Hannah & Mason's - Kitchen Nightmares Update - Open or Closed?

Kitchen Nightmares Hannah & Mason's

In this Kitchen Nightmares episode, Gordon Ramsay visit's Hannah and Mason's in Cranbury, New Jersey.

Hannah and Mason's is a French style bistro owned by Chris Posner and Brian Kelly.

The restaurant is only open three evenings a week as Brian doesn't like working at night time.

Cranbury is only an hour outside Manhattan but it seems worlds apart.

The pair previously worked as Chef's in the restaurant under the former owner and three years ago they decided to buy it.

Chris does everything including ordering food, managing the staff and cooks but Brian is lazy and does as little as possible.

Even the restaurant servers aren’t afraid to call Brian lazy.

Brian describes himself as laid back and doubts he will ever be able to change that.

Even though the restaurant is only open three nights a week, Brian doesn’t feel they are losing out on any business.

But the staff are finding their paychecks bouncing and they are losing out on tips.

Gordon arrives and notices that the awning at the front of the restaurant is missing a N and reads Hannah and Maso's.

Gordon sits down to order food and orders a baked onion soup, quiche and lamb lollipop.

The soup tastes like dish water with greasy onion and a thick layer of cheese and bread and very little liquid.

The quiche is runny as if someone forgot to put it in the fridge and the lamb lollipops are under cooked.

Brian’s reaction of his criticism of the food is to disbelieve it is as bad as Gordon’s initial assessment and Chris is scared of Gordon’s reaction.

The 23-year-old restaurant manager remarks that Chris is afraid of anyone giving his food a bad review.

Gordon heads into the kitchen and meets the owners who tell him that they are only open three nights a week, Gordon is shocked that they are closed more than they are open.

Brian admits that he doesn't want to own a restaurant and doesn't have new ideas.

He says that he is a different person to Chris when asked why he lacks passion.

Gordon returns for Valentine’s Day evening service; a night when all restaurants are usually busy.

He quickly notices the dessert display with old desserts, some as old as a week.

The quality of the food isn't checked as rotten lettuce nearly leaves the kitchen.

Gordon questions the cook who tells him he hasn't washed the lettuce as it comes in pre-washed.

Gordon notices that a dessert is missing from the display tray and it appears to have made it out to a customer.

Concerned at this, Gordon checks the storage and walk-in and finds mouldy food and raw and cooked chicken together in the same tray so he is forced to shut the kitchen down.

The staff are devastated, and the customers are forced to look elsewhere to eat on Valentine’s Day.

Gordon speaks to the owners and once again lays into Brian, as he left Chris to speak to all of the customers after the kitchen was closed.

On what should be one of the busiest nights of the year, the staff are forced to clean up the mess rather than serving meals and bringing in money.

Gordon goes for a drive and notices the large number of local farms that are close to the restaurant and he returns with a bushel of fresh apples.

Brian has an attitude so he teaches Chris a dish using the local apples and Brian threatens to leave if Gordon shouts at him again.

Brian’s attempt to run the kitchen are slow and unenthusiastic.

Gordon asks Chris to lead the kitchen and Brian leaves the kitchen before returning after a pep talk from Gordon.

Despite a slow start, things pick up eventually and meals reach customers, who seem pleased with the quality.

Overnight, the restaurant is given a makeover and a new deli counter has been added to sell local produce.

Even the missing ‘n’ on the front sign is painted in to create a better first impressions for diners.

Chris is not happy and is nervous and negative about the new direction of the restaurant, whereas Brian is energised and eager to make it work!

Chef Ramsey organizes a farmer’s market to coincide with the relaunch of the restaurant.

Even a town crier is brought in to hype up the excitement around the restaurant.

Chris gets enthusiastic about the local farmer’s and being able to use more local produce for the business.

For relaunch night, Gordon tells them that to make a profit they are going to need to flip tables due to the size of the restaurant.

The customers love the new food but it isn't long before the orders are backed up and in order to flip tables they need to get the food out quickly.

They run out of mashed potatoes and Chris wants to give them a substitute.

Gordon steps in and calls him lazy for not even beginning to cook some more before he gives in.

Chris manages to pick up the speed over time and two dinner seatings are completed.

The staff admit that Chris does not deal well with change and they expect him to get used to the new style of food and service.

The relaunch overall is a success, Chris admits he will need time to get used to the changes but wants to commit to making it work.

As Ramsay tells them, he can’t give them the heart to make the restaurant work, that has to come from within.

What Happened Next at Hannah and Mason's?

Hannah and Mason's closed in February 2010.

Chris claimed this was due to less customers, the state of the economy led to the decline of the catering side of the business and Gordon's new menu alienated the loyal customers.

He still claims that he does not know where the container or raw and cooked chicken came from and believes it was planted.

A few months after filming they returned to the previous menu and changed the decor. Chris said that the airing of the episode did not bring in more customers as he had hoped.

After filming Chris was teaching part time at the local college and looking after his children.

Chris is currently Associate Research Chef at Pinnacle Foods Corporation.

It is rumoured that Brian Kelly was chef at The Lamp Post in Jersey City, NJ in 2010.

Hannah & Mason's aired on November 06 2008, the episode was filmed in February 2008 and is Kitchen Nightmares season 2 episode 6.

This post was last updated in March 2023.


  1. Oh boy. lets recap what Ramsey teaches:
    - listen to your customer
    - step forward as a owner/chef
    - be passionate about food

    soo it is not his fault, you could have changed everything according to your/customer taste... but you havent. his way is just one day... and thats what to learn

  2. I totally agree, Chef Ramsey is not responsible for this or any other restaurant's closing. He brings all his tools to teach current owners how to suceed. Some take his advice and shine, some revert to their old habits and fail miserably others call on Chef Ramsey too late in the game. Let's face it Chef Ramsey is a world renown chef, but he is not a magician. I watched this particular episode of Hannah's Kitchen Nightmare show, and I must say Chef Ramsey should have left this alone. I've never seen such lack of enthusiasm and lack of respect/safety for customers as these two owners. Chef Ramsey did everything within his power to make this restaurant a success. Unfortunately, all his efforts went to deaf ears and that is why this restaurant closed. I do not know how Zagat reviews restaurants, but perhaps they should see this episode again, perhaps they'll stop blaming CHEF RAMSEY.

    1. They are picking the restaurants with a high rate of failure because it makes for great TV. More than 80% of the restaurants close down in the end. After fixing up the place, menu, freshness and hygiene standards, you can only blame the staff, and that they make up excuses only confirms that argument.

  3. What is with these owners blaming anything and everything except for their own short comings? Sounds like Chris needs to grow some balls.

  4. Yuck! I'm watching the episode! Perhaps serving rotten food and dessert that was for display only may be the reason! Your nasty/arrogant attitude didn't help either!

  5. I watched this episode yesterday and thought it interesting that at the end of the show there was no footnote to let us know if the restaurant succeeded. Obviously it did not. I am a huge fan of the program and of Chef Ramsey but I'm not so sure he's always right. Chris seemed certain that the changes that were made would not work. Brian was attacked for his personality, and Chef Ramsey does seem overly critical at times. Has he ever liked anything in the restaurants he's visited? Rarely. It's entertainment but it doesn't always ring true. The programs are a bit predictable. There's always a villain and the hero is always Gordon Ramsey. I love the program but wish it were more real.

  6. It was doomed from the very beginning! The show is scripted, like many reality t.v shows, but the scene where they get salad from a bucket was just enough to say these people have given up ages ago. They were tired of having a restaurant, didn't want to even open 5 nights a week, and the thought of change was just so daunting they couldn't accept it. Sad for the staff though, they seemed they cared about the restaurant than the owners did...

  7. The owners admitted, in a newspaper interview, that they did the show solely for the publicity, and that they never intended to adhere to any of Ramsay's changes.

  8. These two owners are a joke, as seen on TV. Don't know what they are like in real life but if they are as out of touch with doing business with customers as they appear to be, no wonder this place closed down. Remember their quote, "we are closed more than we are open." That is no recipe for success

  9. Of course Mr. "Scared of Change" went right back to the old menu. Gordon shouldn't have bothered with these two stooges...they have no business running a restaurant. I think it is interesting they blame Gordon for their closing, but never tried his changes. I don't like math...but that will never add up. If they did the show for publicity, they must have never watched a single episode, since the show is designed to bring all the dirty laundry out to air. (And yes, Gordon does like dishes or parts of dishes in the US version...from what I have seen, it tends to be the homemade desserts.)

  10. Of course all these FAILING restaurants are mostly all closing. They are run by idiots who have no clue about basic sanitary and many did not even have chefs who are actually tasting what they cook...Gordon Ramsay as absolutely nothing to prove and they should all be happy to have had a chance they did not even deserve in the first place...

  11. I worked here. we didnt close because of ramsay, it closed to several reasons. including the economy, people having families and priorities changing.

  12. You served a stale & rotting desert to a guest and when questioned, that brain dead ogre mumbled some remarks with a blank stare like it was normal practice. How could Gordon (after eating there) simply let that slide? It was an obvious alarm to other lackadaisical behavior occurring. Rarely do the workers care more than the owners. I do think Chris honestly cared but he had been baby'ing the brain dead ogre for so long he started to feel apathy. Whatever passion Chris began with, well Brian gradually rotted it. What was Brian's job to begin with? The true definition of wasted oxygen. This was certainty the most Lazy restaurant I've seen on the series. Hopefully the staff saw the writing on the wall as soon as they switched back to the old menu and started looking for new jobs.

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  14. Love how dopey the owners was in this episode. Brian seemed completely lethargic and Chris didn't have the drive to run a successful enterprise. I wonder how people like this get around in life, let alone get the balls to think they can run their own business.

    It's also funny as hell seeing how they've made posts on this very site, defending themselves, complaining about things like Gordon's choice of color on the walls. OMG! Those hospital white walls you had weren't better, you idiots...

  15. "He returned to the previous menu but that did not stop the restaurant closing"

    "A post on the Zagat page blames Gordons new menu for the closure"

    So easy to blame it on someone else, even when the truth stares at you in the face.

  16. Wow. Just watched the episode...it was obvious that place was never going to be successful....

    And LMAO @ an above post's "Man child" reference. Amen. Exactly.

  17. Recently watched this episode and like many others, wasn't surprised they closed. Insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result and many of these owners seem not to get that one important point. There's one common thread with all the closed restaurants...they all reverted back to the "old" menu. Yeah, the same one that caused them to circle the drain in the first place. You just gotta shake your head.

  18. There is a clear reason most of these restaurants were at the brink of closing. They initially don't know what the hell they are doing before Chef Ramsey even gets there. They close after his help because they are so used to failing. There is nothing they can do because they aren't passionate about their food, keeping or earning money. They don't respect their money makers and they don't appreciate what people do for them.

  19. I grew up 1 town over from Cranbury, and I have never ever heard of this restaurant. That just shows how little the community knew of its existance. Sad :(

  20. Not really sure if they were really that stupid or were just playing the part at the behest of the show's producers.

  21. I knew this place would be closed, and Chris would blame it all on Ramsay the moment he said "Chef Ramsay changed everything, and it's not going to work." Hmmm. Self fulfilling prophesy? It's a shame so many restaurants on Kitchen Nightmares close after the effort Chef Ramsay puts into them. You can try, but you can't win them all. Either way, I'm addicted to this show.

  22. How can they possibly blame Chef Ramsay for them closing? He went in to help them and Brian refused to show passion, enthusiasm, and willing to take control. Im watching it rite now and Brian i figured would be the one to really sink them.

  23. How can he blame Chef Ramsay if he went back to his original menu?
    Also that article where Chris commented on has just a crazy cluster of contradictions (in the comments at least). It's worth trying to read at least.


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