HOME > Chowhound > Food Media & News >

Discussion

Restaurant Impossible and Kitchen Nightmares - How Many Survive?

I saw an old rerun of Kitchen Nightmares at a place called Sebastians that I know closed some time after the show and I found myself wondering how some of those restaurants ultimately do after Ramsay or Irvine leave.

The two-day (or even week-long) fix hardly seems to address some of the problems of cash flow, kitchen hygiene, service issues and familiar cooking short-cuts like pre-prepared and frozen foods. Does anyone know what the track record is of either RI or KN?

Do you personally know of any of those featured restaurants and what happened after the camera crews left?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. In Philadelphia, RI did an episode earlier this year at a restaurant called La Stanza, and I know they are still open, however, I was not impressed when I visited there (post RI visit). KN did an episode at a place called Hot Potato Cafe last year and I know that it has since closed. But that might also be a function of their concept...baked potatoes.

    KN has also just finished two new eps here that will air next year. We'll see what happens with those.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Philly Ray

      I just read that Zocalo, a Philadelphia restaurant that Gordon Ramsay visited for Kitchen Nightmares about a year and a half ago, has closed.

      1. re: Philly Ray

        Chiarella's (from Kitchen Nightmares) is still open and doing well. I've eaten there a few times (both before and after KN) and the food was always delicious. They have added some of their old dishes to the menu.

    2. The one restaurant in DE that RI did - Rascal's was doomed even before the show. I don't know of a single person that ever went there. It's my understanding that it's since closed & reopened under a new name with many of the similar problems.

      I will sometimes Google the restaurant to see if they are still open & read reviews. I know Ramsay has done "after" shows that go back to the place afterwards.

      9 Replies
      1. re: jenscats5

        In the recap show I saw, Ramsay only revisited restaurants that survived.

        1. re: chicgail

          One of the recap shows I saw Ramsay did go back to a restaurant that had been sold. He ended up calling a waiter who used to work there to talk about what happened.

          Here's a non-complete listing of restaurants that didn't survive after KN.
          http://www.quora.com/What-restaurants...

          1. re: Firegoat

            Downcity in Providence has also closed, and I'm pretty sure Fleming's in Miami as well.

          2. re: chicgail

            GR revisited a restaurant in Boca Raton Fl - Anna Vincenzis - in a recap show and the owner had sold it, got divorced and lost about 100lbs (not necessarily in that order). We went for dinner there a week after GR had done the initial makeover but before the show had aired and it was pretty unexciting so it was no surprise it closed down.

            1. re: smartie

              The one I saw was a seafood restaurant where Gordon bought them a big fancy lobster vending machine (like one of those toy claw things you see for toys in a supermarket). He went on and on how it was the only one like it in the area. When he went back it was closed. Sold. Reopened and redecorated with new owners, new theme. So he called in a waiter who told him one of the first things the owner did was sell the fancy lobster machine tank thing.

              Here's a link to that episode. The restaurant that closed was The Black Pearl and the last clip on the episode.
              http://www.fox.com/kitchennightmares/...

            2. re: chicgail

              it's a little hard to visit a closed restaurant, isn't it? :)

              The episodes themselves occassionaly DO mentioned during, or just before, the credits that the restaurant has unfortuently had to close since ramsey's been.

              1. re: Midknight

                That does sound silly, but while the restaurants may have closed, presumably the owners are still alive and can talk. I would find it interesting to find out what they think was ultimately was the cause of the closure.

            3. re: jenscats5

              Rascals replayed yesterday and was super disturbing on so many levels.

              I have to think that broadcasting the restaurants behind the scenes story ensured its doom.

              1. re: C. Hamster

                haha, they supported my baseball team when I was there for law school....how random is that!?!

            4. The Burger Kitchen restaurant that was in a recent episode of Kitchen Nightmare's was filmed in April and was sold in August before the episode even aired on TV in Oct/Nov. It's still open, however.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Firegoat

                Interesting how they didn't include that little tidbit of info in the postscript when it aired.

              2. I watched a few episodes of KN today and it's enough to keep me off of restaurants forever. How can no one take responsibility for a clean food storage area, and how can food stay in a walk in so long it disintegrates? I mean, can they not smell? Are they blind to the rat poop and cock roaches? Do they not care if they kill someone?
                Sorry for the rant, but right now I'm afraid, very afraid ;-)

                5 Replies
                1. re: monavano

                  Dillon's?

                  That one scared me.
                  Green chicken, moldy burgers, flies everywhere. Then you see the rat poop and the cockroaches.

                  1. re: chileheadmike

                    Yes! Dillion's and the Handlebar (not as gross). I just can not get the apathy and how an owner can idly stand by and watch the people they pay NOT do their jobs, all the while losing their own shirts.
                    If my chef said she's not a chef and it's not her passion, she's be gone. The thing is (at Handlebar), she looked to be competent in the kitchen with just a little motivation.

                    1. re: chileheadmike

                      Things didn't really get that much better after he left, later health dept inspections were just as worrying.

                      1. re: Scrapironchef

                        Note to self: Do *NOT* eat at restaurants that do not let me inspect the kitchen.

                        1. re: shezmu

                          I find the most worrying kitchens are usually found in Indan restos, they're either great or horrible.

                  2. The two he did in the Detroit area did not survive.

                    The resto on the lake went through a couple of incarnations and is now open under a different name as a part of a successful restaurant group. It was an amusing episode--GR going out on the lake in a snowmobile to talk to the ice fishermen (and WTF? Lake perch in a CHOWDER? a crime against lake perch, IMO)

                    1. Based on followups from the UK version I'd be surprised if more than half stayed open and did well:
                      http://www.yumsugar.com/Ramsays-Kitch...
                      Besides, restaurants that open have an 80 percent failure rate, and these are restaurants without the problems requiring high profile intervention.
                      http://www.moyak.com/papers/small-bus...
                      I see GRs involvement as a last ditch effort to stay open and I suspect the majority will either fail or be sold
                      OH and I found this:
                      http://kitchennightmareupdates.blogsp...
                      good reading!.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: freia

                        I agree. Such ingrained horrible habits don't change over the course of filming. I think they get a feel-good boost from a makeover and menu change, but I don't think too many of those zebras change their stripes.

                      2. I wonder when the restaurant owner says they might have a month or 2 left to survive how they manage to catch up financially even after after GR and RI have been and gone. Can a few weeks really make them enough when they owe creditors etc

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: smartie

                          Enough of this "four weeks" or "two more months" stuff. I'd love to see one of the owners say to RI, "Thank god you're here, we were going to close TOMORROW!"

                          1. I've seen about half a dozen Kitchen Nightmare episodes and it seems to me that, in most cases, the underlying problem is bad management or bad cooking or both. Even after Ramsay comes and gives the kitchen a makeover, the underlying problem, which was bad management and/or bad cooking is still there. If it's bad management, hire better management. If it's bad cooking, hire a good chef. If you keep the same lousy chef or manager around, basically they're going to revert to their old ways. What makes this a difficult issue is that, in many cases, the bad manager/chef is also the owner.
                            For most of these restaurants, it was probably not a good idea to televise the kinds of problems going on in the kitchen. If you have dirty water leaking onto clean dishes in your kitchen, that would be a strong reason for me *never* to visit that restaurant, even after the makeover. Reason being that if the personnel were lax enough to allow that level of unsanitary hygiene, that suggests to me that they have no standards of cleanliness. So as long as the same personnel continue to run the restaurant, you can't trust that they've improved.
                            I remember watching part of one Kitchen Nightmares episode where one of two twin brothers remarked flippantly to a customer who complained about an undercooked chicken dish, "You don't like raw chicken?" and making a note *never* to visit that establishment.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: ginobean

                              I remember that episode too - lol!!! Little Italian place with two extremely heavy twin brothers running the place who'd never even worked in a restaurant before. Unbelievably lazy, & would cry at the drop of a hat when criticized. About 15 minutes into the episode, I wanted to bitch-slap the two of them - lol!!

                              As far as the survival rate, I'm sure it's pretty darn dismal. Not only because of the common possibility of everyone going back to their ways right after Gordon leaves, but also because 99% of these places are so severely in debt & have been for so long at makeover time, that no matter what they do, it's too late. Business is business, & in this day & age, very few creditors/vendors are going to extend a long overdue grace period simply because Gordon Ramsay stopped by.

                              1. re: Bacardi1

                                That was Capri in Eagle Rock and they did a complete turnaround and are still open and doing well. He actually did a follow up with them.

                              2. I researched Restaurant Impossible and compiled this list:

                                Restaurant Impossible
                                (episode list from Wikipedia) (Status from Yelp, Facebook, CHOW, etc)

                                SEASON ONE - 2011
                                Villari's, Palmyra, New Jersey - OPEN (Yelp review 3/12) website active
                                Mainelli's Restaurant, Providence, Rhode Island - CLOSED (according to Yelp)
                                Rascal's BBQ and Crab House, New Castle, Delaware - CLOSED (according to CHOW)
                                Salt Works II, Wilmington, North Carolina- OPEN (4/12 reivew on FaceBook page, 12/11 on Yelp)
                                Meglio's, Bridgeton, Missouri - OPEN (Yelp review 4/12)
                                Secret Garden Cafe, Jacksonville, Florida - OPEN (Yelp review 5/12)
                                Flood Tide, Mystic, Connecticut - OPEN (Yelp review 3/12)

                                SEASON TWO - 2011-2012
                                Dodge City, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania - OPEN (reviews - Yelp 12/11 - Facebook 5/12) website active
                                La Stanza, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - OPEN (Yelp review 4/12)
                                Sweet Tea, Chapin, South Carolina - OPEN - New Owner 4/12 (Urban Spoon review 4/12)
                                County Fare, Stafford, Virginia - CLOSED (according to Yelp)
                                Snooty Fox, Indianapolis, Indiana - CLOSED (according to Yelp)
                                Pastori's, Ellington, Connecticut - OPEN (Yelp review 11/11) website active
                                Scrimmages, Wilmington, Delaware - OPEN (Yelp review 9/11) website active
                                Mamma D's, Pipersville, Pennsylvania - OPEN (Yelp review 10/11) website active
                                The Trails, San Diego, California - OPEN (Yelp review 4/12)
                                Cap'n and the Cowboy, Port Charlotte, Florida - OPEN (Yelp review 3/12) website active
                                Mad Cactus, Strongsville, Ohio - OPEN (Yelp review 2/12) website active
                                McShane's, East Syracuse, New York - OPEN (Yelp review 5/12)
                                Coffee's Boilin' Pot, Madisonville, Louisiana - OPEN (Yelp review 5/12) - Website being updated page
                                St. James Soup Kitchen, Newark, New Jersey - OPEN (Yelp review 5/12) website active
                                Wildcat Café, Canton, Ohio - OPEN (Yelp entry 5/12) website active
                                Sullivan's, Fruita, Colorado - OPEN (Yelp review 2/12) website active
                                Hoffman's, Santa Cruz, California - OPEN (Yelp entry 5/12) website active

                                SEASON THREE - 2012
                                Moss', Elyria, Ohio - OPEN (Yelp review 4/12) website active
                                Chatterbox, Windham, New Hampshire - OPEN (Yelp review 5/12) website active
                                Anna Maria's, Dunmore, Pennsylvania - OPEN (Yelp review 3/12) website active
                                Del's, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - OPEN (Yelp review 2/12) website active
                                Woody's Tupelo Steakhouse,Tupelo, Mississippi - OPEN (Yelp review 4/12) website active
                                Valley View, Quarryville, Pennsylvania - CLOSED (according to Yelp)
                                Pelican Grill, Seabrook, Texas - OPEN (Yelp review 1/12) website active
                                Mama Lee's Soul Food Restaurant, San Antonio, Texas - OPEN (Yelp review 5/12) website active
                                Pappas Restaurant, Benicia, California - OPEN (Yelp review 2/12) website active
                                Ristorante Barolo, Aptos, California - OPEN (Yelp review 5/12) website active
                                University Grill, Burlington, North Carolina - OPEN website active
                                Pollard's Bar-B-Q, Memphis, Tennessee - OPEN website active

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: Antilope

                                  That actually looks like a pretty good track record, considering that the restaurants would supposedly have closed without intervention. Given the average failure rate for restaurants and the tough economy, I would have expected about half of them to have closed.

                                  I've only seen one episode of KN, and between five and ten of RI, but my sense is that Irving may be better at working out the management/personality problems, defining roles, etc. There's a difference between tough love and bullying that he seems to understand.

                                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                      Captain and the Cowboy( Port Charlotte). ( from Season Two) closed in May of last year.( they told their staff it was for the summer but never came back).

                                      1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                        Robert's approach seems almost ministerial, sometimes -- he actually seems to want the people to get along.

                                      2. re: Antilope

                                        Thanks for the info. I have always wanted to know, but never took the time to look them all up.

                                      3. One of the restaurants featured on KN Season 3 was Lido di Manhattan Beach, which is located in Manhattan Beach, CA. It's still open and pretty popular. But I have gone there a few times and the food is not that impressive and overpriced, and the owner, Lisa, is pretty arrogant and cold. Not worth it. They did keep a couple of Ramsay's items on the menu, and did take his recommendations about incorporating a wine bar theme so they do wine pairing dinners and winetasting events that are very popular. But overall it's a pass.

                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: eatzlady

                                          But "Lido" isn't owned by the same woman who owned it back when Ramsay did his show there. If you watched the episode, you'd see that at the end, they say that regardless of Ramsay's assistance, the owner was way too far in debt already to make a go of it, & sold the place even before the show aired. So while I definitely agree that Gordon isn't the be all & end all savior of restaurants, who knows what suggestions of his the new owners changed or kept.

                                          1. re: Bacardi1

                                            You might be thinking of the wrong episode. The owner, Lisa, is still the same. I've met and spoken to her. At the end of this episode Ramsay goes back to Lido and finds business way up. Here's a link talking about that ep: http://kitchennightmares-kitchennight...

                                            I do give her kudos for being one of the few still open and perhaps even thriving after a KN makeover, but I personally think it has more to do with the location of her restaurant (it's on Restaurant row near all the major aerospace companies in El Segundo) than her food or concept. The place is the quintessential "meh" experience.

                                            1. re: eatzlady

                                              You're right. I'm thinking of another restaurant owned by a single older woman. Ramsay made "her" over & the restaurant over, but she was too deep in debt to make a go of it after he left.

                                              1. re: Bacardi1

                                                I was thinking of "Lela's", also in California.

                                        2. it's kind of like that hair salon show with what's her name from Shear Genius, Tabatha.
                                          I've seen 3 of the salons she made over and all 3 are boarded up.

                                          an Italian place is gone here in California where GR found the unthinkable in the restrooms.
                                          other than that, I'll bet it's a crapshoot.

                                          18 Replies
                                          1. re: iL Divo

                                            Those restaurant improvement shows are extremely bad PR for the restaurateurs. Would anybody on this board go to the restaurants managed by these people? I dont know if I would

                                            1. re: ZakiKabobhouse

                                              You wouldn't go, and I wouldn't go either, but news that Ramsey or Irvine are in town gets these places packed, even before the new reveal, with predictable results of bad food and service. After the review, the food usually has trouble coming out of the kitchen, with the chefs sometimes serving the old junk that got them in trouble. My favorite parts of these shows is when Ramsay and Irvine sample the crummy food that got these places in trouble. Most of the time the cooks can't believe the food is bad at all.

                                              1. re: James Cristinian

                                                'How would you rate your food out of 10?'

                                                '9 or 10'

                                                This part always kills me....

                                                1. re: dbrodbeck

                                                  its also funny that when the shows leave after the crowds die down.. They are giving the restaurant back to the same exact management...it would probably best to sell afterwards or get a better management and the owners just be the owners

                                              2. re: ZakiKabobhouse

                                                So true! I never watch these shows. But one was on the other day and I just left it. The kitchen was so disgusting and I was shocked that no one go fired! The same filthy "cooks" are in the kitchen. I don't care how much paint you put on the wall or what the menu changes to, if you keep the same disgusting dirty untrained staff, how do you expect to fix the problem? Blech.

                                                1. re: ZakiKabobhouse

                                                  Amen to that. Most RI episodes I've seen, the Health Department should have shut them down years ago. No way I would give them a first chance, let alone a second having seen them on an episode.

                                                  1. re: mike0989

                                                    That really freaky thing that we may well be visiting restaurants like this without knowing it! I really really have to never ever watch this show again!

                                                    But you bring up a good issue about the Health Department.

                                                    I just don't know how the keep the same staff. If you run a business I can sort of understand you don't do or know everything but you should be hiring people who DO! If you get sued it's your butt on the line not the staff.

                                                    1. re: LaPerlaMia

                                                      These problems start at the top in my opinion. It's not just the Staff, it's the Owner that either allows the problem to occure, is an active participant in the problem, or BOTH.

                                                      What really blows me away is how many time has Robert used the phrase "You don't deserve to be in the restaurant business", yet he actively working to keep him in it.

                                                      1. re: LaPerlaMia

                                                        Where the hell are the Health inspectors before the show even aired? I can't believe that all of these shows were in business to begin with. I mean do we need more health inspectors?

                                                        Several years ago I got Hep B (the gift that keeps on giving) from a nasty cafe in Sooner OK.....NOW when I drive to my brothers house in TX (I live in MN), I drive through that entire state without stopping unless I need gas and the only food I do eat is what I bring with me.

                                                        When I watch KN...it only reinforces if it looks nasty, smells nasty and the staff don't give a shit, then leave.

                                                        1. re: minpinmom

                                                          I love the LA letter grading system not only for it's "rating at a glance" but they also are dated so you know when the last time the place was inspected.

                                                          1. re: minpinmom

                                                            @minpinmom I am.sorry to be the bearer of bad news for you but you canNOT get Hep B from food. Rather, transmission of the virus results from exposure to infected blood or body fluids. There has yet to be a documented case if this coming directly from food.

                                                            Hep A however is remotely possible as it is --forgive the grotesque nature -- a fecal-borne virus and can happen from dirty poopy hands on your food.

                                                            1. re: socaljames

                                                              Hep A is not "remotely possible" from food. It is entirely possible.

                                                      2. re: ZakiKabobhouse

                                                        I lived very close to a restaurant that RI made over in season 2. The food was not bad at all, in fact, RI even commented on camera that the place was clean, the food was good so why was he there. There was frequently a line out the door for breakfast and lunch. The owner had actual, viable restaurant experience on top of that. So just exactly *why* was this place failing?

                                                        Turns out that the owner drastically over paid for the restaurant when she bought it, then compounded things by doing a much needed expansion and freshening up of the decor. A few other things were revealed along the way...

                                                        1) Prices were too low, and I would agree with that
                                                        2) Because prices were so low, and the owner so engaging, the retirees in the neighborhood would come in, order coffee and *maybe* a muffin or English Muffin and then proceed to sit there all morning reading the newspaper and drinking the free refills.
                                                        3) Little to now outside signage so unless you lived in the area there was nothing to indicate to people driving by there was a restaurant set back from the street (and tons of free parking)
                                                        4) The owner had tried dinner service and failed miserably. Plus she had 2 young kids at home and wasn't getting to see much of them so she discontinued dinner service.

                                                        The makeover team took a place in fairly good shape and made it better. RI reinstituted dinner service starting with only 2 days a week (it's now open 4-nights a week) and revamped the dinner menu. He also helped the owner understand how to figure out food cost more efficiently and prices were raised on many items.

                                                        It's still primarily a B/L spot but they're still open for dinner, doing far better than before RI and will probably be a fixture in the neighborhood for some time. This was probably one of the least dysfunctional restaurants ever featured on Restaruant Impossible and also one of it's most successful rehabs. What the makeover did was show the owner how to have a life in addition to the business, and both improved.

                                                        3 or 4 of the original RI menu items are still on the menu and they're good, not knock your socks off delicious, but very good and appropriate for a neighborhood with a large number of young families and retirees and not much else in between. I eat there every 6-8 weeks and it's fine. I do, however, think it's time for them to switch up the menu somewhat (it's getting tired) and I also think some of the portion sizes on some items is too big.

                                                        In watching RI there are some restaurants you know just aren't salvagable. This wasn't one of them. The rehab worked and eating there is not like taking your life in your own hands. The food is good and the owner engaged in running her business.

                                                        1. re: DiningDiva

                                                          That's a good demonstration about what I like about RI: his holistic approach and his insistence that people should be able to have both a life and a successful restaurant.

                                                          1. re: DiningDiva

                                                            They have also positioned themselves well by having many gluten-free options. Oddly enough that strip mall seems to be rich in gluten free choices.

                                                            1. re: JRSD

                                                              There was even had a special gluten free festival in the parking lot a couple weeks ago. I couldn't find parking, that's never happened ;-D.

                                                              I do think the new fish place in this strip mall needs a makeover.

                                                        2. re: iL Divo

                                                          That's actually Salon Takeover. Shear Genius was the show with Jonathan Antin, brother of Robin Antin, originator of the Pussycat Dolls. I need to get a life.

                                                          1. re: Just Visiting

                                                            Right. But Tabatha made her name on the first season of Shear Genius -- IIRC she was one of the finalists. I guess the producers liked her so much they gave her her own show.

                                                        3. Interesting article online from New York Times today (in print on Wednesday): http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/11/din...

                                                          Relevant quote:
                                                          "But most owners, even the ones who have undone Chef Irvine’s dictates, have no regrets. They got to watch a pro up close, they got a motivating kick in the pants and, through the magic of television, the show bestowed on their restaurant a kind of celebrity."

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: drongo

                                                            Interesting, thank you. I'd always wanted to know how they got those renovations done in two days, so found this interesting: "Like a lot of reality TV, the show relies on a bit of sleight of hand. It appears as if the renovation is dreamed up on the fly, but the decorator actually shows up a month or two ahead to take measurements and start planning. Containers filled with raw materials arrive before Mr. Irvine, but restaurant owners are forbidden from opening the boxes. "

                                                            ~TDQ

                                                          2. Finn McCool's of Westhampton Beach, NY (featured in Season One of KN) is now permanently closed. There was some confusion for a while - the pub half stayed open while the restaurant closed seasonally - but as of two weeks ago when I drove past, I noticed it was boarded up, and the website is gone.

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: tinica

                                                              In the second revisit episode, it was noted that Buddy, the owner, sold the place over a year after with "an offer he couldn't refuse."

                                                            2. Well, the Hotel Hell episode with Gordon - the Cambridge Hotel - that's closed and already sold. They couldn't make a go of it after he left. (It's not that far from where I live.)

                                                              1. As stated in the episode-by-episode list below, most of these restaurants do stay open or get sold to another willing entrepreneur. I have wondered about this too, though. Since I own my own business, I watch these shows with interest. I think most of the issues boil down to owners not understanding their own limitations, or owners creating the kind of restaurant they want instead of what the majority of their customers want.

                                                                I assume a lot of what happens during Ramsay or Irvine's visits happens off-camera. I'd no more think of hiring a consultant for two days than I would for two hours - it's clearly not enough time. And I know - I'm a consultant myself! No matter how well versed we are in our fields, we need sufficient time to accurately observe without jumping to premature conclusions about what's going on.

                                                                Restaurant owners, or those who think they want to open restaurants, would do well to watch these shows and take a good look at how bad it can be! And hey, if you're local to one of these restaurants, give them a try post-makeover ... it can't be easy to go on TV and show everyone how you got your ass handed to you by a feisty, foulmouthed Brit!

                                                                1. Each show is different so it is hard to compare and depends on whatbwhat you consider "failing." I don't count an owner selling their business as a failure; they avoided completely losing it to their debt and at least hopefully made something. Having it taken is a different story. Losing it because of the amassed debt as well is different.

                                                                  Neither Ramsay nor Irvine get them out of debt during the show; that is the owner's responsibility using the tools the chefs give the owner. So to place fault on GR or RI is like blaming your boss for you being late for work because you are due to start work at 8 a.m.

                                                                  If they use the tools and fail, that is one thing....and indeed failure. But many times the debt is too large to overcome without it bring paid by someone else.

                                                                  1. I was pondering this one myself recently. I have recorded a few Ramsey's and seen 2 of the others. So far -0- are still around. This is 0 for 6.

                                                                    This could have something to do with hurricanes in south Louisiana however most yelp posts state that every one of the restaurants I have checked out were closed before storms moved in.

                                                                    I cannot speak for many but I agree with you. It seems quite impossible to change a culture of malfeasance with a single kitchen clean, two new dishes (one ubiquitously a crab cake), and a 1995 interior make over.

                                                                    1. Mike and Nelly's restaurant in Ocean Township NJ closed within a year of Ramsay doing an episode from their location. You could tell throughout the show the owner was just spent...didn't have the desire anymore he was drinking to excess while cooking and just didn't care about any quality. A week with Ramsay isn't going to cure an alcoholic.

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                        >>A week with Ramsay isn't going to cure an alcoholic.

                                                                        But it might create one. ;-)

                                                                        1. re: Antilope

                                                                          Yes, it certainly could drive one to drink!

                                                                      2. 2 of Ramseys places here where we live have failed, one closed all together and the other one is the same dump lackluster cr@ppy food joint it always was. maybe the urine on the bathroom ceiling is gone now though, we can only hope ;:-/

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: iL Divo

                                                                          What were the places? I've seen pretty much all of them but the names blur. I remember the urine on the ceiling show, just call me urine curious.

                                                                        2. I happened to catch an episode of kitchen nightmares over the weekend (the old hitching post, outside boston). I looked it up and it seems to be up and running, with gordon's decor and menu apparently.

                                                                          http://www.oldehitchingpost.com/

                                                                          1. We've been catching up with KN on DVR with lots of reruns, and googled a Parisian restaurant out of curiosity to see what happened to the space (it closed before the episode even finished) and were flabbergasted to find this story:
                                                                            http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/...

                                                                            So...you know...Restauranteurs go on to do other stuff I guess...

                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                            1. re: thursday

                                                                              I think her restaurant was the sort most of us nonchefs would love to run, so it's ironic she couldn't do it.

                                                                              1. re: thursday

                                                                                Well, for starters, I'm not sure how much integrity/credibility I'd put in anything printed in "The Sun". It's more tabloid than newspaper.

                                                                                Second, if you watched the "Piccolo" episode, the "owner" (who only owned the place thanks to wealthy daddy buying it for her), was a right spoiled, lazy, "entitled" little brat in every way, shape, & form. It doesn't surprise me at all that she'd try to do a smear piece against Ramsay after seeing herself on camera. Not a flattering portrait in the least, but a factual one. Even her own father agreed with Gordon re: his daughter's strong shortcomings.

                                                                                I also thought it was extremely nice of Gordon to give the restaurant's very talented young chef an immediate job at one of his own restaurants after her short stint at Piccolo thanks to the slovenly daughter.

                                                                                And only 200 pounds a shot? Lord - she's not even a profitable hooker - lol!!!

                                                                                1. re: Bacardi1

                                                                                  Oh, I agree - a shame, a travesty she couldn't run it, and not at all surprising and yet appalling she'd try to pin any of that life choice on Ramsay, who I am more and more impressed with as I watch the show. I didn't think she'd make it...I just didn't think she'd make THAT next career step...

                                                                                  1. re: Bacardi1

                                                                                    I'm sure she counters her low price by doing high volume.

                                                                                2. My cousin has owned several successful Italian restaurants in the Bergen County area of NJ. One of the restaurants he sold was bought by a person that was later featured on season 1 of Kitchen Nightmares--Campania in Fairlawn, NJ. The owner was a nice guy, but a bit scatter brained and disorganized. He also had a drug problem. I believe the restaurant lasted 3 years after Ramsay's visit. A few days after it was sold, the owner committed suicide.

                                                                                  The owner claimed that Ramsay was actually a really nice guy and very supportive of his business and endeavors. He claimed that they really hype up the pissed-off Ramsay persona for the cameras.

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: kdlalib

                                                                                    I think a number of the owners on Kitchen Nightmares have drug & alcohol problems: refusal to accept feedback, ultra-controlling, blaming others, self-pity, explosive temper, resistance to change, lying, dismissing how bad the problems really are, refusal to trust others and delegate. That combination is a hallmark of one who is active in one's addiction and/or has narcissistic personality disorder. Case in point Joe of the current season (Ohio?) about whom there was a two-parter. Classic alcoholic.

                                                                                  2. I worked in a pizza joint about 25 years ago in California. This was my experience: cockroach ran across the ordering counter, customer slammed his hand on it, wiped off hand, continued to order. Two rats died in the pizza dough bowl (very large industrial) because one of the cooks sprayed water into it till they drowned. Wiped it out with a towel, threw away rats, and then used it. Other cook took a rat out of a trap, threw it away, continued cooking (nope, didn't even wipe hand). I saw the dish boy using cold water and asked if he shouldn't be using hot water. His reply- "what difference does it make, we haven't had soap for a week".

                                                                                    We got free food. I was in college and needed it. Ate there every day that I worked. When it comes to restaurants, I have long ago decided that if I don't see it, I ain't worrying about it (at the time, I saw it, and still ate it). No matter how fancy or clean it might seem in front, you really do not know what is going on in back. If you think about it, then really, there is absolutely no restaurant that you could ever go to and eat. I enjoy watching Ramsey because despite the yelling and cursing, he does really seem to care. After I read about Irvine and his investors going after him, I have had a hard time watching him as he seems like he is only successful because of his show. I don't think he was successful in restaurant business before then and so now he just comes off as pompous. Which is strange that I have leaned towards Ramsey, as I couldn't stand to watch him till the last couple months.

                                                                                    1. Tanya is the best thing to happen to any restaurant reality show.

                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: catroast

                                                                                        Fully agree, but her real name is Tanyer, at least according to Robert Irvine. Tanyer, last name Nayak I believe, is a must DVR, the wife is also a big fan.

                                                                                        http://taniyanayak.com

                                                                                        Just looking at her website and there's an I in the middle of her name.

                                                                                        1. re: James Cristinian

                                                                                          ah yes that's her

                                                                                          she brings such positivity to the show and i love her can-do attitude

                                                                                          1. re: catroast

                                                                                            .....can-do attitude, and a winning smile.

                                                                                              1. re: catroast

                                                                                                She used to be a regular on HGTV. Haven't seen her for a while but I really like her too (but not for the same reasons you guys do <gg>)

                                                                                                She did the re-do on a restaurant up the street from me that was featured on Restaurant Impossible a couple years ago. The place wasnt' in bad shape to begin with, but she did take it up a couple of notches. I like her design style.

                                                                                      2. In the same vein, does anyone watch Bar Rescue? Tapper was trolling the poor morons running that Piratz place, wasn't he? He knew the rescue wasn't going to work and decided to mess with the owners and staff with that whole "Corporate" name and theming? I can't think of any other explanation.

                                                                                        6 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: nokitchen

                                                                                          love love love bar rescue, best show on tv

                                                                                          1. re: nokitchen

                                                                                            Bar rescue is a great show. I actually enjoy all three of them, but find myself analyzing places when we go out to eat.......

                                                                                            1. re: nokitchen

                                                                                              Jon Taffer is a god. His advice doesn't always work, but then the people asking for his help don't always listen. I'm fascinated by his ability to pull a place apart and put it back together again saving the best and changing the rest. That is what great managers do. LOVE Bar Rescue.

                                                                                              1. re: Googs

                                                                                                I love how he nonchalantly explains the science of separating patrons from their money.

                                                                                                1. re: Scrapironchef

                                                                                                  Agreed, though I find it's a very two-way street. In other words, if I'm more likely to enjoy parting with my money then more power to ya. A little charm, a good drink, a solid meal in a relaxed, clean, and social environment. What more can a person ask for in a bar?

                                                                                                  1. re: Googs

                                                                                                    I'm with you, but I do like how he reels the numbers off the top of his head about patron behavior.

                                                                                            2. Moss's restaurant which was the season opener for restaurant impossible back in October 2011 just announced it was closing.

                                                                                              1. friends from Seattle said 3 days ago to us that a place in Seattle is airing within 2 weeks. could the name be Poe? not sure > no reason to remember as I don't live there (but) apparently GR was there doing his nightmare thing-totally took favorites off the menu replaced with blech and the friends of our friends now won't go back as their favorites (and reason for going there for years) are no longer featured.
                                                                                                anyone heard of place I'm trying to describe?

                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                  Never heard of the place but I hear this a lot on this show. Owner, "Everyone loves dishes x,y and z." Gordon, "There's nobody here!" Sounds like the friends of friends were some of the few that went. Something is wrong with that place, as it's on television for a reason.