(keep reading to learn what happened)
Season: 8 | View All Season 8 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: November 13, 2023
Love Bites Cafe Address: 69 Partition St, Saugerties, NY 12477
Love Bites Cafe was a Saugerties, New York restaurant featured on Season 8 of Kitchen Nightmares.
Though the Love Bites Cafe Kitchen Nightmares episode aired on TV in November 2023, the actual visit from Gordon Ramsay happened in June 2023.
It was Kitchen Nightmares Season 8 Episode 6.
In this episode, Gordon Ramsay heads to Love Bites Cafe in Saugerties, New York.
If you’re not familiar with New York geography, Saugerties is located well North of New York City, closer to Albany than NYC.
While Gordon Ramsay has visited lots of restaurants in the New York City area, Love Bites Cafe is actually the first time he’s ventured further North in New York, so it’s a bit of an outlier.
Love Bites Cafe is owned by a couple, Tess Robinson and Christopher Keff.
The couple have been engaged for some time, but the difficulty of running the restaurant is putting a lot of stress on their relationship.
Tess says that the “business has destroyed our relationship”.
She also says that “I don’t know if I want to marry Chris”, which seems like a pretty big deal.
They purchased Love Bites Cafe back in April 2017, so they’ve been in tis situation for a long time.
Side note – back when they purchased the restaurant, the article I found also mentioned them as being engaged at that time. So I guess they’ve been engaged for like 5+ years at this point.
However, the cafe had been around before that, so it has a pretty lengthy history and a solid base of regulars.
When Tess and Chris purchased the restaurant, they took over from the previous longtime chef/owner.
In total, Love Bites Cafe has been around for 20+ years, though that history spans multiple locations and owners.
The actual Love Bites Kitchen Nightmares visit happened from June 16th to June 19th, which was evidenced by the restaurant posting that it would be closed during those dates on its Facebook page.
Much of the Love Bites Cafe Kitchen Nightmares episode focuses on the relationship between Tess and Chris.
As I mentioned earlier, the stress of running the business is negatively affecting their relationship.
They argue all the time and, at least as the producers portray him, Chris seems to treat Tess very poorly.
Remember, it is reality TV, so I’m sure the producers played up the negative aspect of their relationship.
Still, Chris does end up yelling at Tess a lot, which adds to the relationship difficulties.
Ginny, Tess’s mom, doesn’t think that Tess and Chris’s relationship is going to work unless they make big changes.
At one point, Gordon meets privately with Tess to talk about the relationship, where Tess admits that she didn’t really want the restaurant.
As if the relationship problems aren’t enough, the couple are also dealing with a massive $200,000 in debt that they need to pay off.
When Gordon Ramsay orders at Love Bites Cafe, he thinks the menu is too big and covers too many different types of dishes (a common theme for this season).
Gordon isn’t a huge fan of the food, though he does say that some of it tastes “ok”.
He actually finds the taste of the French Dip to be alright, though he has issues with the bread.
Still, it’s very rare for Gordon Ramsay to like the food at a restaurant from Kitchen Nightmares.
But a bigger issue is the environment and interactions between Chris and Tess.
For example, when Chris is cooking the food, he’s yelling at Tess for not getting it out to Gordon Ramsay fast enough.
Gordon calls it one of the most toxic restaurants that he’s ever been in, which says a lot about it given some of the other restaurants that Gordon has rescued.
Because of that, Gordon wants Chris to meet with a professional therapist.
While that was going on, Gordon Ramsay and his crew were working on the restaurant.
In general, Gordon Ramsay did what he usually does at Love Bites Cafe.
This includes putting in a smaller, more focused menu.
Here’s a picture of the Love Bites Cafe menu from after the Gordon Ramsay visit (I believe that this is correct).
Gordon and the Kitchen Nightmares team also revamped the design aesthetic at Love Bites Cafe and gave it a new look.
As part of the visit, I know that Gordon Ramsay invited a local food blogger/critic.
His name was Jason Bover and he runs a Facebook group named Ulster Eateries Unfiltered.
This reminds me of the Down City episode from Season 5, which also featured a local food blogger.
Apparently, the Kitchen Nightmares producers actually posted in that group asking for extras for the Love Bites restaurant episode, though they later deleted the post after finding enough people.
So was the Kitchen Nightmares Love Bites Cafe episode a long-term success?
Keep reading to learn what happened next and if this Saugerties, New York restaurant is still open in 2023.
Love Bites Cafe Update - What Happened Next?
Now that we’ve recapped the Love Bites Cafe Kitchen Nightmares episode, let’s talk about what happened to the restaurant after Gordon Ramsay and his crew left Saugerties, NY.
Unfortunately, this is not a fun one to update because it seems like the Love Bites Cafe episode was totally pointless.
Let’s start with the most important question, and then I’ll get into some more backstory…
Is Love Bites Cafe still open after Kitchen Nightmares?
Unfortunately, Love Bites Cafe closed in July 2023, which was just about a month after the Love Bites Cafe Gordon Ramsay visit and four months before the actual Kitchen Nightmares episode aired on TV.
Why did Love Bites Cafe close?
It seems like they sold the restaurant to new owners, based on a Facebook post from July 10th that announced the closure.
This has been a hard post to think about, type and even post.
Let us start off like we always do by saying you guys are the best and we love you!
Our customers are friends and some have become like family.
We wouldn’t trade these last 6 years of serving you for anything!
But the time has come and We are on to our next adventure.
But know we are leaving you in very good hands!
We will miss you all.
And even though Chris and I will no longer be apart of the business at 69 partition street our recipes and imprint will live through the new cafe!
We will be transitioning ownership in the near future.
Thank you all for an amazing 6 years!!!
Here’s a screenshot of the Facebook post in case it gets deleted:
The cafe also seemed to have a very loyal following, as evidenced by the 44+ comments from fans on the Facebook post.
Here’s a screenshot of a few comments – the regulars definitely seem to have liked the restaurant.
According to a local news article, the Love Bites Cafe sale had actually already been finalized at the time of the Gordon Ramsay visit, which is a bit awkward.
In the article, they say that Tess and Christopher sold the restaurant in between applying to appear on Kitchen Nightmares and actually hearing back from Fox.
Here’s the relevant portion, which includes a quote from Jason Bover:
“I’m not sure of the specifics of how getting on the show works but one could assume they reached out to Fox or Kitchen Nightmares somehow and applied to be on the show,” Bover said.
During that time frame of waiting to hear back from Fox, the owners reached an agreement to sell to a father-and-son team who worked across the street at Dallas Hot Weiners.
They sold it to a father-and-son team who owned a restaurant across the street, as well as some other restaurants in the Saugerties area.
Even though the deal was already done, the new owners agreed to wait until after the Love Bites Cafe Kitchen Nightmares taping to take over the restaurant.
The new restaurant at that location is called The Town Cafe.
The new owners seem to have gotten rid of most things related to Love Bites and Gordon Ramsay, so the new location really has no connection to what you saw on Kitchen Nightmares.
Again, it’s a real bummer.
It seems like Gordon’s efforts were totally wasted.
If the article is correct, I’m not sure why they didn’t just pull out from the filming when they finalized the sale, but I guess it might’ve been too late by that point.
The Kitchen Nightmares producers probably would rather just go ahead with the filming because it was already on the schedule.
The Love Bites Cafe owners sold because of health issues, though, so I don’t want to make it seem like they had bad intentions.
As far as I can tell, they were legitimately planning to keep Love Bites Cafe open when they applied for the restaurant to be on Kitchen Nightmares.
In a comment responding to someone joking about them selling after Ramsay, they said this:
Or maybe we got on the show and are selling because I am co owner and have had 25 surgeries and gets infusions every week.
People who know me, know I had no choice and would appreciate you all being kind thanks!
Overall, I feel for the owners as it’s definitely tough to run a restaurant with those health issues going on.
Still, it’s a bit unsatisfying coming from the perspective of someone who watch the Love Bites restaurant episode.
Even though The Town Cafe is separate from Love Bites Cafe, The Town Cafe still actually hosted a watch party when the Kitchen Nightmares Love Bites Cafe episode aired.
Here’s a link to that post in the Ulster Eateries Unlimited group, along with a screenshot.
As always, I’ll also embed the Google Maps street view, so you can explore the area…
Here’s what the Love Bites Saugerties NY location looks like in the most recent picture from Google Maps street view – you can already see the new tenant:
Next, let’s take a look at some Love Bites reviews from after Gordon’s visit…
Love Bites Cafe reviews after Kitchen Nightmares
Because Love Bites Cafe closed less than a month after the Gordon Ramsay visit, there aren’t a ton of post-Kitchen Nightmares reviews for us to look at.
Overall, Love Bites Cafe had a 4.3 star rating on over 320 Yelp reviews, which is quite good.
The reviews were even better on Google, where it had a 4.6 star rating on over 330 Google reviews.
It’s definitely not a “nightmare” based on that, as most of those reviews were from before the Love Bites Cafe Gordon Ramsay visit.
The restaurant also seemed to have a very loyal group of followers.
In the few reviews and Facebook comments that I read after Gordon’s visit, the Love Bites Cafe regulars seemed to still like the restaurant, but they were unhappy with the smaller size of the menu.
Additionally, it seems like Gordon reduced the portion sizes, which also made some regulars unhappy.
For example, in the comments on this Facebook post about the new Love Bites Cafe Menu, you can see people complaining about their favorite dishes no longer being on the menu.
A few Yelp reviews also mentioned these issues.
Here’s a sampling…
4 star Yelp review from July 2023:
We returned to Love Bites last weekend, only a week since my disappointing experience (review below), and things are definitely much better.
The steak and eggs were delicious – both the steak and the eggs were cooked and seasoned perfectly.
The iced coffee is also now back to its original size.
We ordered a side of latkes, which are also perfectly seasoned and crispy again.
The menu has also grown to about a third (from about a fifth) of its original variety, and seems to be moving in the right direction.
For the price, however, the portions have shrunk since pre-Ramsay.
The steak and eggs are almost $30, which I would expect for a full dinner of steak and eggs, not a breakfast-sized portion.
I also hope that the side-salads and sides of latkes return as included with the brunch dishes, especially the full plates like the steak and eggs.
Otherwise, I’m glad to see Love Bites starting to regain some of its original sparkle.
2 star Yelp review from June 2023:
Been coming to love bites for years and had always had an amazing experience.
My family and i always look forward to going here as a little treat for brunch.
But i was disappointed on my visit today to find a extremely reduced menu with limiting options that excluded their amazing carrot cake french toast and egg benedict dishes.
Keeping an open mind with the new menu
I ordered the huevos rancheros and was very disappointed on the lack of flavor of dish overall.
The chorizo had an interesting flavor/ smell that made the dish somewhat off putting.
We also got the whipped ricotta toast which was good but not extraordinary enough to go out of my way to get it again.
I ordered my usual dirty chai latte and was slightly disappointed to see its serving cup was half the size from what it used to be for almost around the same price.
Besides that the dirty chai was great as usual but just downsized.
Finally, here’s a very lengthy Google review from someone who really didn’t like Gordon’s changes.
Here are my favorite parts, but I’ve embedded a screenshot of the full review since it’s very long:
Bottom line, even though the service and atmosphere weren’t up to Ramsay’s Celebrity-Chef standards, they were perfectly fine and what we would have expected from a small-town-catskills bistro/diner.
… [long text]
But more than anything, this has made me see Gordon Ramsay in a new light.
He single-handedly came in and sabotaged this gem.
It’s really sad, and I think he needs to take the responsibility that he is consistently (and unashamedly) demanding that restaurant owners and workers take.
His drive-by approach to restaurant rehabilitation is clearly window dressing for a shallow, self-interested, and ineffective approach to culinary and cultural depth.
I will give Love Bites another chance, but not Gordon Ramsay.
Again, we can’t really know if the changes from the Gordon Ramsay Love Bites Cafe visit would’ve been successful long term because Love Bites Cafe closed so soon after the episode.
However, based on the limited information that I have, it seems like regulars weren’t huge fans of the changes.
It seems like Love Bites Cafe did expand the menu and bring back some favorites after Gordon’s visit, though.
Final thoughts on Love Bites Cafe restaurant
Overall, this one is kind of a bummer because we never really got a chance to see how Gordon’s changes would work at Love Bites Cafe.
Love Bites Cafe closed less than a month after Gordon’s visit because Tess and Chris sold it to new owners due to health issues.
Based on a local news article that I found, it was actually already sold before Gordon even visited – the new owners just agreed to wait until after the episode was filmed to take over.
This makes it the first restaurant from Season 8 to close, as the previous five restaurants from this season were still open at the time that their episodes aired on TV.
The new owners have relaunched the old Love Bites Cafe Saugerties NY location as The Town Cafe, which seems to have good reviews so far.
However, The Town Cafe has no connection to Love Bites Cafe, beyond sharing the same location.
That wraps up my Love Bites Cafe Kitchen Nightmares update.
If you want to see some other nearby New York Kitchen Nightmares episodes, you need to head down to the New York City area. Some of the closest restaurants are Fiesta Sunrise in West Nyack and The Olde Stone Mill in Tuckahoe. Sabatiello’s in Stamford CT is also in that area.
If you want to see updates for some of the other restaurants from the 2023 Kitchen Nightmares season, you can read my updates for The Juicy Box in Brooklyn NY, Da Mimmo in Dumont NJ, In The Drink in Wayne NJ, and El Cantito Cafe in Yonkers NY.
And if you want to share your thoughts on the Love Bites Cafe episode, you can do so using the comments section below.
As always – thanks for reading!
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Last updated: 2023-11-19 06:06