Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Kitchen Nightmares - Classic American - CLOSED

Kitchen Nightmares Classic American

Episode Recap


Chef Gordon Ramsay visits Classic American, West Babylon, NY, owned by best friends Colleen and Naomi, they started out as waitresses in the business before buying the restaurant in 2000. They felt that they knew their customers and knew the restaurant so could carry on the success. Colleen made her son the chef and her boyfriend Dom the "manager". The restaurant was doing well at first but now the business has dried up. There are many problems at the restaurant, they often run out of food items and there is no leadership from the owners. Colleen has had to move back in with her parents due to the financial situation at the restaurant and Naomi is constantly in tears at the situation. Gordon arrives and is greeted by Dom who tells him he was in the building industry before working at the restaurant. He sits down with Colleen and Naomi to discuss the restaurant and they tell him that they paid nearly $700,000 for the business and property from the previous owner.

Gordon sits down to order some food, he orders the fried calamari (recommendation of the waitress), the Bomb Burger and Mac & Cheese. Gordon is not impressed with the mac & cheese, noticing straight away that it has been microwaved. He says it is gross and asks the waitress whether it is home made and discovers that it is bought in. The calamari isn't much better as it is chewy and the Bomb Burger is also chewy and lacks seasoning. Gordon sends the burger back to the kitchen for Chef Kevin to try and he agrees with Gordon. Kevin then rates the food as 6/7 out of 10. Gordon then tells the owners his opinions of the restaurant and doesn't hold back! Colleen starts to cry and tells Gordon that neither her or Naomi haven't paid themselves in over a year. Gordon decides to go for a walk to think about where to begin.

Gordon arrives to witness a dinner service. Naomi tells Gordon she thinks she is good with the customers but she spends most of the night in the kitchen. Gordon discovers that the waitresses have to hand write the orders as the computer broke and they can't afford to replace it. The food leaves the kitchen quickly but it is also returned quickly as the customers aren't happy. Halfway through the service they run out of burgers and clean drinking glasses. Colleen feels the pressure and walks out of the kitchen but Gordon goes after her and tells her that she shouldn't give up.

Gordon calls a staff meeting the next morning and gets the staff to anonymously write down a question or problem for the owners to answer. One question asked is why Colleen gets so frustrated with the waitresses and she answers that they are often texting and ignoring the customers, Gordon is not impressed with this. Naomi is labelled too much of a pushover and admits she is in friend mode rather than boss mode. The main issue raised is with Dom and the restaurant constantly running out of menu items, he says as he isn't there every night it isn't clear what they need but Gordon tells him as he is doing the ordering he should check. Dom then walks out swearing and throwing things about in the back room.

For dinner service that evening, Gordon asks Colleen to expedite in the kitchen and Naomi to be from of house. He also introduces a new special of sliders. The restaurant is full but for nearly 50 diners they only have 13 menus available as they couldn't afford to get more printed. Diners have to wait to be able to read the menu and Gordon is astounded by this. As the orders come in Kevin and Colleen struggle to keep up. While the diners love the new sliders special they are not impressed with the old menu items. Gordon notices a plate of broccoli that looks pretty pathetic and tells them that if they are going to serve items like that they might as well close the business. They close for the evening and Gordon tells them he is going to make huge changes from tomorrow. Gordon gives the restaurant a massive overnight makeover, one of his biggest and best to date. The interior is modern, a new computer system is in place and there are enough menus for each diner. The menu also has a makeover with some dishes added and improvements made to their burgers with the new Classic American Burger. Everyone is pleased with the new changes and promise to move forward.

For relaunch night, Colleen is in the dining room while Naomi leads the kitchen. The night gets off to a bad start when the customers arrive and the waitresses are out the back smoking. They soon recover and although rushed off their feet in both the restaurant and kitchen the food begins to leave the kitchen. The diners are thrilled but Gordon is not too sure as they tend to fall apart when they are busy. A few dishes slip through with lower quality but are noticed by Gordon. Overall, the night was a success and Gordon tells them that he is impressed and that they can be a huge success if they don't drop their standards.


What Happened Next? 


Gordon revisits and Colleen and Naomi both look much happier. Colleen is in charge of the front of house and Naomi is in charge of the kitchen. Kevin is still cooking in the kitchen and business is up 35%. Dom is still buying the ingredients but is no longer in the kitchen. Gordon orders the meatloaf and thinks it is delicious, a 10.5/10. Colleen starts talking to him and Gordon continues eating so it must have been good! They are both very appreciative of his help. Gordon has a surprise from them both, he presents them with Long Islands Best Burger Award from Good Times magazine.In 2013, the restaurant closed posting on their website

"It is with a heavy heart that I tell you all that Classic American Restaurant has closed.
I would like to thank all of our employees, friends, family and loyal customers for your support and patronage for the last 13 years. It has been our pleasure to serve you!
Thank You!
Colleen
We will still be offering our catering services and can be reached through facebook."


And on Facebook
"Yes it's true. I would like to thank all of our employees, friends, family and loyal customers for all there support and patronage for the last 13 years. It has been our pleasure to serve you!! Thank you!! We will still be offering catering services and can be reached through Facebook."


Extra Reading


Classic American Yelp

55 comments:

  1. I am so happy this is still open.

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  2. Is this the one where the staff bought the restaurant? I was pulling for those gals.

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  3. I have eaten there a few times since the relaunch. Never had any issues, food was very good. Ordered take-out last night from here & it was excellent. The place was busy(on a Tuesday night).

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  4. So glad to hear these ladies are doing good. I was really rooting for them.

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  5. Sorry to be the harbinger of bad news, but as of the 2nd week of September 2013, the restaurant is shuttered and has a building for sale sign on the property. I confirmed by going to the restaurant's website and they have indeed closed. I will say I was at the restaurant once and the food was excellent after the Gordon Ramsey makeover. But the truth be told, that $11 for a hamburger is a bit up there. Across the board the restaurant was pretty expensive. But I think the big shortcoming was the size of the place. With less than a dozen tables, I wouldn't be surprised that many people couldn't even get into the place at dinner time. Anyway, sorry to see it close down. I thought this was going to be one of the successful 'Kitchen Nightmares" places, after most of the ones he did on Long Island already closed down.

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  6. I'm so sorry these guys closed. This seemed like the nicest most down to earth bunch Ramsay has ever done.

    Im sorry for your loss but hang in there God loves you all and it will work out all right.

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    1. Did you actually ask 'God' if he/she/it loved them? Please do not post as fact unconfirmed information. One could just as easily say that 'God' hates them and thus forced them out of business. Nutty bible-thumpers...

      As for me, I was really routing for these two women as they came across as core-of-america, honest, average-joe(josephines :) ) people. I am truly saddened by this news.

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    2. They were trying to be comforting. You don't have to be a bitch.

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    3. I also wish Classic American owners the Best, yet I agree with Anon 28 November.

      No "bitch" there as I see it. How about a simple we wish u well & the best? "bible-thumpers", as referred to by same person is accurate. Leave ur god beliefs outside. As if that crap has not caused enough human conflict before and now.

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    4. Why should they be expected to keep their God beliefs outside whilst you strongly proclaim your anti-God beliefs?

      God bless.

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    5. They didnt start by saying there is no god, thats why you had to close your doors. Remember who started it by stating god loves you. Its like stating we hoped youd stay open because you dont like blacks. If you step on toes by bringing up race, religion, or politics...expect backlash morons.

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    6. Free speech....and free religion, that is what this country is about....How someone can take a simple act of kindness such as someone saying god loves you and turn it into such nastiness is beyond me... Small minds, but god loves u too! ; 0)

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    7. Being free to practice your religion isn't the same as being free to cram your religion in everyone's face. Freedom from religion is just as important. Keep your personal spirituality to yourself where it belongs.

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    8. What a horse's @$$.... Settle down capt. anti-God. Why do you have such a fat stick up yer ___. Lookin at how 'offended' you are that someone dared to say God loves you, it almost seems like you enjoy that stick. Hey, here's a thought.....WHO CARES? Who cares what other people believe or say? You weren't a part of that conversation so keep your politically correct douchebaggery to yourself. Are you really that delicate?

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    9. The Pope told me God loved these two ladies. So there.

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    10. "Being free to practice your religion isn't the same as being free to cram your religion in everyone's face"

      You're right. Now, tell the LBGT community the exact same thing. Feel free to practice your sexual preference but don't cram down everyone's face and call them a bigot because they don't agree with you. Just a bigoted as the bible thumpers.

      *patiently waiting for the anti-God and LBGT crowd to send the death threats

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    11. There's nothing wrong with saying God loves you, if that's where it ended. But Anon 28 November 2013 was making a point. You can say, "Oh my God, how can they take something as benign as 'God loves you' and turn it into something nasty?" Because it's the wrong part of the culture. This same culture allows you to say "God hates you." God-doesn't do anything. He doesn't care if you live, die, prosper. If you get sick, if you don't take your meds, God won't lift a finger, and you will suffer. That's what people used to do when God loved them, before Alexander Fleming discovered Penicillin. Alexander Fleming loves you. He gave you Anti-Biotics. That's why most of us are alive. So Praise be to Alexander Fleming, the farmer's son, the Great Scott.

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    12. But it IS a fact that God does love them, and everybody. The bible clearly states in John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life"

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    13. GOD LOVES YOU GOD LOVES YOU GOD LOVES YOU GOD LOVES YOU GOD LOVES YOU GOD LOVES YOU GOD LOVES YOU GOD LOVES YOU GOD LOVES YOU GOD LOVES YOU GOD LOVES YOU GOD LOVES YOU GOD LOVES YOU GOD LOVES YOU GOD LOVES YOU GOD LOVES YOU GOD LOVES YOU GOD LOVES YOU GOD LOVES YOU GOD LOVES YOU
      (In fact, I don't trust in God. But I don't like 28 November 2013 Anonymous' comment... sounds really scornful. "God loves you" is not an aggressive sentence. In this case, it's a simple act of kindness. You can be an atheist (as I am) but you shouldn't be rude with believers, especially when they are nice or pacific. Be tolerant please. It goes both ways !)

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    14. Hahaha. Some people just hate the word god. I wonder why.

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    15. These "anti-god" people are just as bad as the "Bible Thumpers". In their attempts to demonize religion, beliefs, and people - they are doing exactly what they claim to hate. This moron missed the entire point of the initial comment and look how far this has trailed on.

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    16. Wow that Anonymous guy must really be a schizo.

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    17. I think you are all, not only getting really off topic, but being absolutely stupid. This is not the place to discuss religion.

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    18. WTFO! We were talking about a restaurant and then the pro and anti religion/God people took over the conversation. Needless to say, we believers always wish the best and God's love. If you have a problem with that, too bad for you. IF you dont believe why bash people who do.

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  7. They lasted nearly three years after the makeover. Most new restaurants, opening without the accumulated operating deficits that Classic American carried, don't last that long. This was not a failure by Gordon Ramsay and if the makeover allowed them to pay down some of their debt, it's not a failure on their side, either.

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    1. they had ALOT of competition aswell so still 3 years with that competition feels very good, atleast for me.

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  8. You have the right to bring up God, no one can stop you from looking like an idiot.

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  9. Ah at least this one did not have old food issues wonder why the "Health inspectores seem to miss all those with storage issues"?

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  10. Stfu everyone. It is what it is. They should have sold once makeover occured.

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  11. Oh my god! We're has this thread gone! No more bible bashing or atheist bashing! Unlucky girls. All the best in new pursuits.

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    1. Yes, really. Militant atheists vs militant Christians. Smdh the focus of this comments thread should be the restaurant and the people, you damn fools.

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    2. ^Umm, who exactly here was being a militant Christian? It was the atheists that started the argument and name-calling simply because they took grave offense at the fact that (gasp!) someone happened to give a good wish that included God in it.

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    3. ^"They started it!" is a child's argument. It takes foolishness on both sides to make a mess like that one.

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  12. Well, they did have to pay off a near Million $ debt. Also, remember, they didn't own the property, they could've been kicked out at any time.

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    1. they did own the property. they had to pay for it separate from the restaurant.

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  13. jimmy jimmy what happened

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  14. I am not a church going person, but I am very sad for the horribly bitter life a person must have in order to be offended that another person mentions God. Something went VERY very wrong in your life to be so hateful.

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    1. This, all day. I have atheist friends and not one of them would be offended if I mentioned God around them (ex. "God bless," etc)....And they all happen to be mature, well- adjusted human beings. I can only conclude that some asshat starting fights over a mere "God loves you" that was not even aimed at them must have something wrong with them/ in their life.

      Sorry for using somewhat extreme language in calling the person an asshat, but bloody hell that was a pointless fight to start if I ever saw one.

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  15. Internet comment battles are so weird... they make me ashamed to be human.

    Back to the topic that should be at hand, does anyone have any more info on exactly what happened with this restaurant? Was the debt just too overwhelming? If it were still open, I'd have driven over there from an hour away just because the owners and employees came across as being so charismatic and good-intentioned.

    My best wishes for Colleen and Naomi. Even if this one didn't work out, I hope you guys know you're really kind, level-headed, capable, wonderful people, and you have my confidence that whatever you try next will. Don't give up.

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  16. I truly don't understand this "god-godlesness" thing going here. Yes, the person said "God loves you all" in a way of saying "I hope these girls can make it through despite bad tidings" not in a way to shove all of us a bible and saying "if you don't believe in God, you'll go straight to hell" or something.

    It's sad the ladies closed, however, they made an amazing turnaround of their restaurant and have appeared to continue cooking, maybe they're saving to open a new restaurant in a future? Who knows! However, I wish them the best of luck and hope they are successful at whatever they are doing. :)

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  17. It's unfortunate that so many restaurants, in general, close because of owners who are clueless as to how to run a restaurant, and waitressing in a restaurant does not qualify you to do so. At the beginning of the episode, one of the owners stated she knew everything about running a restaurant, obviously not. Even more appalling, as we have seen on other KN episodes, owners of failing restaurants whose only experience is that they ate in one. As a female and the owner of my own business, I love to see women succeed in business, but take the time to really learn ALL aspects of the business you want to own and then run with it.

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  18. I love how the debating comments have nothing to do with the episode. Pray for an end to religion.

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  19. I'm a little appalled at what happened here. I just wanted to know why the girls shut the business down and instead there's this ridiculous argument over religion taking place all because someone was incited by a completely innocuous God reference. I wish that those of you participating in this would reserve some energy for something more worthy of your time and not concern yourselves as much with what other people do and don't believe. I feel like I'm talking to my elementary kids, but focus on yourselves. Don't worry about what others are doing. For crying out loud...

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  20. Ha ha ha... typical Americans offended by others.

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  21. Online atheists can be as annoying as the religious people. It's as if they wait for somebody to say the word god, before they start giving them a lecture.

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  22. Regardless of God/No God - I am always sad to see hard working, self-sacrifice small businesses end. I wish them the very best, whatever they may be doing, and a blessed life moving forward. The emphasis should be on compassion for these two women, not some BS politico-religious rant. Anyway, all the best, Ladies!

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  23. Given that the average life expectancy of a restaurant is 5 years, with the majority of new ones closing within 1 year, I think they did well to last as long as they did.

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    1. Agreed, it did look as if they were doing well after Gordon's visit but at the same time they did have a lot of debt. But they were one I think would have given it their all before closing as they had a great attitude towards Gordon's changes.

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  24. Damn this conversation on restaurants surely went south!

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  25. I wish the owners all the best. I think people who are willing to fork out that much money should hire a financial consultant before taking such a dive.

    Regarding the god comments..

    I can offer someone my best wishes by simply stating so. When we state things like "God loves you" we are assuming that God is something that may comfort someone. The truth is, what comforts you may not comfort me or someone else.

    A statement like that is largely based upon assumptions and this is why this comment section derailed. I can see the good intention of the OP of the God comment and can see both sides of the argument, though I would have to agree it's best to keep personal views out of it. It rarely serves the desired intention.

    All in all, it's your choice what you say. I can post my view; you can post yours. You don't have to care about what I say and vice-versa. I think all the support for the restaurant is great! I'd like to think that WE (every commenter) all agree that these people tried their best and weren't able to keep the doors open.

    The most constructive thing we can do is offer our support. Let us not invoke the support of something we have no control over (whether that is your god or not).

    -
    I offer my support and not the flying spaghetti monster's in which I believe in!

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  26. This comment section sucks....I mean lets just hope these people do well with their lives now. And by the way, God can't be proven or disproved. Why can't people admit that they really don't know? Being agnostic is probably the most sensible option.

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    1. Being atheist means you don't believe in any God, it doesn't mean you claim that there is no God. Why do so few people understand that?

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    2. God can be disproven a lot more than proved. If there was a court case in which each side had to present evidence for and against, the no God side would win on that basis. That doesn't mean it's definite, just very likely.

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  27. This is really very sad to hear about this restaurant closing down the way it had done so recently. We never had a chance to eat there my family, what with me busy and everything with my lawn care business. My wife was always bothering me to "take everyone there..." and "Come on let's give this place a try.." You know cause she seen it on TV and I like that Kitchen Nightmares show. Anyways we never made it. But this is sad to see and we wish the owners the best out there with whatever they are doing today.

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  28. It's a great scam when your restaurant is failing.
    Just call Gordon Ramsey and he will refurbish the place and make it more valuable.
    Then you just need to sell it and you'll clear your debt right away.

    This is the intention of most of the restaurant owners when they contact Kitchen Nightmares.
    And that is why most of them are closed now.

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