Hammer and Ales Bar Rescue Update (The Hammer) – Still Open in 2024?

Is Hammer and Ales still open today?

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

Season: 3 | View All Season 3 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: September 8, 2013
The Bar's Original Name Was: The Hammer
Hammer and Ales Address: 3990 W Russell Rd Las Vegas, NV 89118

Hammer and Ales Bar Rescue Update (The Hammer)

Episode Recap

The Hammer, later renamed to Hammer and Ales, was a Las Vegas, Nevada bar that was featured on Season 3 of Bar Rescue.

Though the Hammer and Ales Bar Rescue episode aired in September 2013, the actual filming and visit from Jon Taffer took place before that.

It was Season 3 Episode 19 and the episode name was “Beer and Loathing in Las Vegas”.

In this episode, Jon Taffer and his crew head to good ‘ole Sin City, one of their favorite locations on the show.

Located in Las Vegas, NV, The Hammer bar is owned by friends Chris and Mitch.

The best friends purchased the bar in 2010, which means they’ve owned it for around three years at the time of the The Hammer Bar Rescue episode.

The Hammer owners on Bar Rescue

The Hammer was very successful at first, with Mitch doing most of the work while Chris sat back. 

Unfortunately, Mitch became ill in 2011.

As a result of his health issues, Mitch had to step by and then Chris had to run the bar.

Upon Mitch’s return, he saw that Chris had fallen behind on many things and the bar was in decline.

The friends now have a turbulent relationship.

And if bar management issues weren’t enough, there’s also a lot of debt in the picture.

It’s sad to see…

But whenever you introduce money into a friendship, there’s a danger of this happening.

Can Jon Taffer save the bar…and the friendship? Well, that’s the question…

Chef Nick Liberato recons the bar with Jon Taffer to help understand what’s going wrong.

Inside, Mike and Tom from Turbo Taps spy on The Hammer for Jon Taffer and Nick.

At the bar, Chris sits smoking while Mitch works in the kitchen.

The spies ask for a Guinness for drinks, but it is served warm.

When they ask for nachos, they are told there are none.

Mike and Tom then ask for a catfish instead.

In the kitchen, Mitch cooks the fish incorrectly, which is pretty much par for the course when it comes to Bar Rescue kitchens.

I mean – how often do you have a perfect chef in the kitchen? It’s often worse than Kitchen Nightmares haha.

Soon after, Jon Taffer goes into The Hammer to talk to Mitch and Chris.

He finds out Chris is the majority shareholder and that The Hammer only has a few months left before they have to close.

Chris and Mitch begin to fight and blame each other for the bar’s decline. 

In order for the Hammer Bar Rescue visit to be a success, Jon is going to need to find a way to not just fix the bar, but also fix the relationship between Chris and Mitch.

Chef Nick goes into the kitchen and sees the grease trap is complete, and there are dirt and food crumbs everywhere.

Chris and Mitch are told to clean the bar and kitchen that night.

Jon Taffer returns, and the staff has cleaned, so he begins the staff meeting.

The team tells Jon Chris is not liked amongst them, and they haven’t been paid on time.

At this point, the experts are introduced.

In addition to Nick, Jon Taffer has also brought in a beer expert, Adam Carmer, who’s based in Las Vegas.

Adam takes the temperature of the tap beer and corrects how the bartenders pour it.

Foamy beer at The Hammer

The stress test will begin, and the bar will serve three different beers and three different dishes. 

Chef Nick shows the kitchen team how to make fish and chips in the kitchen properly.

When the test begins, the bartenders forget their training and overpour.

Chris is wandering around, getting in the server’s way.

Patrons complain about the warm beer, and Mitch is overwhelmed in the kitchen. 

During the stress test, Jon Taffer finds out the meat in the fridge is at the wrong temp.

This is a huge health hazard, so he throws it out.

Chris doesn’t want to waste the food, so he tries to save it…which leads to predictable results…

You know how Jon Taffer feels about people embracing excuses.

After the stress test, the staff members tell Jon about Chris and the rotten meat. 

The next day Chris tells the staff he sold his vehicle to pay them back.

The team is thrilled and emotional.

Chris tears up the letter Mitch wrote to Bar Rescue complaining about Chris as Chris steps up as a leader.

Adam trains the staff on pairing beers and food. 

While all of that’s happening, Jon Taffer and his crew are hard at work renovating the bar.

Jon Taffer kept most of the name, but he did make a big tweak.

Instead of just The Hammer, the bar’s new name is Hammer and Ales to reflect the focus on beer.

There is a new room dedicated to games such as pool.

The air circulation in the draft beers has been fixed so that the bartenders can serve cold beer.

The staff members are ready for the relaunch and things seem to be looking up.

So was the The Hammer Bar Rescue visit a success?

Keep reading my update to find out what happened next and if this Las Vegas bar is still open in 2024.

Hammer and Ales Update - What Happened Next?

Now that we’ve recapped the Hammer and Ales Bar Rescue episode, let’s talk about what happened to the bar after Jon Taffer and his crew left Las Vegas, NV.

Things seemed to start off well for the newly named Hammer and Ales.

At the standard six-week check-in with the Bar Rescue producers, we learn that drink sales are up by 30% and food sales have also increased by about 15%.

On a relationship front, Mitch and Chris seem to be friends again, which is great to see.

Overall, things seemed to be looking up for the bar.

Let’s talk about reviews after Jon Taffer’s visit and then I’ll talk about where the bar is today.

Hammer and Ales Reviews – did they improve after Bar Rescue?

Reviews for the new Hammer and Ales concept were good but not great.

It had a 3.5 star rating on Yelp, which is slightly above average for a bar that appeared on Bar Rescue.

Here’s a sampling of some reviews that were written after The Hammer Bar Rescue visit happened.

5 star review from September 2015:

If you are from out-of-town, don’t miss this place!

I checked this place out, because I wanted a night cap off of the strip.

You know…something low key and unsuspecting.

I got that and way more from my experience at Hammer & Ales.

Logan, the bartender kept the beer flowing and is just a cool guy in general.

All the local heads that kick it there are like a little family of people that convene at this spot.

They keep great music coming from the jukebox and they are welcoming of out-of-town folks

2 star review from March 2014:

As one of the Las Vegas bars featured on the hot Spike TV show Bar Rescue, I really had high hopes coming into experiencing this bar for the first time.

Unfortunately, it seemed to me that a lot of the improvements made to the bar can be chalked up to TV magic.

Sure the bar clearly went through some changes for the better, but it seemed to look a whole lot more flattering on my television screen.

The bathroom was a dump.

Several beers were out of stock.

From the outside, the place just doesn’t appear to be a bar despite the large mural painted on the outside wall by the entrance.

4 star review from June 2014:

Bar Rescue stop number three…

This was the highlight of the night but still only earned 4 stars.

The beer selection was pretty good.

Probably the 2nd best in the city.

It was bright and airy inside with hardly a hint of stale beer or cigarette smoke you’d expect walking into a “dive” bar.

I spent a few minutes standing in front of the bar trying to determine which of the many beers to choose from

(Only had two out of stock).

The beer wasn’t all that cold and had a large head of foam but tasted pretty darn good.

Is Hammer and Ales from Bar Rescue still open?

Hammer and Ales closed on March 31, 2016, which was a little under three years after the Hammer and Ales Bar Rescue episode aired on TV.

At that time, it was still doing business under the Hammer and Ales name that Jon Taffer gave it.

To announce the closure, the bar posted the following message on its Facebook page:

Most of you have heard the rumors for some time now.

Well the time is is now offical and rapidly approaching.

March 31st will the last day of Hammer and Ales.

The bar has been sold and new owners will be reopening in may from what I hear.

So enough with the sad news.

Time to get down here to help us go out having a great time.

Come see your favorite bartender, eat your favorite burger, and wash it down with a cold one.

Think back upon the great memories we have all had together.

The Hammer staff thanks you all for your loving support.

Now get your ass down here and let’s go out Hammer style.

Here’s a picture of the Facebook post in case it gets deleted:

Hammer and Ales closed after Bar Rescue

Initially, Hammer and Ales was replaced by a bar named Owl, which aimed to keep Hammer and Ale’s video poker license.

However, Owl didn’t survive for very long, as it closed about a year later in 2017 – you can see the Yelp page here.

As of 2024, the old Hammer and Ales Las Vegas location is occupied by a new bar named Tailgater Tavern.

It seems like Tailgater Tavern opened at that location in 2018, so shortly after the Owl bar closed.

Reviews for the new bar seem mixed as it has a 3.5 star rating on Yelp.

Here’s what the old The Hammer Las Vegas location looks like in the most recent picture from Google Maps street view:

Final thoughts on Hammer and Ales

Overall, Hammer and Ales did alright, surviving for almost three years after Taffer’s visit.

If I’m being honest, that’s longer than a lot of bars that appear on the show.

However, it appeared that the changes weren’t enough to ensure long-term success.

Hammer and Ales was shortly followed by a bar named Owl, but that wasn’t able to achieve success either.

However, Tailgater Tavern has been at that location since 2018 (and is still open in 2024), so it seems to have achieved more success than the previous tenants.

That wraps up my thoughts on the Hammer and Ales episode.

If you want to see some other Las Vegas Bar Rescue episodes, here’s a few updates for the many, many Bar Rescue episodes that were filmed in Las Vegas.

Or, you can check out my full list of all 25+ Bar Rescue Las Vegas bars.

And if you want to share your thoughts on the bar or the episode, you can do so using the comments section below.

Thanks for reading!

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Last updated: 2024-02-02 06:14

3 thoughts on “Hammer and Ales Bar Rescue Update (The Hammer) – Still Open in 2024?”

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

  1. Two years ago I was working out of a warehouse two doors down from the bar in the same building. As you mentioned it’s called Tailgaters. They seem to be doing well, there was a decent crowd every time I went in. I grabbed lunch there a few times as the food is decent these days. They have greatly benefitted from the proximity to the new Stadium and do particularly well when there’s a Raiders home game.

  2. The food here looked delicious thanks to the rescue. Who knows if they kept up the standards though. Seemed like a nice group of people overall, too bad.

  3. Another bar as ‘closed’ from bar rescue . People think it relates to bar rescue but another example of landlord selling! Wanted his own business! Bar rescue did it’s job 100%, Chris and Mitch did well until bar taken from them. Unreal


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