is with moldy cheese and cockroaches.
  • Here is the Gateway Pub & Grill Facebook page
    • The bar has been advertising their appearance on the show for months, so they seem excited about being on the show.
  • Here are the Facebook pages of Candy (Manager), Crystal (bartender), Ashton (bartender/Candy's daughter)
  • The bar posted the preview video of the mold/bugs and people were wondering why they would post it.  The bar responded, "The health ratings are in the high 90s. And the remodeling is nice and inviting! Bugs are gone. Food is great! The show is airing and the excitement about is amazing Come by and check it out! Make your own conclusions. Don’t be a keyboard warrior without even checking it out in person"
    • Here are the health inspection details over the years.  They didn't have bad grades before or after the Bar Rescue makeover. 
  • Here are the reviews for Gateway Pub & Grill from Yelp and Google.
  • Jon Taffer rescued a bar in Season 5 (3rd set) and renamed it Lucky's Corner Pocket.  That bar has since closed and here is the detailed update.


Jon Taffer decided to change the name of Corner Pocket II to Gateway Pub & Grill and the bar has kept the name.  The reviews for the bar are mixed with people liking the service and friendly atmosphere, but there are complaints about the food.  It seems like people think of Gateway Pub & Grill as more of a place to grab a drink and hang out instead of a place to get a meal.

*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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