(Note: This post was updated in August 2014!)
The Ashley is a big fan of the TV show Kitchen Nightmares, and, as you faithful Roundupers know, she also loves to do “Where Are They Now” articles. A few months back, The Ashley did some sleuthing and found out what’s happened to the restaurants that Gordon Ramsey visited during the first season of the show. (Click here to see what’s become of the Season 1 restaurants!)
This time, she focused on the Season 2 restaurants and found out what happened to them after Gordon left and the cameras stopped rolling. Unfortunately, there isn’t much good news to report.
Sabatiello’s (Stamford, Connecticut):
Click here to watch a clip from the episode.
Sabatiello “Sammy” Settembre, the owner of this Italian steakhouse, was in debt over $1 million when he called Gordon to help him out. He was known for his hot temper, poor customer service and somewhat crazy family/kitchen staff. The owner got all crazy when Gordon criticized his mother’s lasagna recipe, causing a huge fight that led to the owner closing his restaurant for the night and kicking everyone out. (Always a smart move!)
Gordon worked with Sammy to change the menu, and calm his crazy-ass temper a bit.
Status as of 2014: CLOSED! The restaurant closed down, but that was just the beginning of its owner, Sammy’s troubles. A few months after the episode aired the business went belly-up, and in December 2008, he was about to be evicted from the property.
Sammy decided to have some fun with the place before the bank took it from him. He allegedly trashed the restaurant, causing more than $20,000 worth of damage, according to an article in the Stanford Advocate. He was later arrested in 2009 for first-degree criminal mischief for the damage that he caused. (According to the article, “the damage — smashed mirrors and decorative glass — was found December 4, when a state marshal and landlord tried to serve Settembre with eviction papers, court papers state.”)
Sammy later opened up a pizzeria in a nearby town, but it too failed and he had to declare bankruptcy. He was later arrested again on felony larceny charges after “a company told police he charged more than $20,000 on a credit card given to him to pay a deposit for a Christmas party this past winter,” according to this article.
Handlebar (Mt. Sinai, New York):
Click here to watch a clip of the episode.
Handlebar was the first failing restaurant that Gordon visited during Season 2. The Long Island restaurant not only had an angry chef, dirty fridges and customers that were screaming at each other. The nasty fridges disgusted Gordon (despite the fact that the chef and owner insisted that they were “a hell of a lot cleaner now than they were six months ago!” Um…did you have dirty diapers and pickled feces in there before? Gross!
Gordon turned the restaurant into a gastro pub and things were looking good when Gordon revisited the place a year later.
Status as of 2014: CLOSED! Even though things were supposedly “looking up” for Handlebar when Gordon did the follow-up show, the restaurant closed soon after in 2009. Apparently the bad luck continued even after Handlebar closed down. The restaurant that opened in its old location only lasted a year and closed down in 2010. It reopened but then closed again in 2011. Currently, the spot sits empty.
Giuseppi’s (Macomb Township, Michigan):
Gordon visited this family-owned Italian restaurant and found not only a completely dysfunctional family (husband and wife about to divorce, father and son at odds) but also crappy Italian food that’s cooked in the microwave. (Um, if I wanted that, I’d go buy some Spaghetti O’s!)
Gordon tried to repair the restaurant’s terrible menu, as well as fix the family dynamics by letting the son take more control of the restaurant to let his ailing father have more time to rest.
Status as of 2014: CLOSED! The restaurant enjoyed a booming business after it appeared on the show, with one Yelper saying, “Basking in the glow of their Gordon Ramsey makeover on a September 2008 edition of ‘Kitchen Nightmares’ this place has been hard to get into” However, by 2009 things had slowed down and, although it got rave reviews on restaurant review sites, Giuseppi’s closed down.
Black Pearl (New York, New York):
Click here to watch a clip of the episode.
The episode featuring Black Pearl was one of my favorites. Gordon visited the New York seafood restaurant and met up with its three owners: one who hates being there, one who hates his partners and one that’s a complete card-carrying douchebag who everyone hates. They weren’t even able to work together at the same time, let alone run a successful restaurant.
Gordon changed the menu and attempted to get the staff and owners to work together in order to save the restaurant.
Status as of 2014: CLOSED! This is probably one of the most interesting stories to come out of Season 2. Four days after the “Black Pearl” episode aired, the restaurant shut down. Two weeks after the restaurant closed, the owners were still maintaining the restaurant’s website– but only so they could use it to bash Gordon Ramsey! In a series of rants, the owners wrote that Gordon’s changes caused the restaurant’s revenues to drop and ultimately caused the business to fail!
“Well, after three years, we have fried our last clam and shucked our last oyster. On October 1 we sold our lease and fixtures to someone who may be better equipped to handle the exceedingly high cost of doing business in New York City,” the owners posted on the website. “As you may know, in February, we filmed an episode of Kitchen Nightmares, at our restaurant, hoping for the best. We were naive, believing that the show was at least somewhat honest; we truly felt we could learn something from that jerk, and we anticipated a solid boost in sales from the publicity.
“The sad fact is, from the beginning, it was clear that the show was a joke,” the rant continued. “From the very first day they were initiated, the changes Gordy Ramsay made were ridiculed by the press, hated by our regular customers and were the direct cause of a 50% drop in revenues. And, we were never able to recover financially.” To read the full post, click here.
This quote says it all in regard to how the owners felt about their reality TV experience though.
“While I hope Gordo meets an untimely death so that I can dance on his grave, it is time to move on.”
Geez, tell us how you really feel, buddy!
Cafe 36 (La Grange, Illinois):
Click here to watch a clip from the episode.
Gordon was surprisingly nice to this restaurant’s husband and wife owners, due to the fact that they were nice, hard-working people that just wanted to make their lifelong dream of owning a restaurant work. Still, they were in need of a major menu overhaul, as well as a change of staff (especially the head chef whom didn’t know how to thaw food properly!)
Gordon changed the menu and some of the staff for the restaurant’s relaunch and things seemed to be back on track for the hardworking couple.
Status as of 2014: CLOSED! Sadly, the restaurant shut down for good in April 2009 and there were reports that the owners ended up homeless after putting their life savings into the sinking restaurant. (I can’t confirm this, however.)
It seems the couple has gotten back on their feet and were opening a new restaurant in 2011, according to a Gayot story.
Sante La Brea (Los Angeles, California):
Click here to watch a clip of the episode.
This healthy Californian restaurant featured primarily vegan and vegetarian food, which was a first for Gordon. He dealt with the restaurant’s disrespectful staff, and was angry to see that the restaurant was practicing unsafe food preparation, not to mention serving “fake” fish. He was also quite amused by the manager’s insane sweating problem!
Status as of 2014: CLOSED! The restaurant shut its doors on June 1, 2011, when the owners decided to sell it.
“We are selling the restaurant,” one of the owners told a fan on the restaurant’s Facebook page. “The new owner will have an entirely new concept, tho, it will no longer be Sante La Brea. It’s a very bittersweet time for us… We have been wanting to move on to other ventures for quite some time, but we feel sad about letting our loyal customers down. It’s funny – we’re finally selling at a time when our business is absolutely Booming (more than ever before, actually) – so it’s certainly not a wise financial move on our part – ha! But we are so fortunate that we can go out on a celebratory note.”
Hannah & Mason’s (Cranbury, New Jersey):
Click here to watch a clip from the episode.
Gordon visited this romantic high-end French-style restaurant during Season 2 and found that the owners only opened the place a few nights a week. That, combined with the confusing menu and a feud between the two owners, was causing the restaurant to slip into the red, with only its catering business keeping things afloat. Things got really bad when Gordon discovered severe mishandling of food and had to shut down the restaurant on Valentine’s Day for being unsafe. (He even stretched ‘Caution’ tape across the kitchen!)
Gordon decided the restaurant would fare better if it had a more-casual feel to it and an Americanized menu. He also worked with the owners to improve their relationship.
Status as of 2014: CLOSED! According to an article in NJ Monthly, the owners claim their customers hated the changes Gordon made and they reverted back to their old ways even before the episode aired.
“He thought the telecast might bring him new business, but it only produced phone calls from fans of the show chastising him for not taking Ramsay’s advice,” the article said. “Citing the loss of corporate catering business in the nosediving economy (it had been half his revenue, he says) Posner closed Hannah & Mason’s in January of , though he says the show had little or no effect on the decision.”
Here’s another good article regarding the restaurant’s experience on the show.
Want to know what happened to the other Season 2 restaurants? Unfortunately, they suffered the same fate as the restaurants described above.
- J Willy’s (South Bend, Indiana): CLOSED! This BBQ joint lasted a lot longer than most of the Season 2 restaurants. Sadly, they closed down in May 2011 due to the poor economy in the area. The owner wrote this very sweet thank you note to Gordon Ramsay, and insisted that the time Gordon spent there taught him a lot about running a restaurant and how to be a manager.
- Fiesta Sunrise (West Nyack, New York): CLOSED! Gordon was particularly hard on the owners of this Mexican restaurant, mainly due to how disgustingly dirty their kitchen was. Although Gordon made changes to the way the family kept the kitchen, the restaurant was seized in November 2008 for not paying its back taxes and was shut down for good before the episode even aired.
- Jack’s Waterfront (St. Clair Shores, Michigan): CLOSED! Gordon criticized this restaurant for its stale and dusty decor and lack of concept. Gordon simplified the menu and gave the place a fresh, new look. The owners kept Gordon’s suggestions but were forced to close down. They later reopened the restaurant and added a dance floor and new menu items, but once again, the place failed. The owners later opened a similar restaurant called Jack’s on the River, which, from what Yelpers said, had the exact same menu as Jack’s Waterfront. Unfortunately, that restaurant suffered the same fate as the original restaurant.
- Trobiano’s (Great Neck, New York): CLOSED! This Italian restaurant had an interesting back story. The owner, Anthony Trobiano, asked his girlfriend’s parents to buy him the restaurant. And they did. (What? That’s never happened to you?) Gordon found plenty of problems at Trobiano’s: an owner who didn’t know anything about food, a kitchen littered with dirt and (ew) mouse droppings, and a staff that hated their jobs. Despite Gordon’s changes, the restaurant was shut down and seized by the bank after the owner didn’t pay his taxes, according to this article. Anthony later became a chef at another Long Island Italian restaurant.
Update for you for The Handlebar in Mt. Sinai, New York….
Sadly, Billy died in 2015 from Cancer
People are unbelievable to think they know better than Gordon given his resume and looking at the pitiful state they are in prior to asking for help from the him. Human nature is so comical. Just arrogant jokers.
In any business, one day it will start, and one day it will end. The difference is, will you make a profit in the meantime.
Its clear that business skills, and understanding the market are crucial before starting. One thing that I noticed in many, is the staff’s attitude. They earn money, they take home money…. the owner goes bankcrupt / prison / loses credit rating, who cares right? the staff earn their money, but that is a bad attitude.
In many of them, if the staff worked harder… if they said, ok im paid to work 8 hours, its quiet, I am going to:
– clean freezer
– clean kitchen
– clean main dining
– staff training (a chief might teach kitchen hands a dish, and or do a complex dish)
– throw out old food from panty (expiry dates)
– stocklist of current food
There was a number of episodes where the staff were doing almost nothing, and many times the cleanliness of the place was in question -> yet they were still being paid while the owners go bankrupt.
Thank you. I enjoyed catching up on how these particular restaurant’s faired after the show. Can’t believe how many reverted to their old ways and failed. Ramsay was an arrogant so-and-so when he opened his first restaurant and was reported to have stormed into the dining room to lambast customers for daring to put salt on their meals.
I enjoy the US show but can stand the contrived, false way they edit each episode. Middle of each service and there’s a drama only for everything to right itself and hey presto all’s well. Sebastians in L.A. was just so lame. The chef/owner loses the plot in what’s supposed to be mid service. He storms outside into the darkness of late evening. Only when he swallows his pride and returns to the kitchen, where all the staff are on tenterhooks, it’s now early evening as daylight is streaming through the dining room windows. He either had access to a time machine or the producers all assume were idiots. Still it’s an enjoyable show and thanks again for your blog. Regards, John in UK.
Holy Moly, are any restaurants still open that Gorden helped out? Seems like the answer is no. Why bother?
How come every restaurant gets closed after chef Ramsey turns up? It’s supposed to get better, but it just shuts down, I’m starting to think chefRamsey is kind of a bad curse to all the restaurants!
Just wait until he finds how KFC & Macdonalds run things… SHUT IT ALL DOWN! HAhahawhehhe
Great blog. It’s good too see the results. Even if it does mean some people lost their dreams. Maybe it was for the better. Lives may have been saved. New opportunities for new people.
Thanks for keeping tabs on these. I can cross a few off my list for my future travels.
Are there any success stories. I worked in my mom’s and aunts Dutch Indonesian restaurant. The file was great, but they knew nothing about running a restaurant and it failed. It’s not just about the food
Chef Ramsey did the best he could. I bet these restaurant owners wish they listen to Gordon Ramsey.
All those that hate him, who f’king cares… The restaurant business is usually 90% failure rate. He would be better hosting Top Gear.
It’s the owners of The Black Pearl who should meet “untimely deaths” for letting that poor, starving, whatever he was in NY Steve’s last paycheck from bouncing. I guess they went back over the bridges and through the tunnels. Wannabes…it’s a shame, too, cuz I might have gone and tried the place, but midtown restaurants….eh.
I just watched the episode about Giuseppes. I feel heart sick that they went under. Wnat a shame that they had such a turn around for the better, than because of the neighborhood _ they had to close down.Why couldn’t they moved further north and start over. I HATE THE THOUGHT of that couple loosing all their money.They worked hard and made it work,unlike some of the lazy ones,or just people that were just too far in debt and didn’t get help in time.Hope someone helps them start a new place. As for Gorden,no one can blame him for one of these failings.My God,you would have to be an ungrateful twit to blame it on him.
How can you write articles when you don’t even have the education of basic grammar skills???? People are referred to as “who”or “whom”. They are NOT “that”. “THAT” is for things. How do you not know this???? It’s very sad that anyone can write articles and post them to the Internet without knowing basic grammar.
@Nina—Thanks for your concern. Hopefully my Hooked on Phonics will kick in eventually and I’ll be the grammar goddess you are. -The Ashley
Lol!!!! Love “the ashley”
Oh oh the grammar police is in the house.
Ok grammar police, when’s her court date?
Rather than being concerned with grammar and/or syntax, get some therapy and be more considerate towards others.
My previous comment was meant for the Grammar Queen, i.e. Nina Mina.
I don’t really think you’re in a position to be commenting on grammar when your over zealous use of punctuation makes my head spin. Only 1 question mark is needed, if you’re that shocked or in disbelief, a question mark then an exclamation mark is correct.
Ramsey’s series “Kitchen Nightmares UK” was brilliant, he was actually nurturing to the staff’s for the most part. Not the screaming idiot we see here in the US. When the dollars are calling you in, you’ll probably resort to anything.
Actually, rude, condescending, and overacting, with more swearing, but you are correct, the US episodes are vile and inexcusable, and humiliate us Brits. You also think more of him than we do, which, I guess, is why he does more telly across the pond now. Could also be to get away from all the bad press he’s getting here.
Don’t let it humiliate you. He only gets foul when people don’t heed his advice and have a bad attitude, or when the kitchen is a complete health hazard. What I noticed on Kitchen Nightmares UK, is your restaurant owners and chefs are so calm and respectful, in comparison. For the most part, they are grateful and eager for Chef Ramsay’s help. In the US, many of the owners and chefs are disrespectful, ungrateful, and act like they’re entitled to Chef Ramsay’s help. I love that he comes in and gives these people a piece of his mind. A lot of people need the blunt reality check, here. Plus, the people in the US wouldn’t watch if he acted the way he does there because as a whole, we’re completely barbaric and uncivilized. Believe me, that is FAR more humiliating haha!
I do not understand why Americans are always so quick to say, “oh yes, we’re loud and rude and crass, and unsophisticated, and, and, and. . . NO YOU’RE NOT! I am English, Oxford educated, well brought up, and born into a family more than comfortable. I lived in France and Scandinavia, traveled throughout Europe and Asia, and believe me, Americans are not worse any, but rather significantly better, than most. We Brits drink more, have more unwed teen-age pregnancies, worse public behavour, and immorality that the USA. You seem to think that the classic British accent that Judy Dench and Downton abbey has, (which only about 2% of the country sounds like, the rest sound like Adele, or are truly unintelligible), and the royals make us sophisticated, elegant, classy. The truth is more the spikes businesses imbeded in their sidewalks so the homeless don’t sleep there out of the elements, or the urine-soaked London streets a block around any pub, the racisim that makes yours look polite, (we, or course don’t talk about it, it’s just not “done” in polite society. At least Americans try to bring it into the light. By the way, did you ever learn that the slave trade was run by the British? Slaves worked American plantations? Who do you think most of these owners were? Expat English).
Are you ashamed of the “Jersey Shore Kids”? Admittedly not your best and Brightest, but the are wonders and the Jersey shore is a spatown compared to Blackpool, our most famous fun-time shore town which is so polluted with vomit, urine, feces, drug kit, and condoms that there are warnings not to go in the sea or on the sand. Don’t let the trappings, buildings, or insults of a country, especially not a little green island that lost the world’s biggest prize to the “tatty band of rebels” that said “fuck off” to the king of the most powerful country in the world in two wars. (We still take that personally) Remember that all of this America bashing started as a way to save face and feel better about ourselves. The fact that poncy, uppercrust Alexis de Tocqueville decided to leave France and go to America and “civilize the natives” in 1830 or so just gave everyone more mocking go-ahead for their jealousy.
Remember, in the history of the world, no other country has ever done so much in such a short time. How can you remember that and apologize for yourselves? By the way, Gordon is an ass, not everyone on the American shows is rude, and not everyone on the British shows isn’t. His behaviour is meant to work-up people it makes for a better show. Especially abroad.
Is that you really you David from the Pearl.
I guess it like rearranging the deck chairs on the titanic, the boat’s going down no matter what.
I agree, the UK series was much more entertaining.
He’s only “the screaming idiot” in the US Kitchen Nightmares because that’s how they edit it, plus I’m the UK version he’s the one narrating which helps to explain things when he does yell, scream, etc….but in the US version they want the drama because they think all Americans are idiots that would prefer a screaming idiot over a person that really wants to help and is understanding…he hasn’t changed – the show has, editing, narration, stuff like that.
Also, these jerks talk bad about him after he leaves, saying he was mean, he picked on me, etc…BUT they all (every single one) asked him to come help! So I find that really stupid.
Back of house in food or hotel is one of the hardest jobs in the world. The problem is these places let themselves get so far behind they have no hope of digging out. What I will never understand is opening a food service business with your only knowledge being you eat in a restaraunt a few times a month.
Especially troubling are the ones putting the house, 401k etc… on the line thinking they will get rich quick or thinking it’s walking around smiling. Both my wife & I are trained chefs, restaurant mgrs & hoteliers, and we have enough sense not to open a cafe & we have had several chances too with others money.
I’ve known a couple people that went into business and lost everything because they could not quite make it…besides myself. Knowing the business you choose is only one step of the way, you then have to know “business” itself and once you get involved you find out that even if you went to school the practicalities of running a business are FAR different than what you learn in business school. What they teach you in college and what you need to know in real life are totally different and it is a hard lesson to learn while you are trying to make it in this economy…..
And I’ve read about people complaining about “this economy” in the 20s, the 50s, the 80s, the 90s, the 2000x, 1890s, the 1870s, etc. some things never change.
What this tells us is that society has become lazy, ungrateful and selfish, in that here you have the greatest Chef in the world coming to help you, and you still F it up? Really? Get off Facebook. Quit texting. Focus on your damn job you losers and you won’t go belly up. Have U seen some of the dull normals running these restaurants? Just pathetic. These are spoiled, lazy people who have never had to really work for anything other than preparing food. It’s an easy job. If you can’t handle this you’re in sad shape. Toughen up.
I guess you’ve never worked in a professional kitchen. I have. Even with years of training it’s not easy, it is hard, exacting, multi-tasking, tiring, hot work. Honestly, most people freakout when they prepare Thanksgiving dinner for 12 people. Try doing 80 covers a night, and not everyone is eating turkey and mash! That does ‘t even include prep, cleaning, menu planning, coordinating with front-of-house, food purchase, serving. . .
Also, no good kitchen runs with a chef that screams and swears. This is all for the cameras. That, and the “best chef in the world” crap. He’s good, but he does not cook anylonger. Those Micheline stars really belong to the chefs who cook, not the one who owns the place.
He also doesn’t do this out of the goodness of his heart, it’s a show. In, film, out, make money for Ramsay. You do not turn around any business in a week. He knows that, but you do make a ton of money by acting as if you do.
Glls is correct. Working in a restaurant kitchen is hard work. Even working in Burger King is no picnic. People are not taking selfies back there, they are doing hard, physical work, trying to please people like YOU, daleya, people who deride, demean, degrade, and diminish them and the work that they do. I assume from your comment you have never done any such work; if you have you could devalue these people and their work. YOU could never have gone home with your back aching from repeatedly lifting food out of the oven, your fingers cut from prep and mise en place, burned from the saute line or the fryer, with flour and spices in your hair, or smelling like onion rings.
So basically, daleya, what crawled up your skirt?
Are you really Rush Limbaugh in mufti?
That question is, of course, for daleya. I mean Rush. I mean dalyea. or. . .
By the way, mufti means in civilian clothes, or in disguise.
My comment was to Daleya. glls,allie, and justaskin are idiots.
No, Santino, dear, you and daleya are idiots. Why do you degrade people who work hard for a living? Why do you feel that people who go into the food service industry are beneath you? I hope someone identifies you and stops being lazy and stops “texting, face-booking, and being a dull-normal” long enough to spit in your food. And by the way, if you and daleya want more Ph.Ds waiting on you, perhaps you should petition to lower the cost of education, and raise the minimum wage to the point where someone can live on the salary of one, difficult, dirty, undervalued, underrated, and very necessary job.
For all of you who think Ramsey is the greatest ever and does nothing wrong, you should know that London, the chef’s American flagship restaurant in a Manhattan hotel, has lost its two Michellin stars.
Michelin guide director Michael Ellis spoke of getting “some very erratic meals” and having “issues with consistency, and consistency is a huge thing for us.”
It apparently is for us normal people who are paying their own money for an expensive meal.
His English crown jewel restaurant at Claridges in London, England closed, his Union Street Cafe in Southwark, England, opened with, according to Ramsey, 10,000 reservations on the books, (oh, yes, sure). The problem is that upon opening it got bad reviews, 2 or 3 stars out of 5 from the foodiepress, and those reservations are going unseated.
This is from Richard Erich, a food critic, and is a lot kinder that most things printed in the UK newspapers;
“This disparity between what Ramsay knows and what he does strikes me as being at the core of his slightly tragic story. He just can’t stop trying to build a massive empire even when well-reported business and family travails suggest that slowing down might be a good idea. In certain parts of his empire, everything runs beautifully. Ramsay’s flagship London restaurant retains its three Michelin stars year after year, and the lunches I have had there have been consistently flawless in every respect. But move away from the jewel in the crown, and things don’t look so sparkly. At one of his other London restaurants, earlier this year I was shocked by the huge prices being charged for woefully inconsistent food and terrible service. If Ramsay had gone in to inspect the place for one of his TV shows, the air would have turned blue.
Those TV outings may cause Ramsay his public-image problems. It’s not just the effing and blinding. It’s the open invitation to uncover his own failings. If you go on TV as the self-proclaimed upholder of high standards in catering, you’d better make sure that your own restaurants uphold them too. No one loves someone who preaches one thing while practising another.”
This says nothing about the shady practices he’s involved in. On both sides of the Pond.
If Gordon Ramsey with all his money, top-notch equipment, brilliant locations, public relation firms, advertizing agencies/budgets, high-profile, and, not to mention, legions of highly-trained chefs, can’t keep 12 of his own restaurants from closing, then who is he to give advice?
Maybe he should attend is own kitchen nightmares, ( like the frozen dinners someone else mentioned his serving. Those dinners go for £28-£32, which is $38 to $55.), beforehe tries to address anyone else’s.
Maybe you should ask more about Gordon Ramsey.
His “gastropubs” here in London were discovered to be serving frozen boil-in-bag dinners, which G.R. admitted, saying they didn’t have time to make everything from scratch, and that they used “top quality” pre-frozen meals. Sound familiar? He screams at other owners for doing just that.
Several of his restaurants are so far behind in their taxes the local government is making it a priority to collect. He is being sued by a partner for cheating him out of 14 million pounds, and is being investigated for setting up straw man corporations to hide assets, and in trying to close the restaurant in question to avoid the lawsuit.
Since his first restaurant failed Ramsey has had 12, yes, 12. of his own restaurants, including his flagship restaurant here in London.
He’s also being sued by his partner in FAT COW’S, an LA restaurant. Ramsey closed the place dow, did a back-door deal with the property owner, and opened another restaurant in the same place, only alone, and named after himself.
He now wants to cater airline food, we all know how yummy that is.
On a personal, what-a-bastard note, his wife, saddled with all of his kids and stuck out in the boonies on the “family gastro-farm” while he travels the world inflating his ego and profiting off the problems of others? What about the beautiful woman whose photo he props up on a table top now and then to “have dinner with”? He’s cheating on her, just like he is on his business partners.
The Great Ramsey. Fuckwit. And remarkably, not the best chef around.
That should say that an addition 12 of. this restaurants have CLOSED DOWN in the past 5-6 years.
Rima’s comments are correct. 12 of Ramsey’s places have closed in less than 6 years.
He’s having troubles in NYC, too, (other than losing his Michelin stars). He hasn ‘t paid his tax attorneys for his 2mil tax avoidance a few years ago, Neil Patrick Harris tweeted his extreme disappointment in the food at the London, which made some news, and a few months ago a friend of his and fellow chef Marcus Barthel, cut his mouth open on a piece of glass or crockery in a hamburger he was eating at London. MB had to have surgery on his mouth and tongue.
Maybe he is just trying to do too much, and losing the focus.
Someone, and a famous chef having dinner to boot, cutting their mouth on glass in a burger and needing surgery? That hasn’t even happened on the worst episode”Kitchen nightmares”!! We never saw Gordon bleeding after a meal, just vomiting and swearing.
Guess he does need to tend to the homefires before putting out blazes elsewhere. Maybe he’s over-extended, and can’t keep control everywhere.
I guess this accident at Gordon’s restaurant makes HIM a “dull-normal, too, huh daleya, right santino?
Haven`t you sad assholes got anything better to do besides hate and bad mouth Ramsey. One thing he has that you all don`t is a life and millions of dollars
Well, Don, I don’t think anyone of we “assholes” are bad-mouthing Ramsay, I think that some of us are just pointing out that much of this is just smoke and mirrors; that he’s not the person he portrays himself to be.
One thing to ask might be why do you and so many other jump to his defense so angrily? Perhaps YOU should get “a lfe and millions of dollars”.
“One thing he has that you all don`t is a life and millions of dollars”
Uh, I think those are TWO things, Don.
I can’t believe at how many resteraunts have closed down after chef Gordon Ramsay spent time there, personally helping them.
I can. Most of the restaurants are in huge debt and losing money before the show tapes. (I recall one show (PJ’s) where the owner said their breakeven was something like $14K/week and they were doing about $4K/week.)
Even if they can start hitting the breakeven point — they are so far behind that they need to be at double the breakeven point to come out the other side successfully.
OTOH, I’m amazed at how many people with no restaurant experience sink hundreds of thousands of dollars into a restaurant because they think it will be easy. All restaurants are a lot of work — high end or fast food.
I don’t have a restaurant nor do I work in one. But, I do eat. And, when I go out to eat, I don’t think it’s asking too much for a) a clean restaurant, b) food cooked the way I like it c) pleasant waitstaff and d) all at a decent price. I don’t want free or cheap food, I want good food. It doesn’t have to be fancy food, either. If you have a food truck, don’t have 50 items, have maybe five. If you have a food stand, don’t have lobster or prime cut beef. And if you have a restaurant, find one or two dishes that you do really REALLY well. Lastly, never read your own press clippings. If you think you are perfect, try to improve. Always. Maybe you’ll never need Gordon to come around…
I have been a chef and restaurateur for to long to mention. After a kidney transplant and the horrid rejection drugs I was forced to retired from kitchen combat to my dismay and sadness. I loved the business and my customers loved me and my wife. I would do almost anything to please a customer. The reason I mentioned this is you always hear Gordon mention, “Where’s the passion”? This is what it takes also serious dedication and creativity to even beguine to call yourself a chef, a chief, yes I said chief who covers every aspect of his kitchen. When your a chef restaurateur the bottom line stops with you, everything in that restaurant from the back room to the front of the house. When you are in this business your life is not your own. You have to love it. My kitchen was so clean I invited guest to watch their meals being prepared.
Who ever mentioned, “They should have called Gordon before they got in the restaurant business” is spot on. In my restaurant career I have seen husband and wife divorce. I have seen people spend thousands of dollars and only last three months. I have seen family’s beak apart. People see themselves walking around holding a Martini entertaining their guest, this is my place. These people have a rude awakeing. I have seen people open restaurants that can’t boil an egg, and depend on hiring a chef and manager. With no knowledge they are done before they start. I have seen people graduate from a culinary school and think they are ready to open their own restaurant. Yes they fail. Becoming a chef is a journey not a destination, it takes years of training. Even Gordon learns new things constantly, you can bet on it. This is why he is so successful. In short it is a very hard and grueling business and not everyone is cut out for it. I could go on but you get the idea, you watch Kitchen Nightmares.
Kitchen Nightmares is a show, an entertaining show, but Gordon’s frustrations are very real. The places that fail are not Gordon’s fault. “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink”. That seems to say it all, or perhaps they are to deep in financial ruination with no way to dig out.
So if you ever entertain the idea of opening a restaurant or even a food truck speak to a veteran chef, one that has been around to set you straight with what it takes. Most Banks won’t even give you a loan for a restaurant.
By the way, I still have my hand in it in a small way, I occasionally cook for my church and still wow them.
Fiesta sunrise is now Cinco
De mayo restaurant a couple of
Blocks away from where the old one used to be.
Honestly, as gross as the W. Nyack episode at Fiesta Sunrise was and although I never got to eat there, eve though I worked up the street from it for years, you can’t blame the restaurant completely for it’s failure after Ramsay cam in to fix it. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING survives in that location. It has been turned over so many times since then and it’s just a spot that can’t survive no matter WHAT is put there and regardless of the quality of food. Palisades takes all of the thunder away from that spot. It’s an absolute landmine destined to fail EVERY SINGLE TIME. Sad, but true…
Although, certainly have love for Nyack, especially that INCREDIBLE Comedy Club, Levity Live that opened up in the past couple years, it is a harder place for businesses to survive than one may think at face value. This particular location should NEVER host a business again. It’s seriously cursed…
There’s a cursed location two blocks away that I can see from my 7th floor apartment. In the last 20 years it has had about 15 restaurants. If the people who keep buying it would just look around, they’d see that there is NO PARKING in this crowded neighborhood. I’m tired of the Sushi sign on the place now, but it’ll be gone soon I’m sure.
I am watching this show on Netflix, and it seems every epiosde I have seen so far, I look up the resturaunt to see how it’s doing today, and hmm, “Closed!” … it’s a shame that Gordon’s help was too late for a lot of these places. Living in Michigan I would have loved to go see Jack’s
Nice to hear that Ramsey has a calmer, quieter side than what is seen on this show. I don’t care for that persona but can’t fault his advice.
Before making a connection to these restaurants closing and Ramsey’s effectiveness, we’d have to know if the restaurants continued to follow his recommendations or backslid; was their reputation too tainted to recover; or were many of these closings a result of the economy?
Not all that nice. I go to culinary school and we have a lot of famous chefs who come here to the CIA. We also hear all the industry dirt.
Two things that really bothered me; the owners of the famous NYC restaurant The Spotted Pig, were planning to open another S.P. in London. When Ramsey found out he quickly copywritted the name in the UK TO PREVENT THEM FROM USING THEIR OWN NAME. After a lot of pressure from the professional food community he returned the copywrite.
Marcus Samuelsson’s memor Yes, Chef involved this one time Gordon Ramsay called him a “fucking black bastard” for not naming Ramsay among his favorite British chefs. Ramsay’s spokesman denies the account, accusing Samuelsson of writing it simply “in order to garner publicity” for his book. Everyone here believes chef Samuelsson. EVERYONE.
Ramsay does not have a good reputation as anything other than a GOOD chef and a GREAT SELF-PROMOTER.
Don’t believe everything you see on TV or hear from a publicist.
Returned the copy write because of pressure? Sounds like that Cafe Hon woman in Baltimore, I think. What happened to her?
I remember when Ramsay calling Samuelsson “a fucking black bastard” happened. Chef Samuelsson had just written a book and been interviewed. He was asked what British chefs he most admired and did not say Ramsay. Gordon went nuts on Samuelsson, called him out all over Britain, then made that comment. Then he and his people denied it, then quietly apologized. He’s a twat, that Ramsay.
If Gordon Ramsey ever comes calling …. run, padlock the door, pack your knives, roll down the shutters and take a vacation. Let Gordon make over your competition. That way, you’re assured your restaurant will still be viable when you return.
brilliant! very funny!
Just goes to show you…if you have NEVER been in the restaurant business….why would you?
People ought to call Ramsey BEFORE they open.
So what you’re trying to say is they are all fucking closed!
I need to get I touch with david fron the Black pearl. Please email me back.
Error in the article:
J Willy’s closed in February 2009 not May 2011. I double-checked a few places and they all agree.
The resturant they featured in Macomb Township, MI, during that time in 08-09, I never noticed it and I passed by it everyday. It was in a weird spot so I think that itself didn’t help it. That chinese resturant next door is still there.
Also, I lived nearby the Jack’s in St. Clair Shores, MI at that time (from a long drive to my then-job in Shelby Twp, MI), I had a couple family members work there back in 99-01. It’s now Brownies and we had a memorial there for a friend who sadly passed away last year, RIP.
I saw that frowning bald owner (Jack’s) somewhere recently, but I can’t pinpoint when and where.
I like how Gordon drove a snowmobile on Lake St. Clair to Jack’s during the winter, I need to do that myself when winter comes (it will soon in MI).
You missed Lido Di Manhattan in Manhattan Beach, CA. They are still open and going strong! Lisa is still the owner and many of the staff are still there. Great food and service! 🙂
By the time they film an episode the restaurant chosen is far in debt there is no way the business can be saved. I just watched the Trabiano’s episode and the young, arrogant chef/owner admitted to being 500k in debt, the reality was likely even worse. There was nothing wrong with the support and advice they got; however, there is no way a place that far under can make regardless of the quality of consulting.
Here in Brazil we have always the first Kitchen Knightmares’ seasons being broadcasted by FOX. Because of that, I was always curious about what happened to all these restaurants. And now I know. Thanks for the info. 🙂
On the businesses that closed after his help, does anyone know the reason ? Are they too far into the red to make a comeback ? Some of the owners may have gone back to their old ways that put them in a position that they needed the help of Ramsay ?
If the businesses have failed, and they had to close, I have never blamed Ramsay and I have never seen anyone blame him…
Slight correction for Black Pearl, of the three owners, David was the only one who really had it out for Ramsay, he was just an incompetent dickwad who had no business owning anything. The other two owners were much more appreciative of Ramsay’s efforts.
Agreed 100% darkrage6. He needed a good ole ass whoopin. Watching the first 15 minutes showed he dragged the other two down, and was the type that would rather stay and let the place go to hell, and no concern for his partners. That punk was likely the only one bashing Chef Ramsey on the website,the other two should have bought him out, and were weak sisters to let him stay and have any say.
Season 1 is now running on german tv´s. So I went to this blog to find out what had happend with most restaurants. Are there any restaurants Gordon could help or are they all getting closed after tv-response has stopped?
We have equalent tv-shows but the closing rates are less than 50%. So it would be interesting if gordon is just talking a lot or if he could really help the restaurants. I know he can´t train everyone to become a serious busninessman but if the rates of his succsess are as low as I think it´s really poor work.
I live in Sweden and we´re watching this fabulous show:). Does anyone know what happened to the resturants in season 3-6?
Ok, I get alot of you without experience in the industry have all those negative comments to say. Well..as a longtime industry insider, I can tell you….but first, just to show you I am not talking out of turn here…My father was a nightclub/restaurant owner for 30 years. My Mother had a seafood house in Baltimore MD for several years. My sister HAS a thriving bar/music venue/restaurant on the Upper West Side of NYC. So I do have some insight here. Suffice it to say….when you go into the restaurant business, you are about 80% (and that is generous) likely to fail and that is in a regular good economy. The recession has simply added fuel to the fire so to speak, so to succeed is more difficult than ever before. Don’t blame Chef Ramsey…everything he says….is the right course of action…hands down…no question. But even a great chef like Chef Ramsey cannot GUARANTEE success. Just so all you out there who would disparage him and the show need to know…the business is NO easy piece and you are much, much more likely to fail than succeed. Thought all of you spouting negatives should know this.
Thank you for the reviews! I’ve been watching Kitchen Nightmares since the the show was placed on NetFlix. I absolutely love it!! I’m so hooked! I stumbled across your blog when I was dying to kno what happened to all the Restaurants (typing from my iPhone). I am so dissappointed that so many restaurants failed after Gordon left (I love him lol)! So sad to hear about the owner who committed suicide, I was so heartbroken to hear that. I really wanted Jack’s to survive (from season 2). I really liked the three owners and it seemed that they really took his advice. I’m actually glad to hear that Black Pearl was shut down. I really didn’t think they would go far with such poor attitudes. I have to go to bed now, but I appreciate you for providing “Where are They Now” for all the seasons! Good luck in all you and ill be checking back periodically ;-).
This is as much fiction as the series. This makes it sound like it was Gordan Ramsey’s fault that these restaurants all went under. Do you dislike the man? The stories from this site conflict with other sites! Who say that some of these restaurants sold! I don’t even know what really happened at this point, only that reality TV is as much fiction as any other TV program.
Any restaurant would be lucky to have Ramsay’s input. The low point of season 2 was The Black Pearl. David is the biggest jerk of the two seasons I have watched. Ramsay was absolutely correct when he called David ungrateful. Anyone who resists the suggested changes is a fool. His formula is simple. Know your potential client base, find your niche, simplify your menu, and serve a ‘signature’ dish that creates a ‘buzz’, and make people want to return again and again. It’s not rocket science. The problem that these places share is an egomaniac at the helm. Ramsay is certainly not humble, but he has earned his stripes and knows the business inside and out. His big ego is justified.
David is the reason I searched for this article, I wanted to know if this guy still had a business. Happily that is not the case, unfortunately he is still stuck on how its all Gordon’s fault. Idiot.
Amazing article Ashley!! Tim, great comment it might open up some peoples eyes to reality! Here I am watching reruns of Kitchen Nightmares and after the Hannah & Masons episode just had to find some kind of update. Regarding that episode those owners were the laziest and most delusional I have seen. Even in the “recent” article (posted link) about the experience is ridiculous!! I thought one of the coolest changes made was to incorporate locally grown produce! When the owner states that he knows his customers better than Gordon it sounds so ridiculous! Wouldnt using locally grown produce encourage some of those farmers who grow it to come in and support the business because they have a vested interest in it?? Unbelievable!! I know if there was a restaurant in my town that used fresh locally grown produce I would eat there as much as possible!! Yum Yum!! Seriously fresh from the farm food is so amazing they ate dunderheads for not utilizing those oppurtunities!
Gordon Ramsay is a perfectionist and control freak, which is why he is such a success. The man also has a big heart. Too bad shallow people judge him only on superficialities like his potty mouth. Read his autobiography. Read Anthony Bourdain’s “Kitchen Confidential” and you’ll be surprised at how mild and polite Gordon is compared to other chefs. Bourdain calls Ramsay a “complete cupcake” and based on everything I’ve read and seen, I’ll go along with that.
Agreed…but Bourdain is seriously condescending…and that just turns me off to him completely. Just sayin.
I am getting a little fed up with all the negative commentary about Gordon Ramsay and the number of restaurant closures following their appearance upon Kitchen Nightmares US. The first thing I must say, is that I spent my 40th birthday party seven years ago at Gordon’s landmark restaurant in Chelsea, London, and I have to say that expensive though it was it was without doubt the finest meal I have ever eaten, not just the food but the ambience and service. Gordon was, in fact, manning the kitchen that evening and following our sumptuous meal, he was kind enough (at the behest of my wife) to show me round his tiny but immaculately clean and well organised kitchen. There was not a hint of swearing while all the members of the kitchen team and service worked like an efficient machine; system, order and process in action.
There is a reason why businesses succeed or fail. I spent ten years as an industrial consultant and quickly came to recognise that a small number of people are competent and a large number of people incompetent. This included members from my own team.
I found that it is rarely possible to turn the incompetent into the competent, however fundamentally intelligent they may be and whatever advice is given to them. There is a reason why restaurants appear on Gordon’s programme and that is because their managers and staff are normally incompetent. Turning around just one of these restaurants is a massive achievement on Gordon’s part. Virtually every new business fails.
I ran a start-up for two years and it was a hellish disaster, ultimately down to my surprising in expertise at financial management. I have since returned to corporate life because the main lesson I learned was that, while I am extremely proficient at running subsidiaries, I am incapable of running the whole guacamole.
Gordon Ramsay is not just one of the best cooks in the world (and I have probably eaten in every single one of the best restaurants the world has to offer) but he is also an extremely astute chief executive, a few business failures notwithstanding. I suspect that not a single one of the restaurants featured on the programme would have survived for a month had it not been for Gordon’s intervention and some have.
One must always remember that Gordon and his team have just a week to attempt to turn around these businesses. In my consulting work, turnaround was typically to 6 months to 2 years and, even then, not necessarily successful. The main issue, apart from general competence, was always the inability of executives to take sound advice garnered from scores of previous experiences. This is why Harvard business School relies so heavily upon case studies.
We all have much to learn and running a business is, perhaps, one of the hardest tasks to undertake. Given the intense level of competition within the restaurant industry, the probability of failure must always be massively high, especially when the business is already in decline. I think Gordon Ramsay’s intentions, motives and practices are self-evidently right. The fact that certain restaurant owners are incapable of seeing his vision is of their fault, not Gordon’s.
Thats was a great post. I agree that Gordon is very brilliant and excels in his field. I dont know why people watch him, criticize his ‘potty mouth’ (like Americans don’t curse!), or want him to come help fix their restaurants as if they dont know what to expect from him. Fine dining is a strenuous task, its not like eating at McDonald’s or Denny’s people!!!
Love the comment Tim. I agree, some are not cut out to own and runs any business, many wait too long for help and it’s too late.
Great site! Finally a real site with true value. Chef Ramsey is a hoot! Figure the odds that a successful masochist like “The Ram(it up your arse)” has such a show like “Nightmares.” My wife and I love to watch these people blindly get into the restaurant business. We don’t ever like to know that they fail. But we do want to know what happened and possibly visit these places some day. The Ram is a *%$#’n jackass; in his own words! Go Ashley!
Thanks Ashley, I too have recently started watching KN and it is interesting to see what has happened since the shows first aired. It is also more than a little sad, and I wonder how much of the failure rate is attributable to intractable owners, and how much is just due to the incredibly difficult economy. I really appreciate your thorough updates.
It’s the all of it Julie…but especially just the absolute BRUTAL nature of the business. You MUST be COMPLETELY dedicated and as Chef says…be passionate. Otherwise, you are surely done. But even with passion, sound mgt, a great venue, excellent food and a little luck all play a part and then some. My family has had exp for over 50 years in the business. Since 1963. Not the same place…of course…but diff family members did diff things. My grandfather was first….he opened a bar/restaurant in the early 60s in Baltimore. And from there….all of us….lol…have been in it.
Dedicated and passionate! Have you seen those amazing kids on Master Chef Junior? When the 9-year-old girl won recently, one of the judges said, “this is the future of cooking in America.”
The three judges, especially Gordon, are so sweet and helpful to these children. Love this show.
David – I’m in Balmer. Pls tell me your relatives didn’t own Capt. James on Boston & Aliceanna. The place that sells sushi now was Weber’s when I came here in 1994. There was plenty of parking back then, but no more.
The Ashley, yours is the most detailed roundup of the current status of Kitchen Nightmares’ restaurants – like, I did not need to go anywhere else. Please do articles on the remaining seasons also.
So glad to have come across this website ^.^
In Feb 2012 I ate at Lido di Manhattan in Manhattan Beach, CA (a few miles south of LAX). A month later I saw it on a rerun of a Kitchen Nightmares Season 3 episode. Restaurant still open and the food was try good. Service was excellent (saw my waitress on the episode). Looking forward to going back when I’m in town next month.
sorry for the typo… “try good” should be “very good”
Gordon was just delaying the inevitable, the reason why the restaurants closed is because of the owners. They were (almost) all pretty much careless and were just gaining off of Gordon’s publicity.
Thanks, BTW 😀 Love this show, it’s hilarious looking at Gordon’s reactions towards the foods!
I love this blog! Great job all around. 🙂
One thing I’d like to suggest, though–please spell Gordon Ramsay’s name correctly! It’s Ramsay, not Ramsey.
Excellent job Ashley. I have always been a big fan of Gordon Ramsey and have loved the shows. Some of the emotional tirades have been exceptional viewing, not only done by Gordon but also the owners and chefs alike. You know you’re hooked when you watch reruns many times over.
Nice job!!! Never one to comment on blogs, but your season 1 and 2 recaps are fantastic. Hope you get the rest of the seasons up (3-5) soon. Keep up the good work!
Ps,Thanks Ashley,I was curious about the shows former visits and the ultimate open or closed debates on other sites.You seem to be very up to date,other sites show places open in my town that I know closed.Thank you for the great info.
Thanks for the kind words, Joe! 🙂 -The Ashley
Well deserved The Ashley! I was curious about the show and the other sites aren’t anywhere near as informative and accurate as yours.Sorry I posted on your season 1 site accidentally.Any way,Great work!
I liked the show also,but no matter what changes are made almost every eatery on earth is dependent on a simple formula.make more money than you spend,profit period! We are in a huge global depression and thats the problem.People can’t afford to eat out as much if at all.I used to go to a restaurant on Long Island almost daily for lunch and every weekend,I haven’t been there in 2 years.I also lost a multi million dollar business,when the economy gets better eateries will be fine.
Wait, so your telling me, I can’t go visit not 1 single season 2 kitchen nightmares restaurant? Wtf? Haha. I had no idea you were a kitchen nightmares fan. Its my Friday night guilty pleasure. Best part is when Gordon tastes the food and its always horrendous. The only thing I’ve ever seen anyone get right is an occasional desert. The owners are always citizens of crazy and delusional town. Haha. Love it!
The Black pearl HOW DARE THEY BLAME GORDON!!!ITS CLEAR AS DAY YOU ALL ARE ASS HOLES!! YOU LOST YOUR BUSINESS ALL ON YOUR OWN JERKS!!