(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
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 episode, Chef Gordon Ramsay visited Jack’s Waterfront, St Clair Shores, MI, a seafood restaurant which was run by Tanner, Jim, and Scott. A.J. was their 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!
This is probably Gordon’s most badass entrance – I’m not sure what else could compare.
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.
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.
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 Kitchen Nightmares episode a long-term success? Keep reading to learn what happened next and if this Michigan restaurant is still open in 2023.
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.
As of 2023, a restaurant called Brownies on the Lake is operating in the previous Jack’s Waterfront Michigan location.
They have returned back after 14 years and are operated by Andiamo Restaurant Group.
However, reviews for Brownies on the Lake don’t seem that positive as it has just a 2.5 star rating on its Yelp page.
Despite the low rating, Brownies on the Lake does seem to be successful for now.
Here’s the old Jacks Michigan location in the most recent picture from Google Maps street view:
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).
As of 2023, the old Jack’s St. Clair Shores location is occupied by a restaurant named Brownies on the Lake.
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.
Thanks for reading!
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Last updated: 2023-01-13 06:28