Sunday, 29 May 2011

US Season 2 - J Willy's - CLOSED


Chef Gordon Ramsay visit's J Willy's, South Bend, IN, a restaurant owned by John and husband and wife team Rick and Tricia, who live over 3 hours away from the restaurant so John runs the restaurant in their absence. They are in $1.2 million of debt and close to being forced to close. Gordon arrives and meets John, he sits down to order food and orders a pizza, which comes with ranch dressing on it and a pulled pork sandwich smothered in cheese. John has cut corners in order to save money and it shows, the food is canned and frozen and the barbecue sauce comes in a huge plastic container. Gordon enters the kitchen and discovers that they don't have a head chef, all of the kitchen staff describe themselves as cooks as they are reheating food. It's no surprise then that both the kitchen and storage are revolting and Gordon first tasks the staff to clean the kitchen.

The next day Gordon brings in fresh ingredients and teaches the staff a new burger special made from all fresh ingredients to be served at the evening's service. Burgers are popular but sent out wrong and it's not long before they run out of ingredients and resort to sending out prepared burgers on sour bread with frozen fries, an absolute insult to the customers. Things quickly spiral out of control as Gordon goes mad and one customer is in tears! Overnight, Gordon's team does probably the most underwhelming makeover, it appears only the carpets were replaced. The only major change appears to be all the barbecue sauce as he announces they are to produce and sell their own BBQ sauce. The menu is also shortened in order to allow the kitchen to focus on using fresh ingredients. Relaunch night is a success despite a few hiccups.

What Happened Next? In the weeks that followed they have kept Gordon's changes and had won a barbecue competition with their signature sauce. The restaurant closed 4th February 2009. The note posted form the owner says that it closed due to food prices increasing and customers decreasing, they had the choice of cutting the quality or closing so decided to close. Rick and Tricia also closed their restaurant Damon's Grill, which also had bad reviews. Rick is now working in finding, restoring and selling classic cars.

Extra Reading

14 comments:

  1. I do not believe this place has closed due to food prices increasing, all others world restaurant have to pay more for foods, I think he had to work, really work, like all restaurants making good meals have to do, maybe too much for someone.
    Beside I read here http://jwillys.com/about.html J Wlly is trying to produce and sell on his own the J Willy’s Barbeque Sauce. I hope the day he will Chef Gordon Ramsay would make public his recipe.
    regards!

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  2. That Rick guy seemed really nice, and the linked interview makes him sound even more humble and sweet. Most chefs and owners flip Ramsay a lot of cr*p, but out of everybody I've seen so far in Seasons 1 and 2, Rick really deserved for this to work for him. I'm really sorry to hear that his place just couldn't be salvaged in the end. I hope wherever he ended up, that he's doing all right. He learned a lot of hard lessons from Ramsay but he seems to have captured those lessons very well, so a fresh start may be just what he needed. I really liked him and wish him and his wife all the best.

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  3. It really has nothing to do with the food price hikes, the closure is really the timing, during the US Economic Turbulence. Food prices are on the rise globally, not just in America.

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  4. I didn't think Rick and his wife were very sweet. They kept blaming the other owner and acting like victims. No personal responsibility or accountability. I felt bad for the other guy, how depressing to be trying so hard but your partners keep beating you down, not surprised they closed down but I hope that guy is doing okay.

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  5. South Bend is having trouble, as is much of that area. I think they genuinely did try, but the economy got in the way.

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  6. Ummm... duh, for anyone that says that it is horrible that Rick and his wife were mean for blaming the other owner, think about a verbal contract between owners. With partnerships, there is usually one partner that is the 'managing partner'. So, if he doesn't do well, it IS his fault, because he took on the responsibility. If he fails to do so, he needs to ask the others for help or ask to be bought out of the business before it goes downhill.

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  7. Totally disagree you invest your money it's your responsibility to protect your investment no one else's. Your going to be dumb enough to depend on someone else because your too lazy that's on you. Your money your responsibility

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  8. Good. That place looked awful. I wouldn't use the bathroom there.

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  9. South Bend is a dump. It isn't surprising this place existed there, and closed. The owner Rick seemed like a blubbering fool with his on-camera whimpering. What an embarrassment.

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  10. It closed... It's normal : the ONLY thing who could save this restaurant would have been to FIRE the "manager" who was prone screwing up at the first occasion (and who did it during the 2 evenings where he could work correctly)... A wimp, coward, a pathetic jerk with empty gaze and the mouth in hen's ass unable to do nothing of his 10 fingers... Certainly someone who wanted a job and who LIED to have this one... Poor owners... But WHY did they let him at the commands in spite of the case that he prooved his incapacity !!!

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  11. What a shame to learn the place is closed- just saw a rerun of Kitchen Nightmares

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  12. It what may be a first for a KN restaurant, the J Willy's building has now been demolished.

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  13. I'm watching this episode on BBC America as I write this. I'm not surprised in the slightest that they went under. South Bend, Indiana. Home of the University of Notre Dame. You have to suck something awful to not be able to succeed in a big college town like that. That's almost like having a sports bar not work in Madison, Wisconsin. And did you catch the customer who started crying because her hamburger wasn't right? Somebody needs some counseling along with a regiment of antidepressants.

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  14. ^^^^^ Big college town? You obviously do not know South Bend, but make sure you comment like you do. Sure Notre Dame is close to South Bend, but ND is it's own island. They bring in a lot of money for home games and that really benefits hotels and restaurants for those weekends. Other than that, the Domers keep to their campus and really close shopping/dining areas.South Bend, Elkhart, Mishawaka really don't get much else from ND.

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