(keep reading to learn what happened)
Season: 4 | View All Season 4 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: January 28, 2011
Classic American Address: 691 Rt 109 West Babylon, NY 11704
Classic American was a West Babylon, New York restaurant featured on Season 4 of Kitchen Nightmares.
Though the Classic American Kitchen Nightmares episode aired in January 2011, the actual filming and visit from Gordon Ramsay took place much earlier in November 2010.
It was Kitchen Nightmares Season 4 Episode 2.
In this episode of Kitchen Nightmares, we head to the Classic American restaurant in Long Island.
Classic American is a restaurant located in West Babylon, New York, owned by waitress duo Colleen and Naomi.
Colleen and Naomi bought the restaurant in 2000 for almost $700,000, so they have a lot of debt to make up.
Today the restaurant is failing due to low turnouts, low supplies, and high staff stress.
Dominick, the boyfriend of one of the owners, is supposedly the manager.
However, he doesn’t do a great job.
To make matters worse, the owners are struggling with family issues in addition to the financial woes facing the restaurant.
Gordon Ramsay enters the nearly empty Classic American restaurant and is greeted by owners Naomi and Colleen.
They are nervous talking to Ramsay, who asks them why they think the restaurant is failing.
When Gordon goes to order food, he finds out that the menu is vast and features over 100 items, which surprises him.
This is also a red flag as there’s no way a restaurant can have fresh ingredients for that many dishes.
Gordon decides to order the calamari, mac and cheese, and their specialty “The Bomb” burger.
Gordon notes that it looks like Kraft when the mac and cheese arrives.
Now, I do love me some Kraft mac ‘n cheese, but it’s not what you’d expect from a restaurant.
It doesn’t get much better, either – the calamari is frozen, and their specialty burger comes out unseasoned.
At one point, he asks the waitress to feel his food to see how bad it is:
To put things politely, Gordon Ramsay is less than impressed with his meal from Classic American.
Gordon tells the owners that their motto, “Just like mom made,” is insulting to mothers.
In fact, Gordon is amazed that the staff finds the food edible.
The team is very open to Gordon’s suggestions.
They want to see the restaurant succeed, but there are a lot of problems to overcome.
For example, Classic American uses handwritten tickets because their computer system is down, which just isn’t very efficient.
During dinner service, Classic America runs out of ground beef.
They also do not have enough plates, silverware, or menus.
They keep running low on supplies and there’s just basically a lot going wrong with the restaurant’s logistics.
Colleen cannot handle the stress and walks out during dinner.
Gordon follows her to see what is going on.
She is highly emotional and is afraid of losing the restaurant.
Gordon decides to play an anonymous question game, and it is revealed that the waitresses are on their phones during dinner service.
Gordon also finds out that Naomi is a pushover, and Dom, the acting manager throws a fit.
Gordon calls him out about the Classic American restaurant not having enough supplies.
He tells the owners they need to toughen up if they want the Classic American restaurant to succeed.
Gordon decides to switch the owner’s roles because he wants to make sure they are serious before he invests his time in their restaurant.
The celebrity chef teaches the kitchen staff how to make a slider special.
Gordon catches a waitress texting, but she quickly corrects her behavior.
The restaurant is full that evening for dinner service, but there are not enough menus for all of the customers.
The restaurant begins to pick up, but Colleen is still feeling overwhelmed.
Food keeps getting returned, and after someone sends back a dish of mushy vegetables, Gordon shuts down the restaurant.
He tells the owners changes must start immediately.
As part of that, Gordon gives the restaurant a facelift and revamps the whole menu.
He reduces the menu to half of its size, which makes it much easier for the Classic American owners to manage the inventory and reduce spoilage.
That night Colleen and Naomi step up, and Dom takes a step back.
As soon as service starts, Gordon catches the waitresses outside smoking cigarettes.
He quickly ushers them back inside.
Naomi begins multitasking, and the rest of the night runs smoothly.
When he leaves, Gordon Ramsay gives out hugs, as is normally the case (when the owners aren’t insane).
So was the Kitchen Nightmares Classic American restaurant episode a success?
Keep reading our update to learn what happened next and if this West Babylon restaurant is still open in 2024 and beyond.
Classic American Update - What Happened Next?
Now that we’ve recapped the Classic American Kitchen Nightmares episode, let’s talk about what happened after Gordon Ramsay and his crew left West Babylon, NY.
But before we get to where Classic American is in 2024, let’s first talk about Gordon’s second visit to the restaurant.
Gordon Ramsay Classic American revisit in Season 5
Thanks to Gordon’s changes, things seemed to be going better for Classic American.
When goes back to the restaurant, Gordon discovers that Naomi and Kevin are running the kitchen while Colleen is in charge of the front of the restaurant and interacts with customers.
Business is up a whopping 35% which is a huge improvement and helps the Classic American owners pay down their purchasing debt.
Gordon also orders some food, the meat loaf, and rates it a 10.5/10, which is high praise from the critical chef.
As a surprise, Gordon presents them with an award from Good Times Magazine – the Long Island’s Best Burger Award.
If you want to see the Classic American Gordon Ramsay revisit episode, it starts at around the 8:59 mark in this YouTube video:
Beyond Gordon’s praise, the Yelp reviews for the business seemed to be improved.
Though the overall Yelp rating was only 3.5 stars, a lot of the recent reviews seemed to be more positive.
Is the Classic American restaurant still open after Kitchen Nightmares?
Classic American closed for good in August 2013, which was a little over three years after the visit from Gordon Ramsay and Kitchen Nightmares.
In announcing the closure, Colleen posted the following message on Facebook:
Yes it’s true.
I would like to thank all of our employees, friends, family and loyal customers for all there support and patronage for the last 13 years.
It has been our pleasure to serve you!!
We will still be offering catering services and can be reached through Facebook.
Here’s a screenshot of the Facebook post in case it gets deleted:
Even though the restaurant wasn’t able to achieve long-term success, three years is a pretty good run given the state of the restaurant when Gordon Ramsay visited it.
For a time, the old Classic American West Babylon location in Long Island was occupied by a new restaurant called Blu Mediterranean!.
Reviews for the restaurant seemed good as it has a four-star rating on Yelp.
However, as of late 2022, Blu Mediterranean is now closed.
The building seems to be empty for now – I will update this post if I learn about a new business moving in.
The old Classic American building was also listed for sale on Loopnet in February 2022, though the listing is now closed.
Here’s an interactive embed that shows the old Classic American restaurant West Babylon location in the most recent image from Google Maps street view:
Why did Classic American close?
When the Classic American owners closed the restaurant, they didn’t share a specific reason why the restaurant closed.
However, they did post a note saying that they would still be offering catering services, so it seems like they weren’t totally getting out of the cooking industry.
Final thoughts on the Classic American restaurant
Overall, Classic American had a solid three-year run after the visit from Gordon Ramsay.
Business was up and Gordon Ramsay really liked the food when he revisited the restaurant in Season 5.
Unfortunately, it would not last and the Classic American restaurant closed in August 2013, around three years after Gordon’s visit.
For a time, the old Classic American West Babylon location was occupied by another restaurant, but that restaurant is now also closed.
The building has been listed for sale multiple times, so it will be interesting to see what eventually ends up at that property.
If you want to see some other nearby Long Island Kitchen Nightmares episodes, you can also check out my updates for Peter’s Italian Restaurant in Babylon, Seascape Inn in Islip, and The Mixing Bowl in Bellmore.
Thanks for reading!
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Last updated: 2023-01-14 06:54