Grinders Bar Rescue Update (The Cajun Belle) – Still Open in 2024?

Is The Cajun Belle still open today?

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

Season: 4 | View All Season 4 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: May 1, 2016
The Bar's Original Name Was: Grinders
The Cajun Belle Address: 18283 Soledad Canyon Rd Santa Clarita, CA 91387

Grinders Bar Rescue Update (The Cajun Belle)

Episode Recap

Grinders, later renamed The Cajun Belle, was a Santa Clarita, California bar that was featured on Season 4 of Bar Rescue.

Though the Grinders Bar Rescue episode aired in May 2016, the actual filming and visit from Jon Taffer took place before that.

It was Season 4 Episode 51 and the episode name was “Demolition Man”.

In this episode, Jon Taffer visits a Santa Clarita bar named Grinders.

The bar is owned by Dave Murrie.

Grinders owner Dave

Around 2014, Dave Murrie decided to try his hand in another business.

He already owned a successful medical equipment company but then he wanted to do something else.

While business hunting, Dave and his wife found a pizzeria called Grinders which was up for sale.

They purchased it for $77,000 and decided to turn it into a bar. 

Even after buying they couldn’t properly learn how to run it and had their bar shut down mid renovations. 

Whenever they opened the bar it got shut down by the city for not having the right permits.

It was in violation of the ADA, fire codes…you name it.

If there was a regulation from the city, it’s a good bet that Grinders wasn’t compliant.

The construction work was also never completed which meant it never had a pleasant environment. 

Due to all these reasons, people stopped coming to the bar and the couple got into some serious financial troubles.

At one point, the bar’s electricity even got cut off, which is just ridiculous.

How can you run a successful bar without electricity? I guess it’s throwback style to the 1800s.

All of these issues are why the bar so desperately needed help and why the Grinders Bar Rescue episode even exists in the first place.

Despite these problems, Jessica, Dave’s wife, tried her best to keep the place running.

Grinders owner wife

However, Dave mostly drank with his buddies in the bar rather than focusing on the business.

To recon the bar, Jon Taffer sends two Buzzfeed experts to get intel on the bar. 

The first thing they notice is that the bar is in the worst possible condition.

It doesn’t even have basic things which are a must-have in a bar like ice bins, speedwells, drain rails, workstations, and drink rails.

It’s frankly pretty ridiculous. I don’t get how the Grinders owners ever thought the bar would be successful in this state.

The setting of the place also doesn’t seem like a bar which is why the bartenders spend more time running around and serving the drinks than they do on making it.

The spies are attended by the bartender Crystal who made their drinks extremely sweet.

The second thing they order is a pizza, a sandwich, and one wrap.

However this time they clearly see cook Alana put something directly in the microwave from the fridge. 

I mean – are you really surprised that the food is microwaved at this point?

I’m pretty sure they don’t have a gourmet kitchen in the back.

When the food arrives it’s disgusting and not even edible.

In a classic Jon move, Jon Taffer even said that this kind of food could kill someone.

After seeing all this Jon decides to set everything straight.

He clearly saw Jessica was the only one was trying to keep this place afloat while Dave was not doing much about it. 

He, first of all, decided to have a stern talk with both of them. 

He told Dave that he was losing $2,500 a month and was under immense debt.

What’s more, the way they were serving customers the food put them at risk.

Once he’s knocked some sense into them, Jon Taffer and his crew get to work on training the staff and renovating the bar.

It’s one of the bigger renovations that the Bar Rescue team has had to tackle because the bar is in such bad shape.

That’s why the episode is named “Demolition Man”.

It’s not just about making the bar more pleasant – Taffer and his crew also have to make it compliant with all of the city laws and codes if they want to keep the bar open.

As part of the renovation, Jon Taffer also decides to change the name and give it a new concept.

He renames the bar from Grinders to The Cajun Belle.

So – was the Grinders Bar Rescue episode a success? And will The Cajun Belle have more luck than Grinders? Let’s find out how the bar is doing in 2024!

The Cajun Belle Update - What Happened Next?

Now that we’ve recapped the Cajun Belle Bar Rescue visit, let’s talk about what happened to the bar after Jon Taffer gave up his Santa Clarita diet and left California.

Things started off well for The Cajun Belle thanks to the Bar Rescue bump.

In the normal six week update that we get from Bar Rescue, we learn that the bar’s sales have jumped up by more than 35%.

Additionally, the Santa Clarity city backed off now that The Cajun Belle had been professionally renovated, which put less regulatory pressure on the bar.

Jon Taffer and his crew were able to fix all the glaring issues for things like the ADA, fire codes, etc.

However, Dave seems to have decided that the bar business wasn’t for him, as he sold The Cajun Belle to new owners in September, 2017.

However, the new owner kept the same name and decor, so it was a pretty smooth transition.

Would things keep going? Well, unfortunately not…

Is The Cajun Belle from Bar Rescue still open?

The Cajun Belle closed for good in July 2019. This was after Dave had already sold the bar to new ownership in 2017.

At the time of its closure, The Cajun Belle actually had pretty good reviews.

It had a 4 star rating on its Yelp page, which is on the higher end of bars that have been featured on Bar Rescue.

People seem to really have enjoyed the bar’s service and atmosphere, especially under the new ownership.

Here are a few reviews that were written after Jon Taffer’s visit…

5 star Yelp review from June 2016:

This place has been amazing.

I went here before Bar Rescue and will continue to go back.

Their pizza is amazing with awesome flavor in the crust.

Jessica works her ass off and makes sure everything runs smoothly.

This place is a gem, beer selection is excellent and the bar staff is very friendly.

I will be back!

5 star Yelp review from May 2016:

It is exciting to see this local hangout doing well since Bar Rescue aired on May 1st.

The owners Jessica and Dave are great and the server Sterling goes out of her way to make sure everything is to your liking.

The pizza is exceptional and there is always new adult beverages to try.

Check out their entertainment offerings weekly because they bring in some great bands and have other events regularly.

It would be worth your while if you haven’t tried it.

2 star Yelp review from May 2016:

I have been going here since it was (Grinders).

Patrick made the best pie in Santa Clarita.

I watched it get sold and watched the service get flushed down the toilet.

Took an hour to get my pie.

However the pizza (pre-Bar Rescue) was still crazy good.

Two weeks ago we stopped by post Bar rescue with a group of friends.

Much to my disappointment the dough and cheese on the pizza was changed.

They claim its the same sure did not taste the same. maybe my tastebuds changed.

I must say after bar rescue they stepped up the service, beer selection was good… new Pizza formula….

Well lets say it’s just a step above a pie at the supermarket, so unless your just drinkin, stay home.

Great news Male Owner still sits at the bar and drinks, and upon leaving People out front he said goodnight with a cigarette in their hand at the tables out front.

Lovely. (nothing like a face full of smoke after I dropped 100 at your place)

The female owner works her booty off ( only nice thing about the night was seeing her try to make the place)

Really bummed. Pizza comes out crazy fast thumbs up on that.

As of 2023, the old The Cajun Belle Santa Clarita, CA location is occupied by a new restaurant named Tamales Express.

Reviews for the new restaurant seem great, as it has a 4.5 star rating on its Yelp page.

Here’s what the old Grinders Santa Clarita location looks like in the most recent picture from Google Maps street view:

If you’re in the Santa Clarita area, give it a shot and see if the old The Cajun Belle spirit lives on in the tamales haha.

If you want to see a Santa Clarita, CA bar that did find success, you can check out my The Tailgate/The Short Exchange update.

For some other nearby California Bar Rescue episodes, you can read my updates for Weber’s Rum Bar and Grill in Reseda, Theory / Paladino’s in Tarzana, and Champ’s Sports Pub in Burbank.

Thanks for reading!

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Last updated: 2023-02-23 06:44

15 thoughts on “Grinders Bar Rescue Update (The Cajun Belle) – Still Open in 2024?”

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

  1. I think this dude just went on the show to get the renovations done so he could sell. I think that’s the case with a lot of these ppl.

    I’m surprised they don’t make them sign something that would make it harder for these ppl to get free renovations when they still have the same mentalities that caused them to fail in the first place.

    That said as a bartender myself.. alot of the stuff Jon tries to do are ridiculous & would make you so slow there’s no way you can be fast with some of these drinks they do lol

    • I’m sure they do sign something. But it’s a civil litigation issue, nobody is under threat of criminal arrest. The production, or jons co would have to spend hundreds of thousands on civil suits to get a monetary judgment. A judgment which most owners would NOT be able to pay. I highly doubt Jon wants any part of
      It. So, the big open secret, you can violate Taffers contract and face no litigation. That’s the real world answer why it happens over and over.

    • Why would Taffer and company care if they just got the renovations in order to sell? Does that do anything to reduce the entertainment value of the show? Does the network sell fewer ads if the bar owner sells?

  2. Once again, a bar owner who wanted to sell his bar but needed renovations otherwise no one wanted it, or just didn’t get back what he initially paid for it. This situation happens all the time on this often phoney show.

    Jon Taffer needs good programing so it’s obvious that his staff preps these owners on what to say and how to act. If you believe that the bar staff is not fully aware of what cameras to play act to then you are very gullible.

    And this episode is a classic example of a well scripted production. The owners got a brand new refurbished bar that they could easily unload. All they had to do is just play the TV game, do as they are told, then sit back for a few weeks after the bar reopening to sell their place.

    Everyone is in on the scam including Jon Taffer and his crew. He doesn’t pay out of his pocket for the refurbishing of any bar. The network does. So he’s not losing any money, just collecting a paycheck for his episode.

  3. I have seen this Grinders episode on Bar Rescue a couple of times and I just want to know one thing-what happened to the bartender named Sterling? And if she is single? WoW!!!

  4. She had money for a weave at the beauty parlor. That hair can’t be all hers. Could’ve paid for a month or two of electricity for her children!

  5. Bar rescue tries to keep bars alive. Even if after his renovations owners sell the business he’s made it possible for the bar to succeed even with new owners. Yes many sell but it appears in the follow up given in these reality updates that many still succeed with new owners. Having family members owning and working in hospitality it’s no secret, especially since Covid, how difficult it is in this industry

  6. According to a former producer on Reddit, Jon’s company used to subsidize part of the renovations in addition to what the sponsors donate (Middleby, Partender, 2 Touch POS,, etc.). Oh, and my favorite Jason Hulfish Designs.

    In an actual taping, Jon is reading the names of the sponsors/donors off of que cards. He is generally only present on site when cameras are rolling.

    For this bar, the owner at least looked like he needed the rescue, and he was clearly in over his head. I felt bad for him because he got reamed again on “Back to the Bar.” I think his wife did work hard, but I also feel like it was only open for dinner and afterward and maybe not all 7 days of the week.

    I did eat some food there when it was still Cajun Belle, post Dave but pre-closure. Will hold my comment for later about how it tasted, lol.


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