Charlie’s Italian Bistro Kitchen Nightmares Update – Still Open?

Is Charlie's Italian Bistro still open?

Current Status: >> CLOSED <<
(keep reading to learn what happened)

Season: 5 | View All Season 5 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: February 17, 2012
Charlie's Italian Bistro Address: 2445 Foothill Blvd Ste A La Verne, CA 91750 United States
Charlie's Italian Bistro update

Episode Recap

Charlie’s Italian Bistro was a La Verne, California restaurant featured on Season 5 of Kitchen Nightmares.

Though the Charlie’s Kitchen Nightmares episode aired in February 2012, the actual visit from Gordon Ramsay happened around four months earlier in October 2011.

It was Kitchen Nightmares Season 5 Episode 12.

In this episode of Kitchen Nightmares, Chef Gordon Ramsay takes us to Charlie’s Italian Bistro.

The restaurant is located in La Verne, California.

La Verne is a city in Los Angeles County, located in between downtown Los Angeles and San Bernardino.

Tatiana Leiva, a former waitress, is the owner of the restaurant in the episode.

Tatiana the owner of Charlie's Italian Bistro on Kitchen Nightmares

Tatiana was given the opportunity to purchase the restaurant in 2008, which was around four years before the episode.

Because Tatiana couldn’t afford Charlie’s by herself, she sought financial assistance through her mother and sister, Pat and Val.

To get the money to invest in Charlie’s Italian Bistro, they placed their houses as collateral to help Tatiana achieve her dream of owning a restaurant.

Obviously, that means there’s a ton riding on the success of the restaurant, both for Tatiana and her family.

Since becoming the restaurant’s new owner, Tatiana has done nothing to change the menu and has kept the same mediocre at best chef, Casimiro.

On most days, the restaurant remains empty, which is a big part of why the Charlie’s restaurant Kitchen Nightmares episode exists.

The staff sees Tatiana as the restaurant’s number one problem, due to her inexperience and inability to properly run a restaurant, disrespectful attitude towards her staff, and her bad habit of drinking wine on the job.

Tatiana’s relationship is also strained with her mother and sister because if the restaurant fails, they both lose their homes.

It’s always tough when you mix money and family relationships, especially if the business is struggling.

Upon arrival, Gordon Ramsay chats with Tatiana, Val, and Pat.

He learns of the financial burden Tatiana’s struggling restaurant has placed on the family.

Gordon also learns that the restaurant was doing badly when Tatiana purchased it 18 months ago.

However, Tatiana saw nothing worth changing when she became the new owner.

This doesn’t really make sense to me – if a business is already failing, you need to change something!

After getting the behind-the-scenes information, Gordon wants to sample the food at Charlie’s.

To start, he orders a toasted ravioli, a fruitte de mare, a chicken pizza, a lasagne, and the bread.

As you can probably guess, Gordon was not a fan of the food at Charlie’s.

Gordon says the bread is dreadful, describing it as a wet and soggy dough ball.

It doesn’t get any better after that – the ravioli is served raw; the fruitte de mare and the pasta is too much and the seafood is far from fresh.

The lasagne is served with a disgusting sauce with a pinkish hue, has a strange taste, and shows evidence of being unevenly microwaved.

The final dish is the pizza and Gordon says it was frozen as he finds it is too doughy.

Basically, Charlie’s Italian restaurant struck out when it came to the food that it served to Gordon Ramsay.

Gordon gives his feedback to the restaurant staff that the food was hideous.

Gordon then follows Tatiana Leiva in to see the freezer and sees frozen store-bought meatballs, boxes of noodles, and pizza dough.

It is clear to Gordon that Tatiana is in-over-her-head and not only mismanaging her family’s money, but also the restaurant.

During the dinner rush, chef Casimiro insists on working one ticket at a time, leaving Daniella, a sous chef, with the bulk of the work.

When the food finally arrives at the table after a long wait, most customers are left unhappy and unimpressed.

Gordon, being unimpressed with Casimiro, calls him out in his usual Gordon Ramsay way (e.g. not very polite!).

Casimiro stops cooking in protest to Chef Ramsay.

Tatiana is upset at the drama between Casimiro and Gordon.

She reveals to Gordon that she has a sentimental attachment to Casimiro because he has been with the restaurant for 10 years.

Again, loyalty is nice…but if he was the chef when the restaurant was failing, maybe that’s a sign of a problem.

Casimiro chef at Charlie's Italian Bistro on Kitchen Nightmares

Gordon tells Tatiana that her allegiance should be to her family and business, and not to a lazy, mediocre chef.

At the end of the night a tearful Tatiana privately fires Casimiro.

The next day, Gordon has expert chef, Jonathan, come in and train the restaurant’s chefs and Tatiana who makes a delicious lasagna dish.

Gordon also changes the menu which now displays delicious Italian meals.

On the day of relaunch the night starts off well, Jonathan leads the kitchen and customers are receiving their food.

However, due to a communication lag between the servers and the pizza oven operators, not all the food is arriving at the same time.

Gordon presses on Tatiana to mend the communication problem between the servers and kitchen staff.

With some grit and grind, things eventually turn around and fall into place and the customers love the food, resulting in a successful night.

When Gordon Ramsay says goodbye to Tatiana, she tells him that he changes lives and that he’s an angel.

Tatiana hugs Gordon Ramsay on Kitchen Nightmares

Overall, things seem to be looking up at Charlie’s restaurant.

So was the Kitchen Nightmare’s Charlie’s Italian Bistro episode a long-term success?

Keep reading my update to learn what happened next and if this La Verne, CA restaurant is still open in 2024 and beyond.

Charlie's Italian Bistro Update - What Happened Next?

Now that we’ve recapped the Charlie’s Kitchen Nightmares episode, let’s talk about what happened to the restaurant after Gordon Ramsay and his crew left La Verne, Ca.

After Gordon went home, Jonathan stayed on for another month to maintain everything and help the restaurant find and train a new permanent chef.

The restaurant received mostly positive reviews from customers complimenting the food and service.

The Charlie’s Italian Bistro Yelp page had a solid four star overall rating and many of the newer reviews were five stars.

However, the good times would not last…

Is Charlie’s Italian Bistro still open?

Unfortunately, Charlie’s Italian Bistro closed in July 2012.

This means that it only survived for around eight months after the visit from Gordon Ramsay and only four months after the Charlie’s Kitchen Nightmares episode aired on TV.

As of 2023, the old Charlie’s Italian Bistro La Verne CA location is occupied by a new restaurant named Cafe X20.

The new restaurant seems to have good reviews, with a 4 star rating on over 700 Yelp reviews.

You can see the new restaurant in the latest Google Maps street view picture for the old Charlie’s Italian Bistro La Verne CA location:

Why did Charlie’s Italian Bistro close?

Unfortunately, Tatiana didn’t provide any information about why Charlie’s Italian Bistro closed.

All I can report is that the restaurant is indeed closed.

If you have any inside information about the restaurant’s closure, please let me know in the comments section below!

What happened to Tatiana Leiva from Charlie’s Italian Bistro?

First off, Tatiana from Kitchen Nightmares is not dead. She is very much alive and well, which I’m happy to report.

Since the restaurant closed, Tatiana Leiva has had a few acting roles in movies.

She also was a production assistant on Up in Smoke.

You can learn about the Tatiana Leiva movies on her IMDB page.

Tatiana Leiva movies

Beyond that, Tatiana also seems to be working as a photo editor at an entertainment website that’s based on California.

Overall, it appears that Tatiana Leiva is done with the restaurant industry after her experience with Charlie’s Italian Bistro.

What happened to Casimiro from Charlie’s Italian Bistro?

I can’t find any information on what happened to chef Casimiro from Charlie’s Italian Bistro.

If you know anything, please let me know in the comments section!

What happened to Genevieve from Charlie’s Italian Bistro?

Genevieve was a server from Charlie’s Italian Restaurant.

I am sad to report that Genevieve from Charlie’s Italian Bistro passed after the episode due to complications from epilepsy.

This happened back in 2014, so just a few years after the episode aired on TV.

Rest in peace, Genevieve.

Here’s a link to her obituary.

Genevieve obituary from Charlie's Italian Bistro

Final thoughts on Charlie’s Italian Bistro

Overall, Charlie’s Italian Bistro seemed to be looking good after the visit from Gordon Ramsay.

However, the restaurant would close just a few months after the Charlie’s Kitchen Nightmares episode aired on TV, meaning it is definitely not a long-term Kitchen Nightmares success story.

As of 2023, the old Charlie’s La Verne location is occupied by a new restaurant/cafe named Cafe X20.

Tatiana Leiva has left the restaurant industry and is working in the entertainment industry now.

Sadly, Genevieve passed away in 2014.

If you want to see some other nearby Los Angeles Kitchen Nightmares episodes, you can check out our updates for Lela’s in Pomona CA and Sam’s Kabob Room in Monrovia, CA.

And if you want to share your thoughts on the Charlie’s episode, you can do so using the comments section below.

As always – thanks for reading!

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Last updated: 2023-12-21 06:59

42 thoughts on “Charlie’s Italian Bistro Kitchen Nightmares Update – Still Open?”

All comments are the sole opinion of the commenter and are not endorsed by RealityTVUpdates.

  1. This episode was painful and frustrating to watching. I am sickened by Tatiana’s lack of maturity, naïveté and lack of plain common sense.

    Her sense of sheer entitlement, specifically dragging her mother and sister into her stupid mess and the chutzpah she demonstrates by deflecting the blame for this by saying she didn’t “put a gun to their heads” to put up the money, suggesting it’s their fault (FTR, she’s right but that’s an entirely separate matter). Her colossal failing in (what should have been) the obvious recognition you don’t buy a failing business, then make no changes is inexcusable.

    If you put the issue forward as a story problem for 5th graders, I would bet even the average ones would say this decision lacked good sense. It was really nervy of her to ask her mother and sister to put up their homes to fund “her dream”. No self-respecting person who cared as much about her family members as she does about herself would expect that or dare to ask.

    Why the mother and sister would enter into such a highly risky venture, knowing what they knew about Tatiana, is in comprehensible to me. Even so, I don’t think they in turn deserve the punishment of losing their homes and life savings, especially the poor mother. How is someone like her supposed to recoup what she needs for her retirement? Don’t even start asking me about her blindness (and willful ignorance, IMO) regarding “chef” Casimir’s incompetence, and what possible motivation she had for putting him on a pedestal.

    And when she finally bought a clue to fire him, she was so sorry to do it that she tried to hug him, as though saying “No hard feelings, OK? Please don’t dislike me”. Of course he didn’t want to hug her. I wouldn’t either!

    Lastly, her childish glee when Gordon came up with a new menu and bringing in an experienced chef and restauranteur to advise her was stupidly hilarious. She acted like all her problems were now solved and green street was hers.

    It was no surprise to me “Charlie’s” went under mere months after the KN episode aired. It was nice to hear Tatiana lucked out in finding some acting roles after her business failed.

    Perhaps when she gets her big break in the film industry and gets as rich as Angelina Jolie, she can repay what she owes Val and Pat. Not holding my breath.

  2. Anyone know what happened to Daniella, the sous chef?

    I might have stumbled across her Instagram, looks like she works as a cooking host for Disney but not 100% sure if it’s the same Daniella from the show. Was very talented, Gordon definitely could feel sense that from her.

  3. Yeah i agree bro, that sous chef really has a talent and i hope the she is the young chef that will be trained by the two guy chef.

  4. Do you guys know what happened to the mother ? After reading that they received good review for 9 months and im hoping thats enough for them to get back their investment. I just wanna make sure that they didnt lose their house. Anyway greag episode and thanks for the update.

    • That is what I am interested too. Did they lose their homes or were able to at least recoup it? So sad as it was all her mother’s retirement fund. 🙁

  5. Why buy a failing restaurant named after a person and not at least change the name since the person is no longer the owner? Especially if you’re smoking hot like Tatiana.

    • Well if your buying it when it is doing good business and has positive word of mouth it makes sense to keep the name. Of course, Tatiana bought it after it had been run into the ground, so it probably would have benefitted by changing the name. The problem is she bought it because she loved some earlier version of the place that probably no longer existed. She had no plan or idea on how to revive it and make it how she remembered it (if not better).

      I think it is a shame that the business failed, it looked like maybe she was beginning to understand what she needs to run a successful business (to be fair most KN shows are edited to look this way) but it was (as it often is) too little too late.

  6. The Gordon Ramsey USA Kitchen Nightmares series I find a fascinating watch. But at the end of the day, you have to remember that at the end of the day, it’s a TV show. While the majority of the restaurants seem be doing well when revisted in the series But when you go onto the internet and look at the Individual Restaurants featured, you find that more restaurants featured in the series have closed for good than survived .
    That suggests that perhaps Gordon Ramsey’s “Midas touch’ doesn’t guarantee longevity. That said, I have learned how to cook from the series

    • I think writers thoughts regarding the show makes sense. Most of these restaurants that get on the show have restaurants that are sooo far in debt, that it’s really too late to dig them out of their whole. Same thing for hotel he’ll and bar rescue. All 3 which I love watching. Having a good couple months after a relaunch is not going to help a hotel in debt for over a million. I just hope her mother and sister got to keep their homes.

        • How is it “all fake”? There are many successful restaurants which survived after Gordon intervened. They still exist with the same owners and you can look them up on review sites that are independent of the show.

          • According to this site, 66 restaurants out of the 84 featured HAVE CLOSED. That’s not many successful restaurants. That’s many failed restaurants.

    • I think there needs to be more nuance in determining if Gordon failed or not. Supposedly these restaurants are going to fail within 6 months to a year without Gordon’s intervention. So I think if a restaurant makes 2 or maybe 3 years past Gordon’s visit that it is an indicator that Gordon was able to pass on something (whether it is his expertise, the new decor, or new equipment for restaurants that get them) that keeps them afloat. After oh, let us say 2.5 years I think whether they succeed or fail is back on the owners solely as a lot of variables could have changed.

  7. I didn’t know until reading this that Casemiro moonlights as a chef in his spare time from playing for Brazil and Manchester United

  8. just if anyones wondering, tatiana herself said on her facebook that no one last any houses. and they all seem to live nicely now.

      • you r well named. her page shows she no longer cares only about herself. unlike you, apparently. if you want to be a woman in Chile right now, then u can talk. she bicycles for St Jude andsupports the oppressed women of chile and horrors! dares to say that black lives matter.

  9. Tatiana is waiting for her big break. Her mother and sister are waiting for their money, 15 years later. Still waiting.

  10. Tatiana is so dumb she makes Patrick Star look like Steven Hawking (rest in peace, Steve)! No common sense, complete lack of self-awareness, and no sense of responsibility. And her stupid junior high laugh when Gordon walks in for the first time. My god!! 😒🙄 Grow up, lady! It’s cute when 5-year-olds giggle like that, not grown women over the age of 30. I have never seen anyone so weepy and immature!

  11. Tatiana had an acting career before KN too. She appeared in several low-budget Spanish films. They’re not listed on her IMDb page though.


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