Kitchen Nightmares (US) S05 E03: Mike and Nellie’s, Oakhurst, New Jersey

Kitchen Nightmares (US) S05 E03: Mike and Nellie’s, Oakhurst, New Jersey - CLOSED

In this episode of Kitchen Nightmares, chef Ramsay visits Mike and Nellie's in Oakhurst, New Jersey. This restaurant was opened in 1996 by a dream team. Father Nelson Farber handled front of the house while son Mike Farber handled kitchen. People used to come to the restaurant to see Nellie.

After Nellie’s sad demise, the restaurant has gone downhill. Mike has taken Nellie’s work on his shoulders and is not able to cope up with the pressure. His two daughters have stepped in to help Mike run the restaurant, but that has not changed Mike a bit and he is lost. As Mike is lost and the restaurant has no direction, Mike has allowed the restaurant to become filthy and it everything has fallen neglected.Mike has another issue, he often is drinking while the restaurant is serving.

Mike and Nellies steakhouse Oakhurst NJ
Mike and Nellies steakhouse Oakhurst NJ

Mike’s daughter Samantha Farber picks up Gordon from the airport. Upon asking she reveals that Mike is stuck and he is not able to move on since Nellie’s death. Gordon arrives at the restaurant and meets Mike’s second daughter Lexi Farber. Gordon also notices a strong smell inside the restaurant which later server Jeanine confirms is coming from the floor carpet. Restaurant decor is dated as it has not been changed for past 15 years. Gordon meets Mike who rates his food solid 9/10 and as per him the issue with restaurant is maybe in service or atmosphere.

Episode Related Info:
Kitchen Nightmares (US) Season 05 Episode 03
Restaurant Name:
Mike and Nellie’s, Oakhurst, New Jersey
Filming:
Jul-August 2011
Air Date:
07 October, 2011
Restaurant Close Date:
21 January, 2012
Current Status: CLOSED

Is Mike and Nellie’s, Oakhurst, New Jersey closed?

Yes, despite Ramsay's efforts, Mike and Nellie’s closed on January 21st 2012.

Food Sampling:

Gordon orders the linguine with shrimp sauce, Chicken Murphy and one of the specials - The Steak Nellie.His first dish Linguine with shrimp sauce is bland & watery. Chicken Murphy is soggy and has very bad presentation. Gordon calls it a hot mess. The steak is burnt and Gordon tastes charcoal. Gordon makes manager to taste the steak who confirms that it is burnt. Inside the kitchen Mike is not taking the criticism well.

 

Dinner service and kitchen inspection:

Gordon comes back to observe the dinner service. Mike takes charge and as usual is over-confident in his cooking. He send out food quite quickly but the customers are not impressed with the food. The calamari is overcooked and mushy while the steaks were burnt. One customer also sends back roasted onions as they have turned into charcoal.

After the service, Gordon talks to Mike about the issues he is facing. Mike admits that he is struggling to run the kitchen and has not drive left since his father died. He also admits that he has a drinking problem and vows to change his ways.

Gordon inspects the storage and finds out unlabelled food, raw and cooked meat sitting together and quite old lobster bisque & calamari. Repulsed by how the kitchen is dirty, Gordon asks them to deep clean the kitchen. After kitchen is clean, to reignite his lost passion, Gordon along with Mike cooks steaks and homemade mash potato. Everyone likes the taste of fresh steaks and Mike seems to have a positive effect of this.

Restaurant makeover and relaunch:

Gordon starts with changing the old mouldy floor carpet. Gordon’s design team works overnight to rebrand the decor as a steakhouse. All older chairs get replaced. The next morning Gordon unveils the new logo/sign of M&N steakhouse brand. Everyone is pleasantly surprised by the new decor. Mike is quite happy with the changes.

Gordon showcases the new menu, adding crab cakes, steaks and visually stunning side dishes. Everyone likes the new menu & the food.

Mike and Nellies steakhouse kitchen nightmares
Mike and Nellies steakhouse kitchen nightmares

On the relaunch night, Gordon asks Dan to lead the kitchen and Mike to handle the grill. The night starts will with fresh food going out of the kitchen quickly and customers liking it. However, within an hour Mike starts to loose control and confuses everyone in kitchen. Gordon steps in and tells Mike to stay on grill and let Dan handle the service. Dan takes control back and finishes strong. Customers love the new menu, food and the vibe of the steakhouse.

The relaunch was successful. Mike is happy and thanks Gordon for helping them.

What happened to Mike and Nellie’s, Oakhurst, New Jersey after relaunch?

Closing act of the episode shows that Mike has continued to let Dan handle the service. The business is booming and the new menu is a huge hit. Online portal reviews after filming were mostly good. Few comments were also made on Yelp on how older menu was far better than new one.

Despite Ramsay's efforts, Mike and Nellie’s closed on January 21st 2012 with following message:

“It is with great sadness that we announce that Mike & Nellie’s will be open for it’s final night, January 21. It’s been a great run. Thank you to all my friends, relatives and loyal customers who have been there with me for the last 15+ years. When the time is right, I will let you know where I will be.-Mike & (Nellie)”

Mike now runs a catering firm know as Blue Basil Catering. Mike also appeared on Fox network show Good Day Cafe.

Is Mike and Nellie’s, Oakhurst, New Jersey closed?

Yes, despite Ramsay's efforts, Mike and Nellie’s closed on January 21st 2012.

 

Resources:

  1. IMDB episode info
  2. Mike & Nellie's Steakhouse, NJ on Yelp
  3. Mike & Nellie's Steakhouse, NJ on FourSquare
  4. Blue Basil Catering
  5. Mike's profile on catering website

 

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Episode Related Info:
Kitchen Nightmares (US) Season 04 Episode 03
Restaurant Name: Mike and Nellie’s, Oakhurst, New Jersey
Filming: Jul-August 2011
Air Date: 07 October, 2011
Restaurant Close Date: 21 January, 2012
Current Status: CLOSED

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