Sunday, 29 May 2011

US Season 2 - Hannah & Mason's - CLOSED

Open or closed? CLOSED
Location: Cranbury, NJ


What Happened Next:  The restaurant closed in February 2010, according to Chris due to less customers, the state of the economy and also Gordon's new menu and concept alienated the loyal customers. He returned to the previous menu but that did not stop the restaurant closing. A post on the Zagat page blames Gordons new menu for the closure. After filming Chris was teaching part time at the local college and looking after his children. Chris is currently Associate Research Chef at Pinnacle Foods Corporation according to his linkedin profile. It is rumoured that Brian Kelly was chef at The Lamp Post in Jersey City, NJ in 2010.

Extra Reading

19 comments:

  1. Oh boy. lets recap what Ramsey teaches:
    - listen to your customer
    - step forward as a owner/chef
    - be passionate about food

    soo it is not his fault, you could have changed everything according to your/customer taste... but you havent. his way is just one day... and thats what to learn

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  2. I totally agree, Chef Ramsey is not responsible for this or any other restaurant's closing. He brings all his tools to teach current owners how to suceed. Some take his advice and shine, some revert to their old habits and fail miserably others call on Chef Ramsey too late in the game. Let's face it Chef Ramsey is a world renown chef, but he is not a magician. I watched this particular episode of Hannah's Kitchen Nightmare show, and I must say Chef Ramsey should have left this alone. I've never seen such lack of enthusiasm and lack of respect/safety for customers as these two owners. Chef Ramsey did everything within his power to make this restaurant a success. Unfortunately, all his efforts went to deaf ears and that is why this restaurant closed. I do not know how Zagat reviews restaurants, but perhaps they should see this episode again, perhaps they'll stop blaming CHEF RAMSEY.

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  3. Probably the only episode I've seen so far in which Team Ramsay went seriously astray.

    In spite of the hokey and predictable soap opera quality of the show -- sometimes too formulaic for my taste -- Ramsay's analysis and advice is almost always spot on, even when he knows he's trying to turn a sow's ear into a silk purse.

    But in this episode, you had two young restaurateurs who seemed competent and certainly knowledgeable about food (in spite of the apparent efforts to make them seem otherwise). It was the one time I simply didn't buy into Ramsay's shtick of reflexively disparaging the restaurant's food at the beginning of the episode (has he ever actually liked _anything_ he's tried in the U.S. version of the show -- hard to believe there hasn't been at least one dish that was at least OK). I understand the need to paint a "before" picture that's as dire as possible, but sometimes the show lays it on a bit thick. The whole "dirty kitchen" routine also wears thin, but KN employs it in as many episodes as possible because in most restaurants (successful or otherwise) you're liable to find something unsavory in the back of the house, and it makes for good TV, adding a compelling visual aspect (mouse turds, eek!) to the morality play narrative of the show.

    Back to Hannah and Mason's, though, I do think Chris and Brian had their act together more than the episode suggested and Ramsay should have recognized that and truly mentored them instead of treating them to his standard drill sergeant routine. Castigating Brian for his mellow, laconic personality seemed counterproductive -- if Ramsay is any good as a manager of people, he should recognize that not everyone has to be a type A fire-breather to be successful, even in a restaurant kitchen. And the notion of transforming the restaurant from a cozy bistro into a bakery/cafe seemed doomed from the get-go -- probably the worst job they've done of trying to re-brand a restaurant. I've read that Chris returned to their old menu even before the show aired, which, to me, confirms that he knew what he was doing, even if the place ultimately went under. Which is to say that lots of restaurants opened by smart, knowledgeable people who do most of the right things end up closing for reasons beyond their control.

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    Replies
    1. I watch the show on Netflix and track the success or failure of each restaurant. Anonymous 6/19/13 @21:35 offer a very eloquent and intimate insiders look at this particular restaurant. My conclusion based on your submission is that you are Brian, the ex-owner. Your defense of your strangeness is transparent.All over the web you and your partner have blamed Ramsay for your own failings even though you admittedly did not follow his advice. Neither one of you are "restauranteurs" which is evidenced by your lack of vision, stubborn defense of failing practices and a serious lack of passion for quality. Your shop closed down as many do. Learn from it and stop blaming a man who tried to help you and whose name you certainly cashed in on before your demise.

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    2. Boom. You nailed it and exposed the "anonymous" post above.

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    3. I have to say that Annonymous 6/19/13 is a joke. He is just a child who can't take any blame for his own failings and has to blame it all on someone who was asked to help. I find Brian to be an absolute child and should leave the industry as a whole. It's quite pathetic to see those who are on their last leg and who cry and beg for help turn around and bite the hand that offers to help give them the tools to succeed. I am personally glad that they failed, they didn't deserve it whatsoever and I hope they never succeed again. The owners were obviously man babies.

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    4. You really hope they never succeed again? Because of one reality TV show you watched?? Well too bad for you because they are succeeding. classy handle too..scumbag. I bet you troll the internet looking for nazi artifacts and clothes from the black market.

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    5. As if their incompetence running their business into the ground wasn't enough, one of the former owners is here to embarrass himself further!

      Nobody else would think they "seemed competent and certainly knowledgeable about food." We watched one openly state he didn't care.

      Nor would anybody else make excuses for their unsanitary food storage.

      The same laziness and lack of professionalism that inspired him to write that post after his business failed is why his business failed. All excuses, no hard work.

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  4. What is with these owners blaming anything and everything except for their own short comings? Sounds like Chris needs to grow some balls.

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  5. Yuck! I'm watching the episode! Perhaps serving rotten food and dessert that was for display only may be the reason! Your nasty/arrogant attitude didn't help either!

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  6. I watched this episode yesterday and thought it interesting that at the end of the show there was no footnote to let us know if the restaurant succeeded. Obviously it did not. I am a huge fan of the program and of Chef Ramsey but I'm not so sure he's always right. Chris seemed certain that the changes that were made would not work. Brian was attacked for his personality, and Chef Ramsey does seem overly critical at times. Has he ever liked anything in the restaurants he's visited? Rarely. It's entertainment but it doesn't always ring true. The programs are a bit predictable. There's always a villain and the hero is always Gordon Ramsey. I love the program but wish it were more real.

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  7. It was doomed from the very beginning! The show is scripted, like many reality t.v shows, but the scene where they get salad from a bucket was just enough to say these people have given up ages ago. They were tired of having a restaurant, didn't want to even open 5 nights a week, and the thought of change was just so daunting they couldn't accept it. Sad for the staff though, they seemed they cared about the restaurant than the owners did...

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  8. The owners admitted, in a newspaper interview, that they did the show solely for the publicity, and that they never intended to adhere to any of Ramsay's changes.

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  9. These two owners are a joke, as seen on TV. Don't know what they are like in real life but if they are as out of touch with doing business with customers as they appear to be, no wonder this place closed down. Remember their quote, "we are closed more than we are open." That is no recipe for success

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  10. Of course Mr. "Scared of Change" went right back to the old menu. Gordon shouldn't have bothered with these two stooges...they have no business running a restaurant. I think it is interesting they blame Gordon for their closing, but never tried his changes. I don't like math...but that will never add up. If they did the show for publicity, they must have never watched a single episode, since the show is designed to bring all the dirty laundry out to air. (And yes, Gordon does like dishes or parts of dishes in the US version...from what I have seen, it tends to be the homemade desserts.)

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  11. Of course all these FAILING restaurants are mostly all closing. They are run by idiots who have no clue about basic sanitary and many did not even have chefs who are actually tasting what they cook...Gordon Ramsay as absolutely nothing to prove and they should all be happy to have had a chance they did not even deserve in the first place...

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  12. I worked here. we didnt close because of ramsay, it closed to several reasons. including the economy, people having families and priorities changing.

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  13. sorry i need to expand on my previous post. I hear a lot of you saying that Chris and Brian didnt care.. They cared, cared quite a bit and enjoyed successes early in the restaurants beginning that were unexpected and it was difficult for a fledgling restaurant. It was two guys that loved to cook, a manager that was a college kid, severs who were mainly kids from the neighborhood. we just liked what we did. we didnt go hunting for michelin stars or 5 star reviews. This show did not help the restaurant, but if you know brian and chris like i know them you would understand that the restaurant closed for several reasons. the most important of which is that both of them started families, had kids and wives. they both settled down and got less stressful jobs and are enjoying personal success while taking care of what is really important. ok im getting off topic... but please remember this is a REALITY tv show. believe half of what you see and none of what you hear.. or something like that. Creative editing is what this show is all about. Most of the stuff that you see was edited, planted, scripted and/or by design. And for all that think Gordo was trying to be a helpful restauranteur you have drank the cool aid too. He wasnt around at all, only when the cameras are around and rolling, then he would start yelling and screaming. but when the cameras were off, he was gone, no advice to offer, nothing. And dont bother asking to talk to him or for a picture or an autograph, his crew wont let you near him. I continue to digress. It was a show, we volunteered for it, we knew what it was all about. It was fun at the time, but if we had our chance we wouldnt do it again, we wouldnt paint the restaurant robins egg blue, put up hideous wallpaper or become a farmers market. Ill leave you with this- there is a scene where gordon goes to a local "farm" to eat some 'fresh' apples and comes back with a pretty little basket of produce from the farm.. i dont know how many of you are from jersey, but nothing grows on the farms in the middle of february-- all his stuff was from sysco.

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