Kitchen Nightmares - Mike and Nellie's - CLOSED

Kitchen Nightmares Mike and Nellie's

In this Kitchen Nightmares episode, Chef Gordon Ramsay visits Mike and Nellie's in Oakhurst, New Jersey.

The restaurant was opened in 1996 by father Nellie Farber and son Mike Farber.

It has gone downhill after Nellie sadly passed away and his daughters have stepped in to help Mike run the restaurant.

Mike has been doing everything and the restaurant has been neglected.

He has allowed the restaurant to become filthy and the building has fallen into disrepair.

Mike often drinks on the job to cope with the stress of the restaurant.

Before arriving at restaurant Gordon meets with Mike's daughter Samantha who tells Gordon that Mike has not been able to move on since Nellie's death.

Gordon arrives and meets daughter Lexi and Mike who tells him the restaurant decor hasn't been changed in 15 years.

Gordon meets server Jeanine who tells Gordon that the bad smell in the dining room is the mouldy carpet.

Gordon questions the identity of the restaurant as there are so many different options on offer.

He orders the linguine with shrimp sauce, Chicken Murphy and The Steak Nellie.

The linguine is bland and watery, the chicken is a joke and the steak is burnt but Mike denies that there is any problem.

Gordon observes a dinner service, the food goes out fast with Mike cooking in the kitchen but the customers aren't impressed.

There is chaos in the kitchen with Mike cooking everything himself, the calamari sent out was overcooked to mush and the steaks were burnt.

After the service Mike admits that he is struggling and has no passion since his father died. He also admits to drinking during the service.

Gordon inspects the kitchen and finds undated produce, raw and cooked chicken stored next to each other and old lobster bisque and calamari.

The kitchen is given a deep clean and Gordon cooks some new dishes with Daniel and Mike including home made mashed potato.

Gordon revamps the restaurant by ripping up the mouldy carpets, hanging new artwork and replacing the chairs.

He also unveils a new sign rebranding the restaurant as Mike & Nellie's Steakhouse.

Gordon also changes the menu, adding crabcakes, new steaks and side dishes and improving their current menu.

They sample the menu and they are impressed with the new food.

On relaunch night, Mike is tasked with delegating jobs to other staff to take the load off.

The relaunch starts well with food going out quickly but Mike soon tries to do everything and starts confusing the kitchen.

Gordon steps in and Dan is back in control of the tickets.

The relaunch was a success with the food going down very well with the customers with 0 complaints.

What Happened Next at Mike and Nellie's?

In the weeks following filming business was booming and the menu was a big hit.

Yelp reviews after filming were mostly good, the few negative reviews seem to be off services or complaints of the menu changes made.

Mike and Nellie's closed on January 21st 2012.

The below message was posted on their website,
It is with great sadness that we announce that Mike & Nellie’s will be open for it’s final night, January 21. It’s been a great run. Thank you to all my friends, relatives and loyal customers who have been there with me for the last 15+ years. When the time is right, I will let you know where I will be. -Mike & (Nellie)

Chef Mike appeared on Fox show Good Day Cafe.

In May 2012, Mike was reported in New Jersey Monthly as managing and cooking at Ray’s Little Silver Seafood Market, he was there a month before moving to Park33 briefly.

He now runs Blue Basil Catering who offer catering services throughout New Jersey.

Mike and Nellie's was aired on October 07 2011, the episode was filmed in July 2011 and is Kitchen Nightmares season 5 episode 3.

Read About More Kitchen Nightmares

Previous episode - Leone's

Next episode - Luigi's D'Italia

This post was last updated in August 2019.

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  1. He avoided further disaster by closing bfore Sandy destroyed that area.

  2. Its sad we Knew Nellie and his wife. Even after he died I felt that the food was still very good. The biggest mistake was to air a program about the Restaurant.It was there Dome 4 Sure.

    1. Blame everybody but the owner. Obviously there were problems or he would not have asked for help. Most likely like most of these restaurants that Ramsey tries to help they are financial so stressed that they just cannot recover. Many are closed due to taxes owed or banks foreclose.

    2. Clearly it was Ramsay's fault, and not the week old food in the fridge and the carpet that made anyone walk in there go "What the hell is that smell?". Yes, must have been Gordon.

    3. you are right! i would not trust this guy at any food place. to see the deplorable and disgusting food storage on the show was a disaster. was his own family eating this rotten stuff? i got the impression from Mike's attitude was - HE HAD IT. he should permanently retire from serving the public.

  3. Hope they're doing well, at least.

  4. They Asked For Gordon Help And He Tried To Help Them But They Went Back To Their Old Ways!

  5. I think alcoholism is the biggest problem he, and subsequently the restaurant, had. It's a terrible disease and he must get treatment. If he drank through service when TV cameras were there (a couple of beers and cranberry vodka), I can't even imagine how much he drinks when they aren't there. And that's dangerous. He could kill someone if he got loaded and didn't cook properly. Hope that he gets clean.

    1. Also, himself and those other cooks. Fire and knives are no joke. You can seriously hurt someone in a kitchen if you aren't on the ball. I suspect everyone was making excuses for him do to his grief but getting out of that situation may have been for the best. It is not the shows fault but the right advice was sell or close so you can get real help.

  6. Really sad to hear they closed. I was rooting for them.

  7. Seems like good people but honest to God why in the world would you invite Gordon Ramsay in to help you and have a filthy kitchen

    1. Habit. That's the really scary thing about it, the fact that it never even crosses their mind to check things out.

  8. There is obvious alcoholism here and you can't change that by changing the restaurant. The fact that he's gone on to several other restaurants tells me that it's likely he keeps bringing alcoholism and poor judgment with him no matter where he goes. He should retire and not be serving the public.

  9. When you have people who are NOT experienced in the restaurant business, very rarely will they have any success. Leave it to those who know what they're doing. To blame Gordon Ramsey for the failures of these places is wrong. Place the blame on those who caused the restaurant to fail to begin with.


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