Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Kitchen Nightmares - Blackberry's - CLOSED

Kitchen Nightmares - Blackberry's

Episode Recap


Chef Gordon Ramsay visits Blackberry's, Plainfield, New Jersey, owner Shelly was successful in catering so decided to move into owning a restaurant. The place was funded by her mother who invested her retirement fund and they are in $200,000 of debt. Gordon arrives and is impressed by the town but not by the bright décor. Gordon orders the collard greens, the smothered pork chop, mac and cheese, chitlins, and red velvet cake. The pork is dry, the pasta is mushy, the greens are bland and the chitlins have a funny smell, he runs to the bathroom and gags/chokes. The meal is not all bad, Gordon thinks Mary’s red velvet cake is delicious.


When Gordon returns that evening, he discovers a dead mouse just inside the restaurant's front door. James, the General Manager, Shelly and Shelly's fiancé accuse Chef Ramsay of planting the rodent. Shelly is cooking in the restaurant but using only a wok and a pizza oven but the diners are not happy with the food. Gordon calls a team meeting and everyone thinks that Shelly having to be in control is a problem. Dwayne starts to tell his opinions of problems but Shelly tells him to leave. Gordon calls him back and highlights the problem is lack of communication. Mary is in tears and Shelly promises to solve the problems. 


Gordon invests in new equipment for the kitchen and puts Mateen in charge in the kitchen. The restaurant is given a makeover and unveils the new menu with updated soul food classics including barbecued pulled pork sliders and fried chicken and waffles.On relaunch night, Mateen takes charge of the kitchen and the customers love the food. Shelly however is not happy to have to give over control of the kitchen and charges out. The relaunch was suceesful but afterwards Shelly refuses to speak to Gordon. Mary gets angry and tells her she is ashamed of her. In the following weeks Shelly sees the success and starts to embrace the changes at Blackberry’s.



What Happened Next? 


The restaurant closed in March 2013, according to Shelly


“I want to say we just no longer saw room for growth. We were so stagnant. We were maintaining, barely, but not able to generate the clientele we wanted,” Withers explained. “I think we gave it 10 good years. We had a wonderful time and are looking on to bigger and better things.”


Extra Reading










Read About More Kitchen Nightmares
kitchen nightmares season 5 episode 1

73 comments:

  1. I agree that the owner's attitude sucked. Her mom was actually very nice, if that was the only redeeming factor. She seemed disrepectful to GR, so I think a lot of watchers probably wanted her to fail.

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  2. Blackberry's has closed.
    http://www.mycentraljersey.com/article/20130318/NJNEWS/303180050

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  3. Closed as of March 19, 2013. They still do catering though.

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    1. Why cater Shelly you can't cook anyways

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    2. Right! shelly was ungrateful! Mother mary lovely woman. Shelly was acting younger than her husband.smh i knew they would close she was not a leader

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  4. Feel sorry for the mother, she was a nice lady. She didn't deserve to lose all of her retirement money.

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    1. Shelly's Mom was FABULOUS. As far as Shelly I pray for her. She would've went far if she would've work with the team.

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  5. After watching Kitchen Nightmares and viewing how the manager and Shelly accused chef Ramsay of planting a mouse, I was so irritated by this woman's attitude. At the end of the show, after all the help from Gordon Ramsay she has an attitude and is not willing to give him the time of day. My dislike for this woman is so big that made me come in here and write how happy I am to hear that her business is closed. You didn't deserved to be successful. Sorry about her mother, she seem like a nice lady.

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  6. I was grateful to have visited this restaurant before it closed while on a business trip to Newark. As in most things, the people were much nicer in real life than on TV. Also, the food was WONDERFUL. Shame it has closed!

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  7. The owner Shelly obviously didn't have a clue and deserved her business to close. That being said, I feel sorry for Shelly's Mom, as she actually seemed to care

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  8. Selfish,rude,arrogant,pretentious,stupid,controlling and I can tell just by looking at the food on TV that it was bad. She had the nerve, she dared talk to one of the most successful chefs in the world like that? I pray she takes care of her lovely precious mother. Only God knows how a charming lady like her mom raised such a complete idiot. Hey, Shelly, at last count GR has 15 Michelin Stars. Do you even know what those are, much less the extraordinary culinary talent that requires? Shelly, you shouldn't even be in the same kitchen as GR. You are an INGRATE. Hope your fiance wakes up and walks or maybe you two can do an episode of Bridezillas. Kitchen Nightmares...they had you in mind.

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    1. ^^^^AMEN!!!^^^^ I bet her mom wishes she had paddled that little brat of hers a time or two. Her fiancée is all of 2 years old. He has no control, thinks and acts like a child. He is only with her for the food, cant be for the money. 2 hundred thousand dollars in debt and you blow the only chance you had to repay you parents, selfish brat. I pray Chef Ramsay allows Mateen an opportunity to be on Hells Kitchen so that he can work with Ramsay and let his talents shine. I pray the best for them all, but as a mother myself I would be utterly humiliated if that were my child.

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    2. I agree with everyone else, whoever posted this is a total idiot. Probably some idiot that doesn't know his something from his mouth... or maybe he does... what a moron.

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  9. Gordon was a total dick and pushed Shelly's buttons off camera to get more drama into the show. But, I think Shelly could have played her cards better and used this opportunity more wisely. She may have done better to let Gordon have his way and manipulate the shows direction as he pleased but, Shelly is a fighter who has fought hard to get everything she has. So when he goaded her into confrontations and purposely insulted her and her business she naturally went on the defensive.
    Case in point; he did plant the mouse. If you look close the mouse was a white pet or lab mouse. The mice that are normally found in homes running wild and in even your best restaurants are grayish brown and a lot scruffier. Besides who is quick enough to catch one of them ghetto mice with their bare hands. That was a mouse of privilege from Gordon's private stash. I was a huge fan of his before the show but after witnessing the production form behind the scenes I have lost all respect for him and his staff. As for him being an amazing world class chef - that is debatable. I was there when they sampled his new menu items and was very disappointed. Shelly and anyone of her helpers including the dishwasher could cook better soul food than him any day. He should stick to the euro bland crap he's accustomed to. Best of luck to Shelly, Mamma Mary and the rest of the family and crew, may you find success in your next venture. And for all you asses that find delight in someone else's misfortune know matter how they where portrayed on a tv show get a life and stop being such trolls and realize you are only seeing one side of the story.

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    1. Sounds like a reply from someone with a vested interest...

      That mouse was in no way planted or a white lab mouse my any stretch of the imagination. Shelly was a suck plain and simple and did not appreciate the great opportunity she was given (and eventually threw away).

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    2. "A mouse of privilege" ? LMAO!!!

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    3. It's hard to believe some people are that delusional.

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    4. I'm watching the episode right now & the mouse was clearly dead & was not white but grey or brown

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    5. You almost sound like the loser boyfriend that accused GR of planting the mouse. If others on various review sites talked badly about both the owner and the food, then that's a tell-tale sign that the restaurant was doomed to fail. The episode really honed in on Shelly's lack of management skills, social skills, and cooking skills. She did not care for any of those employees, and it definitely showed when she undermined Mateen. GR put him in charge, and she continued to ruin everything. This closing was her fault, and nothing more. If you are the boyfriend, then grow a pair and step up. Shelly failed, end of story.

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    6. @Malina Jordan....I second everything you said!! Shelly was very disrespectful to everyone. (Shelly reminds me of the person that thinks they know EVERYTHING.... and the person that thinks they are right ALL the time....and the person that CAN'T take constructive criticism at all just to act ignorant and say ignorant things.) And I really believe that Mary was the bright spot on the show, that tried to get Shelly to listen to reason and the experience from GR. It is not everyday that a world class chef would go to a restaurant to get it off its butt and back on its feet. Since it has closed, I am only sorry for Mary, because of the money she invested in the restaurant, and the staff that cared as well.

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    7. @Malina Jordan....I second everything you said!! Shelly was very disrespectful to everyone. (Shelly reminds me of the person that thinks they know EVERYTHING.... and the person that thinks they are right ALL the time....and the person that CAN'T take constructive criticism at all just to act ignorant and say ignorant things.) And I really believe that Mary was the bright spot on the show, that tried to get Shelly to listen to reason and the experience from GR. It is not everyday that a world class chef would go to a restaurant to get it off its butt and back on its feet. Since it has closed, I am only sorry for Mary, because of the money she invested in the restaurant, and the staff that cared as well.

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    8. YOU'RE IN DENIAL!!

      BTW mouse was dead when he found it, and it wasn't white... it was brownish grey and scruffy. The kind of mice you find in restaurants that are not clean.

      Awesome rant about GR not being able to cook... you sound exactly like the chefs on the show... IN DENIAL.

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    9. If you actually were there when the food was being sampled, that means you were actually working at the restaurant; congrats on your loyalty to your former employer.
      So... according to you, the mouse was a plant. Were the waiters talking about finding mice also plants? Were the chefs talking about how the owner was a control freak also plants? There is a limit to what one can actually plant; the guy secretly whispering to his fiancée that he accused Ramsay of planting the mouse can't really be made up, either. The owner chatting on the phone with daddy while people are waiting on her either.
      As for cooking better soul food, I guess we'll never know will we? Her restaurant shut down. Because it wasn't making money.

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    10. Retard....retard alert....we got a retard over here!

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    11. I need to find a way to work the phrase 'mouse of privilege' into everyday conversation.

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    12. This guy must be the fat "Rick Ross" lookalike who was also the underage boyfriend of Shelly's. His comment sure as heck proves it...Mouse being planted. I am so glad this restaurant closed and really feel bad for Mary...she deserves so much more than that ungrateful of a bitch called a daughter!

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    13. Shelly wrote that it's obvious. Haha FAIL!!!

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    14. That was definitely written by Shelly or her equally ignorant boyfriend. Shelly was ungrateful, pathetic, and an embarrassment to her entire staff, most specifically her mother. The food looked like crap on the television and after witnessing her arrogant self-indulgent, petulant spirit, it's no wonder the stack of cards collapsed... with a moron at the helm. Truth.

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    15. wow, you could not prove how much more uneducated and clueless you could be with this statement. You obviously did not see the segment at all if you think that was a "privileged" mouse. And to think GR only cooks English crap has never strayed away from White Castle to try one of his 41 restaurants in 13 countries. Wonder how you can breath with your head so far up your ass?

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    16. I feel like this individual has a vested interest (rude, arrogant owner). Felt so sorry for the staff and the mother. You can bet all the money invested came from the mother and not the daughter. Mother should kick the daughter and general manager out. Karma came thru in the end and ended it for the ridiculously stupid daughter (bet the boyfriend left). Feel sorry for the mother that lost her savings due to a worthless, arrogant child.

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    17. Thats alot of talk! I'm gonna try that food and see for myself. Ohhh wait!!!!!!

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    18. I feel bad for Mary, she put her money into a ungrateful selfish person. It's so sad that person is her daughter:(

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    19. You're totally ignoring the part where the employees were talking about all the other mice they themselves have found there.

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    20. Shelly did you write this? worked for everything? Mom loses retirement money to give her a restaurant and she worked for it? Another arrogant, clueless owner that shouldnt' be running a bath let alone a restaurant.

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    21. Euro bland crap food? Seriously? You clearly have no idea about culture of catering!

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    22. Just wanted to say...OP there said the mouse was a white mouse...were we watching two different shows?? That mouse was a small grey/brown mouse...the ones normally found at disgusting restaurants and such o.o. OP sounds like they're taking this rather personal and may be rather close to those who ran the business and thus have a bias to think Shelly was an angel and Ramsay was an asshat :p.

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  10. You are obviously a plant of some kind. First off the mouse thing. I've seen mice like that after the exterminators spray at my school and even mcdonalds. The mosue was dead. They should've cleaned up regularly. If they did the muse would've been cleaned up immediately There is a differance between mice and rats. Secondly, why are they going broke in the first place. Last I've checked, Gordon never needed a tv show to come help him. Third, why would the staff lie LIVE ON TV????? Her own staff told her that the place was rat infested and the food was terrible. Yelp reviews before GR showed up said she was rude. If she was such a great owner she would have a michelon star. He also knows soul food because in the UK series he went to the soul food shack and found wonderful food. When he left she even expanded her business. You should stop trolling

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    1. which sadly closed due to ramsey's curse

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    2. Shelly what an ungrateful cow

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    3. Ramsey's curse? WTF are you on about? Did you watch the revisit? The shack expanded and the standards were low/non existent. When in severe debt, expanding should be the last thing you are thinking of.

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    4. Biz was $200000 in debt before Ramsey showed up. Whose curse was that? Let me guess: George Bush.

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    5. Bush did a good enough job putting America in debt...

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  11. I feel very sorry for Mama Mary, Sous Chef Mateen, and the rest of the kitchen staff. They look like they worked very hard to try to make the restaurant successful. Unfortunately, it seems the owner Shelley seemed like she just didn't care.

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  12. No surprise this restaurant closed. The owner wasn't going to listen to anything or anyone other than what she wanted to hear. You cannot learn when you believe you hold all knowledge. I feel said for mother Mary, who spent her life savings trying to help an ungrateful daughter.

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  13. What a rude owner she did not deserve the help she got

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  14. Shelly clearly has a problem making proper adult decisions but since her maturation level is about that of a teenager it isn't that surprising. It's always a shame when any business closes because of a lack of revenue even if the owner is derelict. Her mother should not have invested her retirement savings in a business like her daughters. I wonder what Shelly will do to support her now that she has lost all of her mothers retirement. Maybe her 30 year old husband can find a real job instead of playing manager.

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  15. Shelly is rude and disrespectful. I am not surprise the resturant closed. feel sorry for mother mary

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  16. Shelly gave way to what was beforehand. This is mine and mine. Reminds me of another previous restaurant... also, on this show. When you have nothing going for you and, what was it... 16 in the kitchen. Owner telling people on staff to shut up? Pretty much as telling as can be... "Do as you are told" even kills. I would love to see the finances of this one.

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  17. Proof that all it takes is one person(Shelly) to poison a well. Arrogant and a big brat. She'd make a terrible employee let alone boss. I wouldn't let her take care of a brick let alone a restaurant.

    Feel bad for the staff who seemed so dedicated to doing a good job. Hopefully they land on their feet somewhere else.

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    1. Anonymous, I just feel sorry for Shelly she is just worthless. How can any one fall in love with her. She is ugly in side and out.

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  18. This restaurant sucked. I went there after Ramsey left, just to test it, and it was just as bad. They went back to their original menu and their usual ways and it is terrible. If I had my say. DON'T ORDER THEIR CATERING!!!!! The food is the same if not worse, and that mouse... I'll tell you, I'd been there before Ramsey went to that restaurant in 2010 and I crushed a mouse in the f-ing bathroom. I immediately walked out and didn't even bother to finish my meal. So whomever wrote that first comment is a complete moron. If not, I'll serve you in a restaurant full of mice, and see ho the hell you like it. Dick.

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  19. Some of these restaurants fail because the owners have a lazy staff a stupid staff or an untrained staff with no leadership. Blackberries and other restaurants like Zekes were lucky to have talented, intelligent staff, especially their chefs and the owners were too stupid and were too full of themselves to let them do their jobs so they were destined to fail and selfishly took away their employees' livelihoods and their families' money. I hope GR helped those talented chefs.

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  20. I planted the mouse.

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    1. You are awesome! Lmaoooooo

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    2. Eh, would've been better if you were the mouse~

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  21. I found a mouse the other day in the kitchen.. just a regular mouse though not a mouse of privilege

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  22. where can I get one of these mice of privilege? I need it for my private stash.

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  23. i had several questions in mind. the show targets one person from the group working in the restaurant. there is a make over of the restaurant in every episode. hte menu is changed. 10s of customers suddenly pouring in on the relaunch. is it not very clear that the drama is created for business? how can one person(targeted one) be responsible for the fall of a 10 year old restuarant? how is that no one noticed a dead rat at the entrance and only GR could see it through hid laser eyes? if GR really had solution for the restuarants problem then why were around 60% of reatuarants aired in kitchen nighmares shut? if the targeted person was stubborn and bossy so is GR. never ever have we seen him accepting others ideas but pushing his ideas(which are not universal methodologies for success of eateries) on others. not sure if the aired restuarants were benefited by GR or KN but surely kitchen nighmares producers have.

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    1. Answers for your questions. First, why does GR target one person? Well in case you missed it, it's usually that persons fault. Look at any episode, the "one poor target" that GR singles out is almost always not aware of what they should be doing, or aware and just not doing it because they're a lazy leech. Makeover and menu changes. Well that was kind of a question so I'll spot on it anyway. All of these places look like crap and their menus are usually created by people without a culinary backbackground so the food is crap. How did nobody else see the mouse? Seriously? I bet everyone in that place saw the mouse and was too lazy to put on gloves, much less bend over and pick it up. Half the staff laughed about how mice were everywhere so that's that. Why do so many of the restaurants close after the show? Because the same idiots still own them. If you think every one of these fools is humble enough to change their "genius recipes" (that put them in a financial hole) then you should work for one of them and see how much you'd defend them afterwards. Why does GR not take ideas from these people? BECAUSE THEY ARE STUPID PEOPLE WHO KNOW NOTHING ABOUT RUNNING A RESTAURANT ON A SHOW ASKING FOR HELP TO LEARN HOW TO COOK AND RUN A RESTAURANT. C'MON, is that really the question you want to ask?

      In conclusion, it's easy to see why you listed as anonymous, and I have a question for you. How was it working a Blackberries? These idiots asked for help and couldn't handle the reality that they were the problem so they slid back to bad habits and worse food then point the finger at the person trying to help. If you didn't work at OR OWN Blackberries, I'll eat my shoes, and they would taste better than the crap on their tables.

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    2. If her restaurant and she was so great then why did she call him to help. I never understand these failing restaurants call for help because they are failing and when he offers help they resist. Look at your empty dining room, idiot!

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    3. I agree that always annoys me they want his help he tells them why they are failing and they act like they are right..ffs I want him to walk out on so many of thoes ungreatful jerks..

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    4. I agree drives me nuts they beg for his help he puts time and money in for them and tells them what they ate doing wrong and their jerks about it. So many times I wanted him to be like "fu I'm out fail" it's just rude stupid and annoying how some of these a holes act..if u are so great and doing so good then why do u need his help....stupidity just goes to show stupid people are every where

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  24. After watching the episode where gordon gave a complete overhaul to that whole place and even added some expensive kitchen appliances i was so dissapointed in that shelly for completely dissing gordon ramsay at the end there.. So ungrateful, and that fiance of hers, what a spineless twat of a manager that was.. Poor mother, investing so much in a failure of a child..

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  25. I don't know if 60% of these restaurants closes. If so, that still makes it 40% of restaurants that survive. Don't forget that most of the restaurants by the time GR turns up are ať the point of no return. That 40% in my eyes is a success! And Gordon is just lovely...

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    1. Got to remember that many of those 60% close a lot later than they would otherwise and more of them end up selling (possibly realising that owning a restaurant is not for them).

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  26. Shelley is a true idiot for wasting such a blessed opportunity. Because of her behavior everyone is enjoying the spectacle of her failure.

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  27. Wow. Just...wow. Shelley should have stayed with her "hugely successful" catering business. If the food was that great, it would have carried over to the restaurant, no matter what a clueless, childish, ungrateful dictator she is. I feel bad for mother Mary, losing her life savings. I wish that the show would have taken the money they spent redecorating and refurbishing and just given to Mary, for her retirement.

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  28. I just finished watching the episode, for the first time. The number one reason of restaurants fail is that, too many items on the menu, overzealous management and nasty attitudes. I hope Shelly's Mom got her money back. I was going up to Jersey to taste the food. Sweetie Pie see you soon.

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  29. Crazy. Can't say I'm amazed.

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  30. It's Plainfield...One big pile of trash....along with the rest of the state. Spent a year in Plainfield...only miss Aldi's and NJ peaches.

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  31. My husband and I have been watching (or rewatching in my case) Kitchen Nightmares lately, and even though it's been quite a while since this aired, I just had to comment on the sheer insanity in this episode. Shelly is nothing more than an immature, arrogant, narcissistic brat on a power trip. I had a knot in my stomach on behalf of her mother, Mary. Mary was sweet, classy, intelligent and someone who steps up and deserves far better treatment than her daughter is giving. The same is true of the staff who were also being treated poorly. I would never ask my parents to give me their retirement savings at all, but she did and then she treated it like a big joke. How can you know that closing this place would leave your mother penniless and then sit there and laugh about it. She cares about no one, but herself. How can you expect to run a successful restaurant when you say you do not give a crap what anyone else thinks? Hello?! Her fiancé can't be that great either if he's backing her up. Does he really think that this show is so desperate for ratings that Chef Ramsey is carrying a dead mouse around in his pocket? I'm only sorry they failed because of her mother and the staff. I sincerely hope that she and the staff have moved onto better things. I would have loved to try a piece of that cake, lol.

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  32. I am the mouse, Herbert Von Skweek. I can absolutely say chef Ramsay didn't put me there. What killed me was some Mac and Cheese I found down the back of one of Shelley's Microwaves. Also, I should let you know it's nice here in Mouse heaven. My next door neighbor is that Mouse from The Green Mile.

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