(keep reading to learn what happened)
Season: 5 | View All Season 5 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: October 2, 2016
The Bar's Original Name Was: Russell City Grill and Sports Bar
Fogline Bar and Grill Address: 25037 Clawiter Rd Hayward, CA 94545
Russell City Grill and Sports Bar, later renamed to Fogline Bar and Grill, was a Hayward, California bar that was featured on Season 5 of Bar Rescue.
Though the Fogline Bar Rescue episode aired in October 2016, the actual filming and visit from Jon Taffer took place a few months before that.
It was Season 5 Episode 6 and the episode name was “Win, Lose or Brawl” .
Russell City Grill and Sports Bar, owned by Lee Bellot, is in Hayward, CA.
If you’re not familiar with California geography, Hayward is in the Bay Area and has a population of around 163,000 people.
It’s located in between Oakland and San Jose and almost directly across the bay from San Francisco.
In 2014 Lee bought the bar with money left to him when his mother passed away.
At first, there were no other bars in the area, so Russell City Grill was very popular and did well.
Sadly, due to his lack of experience in the industry, the bar began to fail.
The staff has no motivation and is not given support or the proper tools needed.
The employees are always fighting with each other as well as the customers.
It’s so crazy! Jon Taffer even watches a brawl from the van:
Lee knows this is happening but does nothing to stop it.
Lee’s friends take over the bar and get free drinks.
One of Lee’s friends, Church, gets into arguments with the bartenders.
He makes his drinks behind the bar even though he does not work there.
At the time of the Russell City Grill Bar Rescue episode, the bar is close to $300,000 of debt.
Spoiler alert – that’s the kind of debt that could make a person do crazy things to get out from under it.
Mixologist Lisamarie Joyce and Chef Aaron McCargo join Jon Taffer to help save the bar, starting with some recon.
The experts and Jon agree the bar is in a prime location because there are no other bars in the town.
The three of them also agree the exterior of the bar is bland.
The camera footage shows Lee and the staff.
L-Boogie, Pineapple, Nykita, and Josie bartend. Sherrie works in the kitchen as the cook.
The bartenders are drinking with one of Lee’s friends at the bar.
Inside the kitchen, we can see that it’s filthy and has a dirty grease trap.
As you’d expect from a bar on Bar Rescue, the bartenders are unprofessional.
They are drinking behind the bar, applying their makeup, and getting dressed while they’re supposed to be working.
Lee is playing pool. Church tries to make a drink behind the bar but gets into a fight with L-Boogie.
An argument ensues, and the cops are called.
Lee and Jon Taffer meet after Jon tries to get Lee to realize that what happened was unacceptable.
The next day, the staff tells Jon it is not their fault they cannot control Church.
Lee gets defensive when he is called out for allowing his friends to drink for free.
The experts are introduced and confirm the grease trap in the kitchen is a fire hazard.
Lisamarie challenges the staff to work as a team to make drinks instead of fighting all the time.
On the kitchen side, Chef Aaron trains Sherrie on how to make a meatball sub sandwich to get ready for the stress test.
Lee is tasked with working as a manager for the stress test.
Jon gives Lisamarie and Aaron penalty cards to give employees when they make a mistake.
The bartenders struggle immediately.
The kitchen also gets backed up, and Lee has to run food to waiting guests.
Jon notices the employees do not respect Lee.
Lisamarie yells at Lee when he blames the bartenders for the failing stress test. The test ends.
Now, it’s time to really get to work on improving the bar…
Lisamarie takes the bartenders through making a coffee cocktail.
Aaron shows Sherrie how to make a pasta and fish entrée that is quick to make.
Jon Taffer meets with Lee and his dad, and he reminds them to keep Church away from the bar.
Lee promises his father he will do better and says he is sorry for mismanaging his loan.
The owner tells the staff they will share tips from now on.
Pineapple does not like this and leaves.
Nykita also quits after a verbal fight with Lee.
He then has to hire a new bartending team.
While all of that’s going on, Jon Taffer and his crew have been hard at work on renovating the bar.
As part of the changes, Jon Taffer renamed the bar from Russell City Grill to Fogline Bar and Grill.
The interior is renovated to look high-end and clean.
The bar has been gifted new appliances and tools.
Lee’s father is at the relaunch and is proud of his son.
So would the Russell City Grill Bar Rescue episode be a long-term success? Keep reading to learn what happened next and if it’s still open in 2023.
Fogline Bar and Grill Update - What Happened Next?
Now that we’ve recapped the Fogline Bar Rescue visit, let’s talk about what happened to the bar after Jon Taffer and his crew left Hayward, CA.
Things seemed to start off ok for the bar.
At the normal six-week check-in with Bar Rescue producers, we learn that sales at Fogline have increased by 15%.
That’s not as big of an increase as many other bars from the show, but every little bit helps in the hospitality industry.
However, sales would not be enough to save Fogline forever, as it has one of the wildest post-Bar Rescue stories you’ll find on this site.
Is Fogline from Bar Rescue still open?
Fogline Bar and Grill closed in March 2022 for one of the craziest reasons that you’ll see at any Bar Rescue bar.
Ever since the Fogline Bar Rescue episode, the bar had been surviving, though with mixed reviews.
However, Lee Bellot, the Fogline owner, got caught in an FBI/DEA string involving coke smuggling!
He was indicted in 2019 and then convicted in 2022.
Bellot, along with co-conspirators, was allegedly running coke through the San Francisco airport, getting through by the assistance of corrupt airport employees.
Here’s a screenshot of the news article (linked below) where you can see his name:
In the indictment, Bellot was said to be caught talking with an informant about the arrangement.
Here’s a quote of what he allegedly told the informant:
I had a connect.
I’d run 10 bricks to Philly, 10 bricks to Ohio, and 10 bricks of china white to Miami, I used but my boy got popped.
But I did find someone else recently.
In a crazy twist of fate, Bellot was supposedly meeting with the informant at Fogline Bar and Grill, so the bar is intimately linked to the story.
The alleged activities happened during an eight-month period in 2018 and Bellot was then indicted in 2019.
However, he hadn’t been convicted of anything until March 2022, when he was convicted on two counts involving coke smuggling.
He has not been sentenced yet but he faces up to 40 years in prison for one count and life in prison for the other.
Needless to say, his conviction means that Fogline Bar and Grill is closed, at least in terms of Bellot’s ownership.
In addition to the conviction, a March 2022 Yelp review also indicates that the bar’s parking lot has a chain on it:
Read news item that FEDS raided the place and drugs were found/distributed.
Been there a few times, but it’s location is not ideal for me.
But, parking lot has a chain on it now.
Wonder if Bar Rescue will re-rescue this establishment.
You can see the chain and torn down signage in the most recent picture of the Fogline Hayward CA location:
If you want to read more about this crazy story, here are some good articles:
- Mercury News article that details the smuggling ring – this is the most detailed article that I could find.
- Kron 4 article on the conviction
Fogline Bar and Grill reviews after Bar Rescue
Interestingly, a lot of the Fogline Bar reviews from before the closure hint at somewhat shady things going on in or around the bar.
Overall, Fogline Bar and Grill had a 3.5 star Yelp rating, which isn’t bad.
However, here’s a sampling of some of the reviews that indicated shady activity.
Sorry man but y’all get a grip.
Having my car broke into.
Good thing it was a rental and an iPhone chargers are under 10 bucks.
But listen that parking lot campground is not very attractive
Smell has disappeared.
The parking lot is full of homeless junkies.
Want to visit again but the cliental or non clients in the parking lot make you want to stay in the car.
Altogether an atrocious establishment.
We walked in and it was quite dark (it’s mainly a bar).
There were bar stools outside all piled up on one another.
This should have been a sign.
But anyway, we walk in and we’re kinda unsure about the place.
No one is in there..but there were hella cars in the small lot.
So, we kinda wander in and are greeted by a nice lady.
We reluctantly sit down and she brings us a menu.
There are no breakfast items on the menu.
So, we look at each other and get up to leave.. and I tell them, “Oh we were looking for breakfast”.. the lady says, “OH! You just called, let me get you the breakfast menu.”
Then the owner looked out and said, we serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner…
Overall, this is one of the crazier Bar Rescue updates that I’ve written.
It’s not everyday that someone who was rescued by Jon Taffer is involved in a cross-country coke smuggling operation, complete with corrupt airport employees.
If you ever had the chance to visit Fogline Bar in person, I’d love if you shared your experience in the comments.
If you want to see some other nearby Bar Rescue California episodes, you can also check out my updates for 38th Floor Bar / Mandala Lounge in San Mateo, Sam Jordan’s in San Francisco, and Leia’s / The Grant Bar in Tracy.
Thanks for reading!
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Last updated: 2023-02-21 06:40