Kitchen Nightmares - Zocalo Update - Open or Closed? (2023)

In this Kitchen Nightmares episode, Gordon Ramsay visits Zocalo in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Zocalo is a Mexican restaurant owned by husband Greg Russell and wife Mary Russel.

The couple bought the restaurant in 2008 after they met through working in the restaurant.

Greg was a bartender and Mary ran the tortilla bar.

They thought running the restaurant would be walk in the park, but it hasn’t been.

Greg works in the kitchen 7 days a week, while Mary only comes in 3 days a week and is critical of everyone’s jobs.

The bickering of the couple is distracting to staff and Greg feels the stress of running the place is affecting their relationship.

Their daughters are servers and are upset by witnessing the poor state of their parents relationship at the restaurant.

Gordon arrives and is impressed with the authentic Mexican decor of the restaurant.

He sits down with Greg and Mary and discusses the history of the restaurant.

Sitting with Gordon, Greg tells him how he started working at the restaurant when his sister was a sous chef and told him of the opening.

He has a sentimental attachment to Zocalo because he has had some major family events there.

The first six months of ownership were great but now they are barely making $7,000 – $8,000 in sales weekly.

Greg tells Gordon about his typical day and he does a lot at home and at the restaurant.

Every day he wakes at 5 am and gets into bed at midnight and has taken no breaks or vacations in over a year.

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Mary can’t say what exactly she does to help at the restaurant.

They tearfully tell Gordon they are in $750,000 of debt, it is stressful and they argue constantly.

Gordon meets Maria, the server and comments on the number of dishes on the menu and the high prices.

He asks Maria to recommend a dish but she reveals that has never eaten at the restaurant because it is too expensive for her.

He orders three dishes and finds out from Mary that Greg is the one that set the prices.

First to arrive is the queso fundido with flour wraps. He finds it greasy, full of oil and suspects it is microwaved.

Next is the chile relleno, which is weird looking and he thinks it tastes spongy, rubbery and salty.

Mary finds out Greg substituted the cheese for a gouda cheese that isn’t suitable for the dish.

Third to arrive is the cochinita pibil with corn tortillas but it is bland with no seasoning and it is also dry.

Mary agrees it is bland and Gordon suggests she needs to get in the kitchen to help but she says she doesn’t like the kitchen because it too small and hot.

Last is the molcajete, that arrives bubbling in a hot pot. He describes it as something out of Harry Potter and compares it with eating the inside of a golf ball.

Gordon and Mary taste the cactus in the dish and they both hate it.

Greg is devastated about the feedback. Gordon meets them in the kitchen and gives them a more detailed feedback.

Greg admits he isn't the best cook and that he knows his prices are on the high side.

He then reveals Mary is the one who hiked up the prices from what he had set them at, exposing her earlier lie that he was responsible.

Gordon tells her the prices would end up chasing customers away, but she is in denial and walks away.

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Gordon comes back to observe the dinner service and Greg shows him around the kitchen.

The stove isn’t working properly and other pieces of equipment aren’t working properly.

Orders come in fast and Greg is doing everything himself refusing Jerome’s help and most of the food is microwaved.

The servers have to stand and wait in the kitchen for their tables food.

This makes food service really slow with customers waiting more than an hour for their food.

Mary comes in to bicker with Greg and distracts him from cooking.

When the food arrives, the customers have complaints and some are sent back.

When Greg is given feedback, he doesn’t want to listen and is also rushing to finish his dinner service.

Gordon tells Greg that Mary is not supportive of him but rather a destructive force when she is around him.

Gordon asks the camera crew to leave and they have a semi-private discussion that they don’t act like husband and wife and he needs to get her to stop nagging him in the kitchen.

Gordon comes in the next day ready to tackle Greg and Mary’s relationship.

Gordon asks Greg to watch on a monitor while he chats with Mary and his two daughters.

They say Greg shuts down, is not expressive and the couple used to be happy before they owned the restaurant.

They think he is struggling and Zocalo is sucking the life out of him but he is too stubborn to take a step back.

If Greg falls ill, Mary says she will run the business but her daughters don’t believe she can do it.

Gordon tells them they are not supporting him enough and that is contributing to his pressure.

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Mary nags him a lot but she says she still loves him. Greg is called in to hear it for himself.

He then talks to his family and says he finds it hard to ask for help, that he wants to be the one to provide but they pledge to help and support him.

Gordon then calls them into the kitchen to see their brand new 10-ring gas stove and oven from Southbend.

Gordon reveals a new menu for the restaurant with fun, colourful and delicious meals that are decently priced.

They have also gotten a new POS system from Zephyr Hardware and POS Lavu to send orders straight to the kitchen.

It also tracks inventory and sales with credit card payment options.

For the restaurant to be properly staffed he has created a programme with Drexel University for Culinary students to get on-the-job training at the restaurant.

For the relaunch, Mary will be expediting and Greg will be overseeing the kitchen.

Customers pack the restaurant, orders come in fast and Greg is nervous but it starts well with support from the family.

Soon Mary is back to her old ways and starts nagging Greg, not listening to him and talking over him.

Meals get backed up and Mary gets impatient with staff and is rude to them.

Gordon has to pull Mary aside to get her to be more constructive and slow down.

There is a turnaround and communication gets better and with that food starts coming out.

The customers love the meals and it ends successfully.

Gordon is happy that they found their rhythm at the end, Greg and Mary work well together.

What Happened Next at Zocalo?

In the weeks after the show, the dinner services got smoother, the students became part of the team and the relationship between Greg and Mary was improved.

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They kept Gordon's menu and the food on their website looked delicious with reduced prices.

Yelp reviews after the show seemed to be mostly average to poor with complaints on poor food, poor service but the cheap cocktails were a hit.

Zocalo closed January 2013, it is reported that it closed for the holidays and did not re-open.

According to Phillymag,
"The Russells did not respond to a call and email seeking comment, and it’s unclear exactly when the restaurant closed.

But as of this week, most of Zocalo’s contents appear to have been removed. The website is still up, but the phone number is not working.

A quick review of court records reveals some major problems: a Philadelphia tax lien for $40,000; federal tax liens totalling over $28,000; and a “confession of judgement” relating to the business against Greg Russell for $39,000.

And that’s without peeking into the restaurant’s revolving debt, which, at this point, is likely massive."

After Zocalo closed, Greg and Mary divorced and he married Maria, a waitress featured in the episode.

Greg is currently Manager at The Walrus Oyster and Ale House.

Zocalo was aired on March 30 2012, the episode was filmed in November 2011 and is Kitchen Nightmares season 5 episode 15.

Read About More Kitchen Nightmares

Previous episode - Chiarella's

Next episode - La Galleria 33

This post was last updated in February 2022.


What happened to the owners of Zocalo? ›

After Zocalo closed, Greg and Mary divorced and he married Maria, a waitress featured in the episode. Greg is currently Manager at The Walrus Oyster and Ale House. Zocalo was aired on March 30 2012, the episode was filmed in November 2011 and is Kitchen Nightmares season 5 episode 15.

When did Zocalo open? ›

History. The current restaurant originally opened as the second location of Casa de Fritos, a Mexican restaurant sponsored by Frito-Lay, on July 1, 1957. In 1964, the Doritos brand tortilla chips were introduced here.

Is the old neighborhood still open? ›

The Old Neighborhood Restaurant was up for sale when this episode was filmed in July 2013. After the episode aired, the owners increased the asking price too $775,000. The owners eventually sold the restaurant and closed their doors on 1 May 2016.

What business are still open from Kitchen Nightmares? ›

If watching kitchen nightmares was you favorite pastime then you should visit the restaurants featured in the episodes that are still open.
  • Zayna's Flaming Grill made it. Source: Local Food Eater. ...
  • Steakhouse Spin-A-Yarn. Source: MapQuest. ...
  • D'Italia by Luigi. ...
  • Greek Cuisine by Yanni. ...
  • Southern Cuisine by Ms.
12 May 2022

Who is the owner of Zócalo? ›

Founders Jesus Gonzalez And Sean Phelan

With Zócalo, they've created a safe haven for food entrepreneurs to express their culinary creativity, along with a platform for interesting people to congress and share ideas.

How old is the Zócalo? ›

The Zócalo and surrounding blocks have played a central role in the city's planning and geography for almost 700 years.

When did Zócalo closed? ›

Zocalo closed about ten months after the episode aired, in December, 2012.

Why is it called Zócalo? ›

Zocalo means base or foundation and was the name given to the square in jest at the large base that was constructed for a statue that was never completed.

What is the success rate of Kitchen Nightmares? ›

The fact that it's only a 60 percent failure rate is a testament to Ramsay's abilities. The world is full of coaches, consultants and experts like Ramsay who try to help struggling small-business owners succeed.

How many restaurants from Kitchen Nightmares have closed? ›

Kitchen Nightmares ran for seven seasons profiling over 77 restaurants during its run, out of those restaurants, a total of just over 60 restaurants have closed down. Kitchen Nightmares first premiered on the FOX Network in 2007.

How many restaurants stay open after Kitchen Nightmares? ›

Kitchen Nightmares Closure and Success Rates as of December 2021. There are 21 Kitchen Nightmares restaurants still open and 84 Kitchen Nightmares restaurants that have closed. Click on the link for each restaurant to read more about why the Kitchen nightmares closed.

Is Sabatiello's still open? ›

Shortly after the episode aired, Sabatiello's closed. Sammy opened a pizzeria in Greenwich with his brother, naming it Sabatiello's as well, which was later closed. It was reported that now Sammy works as a chef in "The Appalachian Market"- a gas station in New York that serves food- sandwiches, pizza etc.

Will Kitchen Nightmares ever return? ›

The TV host on Monday announced that he's decided to stop making new episodes of his reality series Kitchen Nightmares, which has become an international hit since debuting in the UK in 2004.

Who's the best chef in the world? ›

1. Dabiz Muñoz
  • #1 Dabiz Muñoz. Spain.
  • #2 Rene Redzepi. Denmark.
  • #3 Joan Roca. Spain.
  • #4 Massimo Bottura. Italy.
  • #5 Andoni Luis Aduriz. Spain.
  • #6 Bjorn Frantzén. Sweden.
  • #7 Disfrutar. Spain.
  • #8 Alain Passard. France.
5 Nov 2022

Who has the most Michelin stars in the world? ›

1. Joël Robuchon: 31 Michelin Stars. Many consider the late French chef Joël Robuchon the best chef of the modern age. And with 31 Michelin stars spread across three continents, it's hard to argue this claim.

What is another name for the Zócalo? ›

The Zócalo is located in the Historical Center of Mexico City. During the Viceregal Period of Mexico, when it was New Spain, this square was called Plaza de Armas or Arms Square.

What does Zócalo mean in Mexico? ›

: the public square of a Mexican city or town : plaza.

Why do people visit the Zócalo? ›

Simply put, el Zocalo is a must-see for travelers interested in exploring local Mexican culture and nightlife. The city's main square houses the city's government buildings and several popular and affordable local restaurants. The area also offers excellent opportunities to people-watch, especially during the evening.

Is Zócalo worth visiting? ›

The Zócalo is the ideal starting point for a day of sightseeing in Mexico City. The square is surrounded by various attractions, such as the Catedral Metropolitana and the Palacio Nacional, the presidential palace that is well worth a visit.

How many people fit in the Zócalo? ›

And they're still doing that, with nearly 2,400 square feet of meeting space inside its thick adobe walls and brick floors, with outdoor and indoor spaces to host up to 175 people.

Where is El Zócalo located? ›

The Zócalo in Mexico City, from Aztec times through today, has been a bustling public plaza that continues to be a popular gathering place for locals and visitors alike. It is formally known as the Plaza de la Constitución, and is set in the historic center of the capital of Mexico.

What was built in Zócalo square? ›

The Metropolitan Cathedral was constructed in 1667, although parts of it were not finished until 1812. It is one of the largest cathedrals in the Western hemisphere.

What does the president of Mexico shout to the crowd in the Zócalo? ›

"Viva México!" President Andrés Manuel López Obrador shouted repeatedly — calls that were loudly echoed by the massive crowd that packed Mexico City's Zócalo, the capital's main square.

What important discoveries are in the Zócalo? ›

It was also the site which bore witness to the discovery of the famed Aztec Calendar stone, which can now be seen at the Museo Nacional de Antropología, as well as being the location of daily Aztec dances.

How safe is Mexico City? ›

Mexico City (Ciudad de Mexico) – Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime. Both violent and non-violent crime occur throughout Mexico City. Use additional caution, particularly at night, outside of the frequented tourist areas where police and security patrol more routinely.

What is a taxi called in Mexico? ›

Street cabs: Every town and city has street cabs, which can be hailed from the street or boarded at taxi cab ranks, known as Sitios in Mexico.

Why did Ramsay quit Kitchen Nightmares? ›

But in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Ramsay revealed he put the end to one of his shows himself. “I canceled my own show on Fox, Kitchen Nightmares,” Ramsay said. He explained he hit a breaking point with one of the restaurants on his show and realized he had enough.

Do people on kitchen nightmare get paid? ›

The show has been accused of hiring actors as diners, and this disclaimer essentially admits that diners are, on some level, paid. They're being given the opportunity to eat for free and become TV stars, like the diners on Hell's Kitchen.

Do restaurants pay to be on Kitchen Nightmares? ›

Originally Answered: Who is financing or paying for the resturant renovation in the chef Ramsey's kitchen nightmare shows? It's the production company that pays for it all. But it also acts as a commercial for the brands being bought and as a form of advertising for the restaurant.

How many Hells Kitchens are there? ›

Gordon Ramsay Hell's Kitchen is a multi-national fine dining restaurant chain, owned by British chef Gordon Ramsay, and based on the reality TV show Hell's Kitchen. As of 2022 the chain consists of four US locations and one in Dubai.

Is Barefoot Bob's still open? ›

Barefoot Bob's closed in December 2016 and no reason was given as to why they closed. Barefoot Bob's dropped a lot of Gordon Ramsay's suggestions and changes after he left and they went back to their tiki theme. Despite this, the restaurant still lasted for more than four years after the Kitchen Nightmares makeover.

Is Hell's Kitchen still running? ›

“Hell's Kitchen” is coming back to FOX on September 29, 2022. After shooting Seasons 19 and 20 back-to-back before the COVID-19 pandemic, Season 21 of “Hell's Kitchen” began production last winter.

Who is the richest chef in the world? ›

The richest celebrity chefs in the world
  1. Jamie Oliver. Net worth: $300 million.
  2. Gordon Ramsay. Net worth: $220 million. ...
  3. Nobu Matsuhisa. Net worth: $200 million. ...
  4. Wolfgang Puck. Net worth: $120 million. ...
  5. Rachael Ray. Net worth: $100 million. ...
  6. Emeril Lagasse. Net worth: $70 million. ...
  7. Bobby Flay. Net worth: $60 million. ...
  8. Ina Garten. ...
27 Aug 2022

How does Gordon Ramsay get paid? ›

Presently, he is estimated to be taking home an average of $225,000 per episode in every television show he presents. The renowned chef and restaurateur reportedly earns around $45 million annually from his media and restaurant ventures alone.

How are restaurants picked for Kitchen Nightmares? ›

The producers of Kitchen Nightmares sent in a casting call for struggling restaurants in the Los Angeles, Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Baltimore/D.C. areas to be on the show and get that magical Ramsay "there I fixed it" touch. It's maybe all fake anyway, but maybe you'll get a Lobster Claw machine out of it?

Why did the fat cow close? ›

Hosford said the business got behind on paying sales taxes and wasn't able to catch back up due to the pandemic. Fat Cow was built around the LSU schedule, so the shift toward online classes in spring 2020 caused business to drop off dramatically.

What happened to Amy and Sammy restaurant? ›

Where are they now? As of July 2019, the Bouzaglos appear to be living in Israel, based on social media posts on Amy's Twitter and Instagram accounts. As of 2016, the couple had moved to Westwood, California, a small enclave near the University of California-Los Angeles.

Where is Sammy from Kitchen Nightmares now? ›

Sammy was arrested for trashing his restaurant and unauthorised use of credit cards. He can now be found working as a Chef in New York at The Appalachian Market, a gas station that also serves food, Pizza being a speciality.

Why is Gordon Ramsay vegan? ›

To put it simply, no, Gordon Ramsay is not vegan and probably will never ditch the meat. However, he has been sharing popular plant-based recipes with his TikTok followers and has reportedly cut dairy out of his diet on a 'day-to-day basis'.

Was Hell's Kitchen canceled? ›

A chain of Gordon Ramsay Hell's Kitchen restaurants have been opened, inspired by the show. On February 1, 2022, the series was renewed for a twenty-first and twenty-second season. The twenty-first season, subtitled Battle of the Ages, premiered in September 2022.

Are kitchen nightmare episodes scripted? ›

Kitchen Nightmares was not scripted, but the reality-format show did allegedly have elements that were manipulated by the producers of the show.

Are there 7 star chefs? ›

Chef Yoshihiro Murata is the only chef in the world to hold seven Michelin stars. He is the third generation of Japanese super chefs to run the century-old Kikunoi restaurant in the Japanese city of Kyoto.

Who trained Gordon Ramsay? ›

After earning a vocational diploma in hotel management from North Oxon Technical College in 1987, he moved to London and began honing his culinary skills under chef Marco Pierre White at the restaurant Harvey's and under chef Albert Roux at La Gavroche.

Who is better chef than Ramsay? ›

A former student of his was the now infamous Gordon Ramsay. Alain Ducasse may easily be the most successful among the world's top 10 chefs. This is what he managed to achieve: Earned his 21 Michelin stars and kept them throughout his career.

How did chef Michael lose his arm? ›

He became the Head Chef at the one Michelin starred Gidleigh Park in 1994 but lost his right arm in a car accident soon afterwards. In 1999, Gidleigh Park was awarded a second Michelin Star, and in 2001 Caines won Chef of the Year at The Catey Awards.

Has Gordon Ramsay ever had 3 Michelin stars? ›

Michelin Starred Dining

Our flagship destination, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in Chelsea, gained the ultimate accolade of three Michelin stars in 2001 and has retained them ever since, a true mark of excellence, quality and consistency.

Does Gordon Ramsay have 22 Michelin stars? ›

#6: Gordon Ramsay

In his career, he's earned a total of 22 stars across 16 restaurants. However, nine of those restaurants closed, leaving him with seven Michelin Stars across four restaurants.

Who owns Distrito Philadelphia? ›

Garces owns Distrito outright, though he said Ballard collaborates on operations. As the restaurant industry has begun to come out of the pandemic, Garces pointed out rough economic conditions, including high costs, the availability of goods, staffing challenges, and “lower visitation to the city from the suburbs.”

Who owns Los Dos Molinos? ›

And it all started out with one woman's dream of sharing her food with the world. The first Los Dos Molinos started as a tiny A-frame building built by Victoria Chavez's husband, Eddie, near Gutierrez street in Springerville.

Who is the owner of Pujol? ›

Enrique Olvera

Who is the owner of Frida Mexican Cuisine? ›

Vicente Del Rio, 47, is founder and chief executive of Frimex Hospitality Group, which operates eight Mexican eateries, with a ninth on the way. The first Frida Mexican Cuisine launched in Beverly Hills in 2002.

Why is Philadelphia called killadelphia? ›

Killadelphia is a slang reference to the city of Philadelphia's high murder rate.

Who is the current DA of Philadelphia? ›

Lawrence Samuel Krasner (born March 30, 1961) is an American lawyer who is the 26th District Attorney of Philadelphia. Elected to the position in 2017, Krasner was one of the first in the United States to run as a self-described "progressive prosecutor".

Who owns the sidewalks in Philadelphia? ›

Sidewalks are technically private land, which means individual homeowners are the ones on the hook for maintenance. Replacing one sidewalk square can cost more than $100, so the bill can add up.

Who bought Uncle Julio's? ›

Private-equity firm L Catterton has acquired the 29-unit Uncle Julio's Mexican casual-dining chain, the companies said Wednesday. Greenwich, Conn. -based L Catterton said it planned to accelerate expansion of Dallas-based Uncle Julio's, which was founded in 1986 and has restaurants in seven states.

Who owns Bakan Miami? ›

Located in the heart of Miami's most creative neighborhood Wynwood, Bakan is the latest restaurant concept from famed Jaguar Hospitality Group and Grupo Gavall.

What does Los Dos Molinos mean? ›

Johns and my family's ranch in New Mexico. From there ,came the recipes that I have turned into “Los Dos Molinos.” When we saw the Molinos we could not think of a more appropriate name than “Los Dos Molinos.” So there it is, “The Two Grinders.”

How much does dinner at Pujol cost? ›

The tasting menu costs $2565 Mexican Pesos ($128 USD) per person which includes tax but not gratuity. Drinks for both menus are a la carte and are purchased separately. Currently, Pujol does not offer a wine pairing option, but I desperately hope they change that in the future.

Does Pujol have Michelin stars? ›

The food at Pujol is that of a three star Michelin restaurant, with the heart and soul of the beautiful Mexican culture and history.

Does Mexico have Michelin star restaurants? ›

Mexico may not have any Michelin starred restaurants yet, but it is full of stellar eating experiences, and Mexico City is a city that loves its food. Mexico City focuses on the produce available and it honours its past whilst it plays with flavour to create food for now and for the future.

Did Frida and Diego have an open relationship? ›

The open relationship between Diego and Frida that had survived other affairs broke up when Frida found out about Diego's romance with her sister Cristina. Frida's painting, “A Few Small Nips”, was painted just a year after she found out and alludes to that time with black humor.

Did Frida and Diego stay married? ›

The relationship between Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera is not your typical love story… They had messy fights, multiple extra-marital affairs and even divorced in 1939 only to remarry a year later. The duo painted each other for 25 years.

Did Frida and Diego have kids? ›

In early May of 1932, while Frida was in Detroit, she got pregnant again. Realizing that Diego didn't any children and knowing that there were some risks with her being carrying the pregnancy, Frida chose to stop the pregnancy with abortion as she had the previous one.


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