Kitchen Nightmares - Downcity - CLOSED

Downcity Kitchen Nightmares

In this Kitchen Nightmares episode, Chef Gordon Ramsay visits Downcity in Providence, Rhode Island, bought by Abby Cabral and best friend Rico Conforti in 2005.

They were busy after they opened but customers have been dwindling and they are struggling.

Rico has a full-time job in finance and Abby has been working in restaurants for 30 years.

Chef Ramsay arrives and is greeted by Abby, who rates the food 10 out of 10.

He says the room service at the hotel next door, which is done by Down City, was awful as the soup and crab cakes were cold and disgusting.

Gordon orders the crispy calamari, "3-way" nachos, and award winning Meatloaf after ignoring Abby's suggestions on what he should order.

The calamari is covered in sauce, soggy and chewy, the nachos are like a funeral in his mouth and the meatloaf is lukewarm.

Gordon gets the staff together and discovers there isn’t a head chef as Abby is responsible for the menu and after some arguing Gordon leaves.

She tells the staff Gordon is wrong and the food is great but the staff admit that they don’t like the food.

The staff attempt to get Abby to see that the menu and food are not good but she ignores them.

Rico arrives for dinner service and says he has invested $1million and if it fails he could lose his job as a mortgage adviser.

Gordon goes into the kitchen and finds it is a dirty mess and food from the dining room is constantly returned throughout the service..

He calls Rico and Abby down to take a look and Abby insists that the refrigerator wasn't like that before.

They get into a very heated argument and Abby orders Gordon to leave the restaurant so he walks out.

Rico chases after him but Gordon tells him there is nothing he can do with Abby so deep in denial.

Gordon returns and explains to Abby that he has had failures in business and it can be turned around.

Gordon sits all the staff down for a meeting and Abby admits she is defensive but promises to change.

For the dinner service Gordon removes half the items to relieve pressure on the kitchen and introduces a roast chicken special.

The food going out quickly, loved by the customers and Abby is relaxed.

However, before long the kitchen gets behind, customers are left waiting and leave without eating and Abby gets stressed.

Gordon reveals he has called in a consultant chef James, who will be joining them the next morning.

He introduces a smaller comfort food menu featuring a goats cheese truffle dip, sliders and a new improved meatloaf.

For relaunch night Gordon invites a local food blogger, Stacy Place, who had written a brutal review.

As the night gets underway, the food is sent out quickly, the customers love the new menu and the new food.

After a communication break down the food slows down and customers are left waiting, including the blogger who is live tweeting.

Gordon shows her a tweet about waiting for food and she goes on the line to regain control of the kitchen.

The bloggers truffle dip arrives and she gives it a great review.

The food begun to go out quickly and the customers are happy with their food.

After Chef Ramsay left, Chef James stayed at the restaurant to train Jimmy and Abby promoted Jimmy to head chef.

What Happened Next at Downcity?

Gordon revisits and is greeted by Rico and Abby, business is up 30% and Jimmy is still there and doing well.

Gordon inspects the fridge finding it to be organised and sits down to lunch, which is delicious.

Gordon notices that there is some tension between them and Rico tells Gordon that Abby explodes at him instead of the staff.

Yelp reviews after filming were mostly negative, with criticism of poor quality food and scatty service.

Many regulars were not happy with the changes made to the restaurant during the makeover.

Downcity closed on 10th December 2011, after struggling with the declining local economy and Abby posted the below on their website,

"I want to thank everyone and anyone that has ever walked through the doors of DOWNCITY. What owning DOWNCITY has meant to me--words cannot describe."

Abby is currently a personal trainer in Rhode Island.

Food blogger Stacy Place has answered questions on her appearance on the show,

Question - Why did they say you have 10,000 followers?
Answer - People assumed since Gordon was reading my Twitter feed that the show was referring to me having 10,000 Twitter followers. I don't. The producers had asked me how many people had read my blog and I replied about 250 per week. Multiplying that by 52 weeks, they rounded down to 10,000. Of course, 3,000 people have read it just since the episode aired!

After the show, Executive Chef James went on to work at the Surf Hotel.

Downcity aired on March 11 2011, the episode was filmed in December 2010 and is Kitchen Nightmares season 4 episode 6.

Read About More Kitchen Nightmares

Previous episode - Davide

Next episode - Tavolini

This post was last updated in August 2019.


  1. Sad to say Down City has closed.

  2. Well the people did not call because they were awesome managers serving great food. Gordon did the best he could in a minimal amount of time. All the people blaming him for the closing of the restaurants is ridiculous.

  3. Yeah its gordons fault the majority of restaurants are now closed, nothing to do with the amazing savvy geniuses running them.

    1. No it doesn't. If you look into the issues with the restaurant, they either close because:

      1. The owner(s) decide to revert everything back to the way it was like if Gordon never showed up.
      2. The reputation is too destroyed to save it

      And the most known case in the show:

      3. Money issues.

  4. Yes anyone blaming Ramsay has no business sense. Gordan goes out if his way to show then the right way. It's usually one or all the owners faults when they sink. Great for aspiring entrepreneurs to learn what not to do in any business.

    1. True; Gordon is not to blame. He gives feedback, improves them and gives them a fighting chance. I think the problem is that the owners call in for help too late.

      By the time Gordon arrives their reputation has already turned sour and they have developed huge debts. In every episode it turns out that their various problems have been going on for years. It is hard to try to salvage something and make it successful when it is on its last legs.

  5. Just watched this and gutted to find they have shut. This was one of the few that I felt Gordon made a real positive impact and could have saved it, but it looks like they couldn't keep the momentum...hard trade.

    1. If you look at how many close after Gordon refurbs their restaurants it seems to me they all cash in because they cant afford the refurb. Once the eatery is clean spic and span they sell up and make a killing

    2. Yeah, I thought exactly the same thing. As the seasons went by I felt a lot of them were just participating for the refurb.

  6. When he goes in they seem to do well for a few months but the inevitable happens... Either they go back to the old ways or they forget what they've learned.

  7. I felt so bad for Rico. He was hurt the most. I hope he was able to financially recover.


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