(keep reading to learn what happened)
Season: 6 | View All Season 6 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: May 3, 2013
Chappy's Address: 1721 Church St Nashville, TN 37203
Chappy’s was a Nashville, Tennessee restaurant featured on Season 6 of Kitchen Nightmares.
Though the Chappy’s Kitchen Nightmares episode aired on May 3, 2013, the actual filming and visit from Gordon Ramsay took place in December 2012.
It was Kitchen Nightmares Season 6 Episode 15.
In this episode of Kitchen Nightmares Chef Gordon Ramsay takes us to Chappy’s, a Cajun restaurant in Nashville, Tennesse.
Soon after his arrival, we meet the owners, John “Chappy” Chapman, and his wife, Starr Chapman.
The restaurant’s full name is Chappy’s on Church, but most people just call it Chappy’s restaurant for short.
Chappy’s first opened in Long Beach Mississippi.
However, that original location was destroyed by hurricane Katrina.
As a result, the couple relocated to open a Chappy’s in Nashville, Tennessee.
The restaurant suffered as a result of the move, and John blamed the customers for not understanding Cajun cuisine.
On a daily basis, customers frequently send their food back with complaints.
However, John is not accommodating of their feedback, and has even kicked customers out of the restaurant for complaining.
I guess the customer is always wrong at Chappy’s haha.
Overall, the difficulties that the restaurant has experienced after the move to Nashville are a big part of why the Chappy’s Kitchen Nightmares episode exists.
Upon arrival, Gordon Ramsay is greeted by a mannequin dressed in Mardi Gras apparel and the restaurant has an obvious New Orleans theme.
Sadly, this is not the first time Gordon Ramsay has been met by a mannequin – the same thing happened at The Old Neighborhood in Arvada CO.
With that bit of awkwardness out of the way, Gordon sits down to order food from the menu.
Immediately, he notices that the lunch and dinner menus are huge, and there are 15 specials that aren’t even on the menus.
The server, T.J, informs Gordon that the only difference between the lunch and dinner menu is the price.
It’s pretty crazy – dinner prices are triple what they are on the lunch menu.
That’s a bit of scam, right?
I dunno, I think that’s kind of messed up to handle pricing that way.
Supply and demand I guess…
After discussing the pricing, Gordon Ramsay orders the fried green tomatoes, chicken and sausage gumbo, and steak and lobster rocket from the giant menu.
As you’d expect, the food is not very good.
The fried green tomatoes are bland.
The gumbo is watery, messy and cold.
The gumbo also spawned one of my favorite Gordon Ramsay sayings – “it looks like Chappy took a crappy in my gumbo”.
Lol! Gordon Ramsay has a real way with words, right?
Let’s get back to the food…
Both the lobster and steak are grisly, chewy, and tough.
When Gordon gives his feedback to the owners, John is not receptive and comes up with an excuse for everything.
It seems like John doesn’t value Gordon Ramsay’s opinion any more than the opinions of his customers.
Gordon then arrives to observe what the restaurant is like during a dinner rush.
While watching, he spots an open pot full of oysters that is being kept at room temperature.
Gordon then checks the fridge only to find lukewarm seafood, meat that looks “off”, and some disgusting mold forming in the corners.
Gordon also finds yellow mayonnaise that expired three years ago.
That’s not the only gross thing…
There’s also moldy and rotten food, and raw meat being stored next to cooked meat.
It was disgusting!
Gordon demands the owners and the staff to clean the freezer that night, and I absolutely agree with Gordon.
Overnight, Gordon‘s team transformed the restaurant by changing the décor to a more modern dining room.
He had the walls brightened and made the décor less busy by giving the restaurant lots of space.
He also added pictures of Louisiana to give the restaurant a relaxed ambience.
Starr liked the changes from Gordon Ramsay.
However, Chappy said that it wasn’t his style and didn’t seem to be very excited.
Gordon Ramsay also changed the menu, reducing it from 100 items to 22 items, and giving it a more modern twist.
By slimming down the menu, it should be easier to keep fresh ingredients in stock.
It will also be easier to cook food faster because of less complexity.
On the night of relaunch, customers are left waiting and Gordon has to give John a pep talk on the side.
Afterward the food starts leaving the kitchen quickly and the customers love the new dishes.
Things seem to be looking up for Chappy’s restaurant…
So was the Kitchen Nightmares Chappy’s Nashville episode a long-term success?
Keep reading my update to learn what happened next and if this Nashville, TN restaurant is still open in 2023 and beyond.
Chappy's Update - What Happened Next?
Now that we’ve recapped the Chappy’s Kitchen Nightmares episode, let’s talk about what happened to the restaurant after Gordon Ramsay and his crew left Nashville, Tennessee.
First off, John and Starr Chapman, the Chappy’s owners, most definitely did not have a good experience with Gordon Ramsay and Kitchen Nightmares.
After Gordon’s visit, John and Starr quickly returned the restaurant back to its previous décor.
They also got rid of the new menu from Gordon and went back to their old menu.
I guess that makes sense – it’s not like Gordon Ramsay knows anything about food, right?!?! Haha.
With that being said, Chappy’s Yelp reviews do show that people both loved and hated the new changes, so it’s not like all of their customers were fans of what Gordon did.
Beyond that, John Chapman talked to the press a lot about how he felt that Gordon Ramsay ruined Chappy’s.
He had a lot of quotes about how Gordon Ramsay “destroyed” Chappy’s or “wrecked his business.”
Here’s the full quote from his print interview with The National Enquirer:
It was truly a kitchen nightmare for me.
Gordon Ramsay destroyed my business.
Here’s another one:
Ramsay’s scouts come in with a lot of promises, saying you’ll be on national television and business is going to boom.
But that never happened.
Instead, Gordon Ramsay killed my business.
He was also annoyed at how long it took the episode to air on TV.
However, the episode aired around six months after it was filmed, which is actually pretty fast for these types of reality tv shows.
They kept telling me to wait for the show to air, but if I did that, I’d be gone.
I plan to redo the decor back to the original as soon as I can get the money together.
Basically, the Chapman family was not happy, which shows because they got rid of most of Gordon’s changes.
The original interview article has been deleted, but here’s a link to the archived version on the Wayback Machine if you want to read it.
So – were the Chappy’s owners right about Gordon’s changes being a negative?
Well, apparently not…
Is Chappy’s still open in Nashville?
Chappy’s closed in 2013, just a month after the Chappy’s Kitchen Nightmares episode aired on TV.
Given that the episode was filmed earlier, this means that Chappy’s stayed open for about six or seven months after Gordon’s visit.
As of 2023, the restaurant is still closed, with no signs of a return.
The old Chappy’s Nashville TN location seems to be empty, as the building was demolished in 2019.
A July 2022 check on Google Maps street view just showed an empty lot with a concrete foundation and nothing else.
I checked the Chappy’s restaurant Nashville TN location again in May 2023 and it’s still an empty lot.
Here’s the most recent picture from Google Maps street view, which was from January 2023:
According to a February 2023 article from the Nashville Post, the property is still listed for sale.
Dialysis Clinic Inc. owns the properties, which offer a collective 7.5 acres and addresses of 1601-1721 Church St. and 1600-1718 Hayes St.
The company acquired the first of the properties in 1975, NBJ reports.
It’s a pretty big plot, so I’m guessing it would be a large development if someone purchases it.
If they build something interesting at the old Chappy’s restaurant Nashville plot of land I will update this post.
Why did Chappy’s close?
Chappy’s closed in June 2013 because the Chappy’s restaurant was seized by the state of Tennessee for failure to pay taxes.
Here’s a link to the archived article about the tax seizure.
The building that house Chappy’s on Church was sold at a foreclosure sale for $1.3 million in February 2012.
However, Chappy’s remained as a tenant of the building before eventually closing without giving any warning.
Chappy’s Nashville reviews after Kitchen Nightmares
At the time that Chappy’s closed, the restaurant had an overall 3 star rating on 97 Yelp reviews.
That rating includes reviews from both before and after the episode.
In general, reviews from after the episode were more negative than positive, which isn’t a great sign.
They weren’t all bad – but the negative ones definitely outweighed the positive ones.
Here’s a sampling of a few reviews that were written after the Gordon Ramsay Chappy’s Nashville visit to give you an idea of what real customers were experiencing…
1 star Yelp review from April 2013:
HOLY HELL’S KITCHEN BATMAN!!!!!!!!
Gordon Ramsey was right.
This place blows.
I’ve been in cleaner and more stylish high school cafeterias.
The place is overflowing with bad attitudes and bad service.
I’m pretty sure they let a transient vagrant in just to drink coffee while I was there and still have the gaul to charge outrageous sums of wampum for fried dung.
He should have listened to and implemented everything Gordon advised.
I’ve been to three Gordon Ramsey restaurants and each time was amazing.
Chappy couldn’t steep Gordon’s tea.
2 star Yelp review from April 2013:
We were a group of 6 relatives wanting to try a new place.
We had reservations but waited a half hour with the place only about half full.
That should have been our first clue!
Service was poor, food was just fair.
I don’t think the chef has ever been to New Orleans.
They had bread if you asked for it but said they ran out of butter!! DUH!
Will be a long time before we go back
4 star Yelp review from May 2013:
Several colleagues and I had dinner here this week (large group).
The food and service were just as fantastic as we’ve always experienced.
Steak cooked to perfection and flavorful, trout was fresh and tasty, and chicken dishes were great.
We also had crab cake appetizers which were delicious and chocolate cake for dessert that was decadent and hit the spot after dinner.
We were all also happy to see the fresh bread and butters were still served!
All our group dinners at Chappy’s in the past (pre-Ramsey) were fantastic and this one was no exception.
Thanks Chappy & Starr for another successful dinner!
3 star Yelp review from April 2013:
Came here for Sunday champagne brunch with seven friends and the service was great, in contrast to a few other Yelpers’ experiences.
The idea of a Sunday champagne brunch just seems so charmingly Southern.
I do love Gulf Coast food and Chappys is trying, but it’s not there yet.
I’m going to blame it on the lack of fresh ingredients.
While the bread and four butter sampler was delicious, the turtle soup knocked this down to 3 stars.
It was unpalatable for all of us unfortunately.
The entrees were also so-so.
I WILL be headed back here in a month or so to give it another try, I’ve got to support such a cool place.
What happened to Chef John Chappy Chapman?
So – where is Chappy now after Chappy’s on Church closed?
As of 2023, John “Chappy” Chapman is still a chef and restaurant owner.
He’s the owner and head chef at a restaurant called Pier House Orange Beach in Orange Beach, Alabama, which he opened in February 2021.
He also works at Rum Kitchen in Waveland, Mississippi and was previously the head chef at Chappy’s Bistro in the Almanett Hotel in Gulfport, Mississippi.
You can learn more about John Chapman and his new restaurant on this page of the Pier House OB restaurant website.
For another look at what he’s up to, you can also check out this 2019 interview from a local YouTube channel:
What happened to Starr Chapman?
According to her LinkedIn page, Starr Chapman is the managing partner at the Rum Kitchen, which Chappy is also involved with.
She also seems to be active in politics, with participation in a number of local political groups.
Is the Rum Kitchen owned by Chappy from Kitchen Nightmares?
In addition to the new restaurant in Alabama, Chappy also has a restaurant called Rum Kitchen in Waveland, MS that he opened in 2016.
Final thoughts about Chappy’s on Church
Overall, the Chappy’s Kitchen Nightmares episode was definitely not a success, as the restaurant closed very shortly after the episode aired on TV.
Since then, the old Chappy’s Nashville TN location has been demolished and is just an empty concrete plot.
However, Chappy Chapman seems to have had success in the restaurant industry, owning and working at a number of restaurants across various states.
Chappy’s was the only Tennessee Kitchen Nightmares episode.
And if you want to share your thoughts on the Kitchen Nightmares Chappy’s on Church episode, you can use the comments section below.
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Last updated: 2023-05-27 03:37