(keep reading to learn what happened)
Season: 4 | View All Season 4 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: October 25, 2015
The Bar's Original Name Was: Martini Brothers Burger Bar
The Federal Address: 110 W Federal St Youngstown, OH 44503
Martini Brothers Burger Bar, later renamed The Federal, was a Youngstown, Ohio bar that was featured on Season 4 of Bar Rescue.
Though the Federal Bar Rescue episode aired in October 2015, the actual filming and visit from Jon Taffer took place before that.
It was Season 4 Episode 35 and the episode name was “Sour Lemons and Bitter Business”.
Martini Brothers Burger Bar is located in Youngstown, Ohio, owned by the Martini brothers, Dan and Joey.
Yes – their last name is actually “Martini”, which is a pretty perfect last name for someone who owns a bar.
The brothers owned another bar that failed and opened this one in 2013.
That means they’ve had it for around two years at the time of the Martini Brothers Bar Rescue episode.
Jacob, the landlord of the building who also has a stake in the bar, has a vision of the bar as an art gallery.
He is also unemployed, borrows money from the register, and disrupts the bar.
Personally, I don’t think an art gallery is the right direction for the bar.
Youngstown is the home of Youngstown State University, which has almost 10,000 students.
I think it makes much more sense to cater to the college crowd.
To help save the Martini Brothers Burger Bar, Jon Taffer brings in experts Mia Mastroianni and Mike Ferrao.
Sophia, the owner’s sister and manager of the bar, meets with Jon.
Local food critics also spy on the bar for Jon.
Despite having “Martini” in the name of the bar, there is only one martini on the menu.
The spies order a burger and are served soggy fries alongside it.
They also order a dry martini and a blueberry one, which is made with artificial flavors.
Mike, the expert chef, sees many hazardous in the kitchen.
Jacob also keeps his crickets that he eats in the fridge, which seems like a pretty big issue (and is just plain weird).
Mike has the staff clean the kitchen before they begin training.
Mia challenges the bartenders to make an orange martini but they struggle to make it.
Mike teaches Joey how to make burger patties and crispy fries in the kitchen.
Mia will take count of how many drinks the staff messes up during the stress test.
Once they hit ten, they will be removed from the bar.
Jacob steps up during the stress test, much to the surprise of his coworkers.
The kitchen is doing its best, but a burger has to be sent back twice because they are not cooking it right.
Jon shuts down the stress test once the last bartender is pulled from the bar after making too many mistakes.
There is a mural on the ceiling that Jon says has to go.
Jon then has a meeting with all three owners so they can learn how to work together.
As the bar is being renovated, the experts train the staff on new menu items.
As part of the renovations, Jon has renamed the bar from Martini Brothers Burger Bar to The Federal.
The bar is located on Federal street, which is where the name comes from.
They also turned Jacob’s art gallery into a meeting space that a local law firm already wants to rent out.
The ceiling now has a smoke machine and new POS machines.
Customers are waiting to be let in but already love the name change and the ambiance.
Jacob steps up as a manager in the front of the house during the relaunch.
Joey is working on making burgers in the kitchen.
The local food critics who spied on the bar earlier are very impressed.
Drinks are coming out of the bar well, and many customers use the dance floor.
So would the changes from the Martini Brothers Bar Rescue visit lead to success for the bar? Keep reading our update to learn what happened next.
The Federal Update - What Happened Next?
Now that we’ve recapped the Federal Bar Rescue visit, let’s talk about what happened after Jon Taffer and his crew left Youngstown, OH.
Things started off very well for the bar.
At the standard six-week Bar Rescue check in, we learned that The Federal has already made almost $150,000, which is a great improvement.
Jacob is also continuing to be a better manager and focus on running the bar well.
Is The Federal from Bar Rescue still open?
As of 2023, The Federal is still open and serving customers in Youngstown, OH. Reviews for the bar are quite good, as it has a 4 star rating on its Yelp page.
A lot of the other Bar Rescue bars that you’ll see get rated more like 3-3.5 stars, so a 4 star rating is above average for the Bar Rescue alumni.
People praise the food quality and the service.
However, some people do note that it can get a little rowdy later on when the Youngstown State University crowd arrives.
After all, college kids do love to party.
Here’s a Google Maps street view embed that shows that The Federal Youngstown location looks like today:
With that being said, while the bar is doing well, there have been some issues for the Federal owners.
Dan Martini, one of the brothers, has had some issues with the law.
In 2017, he pleaded guilty to money laundering in relation to an alleged scam on eBay.
Four men, of which Dan Martini was one, were selling fake autographed sports memorabilia on eBay.
This included footballs, posters, sports cards and other sports memorabilia.
They allegedly took in more than $2 million from over 25,000 victims of the fraud.
Dan was only sentenced to community service and probation.
However, the mastermind of the scheme (another man) got six years in prison, so there were some pretty serious charges flying around.
The Federal reviews after Bar Rescue
Here’s a sampling of a few reviews that were written after Jon Taffer visited The Federal / Martini Brothers…
4 star Yelp review from June 2022:
When in Youngstown Ohio State f you are in the downtown area stop in to the federal.
A large clean well run restaurant and bar.
The service was friendly and efficient, and the food was fresh, hot and beautifully presented.
If you go be very hungry the portions are large.
I had the grilled cheese burger.
A juicy burger with two grilled cheese sandwiches as the bun, with a massive amount of crispy fresh fries.
My wife got the chicken cranberry salad.
A huge plate topped with juicy chicken
My sister liked the wings he got.
Overall highly recommend
4 star Yelp review from May 2017:
Not sure if they are keeping up with the Bar Rescue makeover, but the good was absolutely delicious.
My wife and I both had the Make it Yourself burgers without a complaint.
Unless the burger being too big can register as a complaint!
Their fries with a little Malt Vinegar are to die for – they have to be fresh.
Mary was nice and attentive.
Beer was cold and selection was diverse.
The one thing is it could use a deep clean and a little paint.
I recommend going here for a burger and a beer.
2 star Yelp review from September 2018:
Walked in and thought it was a cool little place.
After hearing it was on bar rescue we decided to try it.
Food selection is limited.
Buffalo chicken sandwich was soggy chicken strips.
Definitely below average.
The burger tasted good but both people who ordered the bugger got very very sick and vomited all night.
We have been here before at night and the club scene is nice but I wouldn’t recommend the food at all.
2 stars for this place simply because it is a fun place at night on the weekend.
I would give our server “Jenny from the block” 5 stars.
Her service was awesome. Super friendly and on top of things.
Jon Taffer also visited a Youngstown, Ohio bar in the previous episode of Bar Rescue Season 4.
If you want to see how that bar is doing, check out my Royal Oaks update.
The Royal Oaks is also still open as of 2023, so Jon Taffer is two for two on his October 2015 Youngstown visit.
If you want to see some other Bar Rescue Ohio episodes, you can also check out my updates for Tim Owen’s / Ripper’s Rock House in Akron, The Public House / The Black Sheep in Cincinnati, and America Live / Win, Place, or Show in Cincinnati.
Thanks for reading!
What did you think about the The Federal Bar Rescue episode? I'd love it if you shared your thoughts on the episode in the comments below!
You can also click the buttons below to share this post!
And don't forget to check out all of the other Bar Rescue updates.
Watch Bar Rescue Episodes at Amazon
Last updated: 2023-02-23 06:46