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Madalyn-Owner/Joe's wife

Eric-Chef(fired mid-episode)

Warren-Kitchen Manager


Mark-Chef(hired mid-episode)


Before Gordon's Arrival

In a crowded part of the New York City borough of Queens is PJ's Steakhouse. Joe and his wife bought it and he named it after his brother, PJ. The death of PJ has hit Joe hard. PJ himself once owned the same bar. Joe has basically given up, and drinks at the bar all day. Joe and Madalyn have sacrificed a lot to stay open.

First Impressions

Gordon walks up and remarks that it looks nice from the outside, so there must be trouble on the inside. Nobody is there to greet him. He calls out to Joe, who gets up from the bar to greet him. He then meets Madalyn and Eric. Joe admits he has no restaurant experience and is a contractor by trade. Eric is confident that the food won't be the problem. Gordon notices there are only two cuts of steak on the menu, which is bizarre in a steakhouse.

First Meal

Food Ordered

Crabcake, Filet Mignon with Gorgonzola, Lobster Ravioli

Impressions of the Food

Crabcake-Gordon declares it rancid and disgusting, and discovers plastic in it

Filet Mignon with Gorgonzola-Gordon says the steak is tough and finds it strange there are raw onions

Lobster Ravioli-Gordon says it's acidic and tart

First Dinner Service

Gordon talks to Eric. He questions the mango sauce on the crabcake, and Eric admits it's from a can, and blames the filet on the quality of the meat. Eric claims he gets a lot of compliments, to which Gordon fires back "from who?" as the restaurant is empty. Joe admits he's given up, Eric says it is he who runs the place and Madalyn tells Joe to get off the barstool. Gordon sits down with Madalyn one-on-one. They talk about PJ. She tells Gordon that Joe and PJ were very close. They don't make nearly enough to break even. They lost their dream house, a lot of money and a lot of other things, but she says Joe needs it. The dinner service begins. People know Gordon is there, so it's full. As orders come in, Eric has gone quiet. Madalyn admits that on average, it takes two hours to eat at PJ's. Gordon tries to fire up the kitchen and jokes that PJ's stands for "Pathetic Joke". Sure enough, Joe starts to drink. Madalyn struggles to help serve. Most of the customers don't enjoy their food when it does come out. Nothing's going right and Gordon decides to check the storage area. He finds badly rotted tomatoes and vegetables. After the service, Gordon talks to the staff. He pulls out the rotted items. Joe, Madalyn and Eric are all blaming each other. He tasks them with cleaning the kitchen.


Gordon says nobody gives a shit.

Remainder of the Visit

The next day, Gordon walks around Queens with a camcorder to ask people about PJ's. He films all the various complaints and plays it at a theater for the staff. Joe gets angry, and sees Eric grinning and eating popcorn. Gordon also notices this and asks Eric what's so funny. Eric says he just simply disagrees. Gordon talks to Joe and Madalyn and implores them that Eric doesn't deserve to be there. Gordon decides to give him a "last chance". Gordon introduces a mixed grill to add to the menu. Eric believes he can do it. Madalyn will host and Joe will make the salads. Eric is showing enthusiasm, as is Joe. However, the mixed grills start to come out with mistakes. The most common complaint is that they're coming out cold. Eric starts to blame Gordon for saddling him with the mixed grill and calls him a scumbag. Eric realizes what is happening and walks out. Gordon shuts the service down. Gordon offers to hire a chef for them and even pay for a month's salary. Madalyn and Joe formally fire Eric.

Restaurant & Menu Remodel

Gordon renames the restaurant to PJ's Grill. Gordon liked the appearance of the place, so he doesn't change much, but he does set up a little memorial to PJ. Gordon brings in the new chef, Mark. Gordon redesigns the menu, with new items, like an Irish stew and steak frites. Gordon also hires Enda, who works for Gordon at his own restaurant, with the purpose of teaching Madalyn and Joe how to host better.

Final Service

The first two people in are people who appeared in Gordon's video. Enda suggests they notify the kitchen. Gordon expedites as Mark leads the kitchen. Madalyn sits down to drink with a customer and Enda stops her. In general, Enda spends much of his time having to supervise Madalyn. The customers are happy, even the ones from the video. Gordon praises them for the service and their newfound attitudes. Gordon says it helps a lot to have a decent chef in the kitchen.

After Gordon's Departure

Business did improve after Gordon left, but they decided to close the restaurant and Joe returned to the construction business.

Production Notes





  Kitchen Nightmares US - Restaurants
Season 1 Peter'sDillon'sThe Mixing BowlSeascapeThe Olde Stone MillSebastian'sFinn McCool'sLela'sCampaniaThe Secret Garden
Season 2 HandlebarGiuseppi'sTrobiano'sBlack PearlJ Willy'sHannah & Mason'sJack's WaterfrontSabatiello'sFiesta SunriseSante La BreaCafe 36
Season 3 Hot Potato CafeFlamangosBazziniMojitoLido di ManhattanLe BistroCasa RomaMama Rita'sAnna Vincenzo'sFlemingSushi-Ko
Season 4 Spanish PavilionClassic AmericanPJ's SteakhouseGrasshopper AlsoDavideDown CityTavoliniKingston CafeLa FriteCapriZeke'sOceana
Season 5 Blackberry'sLeone'sMike & Nellie'sLuigi's D'ItaliaBurger KitchenThe Greek at the HarborMichon'sEl GrecoPark's EdgeSpin-A-Yarn SteakhouseCharlie'sCafe HonChiarella'sZocalo
Season 6 La Galleria 33Mama Maria'sMs. Jean's Southern CuisineBarefoot Bob'sOlde Hitching Post Restaurant & TavernLevanti's Italian RestaurantSam's Mediterranean Kabob RoomNino's Italian RestaurantMill Street BistroYanni'sProhibition GrilleChappy'sAmy's Baking Company
Season 7 Pantaleone'sOld NeighborhoodKati AlloMangia MangiaZayna Flaming GrillBella Luna
Misc Revisited