PJ's Steakhouse - Kitchen Nightmares Update - Open or Closed?

PJ's Steakhouse Kitchen Nightmares

In this Kitchen Nightmares episode, Gordon Ramsay visits PJ's Steakhouse in Forest Hills in Queens, New York.

PJ's Steakhouse is owned by husband and wife Joe and Madalyn, who opened the restaurant in memory of Joes brother PJ.

Neither have worked in the catering industry and they come from a background in construction.

The couple have invested around $2 million into the restaurant.

They are losing money and can no longer afford the lifestyle they are accustomed to.

Gordon arrives at the restaurant and there is no one to greet him at the front of the restaurant.

He approaches the bar where he finds owner Joe and comments on the lack of customers.

Gordon reads through the menu and is disappointed at the lack of different steaks on offer.

There are only two different steaks and no porterhouse or New York strip steak.

He orders the Crab Cakes, shrimp and roasted garlic ravioli and the Filet Mignon.

The Crab Cakes are disgusting and rancid with plastic bits of crap.

As the food is sent out Joe is back at the bar, sitting and watching television.

The next dish to arrive is the steak but it is tough and served with raw onions.

The ravioli tastes disgusting, tart and is served with an acidic, creamy sauce.

Gordon heads into the kitchen to tell Eric his food is bad and the kitchen staff argue amongst themselves.

The staff blame each other for problems with the food that was served to Gordon.

Joe admits he has given up but Gordon says that attitudes need to change for them to succeed.

He knows that he needs to take charge of the restaurant.

Later in the day, Gordon meets with Madalyn, she tells him about PJ's death.

She tells him that after they bought the restaurant Joe was no longer depressed about his brothers death.

She tells Gordon that the restaurant is only taking $4000 per week and needs to take $17000 to break even.

They were forced to sell their dream home to make ends meet and invest monety into the restaurant.

Gordon arrives to observe a dinner service.

There are so many dishes on offer that the kitchen quickly becomes overwhelemed.

Gordon soon discovers that there is a problem with communication.

This leads to the food taking a very long time to get out of the kitchen and customers becoming frustrated.

Madelyn tells Gordon that eating a full meal at PJs usually takes around 2 hours.

After a long wait the food arrives at the tables and most is sent back.

Gordon heads down to the walk-in where he finds mouldy and rotten food.

After the service he brings Eric, Joe and Madalyn down to see the state of the fridge.

Madalyn blames Eric saying it is his job to check it and they throw all of the rotten food away.

The next day Gordon interviews the locals to discover their opinions about the restaurant and shows the footage to the owners.

The comments were very negative about the food and the service.

It doesn't take Gordon to discover that the restaurant has a poor reputation with locals.

The locals are spreading their poor experiences to friends, neighbours and coworkers, which is putting off potential customers.

Before the dinner service Gordon introduces new specials to the menu including a mixed grill platter.

He tells Joe to stay away from the bar and Madalyn will be in charge of the restaurant.

The first mixed grill is sent back for being cold and is a popular choice with diners.

Most customers were unhappy with the dish they received as it was either overcooked, cold or under cooked.

Gordon says he has never seen anything that bad and Eric walks out forcing PJ's to shut down.

Gordon says that he is willing to bring in a new chef as Eric cannot be relied on and isn't able to run the kitchen.

He says that he will pay for a new chef for the first month to help them out, so they sack Eric.

The next day, Gordon introduces a new name for the restaurant, PJ's Grill.

The restaurant that has been decorated with family photos in tribute to PJ.

He also introduces a new casual menu with new dishes including steak frites and Irish stew.

He also introduces the restaurants new Head chef Mark and Edna, a General Manager to train Madalyn.

Madalyn notices one of the previous negative customers has come for dinner and she has a chance to turn him into a happy customer.

The kitchen gets off to a strong start but Edna finds Madalyn chatting to a friend and tells her to get back to work.

She notices the negative customer hasn't got their meal and discovers that the food was sent to the wrong table.

Madalyn uses her new customer service skills to turn the situation around and the customer is pleased.

The relaunch was a success with all customers leaving the restaurant happy.

Gordon is impressed with Joe and Madalyn and Joe tells Gordon he feels his brother is watching over him.

What Happened Next at PJ's Steakhouse / PJ's Grill?

Although business had improved, PJ's Steakhouse closed a few weeks after filming in May 2010.

PJ's Grill closed as the takings were low and the debts were high.

The owners returned to their previous careers in the construction business.

Yelp reviews and Urban Spoon reviews prior to closing were poor.

A German restaurant called Manor Oktoberfest has opened in its place, Yelp reviews are mostly good.

PJ's Steakhouse aired on February 04 2011, the episode was filmed in May 2010 and is Kitchen Nightmares season 4 episode 3.

This post was last updated in March 2023.


  1. What a way to spend $2 million. Looks like they didn't get a second of enjoyment out of the business, and spent an insane amount in the process.

  2. I felt bad for the couple. Bad for the wife, who was stuck with her husband, who was clearly depressed and out of energy and turned to alcohol. I felt also bad for the husband for loosing his brother.

    I had the feeling that Gordon came to late to the rescue for this one. It could have been saved, but debts were to high.

    The cook was an arrogant, dimwitted idiot who deserved to be canned.

  3. I think personally that Eric put that piece of plastic in Gordon's food on purpose.

  4. Overall, somewhat lazy owners. If she was taking long breaks while Gordon and his help were there, what do you imagine was occurring once business slowed?

    Folded weeks after filming? Yikes. A complete waste of time and effort

  5. Sweet Jeebus!

    That owner was a useless souse….every time he spoke he slurred his words, like the drunk he is, and he basically flushed his wife's savings (not to mention their house) down the toilet. What a waste of space.

    1. He is an immigrant so that is probably his accent....

    2. Sorry, but that was NO accent. The guy was crocked 95% of the time, and he was slurring his words. That was no accent.

    3. Considering one of his first on-camera interviews had the words "When I came to the States...", I would bank on it being an accent.

    4. What accent sounds like a drunk slurring his words? None I've ever heard. He had a slight accent but that was separate from the slurring.

    5. He had an Irish accent. Yep. The interviews you heard the accent clearly toward the end of sentences when he went into what we call, the burrs. However, I caught a slur once in awhile. Especially the end of launch day. I could imagine he has alcohol issues. Went into it to heal old wounds, not to work. That's not how the restaurant business works.

    6. I thought Eric was p*ssed half the time too, he was slurring his words most of the time. I know regional accents vary but I think he may just playing at being a chef.

  6. Know the bussiness before you buy it then run it into the ground. The other owner had success because he knew what he was doin. A $700,000 gamble and they lost. Now the idiots can file for bankruptcy.

  7. Eric is another deluded wannabe chef. Thinks i just turn up to work cook food and go home. No eric, cleaning, check stock, source quality ingredients, creative menus, listen to customers know the competition etc etc etc so much more involved than just the hours you spend cooking too many lazy COOKS just clock in n clock off. Absolutely deluded idiot.

  8. PJ's deserves to be closed hope the owners never ever open any other restaurant and the cook who would not make a chefs backside because his food will kill someone,I am surprised that the US does not have health inspectors to close these trash restaurants for good because the food they serve is poison.

  9. Okay.

    I have NO idea why the owners continued to employ the so-called "chef" up to this point, apart from a complete lack of interest in running a restaurant as opposed to owning it. They seemed just as deluded/lazy as him.

    There was no new kitchen equipment or re-fit in this episode so I don't know if they managed to come out of this afloat or not - I do feel sorry for them but come on, if you invest that much money in a business at least TRY to care about it... (am I being unfair?)

    Also, at one point the owner says "It's time for a complete 360"... NO NO NO! You mean a 180! I'm fed-up of people confusing the two (Although, ironically, they actually *did* "do a 360" since they ended up going in exactly the same direction they were going before Kitchen Nightmares, ie. CLOSED.)

    I don't think they were cut out for this, and I hope the construction business is more successful.

  10. I run a grocery store and have never EVER seen romaine hearts that look like that! These people did not care at all and should’ve never ask for his help. They should’ve closed before it even got to this point because they don’t care at all.


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