Sunday, 29 May 2011

Kitchen Nightmares - Jack's Waterfront - CLOSED

Kitchen Nightmares Jack's Waterfront


Episode Recap


Chef Gordon Ramsay visit's Jack's Waterfront, St Clair Shores, MI, a seafood restaurant run by three body builders, Jim, Tanner and Scott with A.J being the general manager. Gordon arrives on jet ski as the restaurant is located on the bay. Gordon orders Krab Omelet, fish and chips from the menu and asks the waitress why it is spelt with a K, she tells him to highlight that it is artificial crab meat. He inspects the walk in and finds beef swimming in blood and salmon that has been dyed pink, he is not impressed by Aaron insists that it's not his menu that he is cooking. Gordon is astounded that they buy in their fish when they are located directly on the bay but even more astounded to hear that the general manager has been drinking ouzo and regularly socialises with the customers, even more astonishing is that they are paying him $100,000! Gordon witnesses a dinner service and sees Chef Aaron struggling with control of the staff, they ignore him and go out to smoke whenever they please. The customers aren't impressed with the food and plenty of it gets sent back to the kitchen.  Gordon comes up with a fish special cooked from fish that is caught through the ice on the lake, both the staff and customers love the new special. Gordon gives the restaurant a huge makeover introducing fish bowls in the walls and a how to do knots game to entertain whilst the customers wait for their food. The relaunch is a success with customers loving the new décor and menu. After the customers have left, Gordon asks A.J whether he will cut both his hours and salary to be able to help the restaurant and he agrees.

What Happened Next? 


Jacks closed in December 2010 and opened as Dockside Jack's in March 2011, it closed after a month. They sold the restaurant back to the previous owners and it became Brownies on the Lake in April 2011, they posted the below on Facebook.

"Brownies is returning back home to the Nautical Mile. Everyone knows that Brownies was the premier place to go on Lake St.Clair for almost 40 years. Now 14 years after it's closing Brownies is returning but to a new location formerly operated as Jack's Waterfront Restaurant. The "new" Brownies will be operated by the highly regarded Andiamo Restaurant Group. The opening is planned for Memorial Weekend. "


Extra Reading


Jack's Waterfront Yelp

Chef Ramsey visits Jacks Waterfront Restaurant (Comments at bottom)

Dockside Jacks Yelp Page

Brownies On the Lake Facebook Page



Read About More Kitchen Nightmares

38 comments:

  1. wow that sucks, i was really, really hoping they would make it

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  2. They are now called Brownies and they aren't doing any better; if Chef Ramsey comes back to this place I can hear the statement now "same place and new name".

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  3. Hilarious that after abusing the owners..Ramsay did his every episode ending proclamation of "YOU'VE TURNED IT AROUND"!
    Ramsay is the greatest exploiter of people's misery this side of Maury...

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    1. You're a tool, lol. Ramsay does more for failing rest. than any group could do. Ramsay can only do what he can in a few days, it's up to the owners to rise above the 67-95% of failures... You're an idiot.

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    4. It's 'Michelin', tardo.

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    5. after watching dozens of these, i cant really agree that Ramsay is exploiting people. Ramsay goes into these places and eats the often horrible, often unsafe food, putting his own health at risk. He tries to motivate and build up people who frequently have serious personality problems and family dysfunction, and who often do not care about or respect what he does or what he says even though he has worked his ass off for twenty years+ and become the top of his field. if the only motivation was exploitation there are a lot easier ways for him to do it.

      i also see my own flaws in some of these people (though exaggerated) so it is nice to see that there is always hope for change, even if its a small change and doesnt always save the day.

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    6. Ramsey is not abusing anyone. He is following a script, same as the owners. No one is dumb enough to think that he actually treats people that badly, I hope. Those restaurants that fail were doomed before he even got involved, in fact, 60% fail the first year, and 80% within 5 years.

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    7. You are ridiculous! Ramsey takes disfunctional owners and tries to help. He even admits he can't help people who can't help themselves. Half of the people don't know how to run a restaurant ...nontheless a business. THEY all have huge person issues on top of everything. For FREE...he comes in and pays for staff, new equipment, a restoration, training and more! Additionally, the food and the heslth conditions of these restaurants is horrific. The county or state should be closing these placed down...why no regular health department inspections to protect the public! Good thing Ramsey has stopped being taken as a fool by thede idiots so that after their restaurants are renovated...they turn around and sell it for a profit!!!

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    8. Restaurant failure rates are already at 90% failure rates, when Ramsey is called in its too late as they are 100% garanteed to fail and just moments away from closing doors. Ramsey gives them a chance as 1 out of 5 on KN do survive. Most of them, the help just comes too late.

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  4. They DID turn it around you mop. The question is, have they kept it up since his departure? Or were they just in too deep with the debts that they had no choice but to close it down? Assuming wont get you anywhere..

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  5. I just watched this episode and Im sad for these guys. I was hoping they would pull through after getting rid of the manager and replacing some kitchen staff.

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  6. The old owners of Jack's now own Mikes 2 driveways north on Jefferson

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    1. I guess they will be on Kitchen Nightmares, too!

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    2. Actually Mikes is the same owner of the original Jack's not these former muscle head meatballs that had no business owning a restaurant. The guy Mike, I've met him, he knows what he is doing. You shouldn't be saying things you don't know.

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    3. Muscle head meatballs had no business owning a restaurant, why? At least they cared. Some of that kitchen staff should have got binned long before Ramsay got there.

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  7. Most of the restaurants featured on Kitchen Nightmares seem to be horrifically deep in debt. When someone says that they have 2-6 months to turn their business completely around or they will go out of business, then they are deep in the umm, stuff.

    It's usually recommended that a business have at least 1 year's worth of operating capital in reserve when opening. Ideally that should start to expand as the business grows. When a business is down to a couple months worth of operating capital, that means that their margin for error is gone. One problem, like an equipment breakdown can finish them off. They are already on the brink, so it's not a surprise that many of these restaurants fail, even if they do everything right after the show.

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    1. Thanks for the information! Casts some more light into understanding of running a business, at least for me.

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    2. This is good advice for people, too. Too many citizens of the US are operating with no margin for error at all--one illness, one bit of bad luck, one car failure, and they're done for. We're supposed to have a year's income free-and-clear in the bank just in case, but who does that anymore? No wonder restaurants don't know this rule--their owners probably don't either. Thanks for pointing it out.

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    3. The Federal government has the same problem. It's also run by selfish, short sighted idiots, and would and should have failed - but for their ability to print money, create money out of thin air, and extract wealth from the citizens at the threat of jail.

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    4. Best, most worthy comment here!

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  8. Damn, I really liked these guys. I wish they were STILL open...

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    1. They would probably still be open if only they had just put some concrete galoshes on that old, desiccated, useless breather waste of space AJ, then tossed him into Lake Michigan.

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  9. By giving Chef Aaron the right to craft the menu as he saw fit, does anyone know if he kept the menu mostly as Chef Ramsay had it, or did they revert back to serving frozen foods?

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  10. Chef Aaron was a sweetie. I hope he found another place. He just needed confidence and the authority to do what he knew was right. It's sad that these restaurants seem so deep in trouble by the time they get onto the show; had Ramsay come much earlier, I've no doubt they'd have made it, but there's only so much repair work someone can do with a business already teetering on the brink.

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  11. I just finished watching this episode on Netflix, and I am sadden by the news of its closing. I really liked the guys and they seemed like they were going to make it. The owner's father salary of $100,000 annually did not help them througout their time of need. All this money to have him drink like a fish and "entertain" the old ladies...shesh I could do that with my eyes closed. Too bad for his son. I bet the old man must be laughing at them, of course all the way to the bank. Sorry guys, hope you find another venue. Good luck!

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  12. What happened to the head chef aaron? Did he give up? He looked like he had the right idea...

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  13. I visited here with my family before it closed for good. I had a steak that was extremely overcooked (I ordered medium rare and very nearly got charcoal), and my dad got the all-you-can-eat perch. Our waitress was decent for about three minutes, and when I had her send back my steak and my dad was through his first plate of perch, she allegedly went to put in our order. She didn't, she completely forgot to, and she sat down two tables away from us and started talking to some guys that we presumed she knew. Ten minutes later, she realizes my dad and I are staring at her, so she jumps up, puts in the order, and comes back and says she has no idea what's taking so long. My dad immediately told her that we saw her slacking off and not doing her job, and he demanded to speak to the manager. Not only did my mom and sister get free dinner because of how epically horrible the service was, but the owner/manager gave us gift certificates for if we ever came back. Needless to say, we did not.

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  14. It's appalling to see meat rotting and being wasted in these restaurants. Have some respect. An animal was killed and shouldn't be wasted. I'm not saying people shouldn't eat meat, but they definitely shouldn't waste it. The Native Americans had it right the first time around - be grateful for the food and don't waste it. It's shameful how these restaurants are run - or not run.

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  15. Holy hell….

    That soused old geezer AJ has to be one of the most useless wastes of space since that other drunk-on-his-ass owner of PJs Steakhouse (the guy who always slurred his words).

    GRs FIRST action should have been to kick that useless breather AJ to the curb on day one. What an 'effin leech!

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  16. So much hate here for AJ... although yes, he did take quite a few liberties in his position as GM, and he was pretty terrible at his job, the /real/ problem with AJ wasn't AJ himself. It was the son's fault for hiring a family member, and treating the person as family rather than as an employee.

    That, as well as something else that seems to be a common trend in this series: owners not acting like owners. The first time you, or one/both of your co-owners, witness an employee drinking alcohol on their shift, you fire them on the spot. GM's job isn't to drink w/ the customers, it's to make sure the customers are happy, make sure the front of house is running smoothly, the kitchen is performing its duties efficiently and accurately, and to make sure there is adequate communication between the front of house and kitchen. Consuming alcohol can interfere with your performance in those duties, and should be expressly forbidden.

    Really, it should be common sense that drinking on the job isn't allowed, but that's not how the USA works... this is the land of explicitly telling people that redbull does not actually give you wings, that the hot coffee you just ordered is actually *hot* and you shouldn't spill it on yourself, and that hand sanitizer shouldn't be ingested.

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    1. Wow - it's the first time that I've heard than a grown adult's behaviour isn't their own fault What a cop out.

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  17. They should have fired that entire kitchen when the new chef got there.

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  18. 2 clear problems here and neither of them are AJ.

    Firstly: the son. His reaction that a pay cut for AJ would have been "a huge problem" for him speaks volumes.

    Secondly: the young bald owner who had clearly been siding with the son in supporting AJ and as a result, his swing vote had allowed the business to go down the drain.

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  19. I have never seen such brain dead staff in my life. Those blank stares made me nervous

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  20. The entire kitchen aside from Aaron needed to be fired.
    I'm surprised Ramsay didn't suggest that upon the watching them serve before the major relaunch.

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  21. They used fish from the lake near Detroit? ughhh..

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