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.
Thank you letter/Info on closure
J Willy's Yelp (only 1 real review)
Kitchen Nightmares: Exclusive Q&A With J Willy’s Rick Sutton
'Kitchen Nightmare' a dream come true for restaurant
j willy's in South Bend closes
J. Willy's restaurant closes its doors
Restaurant owner runs out of options, hopes not to sell, close.
'Kitchen Nightmares' filming in South Bend
The For Sale Listing for J Willy's
Gordon Ramsay Nightmares business taken off the market in USA