Kitchen Nightmares (US) Season 4 Episode 07: Downcity, Providence, RI

Kitchen Nightmares (US) Season 4 Episode 07: Downcity, Providence, RI - CLOSED

UPDATED : 26 December 2019

In this episode of the Kitchen Nightmares, Gordon visits Downcity, Providence, RI. Two best friends Abby Cabral and Rico Conforti bought this restaurant in 2005. Rico has a full-time job as mortgage advisor in a financial institute. Abby handles everything in the restaurant. Staff terms Abby as psycho and controlling. In the restaurant, it is either her way or no way. They have 50 dishes on the menu, which is controlled by Abby.

Gordon arrives at the restaurant and meets Abby. She tells Gordon that the second owner will be joining them at dinner service. Gordon asks her to rate her food, she rates it ten out of ten (10/10). Gordon shares his miserable experience of bad food in the room service at the hotel next door. As Downcity (Downcity, Providence on Yelp) caters to the hotel, she asks Gordon the issues with the food. he tells her that the soup was cold and tasteless and the crab cakes were cold in the middle. Abby tries to defend the food.

Downcity Providence in Kitchen Nightmares
Downcity Providence in Kitchen Nightmares

Gordon asks her to let him taste the food. Abby stands there to defend what they do in the restaurant. Gordon tells her that he will taste the food and then they can discuss the issues. Gordon asks the server about the quality of food. The server tells Gordon that he does not like the food in the restaurant. Gordon asks him if the owner is always this controlling, his response is positive.

Episode Related Info:
Kitchen Nightmares (US) Season 04 Episode 07
Restaurant Name: Downcity, Providence, RI
Filming: December 2010
Air Date: 11 March 2011
Restaurant Close Date: 10 December 2011
Current Status: CLOSED

Is Downcity, Providence, RI closed?

Yes, Downcity closed on 10th December 2011. The owners blamed bad economy for the shutdown.

Food Sampling:

Gordon orders the crispy calamari, “3-way” nachos and the famous meatloaf. The waiter brings in the first dish. Gordon finds it soggy and chewy. The waiter tells Gordon that they fry calamari and toss it up. The next dish “3-way” nachos are more like a funeral in his mouth. The award-winning meatloaf is sticky and covered with thick gravy. It is not even hot.

Gordon meets the kitchen staff. Gordon finds out that there is no head chef in the kitchen. She has cook running the kitchen on a probation. Abby takes responsibility for the menu. Gordon does not like the setting in the kitchen and Abby does not handle the criticism well. Abby talks to her staff and tells them that their food is good. She wants them to ignore what Gordon is saying. Staff muster courage to speak up. They tell her that food that they are serving is mediocre and they do not like the food. They eat it because they are working here. They tell her that they do not want to confront her so they do not speak up.

Rico, the second owner comes to the restaurant before the dinner service. He notices that Abby is not in her best mood. Gordon walks in and meets Rico. He sits down with Rico to understand the financial mess they are in. Rico tells Gordon that he works as mortgage and financial advisor. If the restaurant closes, that will affect his day job as well. Gordon notices the mismanaged dinner service. He also finds kitchen very dirty.

Storage Inspection:

Gordon moves to the storage area to observe the state of the walk-in. Nothing has a date or name label. Cooked food is sitting alongside raw food and there are containers of old food. Gordon asks Rico and Abby to see this. Abby refuses to agree that this is how storage is. She tells Gordon that storage was not like this before Gordon arrived. There is a huge fight and Abby calls him a disgrace to the industry. Abby asks Gordon to leave the restaurant.

Gordon leaves the kitchen, but, Rico follows him. Rico agrees with valid points and asks Gordon to help him. Gordon comes back after the dinner service. He tells Abby that failure is part of any work, but, one needs to own the mistakes and learn from them. He tells them that from next day they need to start rebuilding process.

The next day Gordon gathers the staff and ask them to write down their queries without their name. Questions are mainly directed towards Abby. Staff wants to know why she gets defensive all the times. She explains that after opening the restaurant she has turned defensive. About the inconsistency of the food, chef Jimmy tells that menu is too big to handle at peak hours. Abby takes the inputs in a positive way and promises to change.

For the dinner service, Gordon removes half the dishes from the menu. He also introduces a chicken special for the dinner. The kitchen starts off strong by sending food quickly. But chef Jimmy slips back. There is a communication gap between Abby and Jimmy and kitchen stops. There is confusion and cooks are waiting for directions. Customers are waiting in the dining area. The kitchen makes a comeback and closes the dinner service. After the dinner service, Gordon tells them that he has called his own chef for help during the relaunch. Gordon does not think that the current staff is capable of handling the relaunch menu.

Relaunch:

The next day Gordon welcomes the staff to the restaurant and shows them the new dishes. He tells them that his chef James is working with Jimmy and other cooks to prepare the menu from morning 6 am. The staff is happy to see the new comfort dishes. They praise the food and everyone loves the food.

For the relaunch night, a local food blogger, Stacy Place, is present. In her last outing, she gave a brutal review of the restaurant. The kitchen starts off strong and food is leaving the kitchen on time. The customers are loving the food. But, in mid of service, there is a communication gap between Jimmy and Abby. The kitchen gets stacked up with orders. Gordon shows Abby the update about waiting for food, that blogger is posting.

Rico Conforti Abby Cabral and Gordon in Downtown Providence
Rico Conforti Abby Cabral and Gordon in Downtown Providence

Abby takes control of the line and Jimmy pushes the food out. The blogger’s truffle dip arrives and she gives a great review (Review link in the resources). The food is going out at the right pace and people are loving the food. The relaunch is successful. Gordon tells them that difference between today and the first day is night and day. He congratulates them for a good show and wishes them good luck.

What happened next?

As the episode closes, they show that chef James stays back and is training Jimmy and others in the kitchen. Abby has a new confidence in the restaurant and the restaurant is doing good. Abby also promotes Jimmy as a head chef. Yelp reviews after the relaunch are mostly negative.

Gordon revisits Downcity one year after the relaunch. He meets Abby and Rico, business is up 30%. Gordon is happy to see chef Jimmy in the kitchen. Gordon inspects the storage, it is well organized. Gordon tastes the food and thinks it is delicious. Rico tells Gordon that instead of shouting at employees, Abby explodes at him.

Downcity closed on 10th December 2011, due to the bad economy. In an interview to a local magazine, Abby admitted following (Link to the whole story in resources section):
“We had been struggling. Like everyone else, we were hit with the bad economy and didn’t know how to break out of the slump we were in.”
“I think 2011 is the year that DownCity makes its comeback,”

The food blogger that appeared on relaunch episode clears the air about her followers.

Question - Why did they say you have 10,000 followers?

Answer - People assumed since Gordon was reading my Twitter feed that the show was referring to me having 10,000 Twitter followers. I don't. The producers had asked me how many people had read my blog and I replied about 250 per week. Multiplying that by 52 weeks, they rounded down to 10,000. Of course, 3,000 people have read it just since the episode aired!

In its place, Circe Restaurant & Bar (Circe Restaurant & Bar - Yelp) is operating and the reviews are quite positive.

Is Downcity, Providence, RI closed?

Yes, Downcity closed on 10th December 2011. The owners blamed bad economy for the shutdown.

 

Resources:

  1. IMDB episode info
  2. Downcity restaurant on Yelp
  3. Food Blogger's review on the relaunch
  4. Stacy Place, the Food Blogger clears the air about the followers mentioned on the show
  5. News report on closing down of Downcity restaurant
  6. Circe Restaurant & Bar Yelp

 

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Episode Related Info:
Kitchen Nightmares (US) Season 04 Episode 07
Restaurant Name: Downcity, Providence, RI
Filming: December 2010
Air Date: 11 March 2011
Restaurant Close Date: 10 December 2011
Current Status: CLOSED

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