Barefoot Bobs - Kitchen Nightmares Update - Open or Closed?

Barefoot Bobs Kitchen Nightmares

In this Kitchen Nightmares episode, Gordon Ramsay visited Barefoot Bob’s in Hull, Massachusetts.

Barefoot Bobs is owned by husband and wife Marc and Lisa, who bought the restaurant in 2007 as they had always worked in the industry.

The ocean view restaurant was initially successful until winter came around.

Their summer business was not enough to cover their expenses over the winter.

In a bid to cut costs, Marc let go of the chef and took over the role of chef with Lisa managing front of house.

The staff believe that Lisa is the biggest problem in the restaurant.

She is not as hardworking as Marc who is in the restaurant 12 hours a day, 7 days a week.

He is stressed out and it is affecting his marriage with Lisa.

Gordon meets with Lisa and Marc separately and learns of the origins of the restaurant.

Marc thinks Lisa has dropped the ball in managing the front of the house and this has affected their business.

She comes in just 2 days a week, works on budgeting, scheduling and general office work whilst Marc has to pick up the slack.

Marc tells him that they once had a happy marriage and he doesn't think Lisa loves him.

Lisa believes she works hard and reveals they there is a lot of friction and their marriage is on the line.

Lisa tells Gordon that she is worried about the winter season and is the only who is working hard in the restaurant.

Gordon meets Jessica, a server, who tells him Lisa is the one who is driving the restaurant down and she is rarely there.

Gordon was given a big menu to order from that was also quite dirty.

Jessica took it to the kitchen and wiped it down before returning it to him to place his order.

He immediately noticed a typo on a repeated ‘buffalo chicken skins’.

He ordered Bob’s Big Buoy platter, the New England Clam Chowder and on their recommendation, Bob’s Lobster Roll.

Gordon walks around the restaurant and sees decorative plates caked in dust.

The first dish to arrive was the big buoy platter and it is a huge mess of disgusting, unseasoned and soggy seafood.

The lobster roll arrives next and the portion was also huge and filled with expensive seafood.

Gordon says that in his lobster roll was the meat from at least 6 lobster claws but it was soggy and messy.

Last was the clam chowder and Gordon found it floury and bland without a clam in sight.

He asks Jessica to taste it and she agreed it was thick and floury.

She gave Marc in the kitchen a taste and he also agreed.

Marc had no idea the food was that bad.

Gordon called the kitchen staff into the dining room for feedback on the service.

Lisa tried to defend the meals saying that no customer had complained about the food.

The cook said the recipes are all in his head and Gordon berated him for not having standards.

Gordon arrives for a dinner service and meets Lisa who introduces her brother Rob, who works behind the bar.

Gordon is shocked that the evening entertainment is a psychic reader Alicia who has paid for by the restaurant.

Gordon sits with her for a reading on the restaurant and the revelations were not inspiring.

She saw a break in the restaurant or the owners with a divorce card.

The dinner service is busy because of the summer season and Lisa is laid back.

Gordon is told that she was hardly around and her being around is a rare occurrence.

The food leaves the kitchen quickly but it is sent back for being cold, overcooked and soggy.

The kitchen staff tell Gordon that Marc is so overworked that he is making himself ill.

Gordon investigates the walk-in fridge and sees raw meat in bags abandoned on the floor with raw pork and cooked chicken side by side.

There is also a dirty chilli bucket, dirty trays and 25 old frozen pizzas that have gone bad.

Thousands of dollars are being lost by the state of their walk-in and wasted produce.

Gordon asks about their labour costs and their break-even but both don’t know, even Lisa that handles the books.

Marc gets upset and goes to clean up the kitchen while Lisa doesn’t look fazed.

Gordon meets with the owners the next day, hoping to get them on the same page again.

The balance in workload is not equal and Marc said for him to be able to concentrate on the back of the house she has to do more for the front.

She promised to commit some more effort to make it work.

Gordon said they urgently need an accountant and a consultant is brought in to put together a business plan and a budget for the business.

Gordon works on the menu teaching the kitchen two new specials, an improved New England clam chowder and Fish and Chips.

The staff loved the new recipes for the dishes.

To see out the winter period, Gordon makes them see that the surrounding town has over 100,000 locals who live there all year round.

They visit local towns to promote the restaurant and they have a winter marketing campaign planned.

They gave out same chowders which the locals love.

Gordon’s team worked all night to redecorate the restaurant.

The restaurant has been made more open and brighter with a nautical feel.

Gordon shows them a new POS system from Lavu and Zephyr Hardware that can be operated by wirelessly.

It will also give Lisa direct updates on the inventory and help with purchasing.

Gordon has reduced the size of the menu to one page of simple seafood based dishes with smaller portions.

Everyone loves the changes and the new food except for Lisa’s brother Rob was upset about the changes.

He thought the restaurant was more of a yacht club than a casual spot.

He quit and walks away saying they don’t need cold drinks anymore.

Gordon came in and saw Rob who let him know his mind but Gordon asks if he is drunk because if they changed back they would be facing bankruptcy.

Marc is called to talk to Bob and tells him he needed to get on board and convinces him to give it a shot for their sake.

On relaunch night, the customers arrive and the servers used their devices to send orders to the kitchen and the customers loved the new food.

An hour in, the kitchen starts to get backed up with food orders being missing and customers kept waiting.

Lisa has servers stop taking orders, so the kitchen has some time to catch up and it works.

Gordon is happy that they ended the relaunch night successfully and reminded Bob to support the couple.

What Happened Next at Barefoot Bobs?

In the following days, the restaurant had been doing better with the consultant on board and they were hopeful to survive the winter.

They reverted to their old menu as they felt the new menu was too upscale for the locals.

They also revealed they were bringing the decor back to the "tiki" feel and hosted a Kitchen Fantasy viewing party on the night the episode was aired.

Post filming reviews look mixed, mainly 1/2 star negative reviews on Yelp with negative comments on service and poor quality food.

Reviews on Trip Advisor were more positive with compliments to the food.

Barefoot Bobs closed in December 2016.

The phone line was disconnected and it was reported as closed on Yelp etc.

It appears that they closed suddenly as the closure was not announced on social media before the pages were quickly shut down.

HK Too opened in it's location and currently Yelp reviews are mixed with an average 2.5 rating.

Barefoot Bobs was aired on December 97 2012, the episode was filmed in May 2012 and is Kitchen Nightmares season 6 episode 5.

This post was last updated in March 2023.


  1. I loved the barman in this. He wasn't even introduced until the last quarter then he goes toe to toe with Ramsey and puts the whole relaunch in jeopardy, awesome! It does show though that a good make over and menu change is not what is needed in some locations
    This blog is excellent by the way

    1. Perhaps the menu might not need to be made over but the cooking of the food should if no one thinks it tastes good.

  2. Felt sorry for Mark. A good guy, but I really had the feeling his wife was cheating on him. I saw no love from her, and she was on the phone constantly, secretly.

    1. Wow, why would you just assume that about someone? That's an amazing snap judgment and just so very rude and presumptuous.

      I know reality shows are filmed so that they're like stories and they have to create a villain but Jesus Christ, don't just go accusing people of things like that.

    2. I agree, she is cheating.

    3. Yeah all the red flags are there. At the very least she is treating him like garbage. If I was him I would ditch the scab and get a cute little wife that actually cared about me.

    4. Anonymous.............I think you hit it right on the head....I thought she was having an affair also....Not only did she stay on the phone she would jump up and leave and say I'm leaving you don't need to know where I am going....

    5. Also, remember the waitress told Ramsey the problem was she was always going on "vacations". The husband worked 7 days a week and she only worked 2.

    6. Seems we're all forgetting about that waitress that was all over Marc though. Whether his wife was cheating we don't know, but I feel he might have been having a little something on the side with her in return.

    7. Yeah i got the same feeling , i didnt saw the love in her eyes. She was distant , taking vacations left and right , not doing her job. Showing up few times a week while her husband is there all day every day. Smells a lot like cheating.

    8. Yeah I also got the idea she might be cheating from watching the episode.

      The red flags for me were:

      She was very cold and distant to him.

      She went on vacations while he worked.

      Doing the books for the business and not being able to answer basic questions about it.

      I really feel for the guy, because it looked very much like he was struggling.

    9. Totally agree. I also got the feeling she was cheating. She was totally cold towards her husband. They could have made things work if he had a supportive wife.

    10. What I saw was a wife who didn't want to be there and didn't want to be with her husband. I thought Gordon did a great job and I only found this thread as I googled it because we wanted to go there. What a shame.

  3. Doesn't anyone believe in power of love anymore? I for one think they have always been destined to be together from now until the end of time! I mean, you could see her love for him while she sat, drinking martini's, and texting her "friend"! And you could see his love for her in the 5 lb lobster roll! I mean, it's lobster! I just thank God every day for Chef Ramsey, the Cupid of the culinary world!

  4. I have a lot of KN that I have recorded and am just recently got the time to view them.

    I can not figure out why they called in Chef Ramsey if they did not want to change anything unless it was simply to get the publicity?

    1. The owner of Mill Street Bistro called in Gordon Ramsay to generate publicity. The owner of Amy's Baking Company called in Gordon Ramsay to silence negative criticism.

      This leads me to believe that any restaurant owner who brings in Ramsay or Robert Irvine, if they resist every change the host proposes, are doing so to try to get backing and support from a big-name chef. (Or, in some cases, were brought in by someone other than the owner as a last-ditch attempt to knock some sense into the owner.)

  5. It is about an hour and an half from me. It would be neat to have a day trip to check it out and see how well it is doing. I am in the northeastern part of MA.

  6. I'm so confused as to why they went back to the old menu!
    Did Lisa's brother complain so much that they changed it or something? I mean, Marc seemed to like the change and want to help his business succeed.
    I can understand altering the menu a bit afterwards once they're back on their feet to make it more of their own. Hell, I'm pretty sure that's what Chef Ramsay expects seeing how he hates it when a chef isn't allowed to put their mark on the menu

    1. It's likely because he never trained the chefs in how to create most of the dishes on the new menu, nor did he give them instructions on how to order the ingredients and where from, and so on and so forth.

      Put simply, the show doesn't address the system around the restaurant that naturally creates the restaurant itself. Rather, the show uses money and power to create a simple one night of change that isn't sustainable.

      It's hard to explain, but it's all context. No amount of effort will really change anything for the better, and most of the time things aren't as bad as they seem.

    2. considering this restaurant owners didn't even know how to calculate the break-even price on their food, I believe there was a lot more wrong than what we saw. I worked in a failing restaurant where owners didn't want to change. They kept thinking if they just bought frozen cheaper products, business would improve. Of course it didn't and they had to sell. We offered advice to help but we were just cooks to them. They didn't think we knew anything. The new owner come in asked our opinion and sure enough things improved. We started using fresher ingredients, we changed some recipes and things started looking good.

    3. local here, i had a bunch of friends work there as wait staff and absolutely hated it. overworked, over scheduled, bad management. the last few weeks of barefoot bobs being open were a train wreck. by the time they closed they owed all of their staff AT LEAST four or five paychecks worth of money, since most of them bounced or didn’t even get their last few paychecks.

  7. I'd like to reply to the comment above that says you can't believe reviews. You most certainly can believe reviews IF they aren't named 'anonymous '!!! I take my reviewing very seriously, serious enough to show my name and background of all reviews. LISTEN TO REVIEWS!

  8. Wow. Looks like the psychic on the show got it right.

    1. Now that I have recalled it it's crazy knowing she's right I mean from the moment she sat down and talked to Gordon I just feel like she's right


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