Sunday, 29 May 2011

Kitchen Nightmares - J Willy's - CLOSED

Kitchen Nightmares J Willy's

Episode Recap


Chef Gordon Ramsay visit's J Willy's, South Bend, Indiana, a restaurant owned by John and husband and wife team Rick and Tricia, who live over 3 hours away from the restaurant so John runs the restaurant in their absence. They are in $1.2 million of debt and close to being forced to close. Gordon arrives and meets John, he sits down to order food and orders a pizza, which comes with ranch dressing on it and a pulled pork sandwich smothered in cheese. John has cut corners in order to save money and it shows, the food is canned and frozen and the barbecue sauce comes in a huge plastic container. 

Gordon enters the kitchen and discovers that they don't have a head chef, all of the kitchen staff describe themselves as cooks as they are just reheating food. It's no surprise then that both the kitchen and storage are revolting and Gordon first tasks the staff to clean the kitchen. The next day Gordon brings in fresh ingredients and teaches the staff a new burger special made from all fresh ingredients to be served at the evening's service. The burgers are popular but sent out wrong and it's not long before they run out of ingredients and resort to sending out prepared burgers on sour bread with frozen fries, an insult to the customers. Things quickly spiral out of control as Gordon goes mad and one customer is in tears over the burger! 

Overnight, Gordon's team the most underwhelming makeover, it appears only the carpets were replaced. The only change appears to be all the barbecue sauce as he announces they are to make and sell their own BBQ sauce. The menu is also shortened in order to allow the kitchen to focus on using fresh ingredients. The relaunch night is a success despite a few hiccups in the kitchen.


What Happened Next? 


In the weeks that followed they kept Gordon's changes and won a barbecue competition with their signature sauce. 

The restaurant closed 4th February 2009, with food prices increasing and customers decreasing, they had the choice of cutting the quality or closing.

Rick and Tricia also closed their restaurant Damon's Grill and Rick is now working in restoring and selling classic cars.

27 comments:

  1. I do not believe this place has closed due to food prices increasing, all others world restaurant have to pay more for foods, I think he had to work, really work, like all restaurants making good meals have to do, maybe too much for someone.
    Beside I read here http://jwillys.com/about.html J Wlly is trying to produce and sell on his own the J Willy’s Barbeque Sauce. I hope the day he will Chef Gordon Ramsay would make public his recipe.
    regards!

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  2. That Rick guy seemed really nice, and the linked interview makes him sound even more humble and sweet. Most chefs and owners flip Ramsay a lot of cr*p, but out of everybody I've seen so far in Seasons 1 and 2, Rick really deserved for this to work for him. I'm really sorry to hear that his place just couldn't be salvaged in the end. I hope wherever he ended up, that he's doing all right. He learned a lot of hard lessons from Ramsay but he seems to have captured those lessons very well, so a fresh start may be just what he needed. I really liked him and wish him and his wife all the best.

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  3. I didn't think Rick and his wife were very sweet. They kept blaming the other owner and acting like victims. No personal responsibility or accountability. I felt bad for the other guy, how depressing to be trying so hard but your partners keep beating you down, not surprised they closed down but I hope that guy is doing okay.

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    1. Are you joking? He was absolutely useless. Most of the time he just stood there, gawking and completely clueless as to what he was supposed to do. Every time he DID make a decision, it was the worst one so i don't even know what's worse.

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    2. True. However, that should have made the other owners step it up but all they did was point the finger without taking any responsibility for not being present.

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  4. South Bend is having trouble, as is much of that area. I think they genuinely did try, but the economy got in the way.

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    1. What about the terrible food?

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    2. The South Bend area has gone down hill for many years. The west side has about hit rock bottom, like the west side of Chicago. It won't be coming back anytime soon.

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  5. Ummm... duh, for anyone that says that it is horrible that Rick and his wife were mean for blaming the other owner, think about a verbal contract between owners. With partnerships, there is usually one partner that is the 'managing partner'. So, if he doesn't do well, it IS his fault, because he took on the responsibility. If he fails to do so, he needs to ask the others for help or ask to be bought out of the business before it goes downhill.

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  6. Totally disagree you invest your money it's your responsibility to protect your investment no one else's. Your going to be dumb enough to depend on someone else because your too lazy that's on you. Your money your responsibility

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  7. Good. That place looked awful. I wouldn't use the bathroom there.

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  8. South Bend is a dump. It isn't surprising this place existed there, and closed. The owner Rick seemed like a blubbering fool with his on-camera whimpering. What an embarrassment.

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  9. It closed... It's normal : the ONLY thing who could save this restaurant would have been to FIRE the "manager" who was prone screwing up at the first occasion (and who did it during the 2 evenings where he could work correctly)... A wimp, coward, a pathetic jerk with empty gaze and the mouth in hen's ass unable to do nothing of his 10 fingers... Certainly someone who wanted a job and who LIED to have this one... Poor owners... But WHY did they let him at the commands in spite of the case that he prooved his incapacity !!!

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    Replies
    1. They let him do it bacause the other owners were lazy.

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  10. What a shame to learn the place is closed- just saw a rerun of Kitchen Nightmares

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  11. It what may be a first for a KN restaurant, the J Willy's building has now been demolished.

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  12. I'm watching this episode on BBC America as I write this. I'm not surprised in the slightest that they went under. South Bend, Indiana. Home of the University of Notre Dame. You have to suck something awful to not be able to succeed in a big college town like that. That's almost like having a sports bar not work in Madison, Wisconsin. And did you catch the customer who started crying because her hamburger wasn't right? Somebody needs some counseling along with a regiment of antidepressants.

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  13. ^^^^^ Big college town? You obviously do not know South Bend, but make sure you comment like you do. Sure Notre Dame is close to South Bend, but ND is it's own island. They bring in a lot of money for home games and that really benefits hotels and restaurants for those weekends. Other than that, the Domers keep to their campus and really close shopping/dining areas.South Bend, Elkhart, Mishawaka really don't get much else from ND.

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  14. Sad, everyone thinking of becoming a chef or buying a restaurant should watch this entire series first then have a serious think about thier capabilities

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  15. I didnt feel sorry for the owners, i felt sorry for the staff.. Ricka nd his wife running another restaurant 3 hrs away.. come on, don't get greedy (you're not Gordon Ramsay) just work on one restaurant and make that successful, and "J Willy" you let the shit standards go out for so long well serves you right, you all should have sold up before you were 1+ million in debt, you can't bite more than what you can chew... It was obvious by the way everything was running, none of the owners gave a crap before Gordon came

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  16. I'm not too surprised this place went under. If you know your manger is unable to do the job, you fire him before the problem gets worse. THEN, you find someone more qualified to do the job. I'll assume at that point the owners couldn't change mangers because of the financial crisis. Hopefully, if they ever considering trying the restaurant business again, they'll learn from this.

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  17. If you can't run one restaurant right, can you run two? They should have sold one of them to invest in and to concentrate on the other. The recipes were bizarre, and there were too many items on the menu - hence, frozen food. If you want to serve fresh, you need to downsize the menu. Downsizing the menu also helps you to concentrate on fewer items, which will provide consistency. You could see that these owners waited too long to get advice. The look of defeat was already apparent, and then we learn that they were already $1.2 million under water. Life support does you no good when you've already kicked the bucket.

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  18. Even if they did succeed, $1.2 million in debt is a lot to pay unless they made substantial profit like maybe, sell their BBQ sauce across America through Walmart or something. They should've closed down their other restaurant and focused on one. Although I don't think it's entirely their fault since the economy went really bad at the time.

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  19. Finding, selling and restoring custom cars. Sounds like a pretty cushy job for a guy who was supposedly 1.2 million in debt and going to be "homeless" if he lost J Willy's. I call shenanigans on Rick's financial situation going into the show. Seems like he didn't wanna put in the work himself, but wanted J Willy's to be as successful as his other restaurant, and wanted a nice new menu and renovations on the restaurant to go with it.

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  20. Dang I was hoping to actually get to visit a kitchen nightmares restaurant! This one seemed doable!

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