Jack’s Waterfront Kitchen Nightmares Update – Still Open Today?

Is Jack's Waterfront still open?

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

Season: 2 | View All Season 2 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: November 6, 2008
Jack's Waterfront Address: 24214 Jefferson Ave Saint Clair Shores, Michigan 48080

Episode Recap

Jack’s Waterfront was a Saint Clair Shores, Michigan restaurant featured all the way back on season 2 of Kitchen Nightmares.

Though the Jack’s Kitchen Nightmares episode aired in November 2008, the actual filming and visit from Gordon Ramsay took place earlier in the year in March 2008.

It was Kitchen Nightmares Season 2 Episode 8.

In this winter-time episode, Chef Ramsay heads to Jack’s Waterfront, a seafood restaurant.

Jack’s Waterfront is located in St. Clair Shores, Michigan, which makes the winter-time part relevant here (as you’ll see in a second).

It’s run by a trio – Tanner, Jim, and Scott – along with AJ, the Jack’s Waterfront general manager.

The restaurant was located on the bay and Chef Gordon reached them through a snowmobile by riding over the frozen lake.

One of the perks of being on a TV show!

Jack's Waterfront Gordon Ramsay snowmobile

This is probably Gordon’s most badass entrance haha – I’m not sure what else could compare.

If you can remember another good one, let me know in the comments below.

Once Gordon arrives at the Jack’s Waterfront restaurant, it’s time for him to dig into the food, as he usually does.

To start, Gordon ordered a Krab Omelet and fish and chips from their menu.

He was also informed by a waitress that K in Krab Omelet stands for the artificial crab meat – not a great start!

Chef Gordon disliked the food and proceed to inspect other parts of the restaurant.

He came across the beef swimming in blood and also found a salmon that had been artificially dyed in the pink color.

Although A.J. tried to impress him, Chef Gordon isn’t impressed with the staff at all.

AJ General Manager Jack's Waterfront

He was also informed that fish was bought from the market when they can actually get it directly on the bay without incurring expenses.

Chef Gordon was also not impressed with certain habits of the general manager A.J., such as drinking ouzo while being on duty, socializing with customers and tendency to neglect even his basic duties.

Given his negative impression, Gordon Ramsay was extremely surprised to find that A.J. is pulling in over $100,000 per year for that quality of work.

A.J cited his long working hours to justify his salary, but Gordon ain’t buying it.

Chef Gordon was also not impressed with the performance of Aaron, the in-house chef of Jack’s Waterfront.

Chef Aaron was not confident with his job and he was facing difficulty is controlling his staff.

They would go out without caring for his instructions and they were not polite with their customers too.

The customers too were not impressed with the quality of the food and regularly complained about this to A.J.

Chef Gordon realized that too much food is being wasted as customers were sending it back again and again to the kitchen.

It was quite obvious that this was causing a huge financial burden on the restaurant but no one seems to be bothered about it.

Chef Aaron Jack's Waterfront

After going through the problem, Chef Gordon decided to show how an actual waterfront restaurant should be operating.

He came up with a specially cooked fish which was caught on the ice lake.

Not only staff but customers also appreciated this fresh fish.

After tasting it, everyone wanted Gordon’s dish to be included in the main menu (I mean, duh – it’s Gordon Ramsay).

Chef Gordon also went through various parts of the restaurant to give it a makeover.

He introduced fish bowls in the walls and a knots game to keep customers busy and entertained while the food was being prepared.

This allowed staff to have more time to cook their food properly.

There was a new menu too and fish was being caught from the bay.

The relaunch of the Jack’s Waterfront was a success and customers were loving new décor and food.

Chef Gordon also requested A.J. to cut his hours and salary to help the restaurant and think about long-term benefits.

A.J. agreed on this suggestion and staff agreed to be more cooperative and things were looking up for Jacks on the Waterfront.

So was the Jack’s restaurant episode a long-term success?

Keep reading my update to learn what happened next and if this Michigan restaurant is still open in 2024.

Jack's Waterfront Update - What Happened Next?

Now that we’ve recapped the Jack’s Kitchen Nightmares episode, let’s talk about what happened to the restaurant after Gordon Ramsay and his crew left St Clair Shores.

After Gordon left, the restaurant did seem to improve a bit.

However, the improvements would not be enough for long-term success.

Is Jack’s Waterfront still open?

Jack’s Waterfront closed in December 2010, which was around two years after the Jack’s Kitchen Nightmares episode aired on TV.

Shortly after the closure, it reopened under new ownership as Dockside Jack’s in March 2011.

However, it was permanently closed after a month and the three owners sold it back to the previous owners.

For a time, a restaurant called Brownies on the Lake was operating in the previous Jack’s Waterfront Michigan location.

They had returned after 14 years and were operated by Andiamo Restaurant Group.

However, reviews for Brownies on the Lake didn’t seem that positive as it had just a 2.5 star rating on its Yelp page.

Despite the low rating, Brownies on the Lake did seem to be successful for a while.

However, as of 2024, it seems like Brownies has closed and the location is now occupied by a new seafood restaurant named Hook.

However, Hook doesn’t seem to have great reviews either, as it has just a 3.1 star rating on Yelp.

Maybe the location is cursed? Who knows haha.

Here’s the old Jacks Michigan location in the most recent picture from Google Maps street view – it hasn’t updated in a while so it’s still showing the Brownie’s restaurant:

Jack’s Waterfront Michigan reviews after Gordon Ramsay

At the time that Jack’s Waterfront closed, it had an overall 3 star rating on the Jack’s Waterfront Yelp page.

However, a lot of the reviews after the Jack’s Waterfront Gordon Ramsay visit were fairly positive, so it seems like Gordon did have a positive effect on the restaurant, even if it eventually closed.

Here are a couple of examples of reviews that were written after the Jack’s Kitchen Nightmares visit…

4 star Yelp review from October 2008:

While we’ve tried to go here with our boat, each time the wait has been way too long, and we’ve had to go somewhere else to eat sooner.

When we’ve come in our car we’ve had much better luck. Probably because the days we’re in the car, it’s too cold/overcast/rough to be out on the water.

The food has been good, and the ambiance inside is definitely more comfortable and family friendly than the patio.

The service isn’t the best we’ve had, but we were never left wanting for anything.

Jack’s is somewhere that makes me think of summer. It’s great to eat inside and comfortable while watching the boats come and go.

4 star Yelp review from March 2009:

I always have a good time when I go to Jack’s.

I usually go about every 3-4 months or so with some ladies from the hospital I work at nearby, and we always enjoy ourselves.

It’s more fun of course in the summer, and the view is really nice.

The food is fantastic. We always go for lunch and there are never many people, which is nice.

It’s got a great atmosphere, the staff is helpful, and we really like their food.

I always get a Cesar salad, and it’s delicious. Their soups and sandwiches are good also.

Their lunch specials are decently priced as well. I can’t wait to go back!

What happened to chef Aaron from Jack’s Waterfront?

A lot of people felt bad for chef Aaron because he didn’t have the flexibility to change the menu.

Unfortunately, Aaron doesn’t seem to have much of a social media presence so I can’t find out what happened to him after the Kitchen Nightmares episode.

If you know anything, please leave a comment and let me know!

Final thoughts on Jack’s Waterfront

After the Kitchen Nightmares Jack’s Waterfront visit, the restaurant seemed to be doing ok as reviews were generally positive.

However, it would not survive for long, going through some closing/reopening and ownership changes (including being sold back to the previous owners).

For a time, the old Jack’s St. Clair Shores location was occupied by a restaurant named Brownies on the Lake.

But as of 2024, the location now seems to be occupied by a new restaurant named Hook.

If you want to see another Michigan Kitchen Nightmares episode, you can check out my update for Giuseppi’s Trattoria in Macomb MI.

Those are the only restaurants that Gordon Ramsay visited in Michigan, but some other nearby restaurants include Mill Street Bistro in Ohio, J Willy’s BBQ in South Bend Indiana, and Cafe 36 in Chicago.

And if you want to share your thoughts on the Jack’s Waterfront episode, you can join a lot of other people in the comments section below.

Thanks for reading!

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Last updated: 2024-03-13 09:25

40 thoughts on “Jack’s Waterfront Kitchen Nightmares Update – Still Open Today?”

All comments are the sole opinion of the commenter and are not endorsed by RealityTVUpdates.

  1. From Minnesota, scratched my head when I read jet ski. Winter; snow here- snowmobile, Summer; open water on the more than 10,000 lakes-jet skis.
    Like KN. Even like to watch the reruns.

  2. I could’ve swore I saw Scott from this episode tonight at a small bar/restaurant in Shiawassee County. Tempted to ask him but if it was him, wouldn’t want to bring up bad memories of a failed restaurant.

  3. The entire kitchen line should’ve been fired. Such a useless, disrespectful crew. The head chef was completely handicapped by them and a bad menu. The “manager” was a complete joke and doing nothing but draining any profit they might have seen. Unfortunately, they waited too long to bring in Ramsay and certainly needed more assistance than he could provide. Bottom line, the three owners were in way over their heads.

    • Yes, I think that must be what happened…they were too far in the hole to turn things around fast enough to save the business. I think that probably explains why KN’s restaurants have such a high failure rate. They don’t call Gordon in until they are on the precipice of losing the business. Then their best-faith efforts can’t save them. Too bad.

    • The one guy frying onion rings seems to have a very low IQ. The biggest issue was AJ, paying him $100 000 in 2008, that is outrageous, Aaron was likely only paid $40000-$50000 at the time. AJ only smokes, drinks and dance all night. With 3 owners, they don’t need a general manager, AJ was only there because he is Tammer’s dad. I hope the three owners are doing well today

    • Yes I agree, the main reason why a lot of them are failures and end up closing anyways is because they waited til the last minute when they have one foot in and one foot out and deep into debt and that’s hard to come back from

  4. Brownies is one of the hot spots on lake St Clair with a 3.9/5 rating. It’s pretty much a lakeside nightclub at night but a nice fancy spot during the day with great views. This episode would have been way different if it was shot in the summer.

  5. The three owner’s were sailing away, on a sinking ship from the start. If you allow a money hungry g.M. To suck the profit out of the business, then why be surprised, when the door’s close and your left with a pile of bills.

    The owners knew the restaurant was floundering and sinking into a deep dark hole. Gordon did little to stop the final outcome offering no safety net. That was the worst makeover the show has ever done, along with gordon’s perch fish idea……

    • right? there is no commercial fishing on lake st. clair and I wouldnt eat anything out of a lake regularily closed to human contact from E. Coli.

      • I grew up in south-central MI and we were raised with Lake Erie is the industrial dump of Detroit’s auto-manufacturing pollution. No swimming, let alone fishing, was allowed. (Lake St. Clair is fed by Erie, er…the other way around?)
        Granted, that was a long minute ago, but those memories swiftly returned when I saw perch coming out of the frozen lake.

  6. I wanted to see what happened to Chef Aaron. I was impressed and inspired by his positive energy, work ethic, and fortitude. Had he been given the authority that he needed and that his title implies, he could have turned that place into something special.
    It was evident that Aaron had the drive and will to be great chef. He correctly identified and clearly voiced the problems that existed along with the solutions needed to correct them. He was humble, bright, and surprisingly composed and patient amidst an atmosphere of apathy and aggravation. Had he been allowed to lead his staff and create or improve the menu, he would have embraced his role and gained the respect that he deserved from his staff. The qualities that Aaron possesses are the perfect recipe for a successful chef and restaurant.
    It’s a shame the owners couldn’t relinquish some authority and creative licence. Ultimately, it cost them their business. It could have been a restaurant that stood the test of time and established itself as a staple in the community.
    Wherever Aaron is now, I hope he is either living or still chasing his dreams.

  7. my favorite takeaways:

    Summer resort community? Which resort would that be? The nursing home across the street?

    Snowmobile across the lake my butt, you’re telling me he snowmobiled himself across an international border?

    Fresh Perch from the lake thats regularly closed for swimming because Macomb cant be bothered to pay taxes for sewers so they just pump their shit into the lake?

    I swear, Macomb county is the worst.

    • I dunno – looking at the map, it seems there’s at least a little bit of the US on the opposite shore. He could’ve snowmobiled across that, theoretically?.

      Of course, he didn’t really; chances are he just did a few hundred metres at most, and just for a bit of fun as well as the camera shot.

  8. According to the Yelp site on the link the new restaurant is closed every day except 12:00 to 12:15 on Sundays. Someone is having fun!

    • It seemed like the big bro and the youngblood were the two who mostly ignored Aaron and did nothing in every scene they were filmed.

  9. Brownies on the Lake has been around as far back as I can remember. Don’t know if they closed at some point for a while and then opened back up or what? But, either way, I know my parents used to go there in the 70’s when they had their boat; in the late 80’s had a manager who was there every weekend, and the early 90’s a friend and her boyfriend who used to take his boat there on weekends.
    That tells how far back it was and/or has been around.

  10. I found some info on the owners.

    Bill Lowery started a fitness company with his sister, Kelly. It’s called Evokfit. There are some recent pics of Bill on their Instagram.

    Scott Rais started a now-defunct website called Maiden Detroit. He mentions it on his Facebook, which hasn’t been used since 2011.
    But, I also found that Scott is now the Sales Director for a company called VirtaulAssistant Task.

    Tammer Adel Jarjoura went back to his job as an engineer, working in the motor vehicle industry, and the role has taken him all over the world. He is currently the Vice President of ZF Group.


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