Forbidden Bar Rescue Update (YNot Sports Pub) – Still Open in 2024?

Is Forbidden Pub still open today?

Status: >> CLOSED <<
(keep reading to learn what happened)

Season: 5 | View All Season 5 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: September 25, 2016
The Bar's Original Name Was: YNot Sports Pub & Grub
Forbidden Pub Address: 2015 Hewitt Ave Everett, WA 98201

Forbidden Bar Rescue Update (YNot Sports Pub)

Episode Recap

YNot Sports Pub & Grub, later renamed to Forbidden Pub, was an Everett, Washington bar that was featured on Season 5 of Bar Rescue.

Though the Forbidden Bar Rescue episode aired in September 2016, the actual filming and visit from Jon Taffer took place a few months earlier.

It was Season 5 Episode 5 and the episode name was “How to Train Your Goldfish”.

Note – if you’re looking for the other Y Not Bar Rescue episode, check out our Nick’s House / Y-Not III update, which covers the Milwaukee bar.

YNot Sports Pub and Grub, owned by Yvette Otto and Jon Ellis, is in Everett, WA.

If you’re not familiar with Washington, Everett is a city of around 110k people that’s located a bit to the north of Seattle.

In 2013 the couple purchased the bar, which means that they’ve owned it for about three years at the time of the Y Not Bar Rescue episode.

Yvette has worked in the hospitality industry for seventeen years, and Jon has owned coffee stands.

At first, the bar was successful, with the owners running different events.

Eventually, the reality of how challenging it is to run a bar has caught up with them. 

An arena opened nearby, and the bar was only open before and after events.

The employees have bad practices like overpouring and drinking at the bar.

The kitchen is messy, and the staff is rude.

The owners are struggling to make a profit.

If they do not start bringing in money soon, they will lose their home. 

Basically, there’s a lot riding on the YNot Bar Rescue visit.

Mixologist Phil Wills and Chef Sean Olnowich recon the bar with Jon Taffer.

Jon Taffer and the experts watch the footage from inside the bar and see Jon Ellis signing customers up for a goldfish race.

It’s the weirdest thing – a goldfish race?

I confess that I’ve never seen that before.

Some customers partake in the race, but others do not care. 

Ten friends are sent in as Jon Taffer’s spies to simulate a situation that could happen before or after a concert.

The spies are ignored for over five minutes.

It takes the bartenders over ten minutes to make ten shots for the spies.

Jon Taffer Ynot burger

In the kitchen, the cooks, Gerald and Alana, are not using gloves, which is a hygiene issue.

Twenty-five minutes later, the spies still have not received their food.

After a half-hour, the spies receive their food, but they have to leave.

The experts and Jon come in to taste the food, which tastes tastes terrible.

The nachos are stuck together with congealed cheese. Jon Taffer literally picks up one nacho and the whole thing comes along like a brick.

It’s pretty gross.

Here’s that moment:

Jon Taffer Ynot nachos

Jon Ellis and Yvette, the YNot bar owners, meet with Jon Taffer.

He gives them feedback on the spies’ terrible service and the meal.

The issues don’t stop there, either.

The drinks Jon orders are disgusting.

There is a grease puddle in the kitchen.

The walk-in fridge has a bedroom door on it.

Jon Taffer wants them to fix all of these basic issues before going any further, so the staff has to stay and clean the kitchen and fridge. 

The following day, Jon Taffer returns and sees the kitchen has been cleaned.

The staff confides in Jon Taffer that they are not given the correct tools or support.

Yvette tells Jon Alana drinks on the job, and Jessica is always late and never collects payments.

Yvette fires both girls.

Brandon, another bartender, also quits supporting his friend. 

In the kitchen, Gerald is trained by Sean.

Phil has no one to teach, and Yvette has to hire new bartenders.

Rachel, Sara, and Aubryn are brought in as new bartenders. Lisa is employed as a server.

There will be no stress test, only a relay for the bartenders. 

Phil will assess each employee as they work and tag them out if they make a mistake.

Sara has zero experience, and Phil has to hold her hand through the steps.

The kitchen is taking twenty minutes to fulfill an order.

Rachel is trapped when Sara messes up, but soon she breaks a glass.

After Aubryn is tapped, the test is shut down. 

Not, it’s time to get to work on training up all the new staffmembers.

Phil Wills trains the new bartenders on three-shot drinks and other Asian-inspired beverages.

The cooks are cooking Asian burgers in the kitchen.

The team met the next day to see the renovations. 

As part of the renovations, Jon Taffer changed the name from YNot Sports Pub to Forbidden Pub.

Forbidden Pub is high-end and modern with Asian theming.

West Coast Refrigeration replaced the walk-in fridge.

The patrons are delighted with the food, drinks, and décor.

Sir Mix a Lot, the musician, comes for the relaunch. 

So was the YNot Bar Rescue episode a long-term success? Keep reading to learn what happened next and if it’s still open in 2024.

Forbidden Pub Update - What Happened Next?

Now that we’ve recapped the Forbidden Bar Rescue visit, let’s talk about what happened after Jon Taffer and his crew left Everett, WA.

At the standard six-week check-in with the Bar Rescue producers, we learn that sales at Forbidden Pub are up a whopping 60%, which is huge for the bar’s bottom line.

However, while Taffer’s changes did seem to lead to a lot of positive changes, they didn’t keep all of them.

Most notably, they ditched the Forbidden Pub name shortly after the visit, opting to change back to the original YNot Sports Pub name.

In an interview with a local website, YVette said that she really did try to make the Forbidden Pub name work, defending it for two months after the visit.

However, a lot of the bar’s regular customers were confused and thought that it had closed.

As a result, she had to change the name back, including adding a big sign out front that the original name would be returning.

I tried to embrace the Forbidden name but there was zero positive feedback.

Beyond going back to the Y Not Sports Pub name, Yvette also returned some of the old menu items (though not all of them).

She did permanently end the goldfish racing, though. So you won’t see anymore of this:

YNot Sports Pub goldfish racing

So would it survive under the old Y Not Sports Pub name? Unfortunately, no.

Is Forbidden Pub from Bar Rescue still open?

Forbidden closed in August 2017, around a year after the Forbidden Bar Rescue episode aired on TV.

At that time, Forbidden Pub was doing business under the original YNot Sports Pub name, having earlier ditched the name change from Jon Taffer.

Yvette posted a message on Facebook thanking people for their support, but not really explaining why YNot Sports Pub closed.

For now, the old YNot Sports Pub Everett location seems to still be empty.

In a September 2021 image from Google Street View, it shows that the location is still vacant.

It also has The Forbidden Pub on the sign board still, which is a bit odd.

Forbidden Pub closed after Bar Rescue

As of 2023, I still can’t find any evidence of a new tenant moving into that location.

If you live in Everett and you know what happened the building, please let me know in the comments.

YNot Sports Pub reviews after Bar Rescue

Reviews for the bar were generally not very good as it had just a 2.5 overall rating on the YNot Yelp page.

Here’s a sampling of some of the reviews that were written after the visit from Jon Taffer:

2 star review from May 2016:

Like everyone else, came here because I heard it was remodeled and on Bar Rescue.

The drink “Forsaken Fruit” was DELICIOUS

The meat on my pulled pork sliders seemed dry and burnt.

And my husbands burger was overcooked and dry.

Envoirment is confusing.

Asian fusion?

Sports bar?

Country music?

2 star review from November 2016;

Bar rescued?


The wings were the worst I’ve ever had.

I need to watch that episode again, because I don’t see anything special, just a typical north Everett bar.

The beer was very cold, I liked that!

4 star review from December 2016:

Looks like Forbidden is switching it’s name back to YNot.

That’s the word we got from the staff on our visit.

The sign Bar Rescue added to the facade is terrible… maybe it’s made worse by my eye sight, but the sign looks like a smear to me.

I had dinner there last week. Service was great and we were served quickly.

Had a few brews and a nice Turkey club sandwich.

The place is clean.

Men’s room is weird… toilet with no stall and a urinal.

Me and a friend used it, maybe TMI but only #1.

#2 and I guess you go solo and lock the door?

Not sure of the men’s room etiqute there.

Maybe try adding a stall?

Only other gripe I had was, we had to move from by the front windows because of surprise Kareaoke.

It would have been nice to get a warning before the music started blasting in my ear.

I wish them good luck.

I know it’s feast or famine across from the Comcast Arena.

As I mentioned earlier- if you’re looking for the other Y Not Bar Rescue update for the Milwaukee bar, check out our Nick’s House / Y-Not III update.

The bars have similar names, so it can be a bit confusing.

If you want to see another Everett Washington business that appeared on reality TV, you can read our Prohibition Grille Kitchen Nightmares update – Gordon Ramsay and Jon Taffer are basically spirit animals.

Or, if you want to see some another Washington Bar Rescue episodes, you can check out my update for Schafer’s / R. Lee’s in Sumner.

Thanks for reading!

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Last updated: 2023-02-21 09:38

10 thoughts on “Forbidden Bar Rescue Update (YNot Sports Pub) – Still Open in 2024?”

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

  1. This episode made no sense to me, they gave an Asian bar to people who were not interested in Asian culture at all. It does not make any sense!

    • If you know the locale, John’s recommendation makes perfect sense. Sweet, spicy, concise, and quick to order.

      I’m from Tacoma and will usually try to make events well over 30+ minutes ahead of time, I also work in Bellevue and can confirm the large Asian/Indian/non-Caucasian population. This rescue makes perfect sense to me and it pains me that they are no longer open and reverted to what caused them to fail in the first place.

      Signed, a non drinker that just wants good food in a timely manner.

  2. You are idiots to not listen to a millionaire who comes to help you save your bar and you don’t make the changes that he made.

  3. This seemed like a bad “concept” right from the beginning. They made a bar to appeal to Asian people by filling it with a bunch of stereotypes. This bar was never going to appeal to Asian people, I felt second hand embarrassment watching this. I totally understand the owners ditching this concept, it’d actively drive Asian people away.

  4. You cannot tell me that an employee doesn’t know that giving away food and drinks is stealing. Plus any manager who knows it’s going on and ignores it doesn’t deserve to have her bar rescued. The fact that she went back to the old name and menu tells me she thought a free remodel would help her business. If you need Jon Taffer to tell you that you need to fire someone that you know is stealing you are destined to fail.

  5. I really didn’t like the concept they went for.

    I get that there’s a large Asian influence here in WA (born and raised here my whole life), but the decorations seemed…cheap and cliche. Also no Asian employees…idk how I’d feel about going to a place that was Asian inspired and not seeing a single Asian employee…seems like…cultural appropriation? Or on the verge of it.

    They should have done something more catered around the PNW. We embrace nature and the PNW here with a passion.

  6. I’m surprised that nobody has moved in to this location, as it is directly across the street from the largest sports arena north of Seattle. But it is still vacant, and the “Forbidden” sign is still there.

    As for the sign, it was horrible, a shocking mistake that I can’t believe Taffer went with. Looking at the picture above, in broad daylight, it’s not easy to read. At night (when people would actually visit), it’s basically a big black line–you can’t read the name at all.

    There are also small YNOT signs and logos around it, as the owner was openly hostile to the changes and tried to revert back to the original concept while not violating his contract with Taffer. The message was clear–“I hate the new bar and you will too.” Well, customers hated the old bar and the owners gave no reason for them to come in to the new one, so they didn’t.

    Totally wrong theme. Lots of Asian bars in the area despite what Taffer said. Every Asian restaurant in the area has a very busy bar, including one less than a quarter mile away. And considering they’re across the street from a sporting arena, why not stay with a sports theme?

    About a quarter mile down the road, on the same street, was the Prohibition Grille/Gastropub, which was on Kitchen Nightmares (the episode with the belly dancing owner). It lasted much longer than the Forbidden Pub, but it is also closed now, and another restaurant is in its place. But the Forbidden Pub still lies vacant.

  7. It’s still apparently not in use, and still reads ‘Forbidden’ above the door, though the doors and all windows are covered in paper.

    Curiously, the Forbidden sign continues to light up at night, so it apparently is still receiving and using power, despite not being in operation.


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