D-Place Kitchen Nightmares Update (Saracen’s) – Open or Closed in 2022?

Is D-Place still open?

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

Season: UK | View All Season UK Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: May 31, 2005
D-Place Address: 3 High Street, Chelmsford, Essex, CM1 1BE, United Kingdom
D-Place Kitchen Nightmares Update (Saracen's)


Episode Recap

D-Place was a Chelmsford, England restaurant featured on Season 2 of Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares in the UK.

Though the D-Place Kitchen Nightmares episode aired in May 2005, the actual filming and visit from Gordon Ramsay took place earlier in 2004. It was Season 2 Episode 2 on the UK version of the show.

D-Place is located in Chelmsford, England.

Chelmsford is a small city in Essex that’s located not too far northeast of London.

The restaurant is located near the Chelmsford Cathedral and Central Park, which puts it in a nice neighborhood.

Israel Pons opened the cafe five years ago.

Within two years, they had five businesses.

Sadly they have lost four of the other businesses.

When Gordon Ramsay speaks to the D-Place owner and his wife, he finds out sales have dropped 50% since two years ago.

That’s not a recipe for success – am I right?

The bar is currently financially supporting D-Place.

Philippe Blaise is the executive chef.

He used to work at Planet Hollywood, where he had more than 100 people working under him.

At D-Place, he has three other chefs and no customers. 

Talk about a fall from grace…

Gordon arrives on Valentine’s day, and there are 24 tables booked.

He orders a scallop dish and crème brulee as a dessert.

However, Gordon is less than impressed with the food he is served.

An argument ensues between Dave and Philippe about the disgusting dishes. 

After service, Gordon meets with the staff in the kitchen.

He tells them they have a lot of work to do to succeed.

Gordon watches lunch service the next day and sees that food is bought in and reheated, which is costly.

The service is too slow, and customers return the dishes they do receive.

Gordon also is not happy with how Phillipe cooks the food. 

Israel and Gordon meet, which is where Israel confides he has lost his passion.

Gordon gives him a pep talk telling him to stay strong because D-Place needs him to succeed.

Gordon also makes Phillipe meet with staff member Dave to rehash their problems.

Afterward, Gordon meets with Phillipe alone to find out why he cooks the way he does.

Phillipe confides that he has lost hope for the restaurant and, with it, his passion. 

Gordon changes the menu and adds classic French dishes.

Phillipe enjoys cooking with Gordon as he makes food he likes to cook.

However, Israel is unsure about the menu changes as they have tried to do it before but to no avail. 

Gordon begins a team-building exercise to try to boost morale and get people to work together more effectively.

The staff are divided into two teams and have to make guacamole.

One will be blindfolded while the other guides them through the task.

Dave and Phillipe make the best guac. 

The following day Gordon finds a pan of roast potatoes out.

Phillipe claims he roasted them in the oven, but Gordon does not believe him as the oven is not working.

Phillipe eventually admits to frying them. Israel tells Phillipe to stop lying. 

Gordon closes down the restaurant for two days to redecorate it. They are also given new equipment.

Gordon teaches the chef how to make more affordable dishes, and they love them.

After completing the exterior, the name is changed to The Saracen’s Head. 

It’s time for the relaunch, and they are fully booked.

The kitchen is overwhelmed and begins making the new dishes wrong.

Customers are left waiting for their food for a long time.

Phillipe wants to walk out, but he comes back after a meeting with Gordon. 

An argument breaks out with Dave, the manager who is fired on the spot but is stubborn.

The service has to be shut down after just 20 minutes.

Gordon tells them to start slow and keep building. 


D-Place Update - What Happened Next?

Now that we’ve recapped the D-Place Kitchen Nightmares visit, let’s talk about what happened to the restaurant after Gordon Ramsay left town.

Overall, D-Place did not achieve very much success.

I don’t think it had anything to do with a failure on Gordon’s part – Gordon Ramsay just arrived way too late to save the restaurant.

Let’s talk about it…

Is D-Place from Kitchen Nightmares still open?

D-Place closed around one month after the D-Place Kitchen Nightmares visit, which means it wasn’t even around for the revisit when Gordon Ramsay came back six weeks later.

D-Place closed because of financial issues. It had to go into receivership because it couldn’t pay its bills. As a result, the D-Place lease was put up for sale because the brewery kicked D-Place/Saracen’s Head off the location.

All’s not lost, though. The D-Place business was purchased by new owners.

They didn’t open it as D-Place, though. Instead, they reopened it as The Saracen’s Head.

The newly reopened Saracens did good business for quite a long time, lasting more than a decade.

The whole time, Philippe Blaise was still kept on as the head chef.

However, it eventually closed in July 2019, along with the hotel that it was connected to.

It was to be replaced by a Peaky Blinders bar. You can learn more in this article from Essex Live.

The new bar is officially opened and it’s named The Garrison Tavern. However, the reviews don’t seem great, so who knows how long it will stick around at the old D-Place Chelmsford location.

Overall, unless you count the new owners reopening the restaurant (who had no connection to the show), this is one of the least successful attempts from Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares in the UK.

But again, I don’t think you can really fault Gordon here since the restaurant was already in such bad financial shape by the same he arrived.

If you want to read about more restaurants from Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, you can use the links below:


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Last updated: 2022-02-19 04:57

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