(keep reading to learn what happened)
Season: 4 | View All Season 4 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: May 6, 2011
Capri Address: 4604 Eagle Rock Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90041
Capri was an Eagle Rock, Los Angeles, California restaurant featured on Season 4 of Kitchen Nightmares.
Though the Capri Kitchen Nightmares episode aired in May 2011, the actual filming and visit from Gordon Ramsay took place earlier in January 2011.
It was Kitchen Nightmares Season 4 Episode 12.
In this episode, Gordon Ramsay heads to The Capri restaurant.
The restaurant is located in Eagle Rock, a neighborhood in northeast Los Angeles, California.
It’s owned by Jim and Jeff Thiel, two identical twin brothers with…well, let’s just say they have big personalities (which always makes for a fun episode).
The two twins were regulars at the The Capri restaurant and offered to buy it from the original owner on a whim.
Why did they buy The Capri restaurant?
Well, the stated reason was that they wanted free pizza.
I guess I’ve heard worse reasons…
I mean, I also would love free pizza (though it’s not really free if you have to pay for the restaurant).
The twin owners are immature, but they seem to be trying their best to run The Capri.
Still, they have no idea how to run a restaurant and Capri is struggling, which is why they need to reach out to Gordon Ramsay and Kitchen Nightmares for help.
The pizza cook Darian doesn’t think the twins can cook.
The twins are behind on several bills and are hoping that Gordon Ramsay will be able to help them and Capri.
Gordon Ramsay arrives and thinks the restaurant exterior looks cheesy.
A stereotypical Italian sign says the restaurant has been open since 1963.
The dining room is empty, and Jeff greets Gordon.
As Gordon takes in the very dated atmosphere, the twins play a trick of Gordon by switching places.
Classic, am I right?
However, Gordon Ramsay is less than impressed by this trickery.
Although the restaurant has been open since 1963, it was brought by the brothers 14 years ago.
They aren’t open for lunch as they just do not have the staffing.
The Capri restaurant is also only open Wednesday through Sunday.
The brothers have no answers as to why they are closed on Monday and Tuesday.
To drive home his point, Gordon says the restaurant is closed longer than it is open.
The menu Gordon is given is plastic and flimsy.
Basically, it seems cheap.
It is also so dirty Gordon is having a hard time reading it, which probably doesn’t signal good things about the quality of the food at the Capri Italian restaurant.
The server tells Gordon that nothing has been updated since the twins took over the restaurant.
Gordon orders the meatball sandwich, chicken Scarpello and the Capri colossal pizza.
As Gordon waits for his food, the twins slack off in the kitchen.
Gordon inspects the restaurant and discovers dried food on the seats, old worn-out furniture, and that there is tape keeping the carpet together.
He also finds a bunch of gum under the table – doesn’t it just take you back to your days in middle school?
Beyond that, there is even a container of dirty, dusty pasta that has been out for 20 years.
What the heck…
Jim is responsible for cleaning, but he can’t tell Gordon the last time he actually cleaned the restaurant.
The meatball sub is made with frozen meatballs and cubed cheese.
The Capri colossal pizza has every topping possible besides anchovies.
Gordon can barely take a bite because there’s so much stuff on it.
The final dish, chicken Scarpello, is bland and dull.
The chicken tastes off to Gordon and asks the server if the chicken is sour.
The server has no idea.
The owners also have no idea, but they know they removed the chicken from the freezer yesterday.
As a result, Gordon has to tell the customers that there’s no chicken on the menu.
This leads to a big argument between Jim and Gordon, with Darian, the pizza cook, adding some of his own thoughts.
Eventually, Gordon gets it through the twins heads that they need to change and communicate better if they want the Capri restaurant to survive.
Beyond that, Gordon and his crew worked overnight to perform one of the biggest Kitchen Nightmares renovations/makeovers in the show’s history.
Beyond changes to the physical space, Capri also got a brand new restaurant sign.
On the relaunch night, there are obviously a few hiccups, but things generally go well and it seems like Capri is set up for success.
When Gordon Ramsay leaves, he says that he will never forget the twins from Eagle Rock.
So was the Kitchen Nightmares Capri restaurant episode a long-term success?
Keep reading my update to learn what happened next and if this Eagle Rock Blvd restaurant is still open in 2024 and beyond.
Capri Update - What Happened Next?
Now that we’ve covered everything that happened in the episode, let’s talk about what happened next after Gordon Ramsay and his crew left Eagle Rock California.
Things seemed to start off well for the Capri restaurant.
It stayed open after the rescue by Gordon Ramsay and reviews were generally more positive after Gordon’s visit.
Overall, the restaurant had a four star rating on its Yelp page, which ain’t too shabby for a restaurant that appeared on Kitchen Nightmares.
Business was also up, which helped improve the bottom line for Jim and Jeff Thiel.
In general, the twins seem to have kept most of Gordon Ramsay’s changes, which explain the improvements.
To win back old customers, though, they did bring back a few of the old menu items as specials.
However, it would not last forever.
But first, let’s talk about what happened soon after Gordon’s visit.
Did Gordon Ramsay re-visit the Capri restaurant?
Gordon Ramsay returned to Capri in season 5 of Kitchen Nightmares as part of the Revisited #7 episode, which aired in January 2012.
In the return visit, Gordon enjoyed the pizza that he ordered and the twins told him that business was up 20% since the Capri Kitchen Nightmares episode aired.
Beyond his smiling face, Gordon also surprises the twins with a gift – a certificate of appreciation for their meatballs from the local Chamber of Commerce. Congrats to the twins!
In addition to the improved business, the reviews were generally more positive and the twins had done a good job of keeping with Gordon’s menu.
If you want to see it, I managed to find a video of the Capri Gordon Ramsay revisit on YouTube.
The Capri revisited part of the episode starts at the 29:15 mark – I’ve embedded it below and it should automatically start at the right spot:
If you want another video update on The Capri Italian Restaurant, I also found this 2019 video from popular YouTuber Brennen Taylor.
In the video, Brennen eats at the restaurant and also talks with Jim about his experience on Kitchen Nightmares.
I’ve embedded it below – I configured it to start right at the point where they begin interview Jim Thiel.
In the interview, Jim says that the Capri Italian Restaurant Kitchen Nightmares episode was “tough”, especially when Gordon Ramsay insulted their food.
However, Jim says that the marketing and promotion has been the most beneficial part of appearing on the show:
If nothing else, the marketing alone.
Because people keep coming in.
It was filmed nine years ago.
We still get people calling us from all over the country and all over the world.
We get calls from Europe, England…”are you still open”?
Here’s the video:
Is the Capri still open after Kitchen Nightmares?
Unfortunately, The Capri restaurant eventually closed in September 2019 because of declining sales and health issues for the owner.
This means that it survived for over eight years after the Capri episode aired on TV.
In their Facebook goodbye message, the twins said “The end of an era Thank you all We will miss you!!!”.
Unfortunately, that means that The Capri is no longer open for business and it’s officially on my Kitchen Nightmares closed list.
However, the person who purchased The Capri from the twins does have plans to keep the Capri name when reopening the new restaurant.
As of 2023, the Capri Eagle Rock location is now occupied by Capri Club.
True to his promise, Robert Fleming, the new owner, renovated the restaurant to “harken back to its 1960s founding”, according to this Los Angeles Times article.
However, while the name is very similar, I still have this marked as closed because the owner and concept are different from the Capri Italian restaurant that you saw on the show.
If you’re in the Eagle Rock, CA area and you want to check it out, you can learn more at the official Capri Club website.
For more information, here’s another article from LA Eater that talks about the new Capri Club restaurant.
And then here’s what the old Capri restaurant Eagle Rock CA location looks like in the most recent picture from Google Maps street view:
The Capri Italian Restaurant reviews after Kitchen Nightmares
At the time that the Capri restaurant closed, it had a 4 star rating on Yelp, which includes reviews from both before and after the Capri Gordon Ramsay visit (though mostly after).
Honestly, that’s pretty good, and much better than many other restaurants that appeared on Kitchen Nightmares.
Reviewers seemed to praise the food quality and the friendly service from the twins.
Here’s a sampling of a few Capri Italian Restaurant reviews from after the visit from Gordon Ramsay…
5 star Yelp review from August 2014:
I ate here because I saw it on Kitchen Nightmares.
I can say the food tastes great and the service from Jeff and Jim was friendly.
I enjoy eating at the Capri.
I mean great food and great service.
What more can you ask for?
4 star Yelp review from October 2013:
Seen the episode on Kitchen Nightmares about three years ago.
Finally got around to eating at the Capri friendly place!!
A couple of my coworkers had various dishes from lasagna to pizza to the meatball sliders.
Everyone enjoyed the Capri and we found a new lunch spot!!
5 star Yelp review from April 2016:
I ate lunch here a few hours ago after watching Kitchen Nightmares and the twins are so welcoming and fun!
They definitely did chef Ramsay proud with how delicious their food was.
The meatball sliders were definitely my favorite thing there.
It’s a must-have when you go!
5 star Yelp review from April 2015:
Absolutely Amazing food and Jim and Jeff (twins and Owners) are great, genuine and sincere people.
I recommend everyone check it out.
They will not disappoint.
Restaurant also appeared on Kitchen Nightmares with Chef Gordon Ramsay.
The place looks great and the atmosphere is fun and feels like home.
Finally, here’s a screenshot of a 5 star Yelp review from February 2014 that includes a response from Jeff Thiel, one of The Capri owners:
In terms of negative reviews of the restaurant, they’re pretty hard to find. But they do exist.
Here’s a screenshot of a negative review from February 2018:
Where are Jim and Jeff Thiel now?
Jeff and Jim Thiel, AKA the twins, are not very active on social media so it’s hard to keep up with them.
According to Jim’s LinkedIn page, he’s an actor looking for representation, which is one bit of information.
The twins were child actors, so this makes sense.
This article from The Occidental News details some of their back story.
Jim and Jeff Thiel also have their own YouTube channel where they’ve posted two videos that show them in 2021.
You can see both of them singing in this video – they seem healthy and happy:
However, they haven’t posted any videos since this.
If you know anything else about what happened to Jim and Jeff Thiel, please let me know in the comments!
Final thoughts on The Capri Italian restaurant
Overall, the Capri had a solid run after the visit from Gordon Ramsay.
The Capri Kitchen Nightmares episode aired in 2011 and the restaurant stayed open until 2019, which is a solid eight years of business.
Sadly, the Capri closed because of declining sales and health issues.
However, the new owner has renovated the old Capri Eagle Rock California location and it’s now occupied by Capri Club, which keeps some historical references.
Despite the similar name, I’m leaving the Capri marked as closed on my list because the owners and concept are both different.
If you want to see updates for some other nearby California Kitchen Nightmares episodes, you can check out our posts for Kingston Cafe in Pasadena, Sebastian’s in Toluca Lake, and The Burger Kitchen in Los Angeles proper.
And if you want to share your thoughts on the Capri Italian Restaurant episode, you can do so using the comments section below.
Thanks for reading!
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Last updated: 2023-12-19 04:38