Kitchen Nightmares - Old Neighborhood Restaurant - CLOSED

Old Neighborhood Restaurant Kitchen Nightmares

In this Kitchen Nightmares episode, Chef Gordon Ramsay visits Old Neighborhood Restaurant in Arvada, Colorado.

Old Neighborhood Restaurant is owned by married couple, Randy and Alexa who bought the restaurant 25 years ago.

They previously worked at the restaurant as servers before becoming owners in 1988.

The business was initially good but it has been declining for 13 years and has declined even further over the last few months.

Customers are complain about the food and the weird dishes they have on the menu.

The decor is heavily dated, with clutter from a hoarding problem, the wallpaper is peeling and furniture is falling apart on customers.

They are in debt and need help to avoid the restaurant being forced to close.

Gordon arrives and is greeted by a weird mannequin wearing a baseball cap, leopard print dress and leather gloves in the reception.

He meets Randy and he learns the mannequin is called Fiona and she is looked after by Alexa who changes her clothes often.

Gordon next meets Alexa who says she is attached to Fiona.

When asked if the menu has ever been changed Alexa and Randy have differing answers.

The pair settle on 8 months to a year on how often it is changed but in reality the last change was 2 and a half years ago.

Krysten serves Gordon for dinner and he asks her about a smell and she tells him it’s the upholstery of the chairs, which he confirms.

There are flies in the restaurant and the chairs have wheels on them so they roll around.

Gordon then goes through the different menus, there are two, one for dinner and one for lunch.

He ordered the New Orleans Barbeque Shrimp, Yacutan Sea Scallops and a Salmon Special.

While waiting for his food, he learns the decor is the main problem and the staff are not allowed to take down any of the items that have been there for 30 years.

The shrimp comes in and Gordon is puzzled by the sauce. He finds out the sauce is barbecue not the shrimp.

The salmon dish arrives next and he notes that they love using heavy cream as it is slathered over the salmon.

The salmon was dry and he can tell that it is frozen salmon.

Gordon asks Randy why the wallpaper hasn’t been changed and shows him the peeling wallpaper around the dining room.

The final dish comes in and he has a hard time finding the scallops.

The dish is tasteless, and he finds out it is called Yacutan just because of the chipotle sauce they use.

After his disappointing meal, Gordon meets the kitchen staff afterwards and Alexa insists that the food is great and that she tasted all of the food before serving him.

Gordon returns for the evening service and starts with an inspection of the dining area and finds old candy, dirt and a comb in the entrance couch and worn out chair cushions on the dining room chairs.

Gordon pulls up the cushions on the booths and sees rat droppings and old shoes underneath.

In the kitchen, he sees the faulty equipment and there are meat thermometers in a hole in the wall.

The office is cluttered and there is old equipment hoarded outside that is being kept for spare parts.

Gordon finds a dead rat in the cleaning cupboard and at this point he brings in Alexa to see all the hoarding he uncovered.

She says she has tried with Randy but that is who he is.

Meanwhile, customers are sending food back for various reasons in the dining area.

The walk-in is one of the worst, every item seems to be cross contaminated. The chocolate dessert is on top of raw meat and meat juices are everywhere.

Alexa claims it was cleaned the week before, which is clearly untrue.

Gordon has them shut down the kitchen, he refuses to let the customers eat the food and tells the servers to return all served foods to the kitchen.

Alexa is upset, she has pride in what she does but she is not proud of what was found by Gordon.

Randy claims they cleaned before Gordon came for 5 whole days and Gordon is not convinced they are being truthful or that he is committed to making changes.

To show their commitment, they spend the night cleaning and decluttering the kitchen of old equipment.

The next day, Gordon is pleased with the cleaning but does some more decluttering of his own.

He removes all the clutter and junk from the main areas and has the owners and staff toss the rubbish into a garbage truck.

Randy pushes the button to compress the junk, destroying everything they have thrown out and last to go into the truck is Fiona.

Gordon shows them the overhauled kitchen that has been refitted with $60,000 worth of new equipment.

The new equipment includes a new six-ring gas burner cooker from Firmatech with 2 full size ovens, a pressure fryer, dual basket fryer and a chilled prep area.

The sign for the restaurant has been changed to be more visible to customers driving past.

In the dining room, the booth chairs have been reupholstered with a stain resistant fabric and the wheels on the chairs are gone.

There is a new POS system from Dinerware.

The menu has also been cut down from 92 items to 20 and the staff are delighted with the new dishes that they sample.

On relaunch night, the staff are motivated and working well together.

At first Alexa isn’t delegating but after a pep talk from Gordon she steps up in her role.

The relaunch was a success and the customers are delighted with the dishes coming from the kitchen and Alexa and Randy are happy too.



What Happened Next at Old Neighborhood Restaurant?

After filming, business improved at the restaurant and Randy's hoarding was kept out of the restaurant.

Yelp reviews were mixed after the filming of the episode with negative reviews mostly criticising the service and some poorly cooked dishes.

Trip Advisor reviews were mostly positive but also with complaints on service or some poor dishes.

The building was put up for sale and sold in June 2014.

Old Neighborhood Restaurant closed as of May 1st 2016, posting the below on Facebook -

"It's official, after 36 years of business we have sold the restaurant and will be closing our doors on Sunday, May 1st.

We want to thank everyone for your continued support and love over the years. Although it will be a big change in our lives, we are excited to see what the future holds.

Come visit us one last time and say goodbye! We will be open our normal business hours which are Friday and Saturday 11AM-9PM and Sunday Brunch 10AM-2PM and Sunday Dinner 3.30PM-8PM. We hope to see everyone!"

The Butchery opened in it's space in 2016 and reviews are good.

Old Neighborhood Restaurant was aired on 18 April 2014, the episode was filmed in July 2013 and is Kitchen Nightmares season 7 episode 3.


Read About More Kitchen Nightmares

Previous episode - Pantaleone's

Next episode - Kati Allo

This post was last updated in January 2021.

33 comments:

  1. This episode was quite revolting. You had junk from an attic filling the rafters, upholstery that had not been cleaned in years, torn wallpaper, and couches that had last been cleaned when Bill Clinton was president. Worse was the food storage which only comes in to second as the worst shown (first place to Dillons). Totally unsanitary and scary to the say the least. The cook (wife of the owner) never tastes her food and the husband is just out to lunch and responsible for how run down the front of the house is. And the revolting creamed sauces! Who ever heard of a creamed bbq sauce?

    At least Gordon got them on track by getting them to focus on producing good fresh food and a kitchen they could cook in. But I have my doubts. Not with the wife, she has learned her lesson. The husband is the problem. He came across as indifferent, lazy, and too comfortable in how bad the place had become. He is the Achilles heel and could by poor management destroy the restaurant by not keeping it clean, updating the décor etc.

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  2. I'm glad I've turned veggie after seeing the contents of those fridges! How many years has the show been going now? You'd think people would know to do a bit of cleaning before he arrives! Imagine if you'd already eaten in a place like that - would you eat there again knowing that they could have poisoned you, even if a place does have a new start? LOL Love it when he finds the shoes! Expect a lot of bleeped out effing and jeffing from you know who in this one.

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    1. How do you know if someone is a vegetarian? Wait 5 minutes and they'll tell you.

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    2. Being vegetarian has nothing to do with your chances of being served contaminated food, or anything else.

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    3. Even veggies can be contaminated.

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    4. Far less likely as a veggie!

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    5. you're dumb. anything can be cross contaminated.

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    6. Hence the term 'cross contamination'.

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    7. You can white knight for vegetarians as much as you want. It still doesn't mean that being vegetarian somehow makes one immune to lazy owners serving food they shouldn't be.

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    8. Vegetables and fruits carry bacteria you nincompoop. In fact you have a greater chance of dying from a bacterial related illness from root vegetables than you do from meat (since they are one of the few sources of botulism that doesn't require canning or some form of human made vacuum). Note that I specifically said dying, not getting sick. Serving rotting and old vegetables carries the same risks as meat. The USDA advises all vegetables with hard covers like potatoes and carrots be scrubbed and soft vegetables and fruits be cleaned under running water to avoid bacterial related illness from consuming them.

      This isn't even going into the fact that vegetables and fruits themselves can cross contaminate meats. Vegetables are a common source of listeria cross contamination in factories and chain restaurants for instance.

      Just because you're a vegetarian doesn't mean you can simply stop following safe food procedures.

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    9. Did you forget that Grasshopper had blood on their mozzarella sticks? Or the rotten tomatoes at Dhillon's or the turnip that fell apart in Gordon's hands? Dirty fridges affect all produce.

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  3. This episode somehow was less disgusting than Dillon's. At least they didn't have flies emerging from salads

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  4. Your right about that! Dillons is still number one on the KN list of most disgusting kitchens (both UK and US versions). This place is probably 2 or 3 just above Fiesta Sunrise. Then again I have not seen all the U.S. episodes so others are probably on the list as well. But Dillions, now closed, will be long remembered for how unsanitary it was.

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    1. Actually you forgot Seascape

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    2. Yeah, Seascape was pretty bad. But the reason why it got that way is that the grown son who was running it with his mother after the father died had something wrong with him. I am not quite sure if it was Asperger's syndrome or full on Autism, but it was clear that he had a difficult time dealing with any kind of stress or confrontation and his mother excelled at confrontation. I believe that they were lucky enough to sell it and get out from under the financial rock before complete destruction.

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    3. Fiesta Sunrise was definitely number 2 behind this one! Refried beans dished out of a garbage bin, flies crawling all over the "clean" plates, chicken that was supposedly cooked "yesterday" ( which more than likely means 'cooked 5 months ago'). However Dillon's should have just been torched for community health reasons. Old Neighborhood takes 3rd place for most revolting after Fiesta Sunrise.

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    4. Worst Kitchen Nightmares fridges:

      1. Dillon's
      2. Old Neighborhood
      3. Casa Roma
      4. Fiesta Sunrise
      5. Seascape

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  5. The male owner looks like a jolly John Kramer...

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  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  7. The food was just nasty looking. It's like she just poured milk & cream over anything regardless. The state of the filthy kitchen was appalling.

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  8. Gordon's BSOD when they told him they had spent a week cleaning before he got there gobsmacked my wife and I. We laughed for hours.

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  9. Seems to me the majority of these shows were about businesses already beyond recovery due to their debt burden... so they get the TV channel in, enjoy $100k of free value gain in refurbishment ...then use that to flog it and cut their losses.

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    1. It seems like the ulterior motive for getting on KN is to get a free remodel and a short term boost in business just to inflate the apparent value of the business so that they can lure in a buyer that will give them more money for the sale.

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    2. It seems like the ulterior motive for getting on KN is to get a free remodel and a short term boost in business just to inflate the apparent value of the business so that they can lure in a buyer that will give them more money for the sale.

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    3. This place was disgusting in the dining room and the kitchen. Not only did this place get the dining room renovated they got $65K in kitchen equipment.

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  10. I believe these people use Gordan Ramsey TKN show for new equipment and fixed up place for sale. 76% close and sell.

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  11. They at least were smart enough to stick to the changes and stay long enough as they do. I believe they did decide to close down due to the difficulties of running a restaurant, not the usual cliches of "They did it to get free decor!", no that award goes to the Zeke's owners.

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  12. What the... this is one episode that I think the owners really deserve success. They were passionate and in love with the restaurant. They also took Ramsey very seriously and professionally to some extent. Very very sad to see that "CLOSED" up there. Man.

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  13. They deserved closure, having a great spirit really isn't enough to warrant running a restaurant. It's a really tough game, and even those with a great front of house experience and five-start cooking are clinging to a tight margin.

    Ramsey did great, and probably did more for the family than he did for the restauraunt. Though I suspect the old fogey felt some level of attraction for the mannequin; it disturbed me greatly.

    The joke about the panné au lait was sorta funny, it felt labored though.

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  14. I'm late to the party but these guys seemed like the most honest about their problems from a lot of the others on the show. They got called out on their mistakes and owned up to it. I guess it didn't matter but it seems rare to see owners own up so honestly about not doing well at a business.

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  15. This used to be my husband's and my favorite restaurant. We moved to Colorado 26 years ago and this is where we went for date nights. Back then, the food was great. The Chicken Cordelen( not sure how to spell that) was the only dish i ever ordered. The last time we went there the menu was changed because Chef Ramsey had been there. I have to say i was disappointed in the food but would have loved to meet Chef Ramsey. I wasn't aware of the unsanitary conditions.

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  16. I think only reason some call Ramsey is to get the updates in kitchen and dining room so they get a better price there should be something in contract just incase

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