With several seasons behind him, Gordon Ramsay has visited dozens of restaurants desperately needing rescue on his program "Kitchen Nightmares." After the show resumed in 2023, following a decade-long hiatus, we couldn't help but wonder what became of some of the "Kitchen Nightmares" previous restaurants and their owners and staff. In Season 3, Episode 3, Ramsay traveled to Queens, New York, to visit Joe and Madalyn, the married owners of PJ's Steakhouse.
With no prior restaurant experience, Joe and Madalyn opened PJ's Steakhouse in honor of Joe's late brother, PJ, who previously worked at the location as a bartender. Plagued with grief and wracked with ever-growing debt after sinking nearly $2 million into the business, Joe lost his way as a business owner, and in the submitted tapes, he can be seen drinking wine and watching TV at all hours at his restaurant's bar. The restaurant's head chef, Eric, stated that he was a top-notch cook and that the restaurant's problems didn't lie with him. Still, the highlight reel features unhappy customers and staff saying the food is inconsistent and a grim shot of the chef dousing an unidentified piece of meat in pre-bottled tomato sauce. Once Ramsay arrived, it became clear these depressing clips were just the tip of the iceberg.
Read more: The Untold Truth Of Kitchen Nightmares
What Happened To PJ's Steakhouse On Kitchen Nightmares
Approaching the restaurant, Gordon Ramsay notes that the restaurant is pristine and beautiful, but the positive comments end there. Ramsay starts his visit as always, sampling a few dishes from the restaurant's menu. After biting into a crab cake, Ramsay pulls a piece of plastic from his mouth, which doesn't leave a great impression. He's then served disappointing dish after dish, disturbed to see owner Joe sipping a drink at the bar during lunch service. He confronts the chef, who says his food wasn't nearly as bad as Ramsay claims. Ramsay and Madalyn speak up to Joe for his disengaged behavior.
To help the restaurant succeed, Ramsay develops a mixed grill platter that showcases a few of the restaurant's prime offerings. This seems like a good sign, and many diners order it, but complaints (and plates) return to the kitchen almost immediately. The offerings are cold and undercooked, much to diners and Ramsay's chagrin. Surprisingly, Ramsay doesn't have to use his signature "shut it down" catchphrase because Chef Eric walks off the line, telling him to shut the doors. Ramsay offers to pay for a new chef to help the restaurant recover, which the owners accept, and Eric is dismissed.
PJ's Steakhouse After Kitchen Nightmares
The following day, Gordon Ramsay debuts the restaurant's new name and sign, PJ's Grill, and creates a tribute to PJ in the lobby. With a new chef and a renewed enthusiasm for the business, Ramsay leaves PJ's with plenty of hope, but was it enough to sustain the restaurant? Sadly, no. Before the episode aired, PJ's Grill owners Joe and Madalyn closed their doors.
According to the epilogue portion of the episode, PJ's experienced a boost in business after Ramsay revamped the kitchen. Yet, for unknown reasons, Joe and Madalyn closed their doors. Joe wanted to connect to his late brother through the restaurant space without prior experience, but as we see before again on "Kitchen Nightmares," owning a restaurant is a demanding, exhausting business. Although they didn't disclose their reason for parting with the restaurant, it all likely became too overwhelming for too little reward.
What's Next For PJ's Steakhouse's Owners?
The epilogue reveals that Joe returned to the construction industry, where he'd previously had a very successful career. It's unclear what Madalyn did after closing the restaurant. Aside from the episode, we could not find any information on what the couple has gone on to do since the show aired in 2011.
Also, Chef Eric doesn't maintain a social media presence, unlike some of the notable ex-chefs of "Kitchen Nightmares" (we're looking at you, The Culinary Gangster). Unfortunately, this makes it difficult to know where he ended up after being let go on camera during the episode.
PJ's Grill is no more, but the location remains a restaurant. As of 2023, the address is now occupied by Manor Oktoberfest. This new restaurant specializes in Bavarian-style food, such as bratwurst, schnitzel, and pretzels, and has mostly positive reviews.
Read the original article on Mashed.