Publication date November 21, 2021

5 Ridiculous Restaurants that shut down after appearing in Kitchen Nightmares

restaurants shut down by Gordon Ramsay

They say all publicity is good publicity, but these former restaurateurs have a different story to tell after their nightmarish episodes on Kitchen Nightmares. The show was all about showing struggling restaurateurs instead of budding chefs to help them to be successful again. Behind the glamorous restaurant industry, intricately designed dishes, and extremely pleasant staff, there is a dark reality – not all restaurants can stay afloat. A good share of the credits goes to Gordon Ramsay’s show Kitchen Nightmares!  Kitchen Nightmares might have failed miserably in helping out restaurants turn around their businesses but surely got good views from the viewers for the juicy content. 

Gordon Ramsay is a tough critic, there are no two ways about it – so should these restaurants have known better before hosting him? Or was the circumstance too harsh and blown out of proportions? You be the judge. Now, let’s dive in!

Black Pearl – New York

Black Pearl’s management has been candid about their encounter with Ramsay and stated that appearing on Kitchen Nightmares has only diminished their reputation and damaged their business. In an interview, the restaurateurs Davis, Greg and Brian stated that they genuinely hoped to learn something from Ramsay (addressing him as a “jerk”) and anticipated a boost in their sales through the publicity they’d gain on the show.

 They claimed that the improvements implemented on the suggestions of Ramsay very evidently affected the business adversely. And Black Pearl struggled to stay in business as a result of which, they decided to close the restaurant.

Chappy’s – Nashville, Tennessee 

Chappy’s is arguable the most controversial in the list compared to other restaurants on the show. The owner John Chapman has claimed that his family business would still be open if it wasn’t for Ramsay’s changes. During his visit, he suggested interior renovation and even a menu change, which Chapman gladly complied with. Chapman later stated in an interview that his customers hated it. 

Gradually the changes hit their business harder and harder that it ended up killing the business. Chapman expressed his thoughts about having a viewing part for the next season of the shpw where he’d throw rotten apples at it.

Bella Luna Ristorante – Easton Pennsylvania

Bella Luna posed an unnecessarily extensive menu from the beginning and Ramsay helped them narrow it down to enhance the quality instead. The restaurant even stuck to the changes after the show and the menu alone didn’t seem to create an issues. However, the restaurant soon faced problems regarding their lease and a conflict with the leasing establishment.

Rosaria Scollo, the owner, stated that the landlord accused them of defaulting the lease whereas it was them defaulting it by putting I up for sale while it was occupied. There was a lot more back and forth about rent payments and eventually resulted in the closing of Bella Luna.

Café Tavolini – Connecticut

Café Tavolini was in a huge debt during the filming of the show, in fact, almost all restaurants that opt to appear on Kitchen Nightmare are going through financial troubles in general. Unfortunately, they were knee-deep in debt and could not recover despite the consultation with Ramsay. They were out of resources to even pay their vendors and rent on time.

Apparently, the restaurant shut down even before the episode aired on the show. To make matters worse, the restaurant got caught up in a legal case when their former customers could not use the gift cards issues by the restaurant after their closure.

Fiesta Sunrise –New York

Fiesta Sunrise was a Mexican restaurant that was family run and suffered from major financial problems from the beginning. It was estimated that the restaurant needed at least 90,000 USD per month to stay afloat while it was turning over lesser than 30,000 USD in a month.

Ramsay pointed out contamination and hygiene issues in the kitchen which dug the hole deeper for the restaurant. Despite of the changes implemented as the result of the show, the restaurant could not stay afloat and shut down soon after.

What do you think of the ugly fate these restaurants met after airing on Kitchen Nightmares? Should the show be easy on them or air it like it is? I can’t help but feel a tinge of sympathy for the business owners, but to each their own. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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