There are some things in life that are just satisfying without reason.
One of those satisfying anomalies of life is watching Gordon Ramsey standing in a filth caked kitchen as he tries to simultaneously get a failing business into shape while shouting himself into an early grave.
The UK stint of Gordon Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares, where the wayward red in the face chef tries to get pubs and restaurants back on their feet, lasted just four seasons before it moved stateside.
In that time three Lancashire and Cumbria based eateries featured on the show.
This what happened to the restaurants after the cameras went away and how the restaurants have fared since.
Clubway 41 in Blackpool
“This is how not to run a restaurant,” was Gordon’s opening line of the show when he visited Clubway 41 in Blackpool, owned by Dave Jackson.
This was a typical Kitchen Nightmares car crash with curse strewn arguments between Gordon and the owners, weird food experiments by the clueless chef and a whole restaurant make over which was ultimately a waste of time and money.
Gordon described Clubway as looking like “a sex shop” from the outside and things didn’t get much better after that.
Owner Dave had some strange Willie Wonka inspired concoctions on his menu, including salmon and strawberry salad (yeah you heard that right salmon and strawberry) Pork with Brie and Nectarine sauce as well as tomato and Cointreau soup (like an Irish coffee only worse, a lot worse).
On trying the pork with brie, Gordon remarked that you would “struggle to give that to a dog” before saying that the sauce was “f*cking disgusting… that’s probably the worst sauce I’ve ever tasted in my life.”
Clubway 41 undergoes a huge revamp with Gordon even changing the name to Jacksons, before ridding the menu of Dave’s weird and gross concoctions.
Gordon soon discovered that Dave has barely stepped foot in the kitchen since training in the 70s and did not even know how to cook mussels, fillet a fish or cook a casserole.
While Gordon tried to teach Dave, things descended into a bust up between the two with Gordon branding the Blackpool owner a “tw*t.” Best line? “Why don’t you f*ck off to the bookshop, read how to cook a mussel and then come back and see me,” it’s what we love to see.
Following a classic bust up wherein Gordon almost gave himself a massive aneurysm, Jacksons was treated to a full makeover.
They shouldn’t have bothered because Jacksons closed in September 2006 with the owners Dave and Diane splitting up soon after.
The restaurant reopened with new owners in 2007 as the Market Street Diner but has closed again since.
The Fenwick Arms Lancaster
Brian and Elaine ran the Fenwick Arms in Claughton, Lancaster when Gordon Ramsey visited the gastro pub back in 2006.
At the time the Fenwick Arms was being run much like the Ritz of Lancashire, with high market prices and low market food, causing the Fenwick to £6,000 per month.
Brian and Elaine boasted that they worked 120 hour weeks and never took time off with Brian claiming that he back at work just seven days after a triple heart bypass. It did nothing to alleviate the fact that they owed £250,000 to creditors.
For his taster meal Gordon ordered an over complicated prawn salad that arrives in a martini glass before moving onto a rack of lamb, that he said was akin to chewing a “golf ball.”
Gordon noticed that Brian spent all his time in the kitchen, making every dish ahead of head chef Nathan and micro managing every aspect of food production, poorly.
The kitchen was so overcrowded with crockery and equipment that the staff could hardly move around and Gordon eventually got to work on simplifying the menu and decluttering the kitchen.
In typical style the episode ended with the new look Fenwick Arms appearing like a phoenix from the ashes, ready to climb to new heights. But in reality it went from bad to worse.
In 2009, Brian and Elaine moved to The Ship Inn in Aldborough and the Fenwick was bought by new owners who splashed the cash on a major revamp both inside and out.
In 2011 the pub closed and was put up for sale again before reopening in June 2013 as a pub and seafood restaurant. It survived the recent lockdown and still operates as a pub with almost universally positive reviews.
As for Brian and Elaine they moved on from The Ship Inn which is now under new management.
The Glass House in Ambleside, Cumbria
If you want to find a truly iconic Kitchen Nightmares episode then this is the one. Ambleside’s The Glass House was an absolute dive which produced some of Gordon Ramsey’s most famous TV moments.
Owner Neil Farrell had a head chef who couldn’t boil an egg, a menu with more than 100 dishes and a debt so large he was being chased by collectors.
Head Chef Richard Collins, who trained at Claridges, couldn’t get any of his kitchen staff to respect him and spent much of the episode trying to follow Gordon’s advice and failing dismally.
Gordon told Richard to cook his best dishes, duck cakes and chilli jam and a lamb shank. The food is as well received as a cup of cold sick, with Gordon describing the duck cakes as “pretentious cr*p” and looking like “camel’s b*llocks.”
Undercover footage showed that the staff tenderised steaks with a frying pan and mixed pesto on the floor leading to a thorough deep clean of the entire restaurant. Gordon also has to tell one of the waiters that he was serving customers while having bad breath.
The highlight of the episode saw Neil and Gordon go head to head over a Caesar Salad. You know when Gordon says “I’m ready for a f*cking argument” then he is ready.
Gordon revamped the menu and pushed ahead with a successful relaunch but ultimately was unable to save The Glass House.
The restaurant closed in March 2014 and now operates as The Fulling Mill, TripAdvisor reviews are very good.
So there you have it, seems like non of the Lancashire or Cumbria restaurants survived long after Kitchen Nightmares.
It’s almost like showing your restaurant’s failings and mismanagement to the world can have a negative effect on business.
You can still visit the Fenwick Arms and Glass House (now The Fulling Mill) which have been reborn as new restaurants.