Sam Jordan’s Bar Rescue Update – Still Open in 2023?

Is Sam Jordan's still open today?

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

Season: 5 | View All Season 5 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: October 16, 2016
The Bar's Original Name Was: Sam Jordan's
Sam Jordan's Address: 4004 3rd St San Francisco, CA 94124

Sam Jordan's Bar Rescue Update

Episode Recap

Sam Jordan’s was a San Francisco, California bar that was featured on Season 5 of Bar Rescue.

Though the Sam Jordan’s Bar Rescue episode aired in October 2016, the actual filming and visit from Jon Taffer took place before that.

It was Season 5 Episode 8 and the episode name was “Gettin’ Jigger With It”.

Sam Jordan’s is a bar located in Bayview-Hunter’s Point, San Francisco.

It has the distinction of being San Francisco’s oldest black-owned bar, so there’s a lot of history behind it.

Sam Jordan was the original owner and a former boxer.

He opened the bar in 1959 to much success.

Since he passed away, his children, Ruth and Allen, now run the bar.

Ruth is in charge of the front of the house while Allen manages the back.

Neither can agree on how to run the bar. 

The bar is in severe debt and losing money daily, which is why the Sam Jordan’s Bar Rescue episode exists.

At the time of the visit from Jon Taffer, the bar is in over half a million dollars of debt, which is a pretty steep hill to climb.

To help save Sam Jordan’s, Jon Taffer brings in mixologist Derrick Turner and chef Vic Vegas.

When they arrive, they notice the bar is outdated with faded signs and worn-out decor.

Jon sends two locals in to spy on the bar.

Inside the bar, they see that there is no theme.

Sam Jordan has a picture dedicated to him but hidden in a back corner. 

Since the bar has no drinks menu, they order the only specialty drinks the bar can make.

They end up with a pomegranate kamikaze that is very sweet even though they specifically asked for something not too sweet.

When they are ready to order the food, they have to go to the kitchen themselves as there is no food runner. 

The bartender brings back their food, but the brisket is dry and saucy, so it is returned to the kitchen.

The experts are sent into the bar to give them feedback as Jon watches from the SUV.

They tell the bartenders to make them an Old Fashioned, but they have no idea how to make the classic drink.

Vic Vegas tells Allen the proper temperatures to keep food safe in the kitchen. 

Vic and Derrick leave that night for Allen and Ruth to sort it out since they began fighting.

Jon returns to meet with Ruth, Allen, and the staff the next day.

They inform Jon that the bars and kitchen finances are separated, and the bar doesn’t see any of the income from the kitchen.

That makes no sense to me since it’s all one business.

Allen doesn’t pay the rent or the utilities, and Jon calls him selfish.

After that, Allen says he doesn’t want his father’s legacy to go down the drain.

Sam Jordan's isnt paying 

Derrick takes the bartenders through using a Jigger to make drinks consistently.

Vic trains the kitchen staff on fried chicken with a twist.

The customers start coming in for the stress test.

The team is trying to move fast, but they are not used to many customers coming to the bar.

The wait time for the chicken goes up to thirty minutes.

The chicken that does get served is raw. 

Jon comes back the next day to talk about the stress test, and it also happens to be the anniversary of Sam Jordan’s passing.

The siblings realize they can get rid of their debt for good if they work as a team.

Vic trains the kitchen on how to make a crispy and moist brisket. 

The bar is renovated and repainted.

However, because of the bar’s rich history, Jon Taffer decides to keep the Sam Jordan’s name, unlike a lot of the other bars that appear on Bar Rescue.

There are more pictures of Sam Jordan on the wall and a new POS system, and newly refurbished bar stools.

Everyone is happy with the changes. 

So was the Sam Jordans Bar Rescue episode a long-term success?

Keep reading to learn what happened next and if this San Francisco bar is still open in 2024.

Sam Jordan's Update - What Happened Next?

Now that we’ve recapped the Sam Jordan’s Bar Rescue visit, let’s talk about what happened after Jon Taffer and his crew left San Francisco, CA.

Six weeks later, things seem to be going better at the bar.

Thanks to the publicity from Bar Rescue, the community is really rallying around Sam Jordan’s and the bar has more patrons.

This would last for a few years more, but eventually Sam Jordan’s would succumb to its debt burden.

Is Sam Jordan’s from Bar Rescue still open?

As you saw the bar on Bar Rescue, Sam Jordan’s closed for good in November 2019, which was around three years after the Bar Rescue episode aired on TV.

However, newer owners are trying to re-open a bar with the same name at that location.

The bar was initially listed for sale in May 2019, but the owners pulled it off the market after positive support from the local community.

However, while things looked good at first, the bar eventually did close.

Allegedly, a predatory lending deal with Sequoia Mortgage Capital was the reason that Sam Jordan’s closed.

Ruth didn’t share details of exactly what that meant, but I’d guess that the interest rate or other terms of the loan were unfavorable for the bar.

In total, the scheme left them in over $500,000 of debt, which sounds pretty horrible.

In 2022, the old Sam Jordan’s San Francisco, CA location was taken over by an artist named Binta Ayofemi, who had plans to re-open a bar using the same name.

I believe she purchased the property for 1.255 million in December 2020.

Binta wanted to open a beer garden and distillery, along with retaining the Sam Jordan’s Bar name.

A street view photo from May 2022 still shows the Sam Jordan’s sign painted on the bar, but the bar remained closed.

Sam Jordan's San Francisco location as of May 2022

In a January 2023 image update from Google Maps street view, you can see the addition of a big For Sale sign from Compass Realty on the Sam Jordan’s San Francisco property:

So it seems like maybe the property is for sale again? September 2023 Update – the property was sold – more on this below.

I also found an active listing page for the property that was created in late 2022.

The asking price is $1,100,000, so it ain’t cheap.

The property listing description notes that the property “is famous for once housing Sam Jordan’s Bar and Grill”.

Here’s the full property description details:

Sam Jordan's San Francisco sale post

It seems like the property was successfully sold to a new owner in April 2023.

The new owner is Juan Rosas, who also owns a taco place and a bar in san Francisco.

I’m not sure, but it doesn’t seem like Juan plans to re-open it using the Sam Jordan’s name.

The Google Business listing now marks the bar as open for some reason. However, as far as I can tell, there’s no bar named Sam Jordan’s operating at that location still.

If you live in the area and know what’s happening at the property, please let me know in the comments section.

Sam Jordan’s reviews after Bar Rescue

At the time of its closure, Sam Jordan’s had pretty good reviews.

It had a 4 star rating on Yelp and a 4.4 star rating on Google Reviews.

Here’s a sampling of the Sam Jordan’s San Francisco reviews after the visit from Jon Taffer…

5 star review from July 2019;

Everything is great at Sam Jordan’s.

Although I did order food, fellow patrons ordered food and the food looked delicious.

The customer service and “home” feel is outstanding.

Ms. Lisa is very sweet and kind.

Thank you for providing excellent service.

Will be back!

5 star review from April 2017:

Sam Jordan’s has the best Sunday entertainment don’t be a square!

Join the movement!

Great food and drinks in a historical building.

Bar was also seen on Bar Rescue!

Please pop on in and support your local business!

1 star review from March 2018:

Went around 8:00pm on Saturday night for dinner:

no catfish and only one side available.

There was only one person working and she made us yell our order from the table because she didn’t want to leave the bar.

Soooo…we left

If you want to see an update for a San Francisco bar that’s still open after Bar Rescue, you can check out our Patriot House / The Holding Company update.

Or, for two other Bar Rescue San Francisco episodes that closed after Taffer’s visit, you can read my updates for the infamous Park 77 / The Lister and The Roc Nightclub / Fort One.

And if you want to share your thoughts on the Sam Jordan’s episode, you can do so using the comments section below.

Thanks for reading!

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And don't forget to check out all of the other Bar Rescue updates.

Last updated: 2023-09-29 09:45

16 thoughts on “Sam Jordan’s Bar Rescue Update – Still Open in 2023?”

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

  1. Unfortunately, another one bites the dust… This is just sad… I always follow the episodes I find compelling… This was sad on so many levels… living in Southern California, I had never heard of this location… But I still feel the pain! Keep being you, Jon!!

  2. Damn this one is really sad…I had a lot of hope for this place to still be open but…debt is a hard thing to get out of.

    • Good catch – I have no idea who added the “I” because it wasn’t there in the older pictures.

      • I think it’s just how Google Street view stitches the images together. If you look closely, there are two J’s as well. There is a slight break in the “I” that makes me think it’s part of the A and part of the M mashed together.

  3. Derrick is a sexy beast. Vic Vegas shirt label is showing, look close, a womens Small, I guess he thinks it makes those flabby guns look impressive?

  4. Owned it 60 years and still owe bank at least 500k, sad. Take on investors, don’t borrow against your own assets over and over at ridiculous interest only that guarantees screw yerself. A visit w a financial adviser is worth every penny!

    • A different person took over the space and was trying to re-open it. However, as far as I’m aware, she hasn’t been able to successfully do it. I will check again to see what the current status is.

      Even if they do successfully open the bar again, I will still probably leave it marked as closed because the new re-incarnation would have no connection to the bar/owners from Bar Rescue beyond having the same name.

    • I just checked again and it seems like the property was most recently sold in April 2023.

      However, I can’t find anything about the new owner re-opening it as Sam Jordan’s.

      If anyone lives in the area and can provide some firsthand information, that would be great.

  5. You might want to correct the part about Binta Ayofemi purchasing the property.

    “One of Ayofemi’s most robust urban development projects was her purchase of a storied San Francisco restaurant called Sam Jordan’s Bar and Grill in the Bayview neighborhood. City records show that Ayofemi failed to make payments on a roughly $1 million loan to revitalize the building, which she intended to convert into a craft distillery and art space, investors who financed her loan told The Chronicle. ”

  6. The most recent owner pulled permits to replace siding in 2023. The space is unfortunately still sitting unused, and no work has been performed.


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