Fogline Bar Rescue Update (Russell City Grill) – Still Open in 2024?

Is Fogline Bar and Grill still open today?

Status: >> CLOSED <<
(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

Fogline Bar Rescue Update (Russell City Grill)

Episode Recap

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” .

In this episode, Jon Taffer and his crew head to Russell City Grill and Sports Bar to save it from extinction (or die trying).

Spoiler alert – this bar has one of the craziest endings of any bar from the show, so I really encourage you to read through the full update.

Just to give you a taste – it involves coke smuggling!

Russell City Grill and Sports Bar, owned by Lee Bellot, is in Hayward, CA.

Lee Bellott Fogline owner on Bar Rescue

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:

A brawl at the Russell City bar on Bar Rescue

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.

Pineapple bartender at Russell City Grill on Bar Rescue

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.

While all of that is happening, Lee is just casually 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 bartenders at Russell City Grill on Bar Rescue

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 my update to learn what happened next and if this Hayward CA bar is still open in 2024.

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 still open after Bar Rescue?

Fogline Bar and Grill closed in March 2022 for one of the craziest reasons that you’ll see at any Bar Rescue bar.

This means that it had a pretty solid run of staying open for 6+ years before meeting its wild end.

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:

Fogline Bar Rescue drug arrest

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:

CLOSED!!!!!!

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:

As of 2024, the old Fogline Hayward CA location seems to be occupied by a taco place named Tacos el primo d aztlan, though I’m not 100% sure if that’s correct.

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.

October 2021:

Sorry man but y’all get a grip.

Having my car broke into.

Cmon now.

Good thing it was a rental and an iPhone chargers are under 10 bucks.

But listen that parking lot campground is not very attractive

June 2021:

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.

March 2020:

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…

Final thoughts on the Fogline bar

Overall, this is one of the crazier Bar Rescue updates that I’ve written.

It’s not every day that someone who was rescued by Jon Taffer is involved in a cross-country coke smuggling operation, complete with corrupt airport employees.

It actually seems like the bar was doing alright as a business (or at least a front), staying open for more than six years after the visit from Jon Taffer.

However, given what happened after that, it’s not a surprise that Fogline closed.

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.

As always – thanks for reading!


More Information

https://www.yelp.com/biz/fogline-bar-and-grill-hayward-3
https://www.facebook.com/foglinebar/


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Last updated: 2024-03-03 10:03

18 thoughts on “Fogline Bar Rescue Update (Russell City Grill) – Still Open in 2024?”

All comments are the sole opinion of the commenter and are not endorsed by RealityTVUpdates.

  1. I was wondering why the staff had to start sharing tips. The INDIVIDUAL is the one giving the service, good or bad, and should be able to get and keep the tip left for them. How did this help Lee? Was he sharing too? I know now staff at other coffee places have sued to be able to keep their own tips.

    With all that money coming in from selling Coke, did Lee pay his father and his own debts back? I hope, at least, his father was paid back. SUCH a sad, unnecessary situation that should never have happened! At 6 wks to only have a 15% increase in sales, that’s sad. He wasn’t selling anything prior to Bar Rescue!

    Reply
    • Oh he was selling, just not food or alcohol. Booger sugar and diacetylmorphine, I prefer the hydrogenated ketone thereof. 10 yrs is a long time, kinda sounds like snitch time, usually dudes do longer for that kinda weight in these crazy times, though I know
      no specifics.

      Reply
  2. I went by this place several times in 2019, but it was never actually open.

    As of now, there is a food truck in the parking lot, and the building is available for lease as either a kitchen or for private parties.

    Reply
  3. Woah! Best verbal BR takedown ever of a lazy owner. Lisa Marie to big man as he’s nodding off and not paying to her drink lesson. “Dude, being a bar owner, you gotta study, learn and train your staff. Or when I leave, you go back to ‘being Eeyore playing pool’ and these girls go back to doing whatever because you don’t give af.” I swear, BR is a perfect sociological study of when parents give kids hundreds of K and enforce zero discipline and expectations. Coddled and spoiled kids never take the initiative and proactive steps to learn their craft and do the hard work. I know, I sound like “get off my lawn guy” and it’s not fair to say it’s a generational thing, but it kinda is. The coddling helicopter thing is really speeding up this phenomenon. When this guy ran into trouble, his easy money solution was covered in the articles above. Another example, I don’t anyone who didn’t put themselves through college (early to late 90s) without borrowing a penny. Yeah it sucked working too. From 1991-2023, suddenly people borrow insane amounts and believe it’s
    The only possible way to go to college. Banks
    And corps have come to rule this country and GenZ is getting screwed because of it. Rant transmission complete, TY, drive through

    Reply
  4. I hit send too early in epi Re best takedown. Girl w different eye color to Lee “no, no, no WE didn’t fail, YOU FAILED!! Now let’s put everything out on the table! You ain’t gonna dog me out like that, because I AM THE BITCH THAT HAD YOUR BACK THE WHOLE TIME!!” Drops mic, cut to commercial. Though I do feel bad for the guy, gettin swole on bread and water for next 10 yrs

    Reply
    • I remember that situation, Unfortunately Hayward has its ups and downs. I grew up in San Leandro. Still have family in Hayward. I personally think that John wasted his time on this one. I really hope that dude paid his daddy back.

      Reply
      • There are some decent places in Hayward. There are some pretty areas and nice homes as well. That was just to ghetooie for me!!

        Reply
    • TRANSLATOR PLEASE!! Try proper English!! Obviously you did not attend the University in Hayward!! Cal State East Bay. Grammar 101!!

      Reply
  5. I hope he gets thru this everyone deserves another chance. I am giving him all my good wishes learn from it & keep on pushing.

    Reply
    • He had second chance when Dad helped, 3rd chance with bar rescue, 4th chance with 6yrs after, and still major drug trafficking? Second chance? He blew them all, can never be bonded, get any kind business permit or license.. just a job after jail term. I’m firm believer in second chance, even third if worked smart! But he had more chances than anyone I know in or out of the business.

      Reply
      • None of them are from Taffers mistakes. There are some ideas I think are silly sometimes, but just remove that and stick with the training and discipline and you’ll still have a good chance. Most of the ones that are closed are because the owners sliped into their old ways,or the owner sold it. Others were because license, permits, landlord didn’t want to renew contract, loss of liquor license and things like that. Name a bar where Taffers idea actually killed the business?

        Reply

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