Classic American - Kitchen Nightmares Update - Open or Closed?

Classic American Kitchen Nightmares

In this Kitchen Nightmares episode, Gordon Ramsay visits Classic American in West Babylon, New York.

Classic American Restaurant is owned by best friends Colleen and Naomi, they started out as waitresses before buying the restaurant in 2000.

Colleen made her son the chef and her boyfriend Dom the manager.

Gordon arrives and is greeted by Dom who tells him he was previously in the building industry.

He sits down with Colleen and Naomi and they tell him that they paid nearly $700,000 for the business and property.

Gordon comments on the huge menu and orders the fried calamari, the Bomb Burger and Mac and Cheese.

He is not impressed with the store bought, microwaved mac and cheese, the frozen calamari is chewy and the Bomb Burger is chewy and lacks seasoning.

He sends the burger back to the kitchen and the chef agrees that it is chewy.

Gordon tells the owners his opinions of the restaurant and doesn't hold back, calling the food horrid.

Colleen starts to cry and tells Gordon that neither her or Naomi haven't paid themselves in over a year.

Gordon arrives to witness a dinner service, Naomi tells Gordon she is good with the customers but 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 pressure is too much for Colleen and she walks out, Gordon follows her and she breaks down.

The food leaves the kitchen quickly but it is also returned quickly.

Halfway through the service they run out of burgers, plates, cutlery and clean drinking glasses.

Gordon calls a staff meeting the next morning and gets the staff to anonymously write down a question.

They ask why Colleen gets frustrated with the waitresses and she says they will text and ignore the customers.

Naomi is labelled a pushover and admits she is in friend mode rather than boss mode.

The main issue raised is with Dom and that the restaurant is constantly running out of menu items.

He says as he isn't there every night but Gordon tells him as he is doing the ordering he should check what they need.

Dom then walks out swearing and throwing things about in the back room.

For dinner service, Gordon asks Colleen to expedite in the kitchen and Naomi to be front of house.

They only have 13 menus as they couldn't afford to get more printed.

The diners love the new sliders special but are not impressed with the old menu.

Gordon notices a pathetic plate of broccoli and tells them that if they are going to serve that they might as well close.

He tells them to close the restaurant and in the after service meeting he reveals that he is going to make huge changes.

Gordon's first task it to give the restaurant a massive makeover.

The interior is modern, a new computer system is in place and there are enough menus for each diner.

The menu has also been changed with new dishes and improvements  to their burgers.

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 the food begins to leave the kitchen.

The diners are thrilled but Gordon is unsure as they fall apart when they are busy.

A few dishes slip through with lower quality but are noticed by Gordon before they reach the customers.

Overall, the night was a success and Gordon tells them they can be a huge success if they don't drop their standards.

What Happened Next at Classic American?

Gordon revisits and Colleen is in charge of the front of house, Naomi is in charge of the kitchen and Kevin is still in the kitchen.

Business is up 35% and 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. Gordon has a surprise for them both, he presents them with Long Islands Best Burger Award from Good Times magazine.

Yelp reviews were mostly positive after the show was filmed, with compliments on most of the food.

The burgers received mixed reviews, they were either praised or criticised as being cooked incorrectly or soggy.

Classic American closed in August 2013, posting the below 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!


We will still be offering our catering services and can be reached through facebook."

Classic American aired on January 28 2011, the episode was filmed in November 2010 and is Kitchen Nightmares season 4 episode 2.

This post was last updated in March 2023.


  1. 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).

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

    1. Because there is simply not enough health inspectors to check every eatery even once yearly.

  6. 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.

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

    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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

    1. That's not how it works. Most of the time, the sale of the restaurant doesn't cover the debt (many of the places are $300k to a million in the hole. They also most likely owe back taxes on top of it. Very seldom does a restaurant break even or make money in a sale.

  12. Anyone coming to the site in 2018, some of the restaraunts that do well and close unexpectedly, I theorize they quit while they're ahead. Always keep in mind that there are people that arent huge risk takers. Its a totally smart move to pay off your debt and cut the tie like these owners may have done. Bottom line, it is plausible.

    1. Opening a restaurant in America is a HUGE risk in itself. Even the ones run perfectly, with good food can fail for any of a dozen of unseen reasons.

    2. Quit while they're ahead?! They're half a million behind! These people don't suddenly break even after appearing on a TV show.

  13. They were open for 10 years, and were months away from closing in the ep. They tacked on an additional 3 years. Bravo to these women....they done good.

  14. It's such a shame when you see the amount of places that have closed after a visit from Gordon Ramsey


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