(keep reading to learn what happened)
Season: 2 | View All Season 2 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: September 18, 2008
Giuseppi’s Address: 46712 Hayes Road Macomb Township, Michigan 48044
Giuseppi’s Trattoria was a Macomb Township (Detroit), Michigan restaurant featured on season 2 of Kitchen Nightmares.
Though the Giuseppi’s Kitchen Nightmares episode aired in September 2008, the actual filming and visit from Gordon Ramsay took place at the beginning of 2008.
It was Kitchen Nightmares Season 2 Episode 3.
In this episode of Kitchen Nightmares Chef Gordon Ramsay visits Giuseppi’s, a family owned Italian Trattoria located in Michigan.
For some reason, it’s listed as the Giuseppe’s Kitchen Nightmares episode in some places.
But if you look at the sign from the episode, it’s clearly spelled with an “i” and not an “e”.
The Giuseppi’s owners are Joe Borgia and his wife Kathy Borgia.
Chef Ramsay is forced to confront not only truly awful Italian food and dated décor in the restaurant, but he is tasked with uniting a fractured and feuding family.
Chef Ramsay arrives as Giuseppi’s and is treated to a bland, out-dated, and sloppy lunch.
To test the food, Gordon Ramsay sampled the potato skins, octopus salad, and Eggplant Rollatini.
Server Dawn can do nothing but apologize for the quality of the food.
At one point, Gordon Ramsay even has her sample his food to see how poor it is.
Father and son pair Joe and Sam have clearly given up on their standards and their dream.
Sam’s full name is Salvatore, but he just goes by Sam.
This lack of passion is a big part of why the Giuseppi’s Kitchen Nightmares episode exists.
In general, Chef Ramsay experiences a menu that lacks a true Italian sensibility.
Later, he returns for dinner service to see how the restaurant operates on a daily basis.
During dinner service, Chef Ramsay witnesses how many of the problems originate from laziness in the kitchen.
Sous chef Brian sends entrees out to customers that are heated in a microwave.
Joe neglects focusing on the front of the house to hover in the kitchen around Sam creating a tense atmosphere during service.
Despite diners returning their entrees to the kitchen complaining of everything from food being cold to dishes tasting bland.
Overall, Joe and Sam can’t seem to get things together.
After this disastrous dinner service Chef Ramsay confronts Joe and Sam.
The father and son duo have an emotionally fraught conversation about the direction of the restaurant and their relationship as father and son.
While Sam commits to taking charge of the kitchen and says he wants to cook fresh and flavorful Italian food, Joe abdicates responsibility of the problems.
The next day, Chef Ramsay devises a cooking competition between father and son to help reignite their passion.
Each man creates a dish to potentially grace the menu as a special during dinner service.
Joe crafts a sophisticated pork dish that beats Sam’s salmon entree, but Chef Ramsay decides to feature both plates.
During service that evening begins by Sam cooking in the kitchen and Joe expediting.
However, the pace of food leaving the kitchen quickly slows down.
Eventually Chef Ramsay has to step in himself on the line to get things moving.
That night Chef Ramsay’s team does a re-design of the dining room featuring a photo series of the family to make Giuseppi’s feel like the family-centered restaurant the pair always dreamed of.
During re-launch night the evening begins well, despite Joe having to take a breather from the line.
Surprisingly Brian begins to revert to his old messy habits and after a confrontation with Chef Ramsay is ejected from the kitchen.
Joe and Sam have to work together to finish service but are able to make it through the night while successfully executing a new and modern Italian menu.
Overall, things seem to be looking up for Giuseppi’s Trattoria.
So was the Kitchen Nightmares Giuseppe’s episode a success?
Keep reading our update to learn what happened next and if this Macomb Michigan restaurant is still open in 2023 and beyond.
Giuseppi’s Update - What Happened Next?
Now that we’ve recapped the Giuseppi’s Kitchen Nightmares episode, let’s talk about what happened to the restaurant after Gordon Ramsay and his crew left Macomb Township, Michigan.
After the Kitchen Nightmare’s intervention in 2008, Giuseppi’s seemed to have decent reviews, though there weren’t a lot of reviews written.
If you want to watch Gordon Ramsay’s Giuseppi’s restaurant revisit, you can see it in this YouTube video:
In the video, Sam seems to be doing much better as a chef and Gordon Ramsay likes his food.
Gordon Ramsay also brings along people from the Italian American Chamber of Commerce, who give Joe a plaque recognizing the restaurant for “authentic Italian cuisine”.
Overall, the Giuseppe’s Gordon Ramsay re-visit seemed to go very well.
Unfortunately, even positive reviews and a happier family would not be able to save the restaurant.
Is Giuseppi’s still open in 2023?
Giuseppi’s closed in July 2009, which was a little over a year after the actual visit from Gordon Ramsay, but less than a year after the Giuseppi Kitchen Nightmares episode aired on TV.
Despite a turn-around in business and several new positive reviews for the restaurant the family could not succeed in keeping the place open.
As of 2023, I believe that the old Giuseppi’s Trattoria Michigan location is occupied by a Chinese restaurant named Wing Wong Carryout Restaurant.
At least, it’s occupying part of the Giuseppi’s location in the strip mall.
The other part of the old location seems to be empty as far as I can tell.
Here’s a picture from Google Maps where you can kind of see it – the main Giuseppi’s property is the empty part on the far right:
If you know anything about what happened to the Giuseppi’s Michigan location, please let me know in the comments so that I can update this post.
Why did Giuseppi’s from Kitchen Nightmares close?
In explaining why Giuseppi’s closed, Joe and Sam cited an economic downturn in Michigan and troubles attaining a liquor license.
Remember – 2009 was right in the middle of the Great Recession, which was a time when a lot of businesses struggled.
In an interview with the Macomb Daily, Joe had this to say slightly before the Giuseppi’s Michigan location closed:
It’s a struggle to survive, I’m not going to lie.
Our weekends have been improving but weekdays are tough.
But even franchises restaurants around us are down 30 percent compared to a year or so ago.
That combination meant the restaurant couldn’t stay afloat and had to close its doors for good.
What happened to Joe from the Giuseppi’s Kitchen Nightmares episode?
Unfortunately, Joe doesn’t really have an online presence so I’m not sure what happened to him after Giuseppi’s closed.
Joe and Kathy were in retirement before opening the restaurant, so I hope they were able to go back to a successful retirement after it closed.
If you know anything, please let me know in the comments!
Is Joe from Giuseppi’s still alive?
Joe Borgia from Giuseppi’s is still alive as far as I can tell.
I searched around for an obituary and I couldn’t find anything that matches him.
So while I don’t know exactly what he’s doing, I’m fairly confident that Joe is still alive – and I hope it stays that way!
What happened to Sam from Giuseppi’s after Kitchen Nightmares?
After Giuseppi’s closed, Sam Borgia has continued his career in the culinary space.
He has worked at a number of different restaurants in the Detroit area.
As of 2023, Sam is working as an executive chef at Bar Verona in Romeo, Michigan.
You can see him listed as the executive chef on the Bar Verona About page.
After Giuseppi’s closed, Sam Borgia also had opened his own restaurant name Siciliano’s in Clinton Township, MI.
That restaurant stayed open for two years before Sam “stepped back” (it’s closed now, so I assume that means it closed after two years).
Congrats to Sam for making a lifelong career from his cooking!
Hat tip to the commenter below who shared these details.
Final thoughts on Giuseppi’s restaurant
Giuseppi’s Italian restaurant seemed to be doing ok after the Kitchen Nightmares episode and they were implementing a lot of Gordon Ramsay’s tips, including having a slimmed-down menu.
Unfortunately, Giuseppi’s closed in July 2009, a victim of the global financial crisis and issues with a liquor license.
If you want to see updates for another Michigan Kitchen Nightmares episode, you can check out our Jack’s Waterfront update in Saint Clair Shores, MI.
And if you want to share your thoughts on the Giuseppe’s episode, you can do so using the comments section below.
What did you think about the Giuseppi’s episode of Kitchen Nightmares? I'd love it if you shared your thoughts on the episode in the comments below!
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Last updated: 2023-04-23 10:31