(keep reading to learn what happened)
Season: 5 | View All Season 5 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: January 20, 2012
El Greco Address: 3016 Guadalupe St Ste C200 Austin, TX 78705
El Greco Restaurant was an Austin, Texas restaurant featured on season 5 of Kitchen Nightmares.
The El Greco Nightmares episode aired in January, 2012, the actual filming and visit from Gordon Ramsay took place before that.
It was Season 5 Episode 10.
In the El Greco Kitchen Nightmares episode, Chef Gordon Ramsay visits an authentic Greek restaurant in Austin, Texas called El Greco.
It’s the only Kitchen Nightmares Texas episode, which is pretty surprising given the size of the state.
Other populous states like California and New York had tons of visits, while Texas only had one measly restaurant featured on the show.
But anyway, let’s get back to the El Greco restaurant episode recap…
El Greco is owned by Jake Konstantinidis and his mother Athina.
In 2007, Athina poured all of her money into purchasing the restaurant.
While the restaurant was thriving when it first opened, business has now declined within the last year due to the quality of food declining and Jake’s poor attitude causing a significant decrease in morale.
These are some of the many reasons for the El Greco Kitchen Nightmares episode to exist.
Upon arrival, Gordon Ramsay is greeted by Athinia who welcomes him with a hug.
Chef Ramsay then sits down with Jake and Athinia to discuss the day to day operations.
During this discussion it is revealed that Athinia does all the work while Jake continuously shows up late to work.
Athina blatantly admits that Jake is the number one problem with the restaurant.
Chef Ramsay then decides to taste the menu by ordering a stuffed zucchini, lamb shank and moussaka.
Chef Ramsay shares that the stuffed zucchini has poor presentation and reveals that the flavor was bland and disgusting; the lamb shank was depressing and he could tell it had been microwaved; and the moussaka would not detach itself from the plate and resembled dog food.
Afterwards, Chef Ramsay sits down with the two owners and reveals that the food was subpar and inauthentic.
Jake’s lack of interest irritates Gordon so he decides to talk to Athina alone and reveals his fear that Jake has lost his passion for the restaurant.
During the dinner rush that night, Gordon observes Diego, a line cook of 14-years, repeatedly placing plate after plate into the microwave while the burners go untouched for the night.
This fuels a heated argument between Jake and Gordon, where Jake defends his microwave usage for every dish.
The next day Chef Ramsay observes Athinia and Kiki arrive early to the restaurant to begin prepping for the day, while Jake, who promised to come in at 10 a.m. is nowhere to be found until midday.
After another heated argument between Jake and the two sisters, Chef Ramsay resolves the issue and the three make up.
Chef Ramsay gets everyone to commit to cooking everything from scratch and throws the microwave out the window.
Chef Ramsay works with Jake on creating a new menu and the staff loves the samples they are given to try.
The dining room also receives a new makeover to reflect a more modern Greek theme.
Besides a few minor hiccups with Jake failing to delegate tasks in the kitchen, the relaunch was a success and the owners end the night by breaking plates to signify that they are breaking old habits and starting fresh.
So was the El Greco Kitchen Nightmares episode a long-term success? Keep reading our update to learn what happened next and how the restaurant is doing in 2023 and beyond.
El Greco Update - What Happened Next?
Now that we’ve recapped the El Greco Kitchen Nightmares episode, let’s talk about what happened to the restaurant after Gordon Ramsay and his crew left Austin, TX.
In the months that followed there seemed to be positive feedback from the community (though Yelp reviews were mixed), unfortunately, the debt was too high for the owners to overcome, and the staff’s commitment to Gordon’s new menu started to wane.
Is El Greco still open after Kitchen Nightmares?
El Greco closed in December 2011, which is a month before the Kitchen Nightmares episode aired on TV.
Why did El Greco close? Well, it’s hard to know for sure, but the debt load probably put the restaurant in a pretty tough position even with Gordon’s help.
Additionally, while a lot of people did like Gordon’s changes, some regulars preferred the old El Greco when it came to the menu and decor.
That means El Greco has officially earned its spot on the list of closed Kitchen Nightmares episodes.
Personally, I think this one was always destined for failure. Even before Gordon Ramsay visited El Greco, there were already major complaints about Jake.
For example, James Holbrook, a former cook, went to the Austin Eater magazine and complained about Jake being “controlling and degrading”.
As of 2022, the old El Greco Austin Texas location is occupied by a sub shop named Cheba Hut Toasted Subs.
Reviews for the new restaurant seem pretty good as it has a 4.5 star rating on its Yelp page.
What happened to El Greco chef Jake Konstantinidis?
Jake Konstantinidis doesn’t have much of a social media presence so we’re not sure what happened to him after the El Greco Kitchen Nightmares episode. If you know anything, please let us know in the comments section!
As I mentioned earlier, El Greco was the only Austin Texas Kitchen Nightmares episode (and the only Texas episode in general).
If you want to see some other nearby episodes, you can check out these posts:
- Oceana in New Orleans update
- Zeke’s Restaurant in Louisiana update
- Amy’s Baking Company in Arizona update
What did you think about the El Greco episode of Kitchen Nightmares? I'd love it if you shared your thoughts on the episode in the comments below!
You can also click the buttons below to share this post!
And don't forget to check out all of the other Kitchen Nightmares updates.
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Last updated: 2022-07-01 05:47
9 thoughts on “El Greco Kitchen Nightmares Update – Still Open in 2023?”
All comments are the sole opinion of the commenter and are not endorsed by RealityTVUpdates.
From the moment the mother said “I wish I was dead” at the very beginning and dramatically covered her face with her hands, but only being careful not to ruin her makeup, it was very clear what we were dealing with.
(Also, it’s possible there’s some kind of bipolar/manic-depressive there, because I’ve never seen her not cry or laugh like a maniac.. though, GR visiting is an emotional time and could be attributed to that).
The “chef” talks to her that way because she repeated “I want to die”, “I wish I was dead” and every single variation of that throughout the entire episode, I can only imagine, knowing a few such manipulative people in my own life, how she always appears to be the good one, the saint, but she comes to him like, twice a day, crying up a storm, telling him:”do you want me to die??” And that’s now she manipulates him to do anything she wants.
And the reaction the first time would be:”no, mommy, of course not, come get a hug, I love you…”
But after years of this – the conversation turns into: “FINE! if you want to die so badly – go die, I don’t care”.
And then the mother, realizing her “death” tactic is failing, dramatically runs to her bedroom/bathroom and cries like a manipulative freak, waiting for him to come apologize…
Eventually he stops caring.
She even brought in her sister to be the “bad cop”, no wonder the son gave up.
Also, just as important: The main claim is that the son isn’t sleeping properly (which I initially thought had something to do with chronic fatigue or something, because he looks really bad, his skin is gray… but it turns out it’s because he’s addicted to a video game, which they ridiculed instead of addressing – whatever the reason – it should have been addressed. If it is because he plays a specific video game – it means that there is some kind of a serious addiction there, and he can’t stop on his own – it won’t be so easy to break after GR left, but then never even addressed it, like it’s not there or like he’s sitting in front of the TV all day and night… basically all they did was shame him for being a lazy, spoiled slob, so no wonder they closed.. it was clear he wouldn’t change overnight and it was even clearer to me, again, knowing this type of people from my own life, that the promise to treat her son differently will last maybe one week, after which both mom and sister will go back to how they acted before.
The mom will ask him to come in earlier than he’s comfortable with (again, sleep cycles are a process), he will come in late again, knowing he won’t be able to keep that commitment, the sister will start screaming at him again and the mom will “wish she was dead” again…
How did no one see this coming??
And if it’s not a gaming addiction, which is a real, and serious issue, it’s something else, like fatigue, laziness or just feeling like you’re stuck in the black hole that is his not-so-subtly-manipulative mom’s gravitational pull – it needed to be addressed.
Also, they had at least 3 experienced line cooks there, the excitement on their faces, like little puppies, just waiting to be put to work, and work hard, because it’s what they love doing…
She should have taken full advantage of them (they’ve developed a good dynamic between them since before GR came in, it was clear that the son kept disrupting their flow, and they worked better without him before), and given him some time off to regroup and think about what exactly he wants from his life, because it was clear something wasn’t right with that dude, HIS ENTIRE FACE WAS GRAY! and again, if it is a video game addiction – use that time for rehab or counseling and then come back and decide – do you really have a passion for cooking, are you even physically and mentally capable of being around your mom and aunt, or do you want to do something else?
Be a host, a floor manager or even leave the restaurant to work somewhere else altogether for a while.
You have no idea how much it helps when a 41 year old man finds a job outside of his mother’s skirt and finds out the hard way that you can’t say you’ll be in at 10:00 and come in at 12:15. He knows he can only get away with it at his mom’s business.
He needs to work somewhere where he can’t talk back to a boss, and learn how to adult.
That entire ambience was toxic from start to finish, the manipulative, crying, “saint-playing” mom, the fed-up son, and the witch of a sister who can’t bother to learn English, but has no problem screaming her head off at her nephew in front of all the cameras (not saying he doesn’t deserve it, maybe he does, but still…).
Many times these deadbeat sons are like that PRECISELY because their mom over-pampered them and then suddenly she goes:”oh no… why can’t you be an adult?”
The guy isn’t even married at 41, what does that tell you about mommy?
I’ve seen these family dynamics many times, these people shouldn’t be in the same room together, let alone in the same business… if I were the son, I’d be finding any way I could to get out as well… and I’ll bet Tripoli of their debt that the son has expressed this to his mom in the past, and she said something like:”I did this all for you, if you leave the business it will all be for nothing, I will be homeless because of you, (and the obligatory chorus:)I wish I was dead, you want me to die, do you want me to die???”
And he folded, and that facial expression he has during the entire episode is due to the fact that he knows he’s stuck there forever “or else she will dieeeeeeeee” – with perfect makeup on. LoL
Basically, no wonder they closed.
My dad was that way with his parents, I have a few friends who have such parents, or a mom and a grandmother/mom and sister.
This is a very common stereotype and it’s ver easy to spot once you see it.
Especially with men and their overbearing mothers.
Gets off her soap box.
Probably needs therapy after this. 🤣
I disagree with a lot of the analysis. The reason the restaurant went downhill is largely Jake’s fault and is not even close. I understand that he is probably suffering from depression and lack of sleep but just by looking at a few of his scenes and his body language you can tell that he is badly hangover. His “video-game” might as well be alcohol or some other kind of drug. You simply can’t put the majority of the blame to the people who actually run the restaurant by themselves and have all of its bills to their name when Jake is clearly being lazy. Just because he is not the right state of mind it doesn’t mean that for the last 2 years he couldn’t have made a change in his lifestyle because he is not the one with actual bills over his head. It doesn’t matter if he lost his passion, if he had an ounce of respect he would come and work to pay off their debts, help would eventually come for him because everything depends on him performing. After that he can decide to simply leave the restaurant and never come back.
Is Athina toxic? Well of course she is and her constant nagging makes Jake’s situation worse which I can understand. However, thinking that her breakouts are just manipulation tactics just shows that you are forgetting she is an immigrant that has lived the majority of her life stuck inside of a kitchen whilst seeing the son that she spent all of her lifesavings on just loose all passion for life. It’s not a one way guilt trip over here where she is entirely at fault because she is also clearly suffering from depression and stress as well. She is worried for her son and seeing how that is basically the only thing that she is invested in I wouldn’t doubt that she might have had some suicidal thoughts.
As for the aunt, I can’t even believe you tried to put the blame on her. That woman literally left her country, home, kids and life so she can bring money back home due to the crisis, slaving away inside of her sister’s dysfunctional restaurant from morning till night where all she sees is her nephew being a depressed, lazy man-child that will not face his demons and a sister that is also depressed and keeps her tethered to that place. She is doing everything she can to provide for her actual family by giving up her life for that of her sister and you get angry when she won’t learn English?
I can agree that these people should not be put in the same business together but we can’t forget that it didn’t start like that and that it didn’t have to end this way.
Jake should have actually taken initiative over his own life and sort his own problems by either shutting it down long ago or simply investing back in the restaurant. Getting a different job is not as easy when you are tangled with your mother, the person that payed for his studies, opened his restaurant and keeps him under her roof. If he wanted he would’ve started cooking again because that is actually simpler than getting a new job. Getting out of a deep depression like that is tough however, some action needs to take place if it is to be resolved because most of the time the biggest contributor to that depression is ourselves. Jake is not the victim and just because he is in a bad situation doesn’t alleviate that.
Athina is emotionally very weak. She has no control over her own restaurant, seems to be going through the motions instead of planning ahead and also seems like she never cared to invest into learning more about how to run her own business. She does not let the kitchen staff take initiatives and actually use their skills. Instead, she sits there cooking home style food every morning and handing it over to chef Mike to finish the job. She is also depressed like Jake but the only way out for her financially and psychologically is dependent on him.
Aunt Kiki and chef Diego are unfortunately the actual victims of the situation. Both of them stuck in an environment that keeps them trapped and ruins their own passions and lives.
The “moussaka” actually WAS dog food. Gordon mistakenly ordered off the Pet Menu.
Jake is working at the sub shop now.
how do you know, ralph?
Honestly, the toasted subs at the replacement restaurant looked disgusting.
I love how his Aunt Kiki cursed him out in Greek for five minutes, just totally unloaded on the guy. She was great!!
There’s a Chevy hut in my town it’s 10/10
Do you mean Cheba Hut? I’m not sure what a Chevy Hut is haha.