(keep reading to learn what happened)
Season: 1 | View All Season 1 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: November 14, 2007
Finn McCool's Address: 101 CR 31 Westhampton Beach, NY 11978
Finn McCool’s was a Westhampton, New York restaurant featured on Season 1 of Kitchen Nightmares.
Though the Finn McCool’s Kitchen Nightmares episode aired in November 2007, the actual visit from Gordon Ramsay happened earlier in the year in March.
It was Kitchen Nightmares Season 1 Episode 7.
In this episode, Gordon Ramsay heads to Finn McCool’s restaurant in Westhampton, NY, which is obviously in the Hamptons.
The Finn McCool restaurant is owned by Buddy Mazzio, a retired policeman.
His full name is Andrew Mazzio, but he goes by Buddy.
Because Finn McCool’s was located in Westhampton Beach, it had a very seasonal cliental.
During the summer months, the place would be packed with tourists visiting the Hamptons.
But during the winter months, things were pretty lean as Westhampton Beach had a permanent population of under 2,000 residents at that time.
The restaurant got its start after Buddy retired from his job in 2006, which means that it’s only been open for a very short time at the time of the Finn McCool’s Kitchen Nightmares episode.
He promptly opened up Finn McCool’s pretty much right as soon as his retirement went through.
Buddy’s son Brian was the head chef of the restaurant and Buddy’s other son Jason also worked in the restaurant.
Beyond that, Jason’s wife Melissa was a server, so this was definitely a family affair.
Gordon visited the restaurant in February, which is the low season in Westhampton Beach.
He was amazed by how empty the streets were and remarked that it was like a “funeral parlor”.
That’s not want you want to hear if you’re trying to build a successful hospitality business…
Gordon orders up some of Brian’s food but, as you’d expect, he’s not very satisfied.
The salmon was covered in balsamic vinegar and the shepherd’s pie was incredibly greasy.
So greasy, in fact, that Gordon had to run to the bathroom to throw up.
That’s never a good sign if you’re a chef!
What’s more, the cleanliness and organization was also lacking.
For example, Francis, the sous chef, dropped a chicken wing on the floor.
He then just picked it up and put it in the fryer, claiming that the fryer would sterilize.
I guess that’s kind of true…but it’s still not what you want to see from a restaurant lol.
Gordon also asked other locals about their opinion of the Finn McCool’s restaurant, with some local firemen saying they didn’t like it because it only served fried food.
Gordon joked that Finn McCool’s wasn’t just a “kitchen nightmare”, but it was a “kitchen disaster.”
To fix the problem, Gordon Ramsay demanded a deep cleaning session from the whole family.
In addition to the cleaning, Gordon gave the restaurant a makeover to improve the ambiance and experience.
He also worked with Brian to create a brand new menu that will offer better food and help the restaurant work more effectively.
The new concept has a much more family-style approach, with more homey dishes including a chicken dish for the firemen.
To help relaunch the new Finn McCool’s restaurant, Gordon Ramsay convinces local patrons to come back, along with the local paper’s food reviewer.
There are some bumpy spots during the relaunch with dishes taking long to cook, but the critic eventually gets her food and is generally impressed with it.
So was the Kitchen Nightmares Finn McCool’s episode a success?
Keep reading our update to learn what happened next and if this Hamptons restaurant is still open in 2023 and beyond.
Finn McCool's Update - What Happened Next?
After the Finn McCool’s Kitchen Nightmares episode aired, Buddy was a little upset because he said that Kitchen Nightmares used deceptive editing practices to make the family’s disagreements seem more dramatic than they really were.
Still, that’s kind of what you’d expect from a reality TV show – viewers don’t want to just watch a bunch of people living in perfect harmony.
For example, Brian didn’t actually drive off in real life, which makes some of the drama in the episode much less dramatic.
One other interesting tidbit is that it came out that Finn McCool’s was picked for Kitchen Nightmares after Brian had auditioned to be on Hell’s Kitchen.
Despite Buddy’s issues with the editing, Finn McCool’s seemed to generally be doing pretty well initially after the Kitchen Nightmares episode.
Yelp reviews of the restaurant were more positive and Buddy’s financials were doing better. However, this newfound success wouldn’t last.
Is Finn McCool’s still open in Westhampton?
Unfortunately, Buddy had to sell Finn McCool’s in 2009, two years after Gordon Ramsey’s visit.
The new owners continued to run the restaurant as Finn McCool’s for another few years.
However, Finn McCool’s eventually closed in 2012 due to a lease issue.
The restaurant officially closed in March 2012 and it was later boarded up in June of that year.
That means that, even with the change in ownership, Finn McCool’s was still only able to survive for five years after Gordon Ramsey’s visit on Kitchen Nightmares, though only two of those years were under Buddy’s ownership.
As of 2023, the old Finn McCool’s Westhampton NY location seems to be occupied by a VFW post – VFW Post 5350 to be specific.
Here, you can see a picture of the VFW in the old Finn McCool’s building:
Finn McCool’s reviews after Kitchen Nightmares
At the time that Finn McCool’s closed, it had a solid 4 star rating on its Yelp page, though only on six reviews.
There were no negative reviews – the lowest rating was three stars – which makes it seem like Buddy and Brian did a good job of implementing the principles from Gordon Ramsay.
Here’s a sampling of a few reviews from after the Finn McCools Gordon Ramsay visit but while the restaurant was still owned by Buddy…
3 star Yelp review from September 2008:
The establishment is split into to halves.
A pub and a restaurant.
I have been to the pub half of the restaurant and had a few Guinness’ anf Jameson shots there.
I had a good time and am looking forward to trying their food, especially after the episode of Kitchen Nightmares (Nov 14, 2007).
I would like to try Chef Ramsay’s Sheppard Pie recipe.
4 star Yelp review from August 2009:
I really like this restaurant.
Cute atmosphere and a lovely outside patio for dinning.
The waitstaff is always super friendly and sweet.
I always eat here when I am back east.
I took my husband for his birthday and he loved it too.
Excellent onion soup!
One of the best.
Burgers are great!
It seems like the new Finn McCool’s owners continued the high standards.
Here’s one final example review from after Buddy had sold Finn McCool’s…
4 star Yelp review from July 2011:
Went here once with a few people when we wanted to get out of the house and get something to eat.
We went on a Saturday around 7pm, and the place was empty.
We were seated immediately and our waitress was very attentive and funny.
She made us feel like we’ve been coming here for twenty years.
My burger was good, and it was not expensive at all, considering the restaurant is in WHB.
Good beer available on draught is always a plus.
Next, let’s talk about a few of the people from the Finn McCools Kitchen Nightmares episode…
Is Buddy Mazzio still alive?
Sadly, Buddy passed away in January 2023 at the age of 69.
Brian shared this in a post on his Instagram.
Rest in peace, Buddy. I’m so sad to hear this.
Before his sad passing but after Finn McCool’s closed, Buddy had opened up his own private detective agency called A.Mazzio Professional Investigations, as detailed on Buddy’s LinkedIn page.
What happened to Brian Mazzio?
Brian Mazzio was Buddy’s son and the chef from the Finn McCool’s Kitchen Nightmares episode.
Brian is still cooking in various restaurants – you can follow him on Instagram to see his food.
According to his LinkedIn page, he’s the chef at another restaurant in the Hamptons.
Currently, he’s working as the Executive Chef at Sundays on the Bay, a restaurant located in a marina.
It seems like a beautiful location.
If you go to the Sundays on the Bay website, you’ll see Brian Mazzio listed as the Executive Chef.
It’s great to see that Brian has built a succesful career as a chef.
Final thoughts on Finn McCool’s restaurant
The Finn McCool’s Westhampton story seemed to start off well after the visit from Gordon Ramsay, with improved reviews for the restaurant.
Unfortunately, Buddy Mazzio, the Finn McCool’s owner, had to sell the restaurant in 2009, around two years after the Kitchen Nightmares Finn McCool’s episode.
The new owner still ran it as Finn McCool’s until 2012, when it finally closed because of a lease issue.
As of 2023, the old Finn McCool’s NY location seems to be occupied by a VFW post.
Brian is still working as a chef.
Currently, Brian is the Executive Chef at Sundays on the Bay in the Hamptons.
Sadly, Buddy Mazzio died in January 2023 at the age of 69. RIP.
And if you want to share your thoughts on the episode, you can do so using the comments section below.
Thanks for reading!
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Last updated: 2023-09-15 05:10