(keep reading to learn what happened)
Season: 4 | View All Season 4 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: March 15, 2015
The Bar's Original Name Was: Friar Tucks
Stein Haus Brau and Brats Address: 540 E Foothill Blvd Pomona, CA 91767
Friar Tucks, later renamed Stein Haus Brau and Brats, was a Pomona, California bar that was featured on Season 4 of Bar Rescue.
Though the Stein Haus Bar Rescue episode aired in March 2015, the actual filming and visit from Jon Taffer took place before that.
It was Season 4 Episode 16 and the episode name was “Storming the Castle” .
In this episode, Jon Taffer visits Friar Tucks, which is in Pomona, California.
Ivan Vuich is the owner and the exterior of the bar looks like a castle.
Well, kind of…
Ivan married the owner’s niece and was given the bar through that connection.
The bar is historic to the area, having been open since the 1980s.
At first, Ivan was making $60,000 a month, so things were going pretty well.
At that point, Sami was brought on as a manager.
Ivan and Sami do not get along, and the staff feels their hostility.
The bar has slid down hill and they are now over $100,000 in debt, which is why the Friar Tucks Bar Rescue episode exists.
To help the bar, Jon Taffer brings in Doug Stanhope, a comedian who has bar experience (to say the least – Doug likes his booze!).
They agree that the outside looks childish.
I also agree – I wouldn’t want to hang out at a bar there.
Trista is a bartender and also the manager’s fiancé.
Lonnie and Anjuli are also staff members, but they drink on the job and play pool.
Jon’s experts, mixologist Jason Bran, and Chef Aaron McCargo, are the spies.
They order two drinks, but they have no popular brands of alcohol.
They also order a burger and think the cook has potential but seems lazy.
The chicken is not as good as the burger, and Ivan is upset with the feedback.
Ivan gets mad and begins to start fights with his staff. Jon gets angry and comes in.
Jon tells Ivan he is the main problem of the bar.
Ivan gets mad and begins to leave.
Sami begs Jon Taffer not to give up on them.
Jon agrees to help but not for Ivan.
Jon comes in to have a meeting the next day.
The staff and Sami are all owed money.
Jon and Ivan have a private chat, and Ivan settles down.
Ivan and Sami are taught how to make a good burger and fries.
The bartenders are learning a vodka cocktail by using the correct bottle size and a pour spout.
Ivan is going to help in the kitchen and the front during the stress test.
However, Ivan is causing trouble in the kitchen.
And in the bar, Ivan is confused about what to do.
Basically, while he’s supposed to be a help…he’s not really helping the bar or the kitchen.
He does start to turn it around, though…
The experts say that everyone’s training was forgotten during the stress test except for Ivan, who managed to stay calm.
Ivan is trained on how to make bratwurst with beer.
The bar staff is taught how to make a drink themed after the castle-like building the bar resides.
It takes two days for the bar to be renovated by the Bar Rescue team.
As part of the remodel, the bar is renamed from Friar Tucks to Stein Haus Brau & Brats.
It is now a German-themed bar.
The interior looks more sophisticated thanks to Jon Taffer’s new ideas for the renovation.
The inside looks like a beer garden with wooden bar tops, tabletops, and stone walls.
There are three new POS machines and a lifetime subscription to Partender.
The orders come in fast during the relaunch.
The bartenders have to be reminded to slow down and relax.
The kitchen staff steps up, and food is leaving the kitchen quickly.
Jon and Ivan are happy.
They made $1,100 in one hour during the relaunch, which is better than the bar has ever done before..
Stein Haus Brau and Brats Update - What Happened Next?
So – was the Stein Haus Bar Rescue episode a success? Let’s talk about what happened after Jon Taffer left the castle.
This one has a really wild ending dealing with a large illegal casino operation, so I encourage you to read until the end!
But let’s start at the beginning…
After the episode, things started off very well for Stein Haus Brau and Brats.
Sales are up 15% six weeks after Jon Taffer’s visit.
Ivan and Sami are getting along and working well together.
Ivan is still cooking and he’s found that it’s something he’s really passionate about.
However, while things looked promising at first, the good times would not last for Stein Haus.
Is Stein Haus from Bar Rescue still open?
Stein Haus closed in December 2015, about nine months after the Stein Haus Bar Rescue episode aired on TV and a little over a year after the visit from Jon Taffer.
The owners didn’t give any reason for the bar’s closure – they just stopped posting on social media and marked the bar as closed on platforms like Yelp.
At the time that Stein Haus closed, it had an ok-but-not great 3.5 star rating on Yelp.
Here’s a sampling of a few reviews that were written after the Stein Haus Jon Taffer visit…
4 star Yelp review from May 2015:
I found this place on a Yelp search for German Food while cutting through the San Gabriel Valley.
I liked the comments about Bar Rescue and had to take a look.
I am glad I did.
The band was a surprise, what a range, cool adaptations and they looked like a great cast of characters.
It was a Friday night. Go.
Try the schnitzel.
2 star Yelp review from April 2015:
I came here because of Bar Rescue.
I saw how Jon Taffer fixed this place up.
The inside is pretty nice.
The food and drinks itself are mediocre.
I got the bratwurst, which was their signature dish on the show and it wasn’t that great.
The caramelized onions were the best part.
I got the Ivan Stein, which tasted like nasty bitter medicine.
The German Coffee was good though!
4 star Yelp review from January 2015:
Well I can say there is definite improvement to this place since it got its make over on bar rescue.
The inside is MUCH cleaner and has a more cozy vibe.
I did get to eat some appetizers and the food is excellent.
They also have a new beer the Ludwig, which is definitely worth trying.
Definitely ask for Samy or Trista to be your bartender, they are really friendly and know their stuff!
Finally, here’s a screenshot of a rather lengthy 4 star review from September 2015:
As of 2023, the old Stein Haus Pomona location seems to remain vacant, even though it’s been over six years since the bar’s closure.
I guess not many businesses want to move into a castle…
However, not all is what it seems – the empty business was actually being used as an illegal gambling casino!
For a while, I was confused about what was happening at the property.
To illustrate this, let’s look at some pictures…
Here’s what the street view from Google Maps looks like as of September 2021:
Nothing had changed when the image updated in May 2022, though some traffic cones were added.
It appeared like they were at least using the parking lot for something.
It was the same deal in Google’s latest October 2022 picture.
Below, I’ve embedded the Google Maps street view picture for the old Friar Tucks Pomona CA location so that you can explore yourself (and so that you’ll automatically see changes if anything happens):
So – I was wondering why there parking cones and cars at what seemed like an empty property?
Well, thanks to the tip from a friendly commenter below, I now know:
Someone was using the old Friar Tucks Pomona location as part of an illegal casino/gambling operation.
In April 2023, the Pomona Police Department arrested nine people and seized more than 55 gambling machines at six different locations, including 540 E. Foothill Blvd (the address for the Stein Haus property).
Here’s an article that includes mention of the address.
You can also watch this video from KTLA5 that covers the busts (though it doesn’t include footage of the Stein Haus property).
I have no idea who was responsible for the gambling property, so I am definitely not trying to imply that the Stein Haus owners had any involvement.
I just think it’s a pretty wild end to this story.
As I learn more about the gambling operation, I will update this post with more details.
Because the arrests just happened in April 2023, the details are still a little but murky.
Over all, I’ve added Stein Haus to my list of permanently closed Bar Rescue bars.
If you want to see another Bar Rescue episode that had crime involved after the cameras stopped rolling, check out my Fogline / Russell City Grill update in Hayward CA – that owner was later arrested for allegedly getting into cocaine smuggling!
If you want to see some other nearby California Bar Rescue episodes, you can check out my updates for The Palace / Menara in Upland, Britestar Tavern in Glendora, and Canyon Inn / Canyon Saloon in Yorba Linda.
And if you want to share your thoughts on this episode (or what happened to the property after), you can use the comments section below.
Thanks for reading!
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Last updated: 2023-04-25 09:42