Sunday, 24 June 2012

Kitchen Nightmares - Zocalo - CLOSED

Kitchen Nightmares Zocalo

Episode Recap


Chef Gordon Ramsay visits Zocalo, Philadelphia, PA, a Mexican "Soap Opera" restaurant owned by husband Greg and wife Mary, who met through working there together. They bought the restaurant and now it is tearing the marriage apart. Greg is in the kitchen from early morning to late at night and Mary works the Front of House after finishing at her other job, she is bossy and moans at Greg. Their daughters are servers and are upset by witnessing their parents relationship at the restaurant. Gordon arrives and is impressed with the authentic Mexican d├ęcor of the restaurant. Gordon sits down with Greg and Mary and discusses the history of their involvement in the restaurant over the years, coming to the present, where they are lacking customers, sales are low and they are largely in debt.

Gordon sits down to eat and comments on the large and expensive menu. Gordon describes the Queso Fundido as "a greasy mess so full of oil" , the Chile Relleno is big, weird looking, salty and dreadful, the Cochinita Pibil has no seasoning, bland and dry and the Molcajete is something out of Harry Potter. He compares it with eating the inside of a golfball, it needs more cooking,  has no seasoning and says that in Mexico they would shoot you for serving it. Gordon meets Greg and tells Greg his feelings on the food and the prices. 

Gordon comes to watch a dinner service and finds that half the kitchen appliances aren't working. Greg uses the microwave, a lot and is trying to do all the cooking himself, making service very slow with customers waiting up to 90 minutes. Mary comes in to shout at Greg about customers orders and when they receive them they are sent back. Gordon sits down with Mary and their daughters with Greg watching to discuss Greg, their marriage and restaurant issues (get the tissues ready I had a few tears here). Gordon then revamps the kitchen giving them a new oven, a new menu and a new tablet ordering system. He meets with a local University and gets some culinary students for in kitchen training and to support Greg.

On relaunch night, Greg is supported in the kitchen and Mary is front of house and running the line. Mary keeps shouting orders at Greg , the communication is poor and the food is backing up. Gordon pulls Mary aside to get her to step up with communication and Greg gets everything back under control and the kitchen runs well. The customers love the new, improved food.

What Happened Next?


 In the weeks after the show, the dinner services got smoother, the students became part of the team and the family and relationship between Greg and Mary was improved. The menu on their website looks delicious with reduced prices. Yelp reviews after the show seem to be mostly average, 2-3/5. The restaurant has since closed, it is reported that it closed for the holidays and did not re-open, it was visited in February 2013 by a blogger but it was  already closed.

"The Russells did not respond to a call and email seeking comment, and it’s unclear exactly when the restaurant closed. But as of this week, most of Zocalo’s contents appear to have been removed. The website is still up, but the phone number is not working.
A quick review of court records reveals some major problems: a Philadelphia tax lien for $40,000; federal tax liens totalling over $28,000; and a “confession of judgement” relating to the business against Greg Russell for $39,000. And that’s without peeking into the restaurant’s revolving debt, which, at this point, is likely massive."

27 comments:

  1. Poor Greg. I hope Mary DID move back to Mexico as she threatened - he deserved someone who could at least make some attempt to take some of the burden off his shoulders.

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    1. Horrible woman,that's not a Wife or Spouse,that's a leach.I hope the children don't end up like her.She was in it for a free ride.I have none people like that.They hang around until the moneys gone.

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    2. What a horrible woman. He is better off

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    3. I completely agree, she is a horrible woman and not anything like a real wife. He deserves so much more. I hope that wit h went back to Mexico where she belongs. Greg, you are the sweetest most caring and loving man. You deserve a real woman who will honor and cherish you. Good luck to you Sir.

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    4. After doing some research Greg moved to Baltimore and is now the General Manager of Joe Squared. He has split from Mary and is dating someone.

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    5. I feel sorry for anyone who marries someone who is incredibly lazy. He should've left her years before the show was featured.

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  2. Husband: "I've had no days off in over a year"
    Wife: "I don't wanna do something I don't like"

    How did this guy get himself in this situation. One of the saddest situations in this series.

    Ana, very cute daughter.

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  3. I felt so bad for Greg. My cat gets more respect from me than he does from his wife. I personally think the big reason Zocalo failed was because of his wife and her laziness.

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  4. Damn, feel so bad for Greg, hope you're doing OK buddy..

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  5. so very tragic. Definitely NOT Greg's fault. His wife refused to accept responsibility for failing him as a both a business partner and marriage partner. Greg has been browbeaten for so many years he lacked the perspective and inner resources to stand up against the inequities in their oneway relationship. Hopefully, after watching themselves Mary will spend the rest of her days treating him with the love, respect and self-sacrifice he deserves.

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    1. Ya I hope the Witch with a B left him also.

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  6. I personally knew them because I became a regular at Zocalo (their daughter is seriously an AWESOME bartender), both before and after GR's update. They were both very nice people in a tough situation, and it's sad to see how some people interpreted their relationship-- eh, that's TV though.
    If anyone is interested, Zocalo was bought out by Samer A., a local pizza-shop owner and Philly favorite. The space was turned into a Lebanese restaurant, bar, and hookah lounge and has been doing WONDERFULLY. Unfortunately, Samer A. passed away suddenly shortly after the new restaurant, Aloosh, was opened. His nephew runs Aloosh and it is still very successful.
    I've seen Greg walking in the area in a chef's apron over the past year, so whatever he's doing, perhaps he's still cooking... Best luck to you, man!

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  7. a visit from gordon ramsay is a kiss of death for a restaurant. should i ever be able to open my dream bakery/coffee shop i wouldn't want chef ramsay to come anywhere near it.

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    1. Stop trolling for haters, Amy. The only reason your dream bakery/coffee shop is even open is because of all the notoriety KN gave it. That, and your husband's ties to the mob that is.

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    2. 24 July I have only one question: can you get a better success rate than Ramsey? If so maybe you can have your own kitchen nightmares.

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    3. Apparently you don't realize that the people who own these restaurants contact HIM asking for help because they're already about to go out of business. Without his help the closure rate for the restaurants that have been on Kitchen Nightmares would have been 100%.

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    4. Greg has honor above all else, as proof his reasons to stick with that worthless excuse of a woman, even in Mexico she would be out in the street! (Where she belongs)
      Got Amy pegged from her comment, she’s just plain NUTS!

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    5. Oh look! Its Amy!

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  8. My god he had statutory payment problem. This is too much a nice hard working guy like him should not be suffered like this. He is a chef and he also takes all the complaints of ramsay seriously and quitely. This is the only episode where Ramsay didnt shout or yells anybody. He even compliment the Greg the one of the nicest chef. He should get a second chance.

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  9. My friend actually ate there a few weeks after the episode aired, and apparently they went back to their old ways. Maybe it was the novelty of it being on KN that spawned its ratings on Yelp, but either way, they didn't seem to have much improvement before Ramsay's help.

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  10. So sad ��. It seems like 90% of the restaurants that. Chef Ramsay goes to have closed. What huge waste of time! As Chef would say, "What a bunch of DONKEYS!!"

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    1. Actually 60%....Around 40% still going is quite impressive!!

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  11. Looks like Greg is the manager at Joe Squared Power Plant Live in Baltimore (never been, but I live in the area and have friends who go there!) and him and Mary are either separated or divorced. He has a new girlfriend.

    https://www.facebook.com/gregory.s.russell.3

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    1. Good to hear. That ex-wife of his was toxic! Ugh, what a lazy woman. I could understand it if she had another career -- but what was she doing with the other four days out of every week? If she didn't want to cook, fine -- how about shopping, bookkeeping and cleaning then? Horrible.

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  12. ppl often forget there's always 2 sides to every story. it's always sad to see ppl in such debt. The wife had a petulantat attitude. She had this idea of an exit plan for Mexico which in it self was a stinking way of giving up. Some people have a careless way of going about things and she proves it. I hope things have worked out for him and he is in a better place in life.

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  13. It looks the marriage ended. As others have pointed out, Gregory now lives and works in Baltimore while Mary apparently is now in acting if her twitter bio and photos of a Law and Order SVU set are to be believed.

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  14. She's doesn't cares of those food who feed it to customers but she wants theirs moneys worth from customers. Shameful on her!

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