(keep reading to learn what happened)
Season: 5 | View All Season 5 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: January 13, 2012
Michon's Restaurant Address: 1583 Virginia Ave, College Park, GA 30337
Michon’s Smokehouse restaurant was an Atlanta, Georgia restaurant featured on season 5 of Kitchen Nightmares.
Though the Michon’s Kitchen Nightmares episode aired in January 2012, the actual visit from Gordon Ramsay happened before that in 2011.
It was Season 5 Episode 9 of Kitchen Nightmares.
I have to admit, I watch Gordon Ramsay for one real reason: the flip outs.
I mean, who isn’t entertained when Ramsay goes on one of his famous profanity-laced tirades?
I have to say that I even I was taken aback when Ramsay had to leave the Kitchen in the episode at Michon’s Kitchen at a loss for words.
That does not happen often.
A little backstory, Michon’s is a smoke house twenty minutes from Downtown Atlanta in College Park Georgia.
You’ll see the restaurant referred to by a few different names, including Michon’s Smokehouse, Michon’s BBQ, Michon’s Steakhouse, and just Michon’s Restaurant.
This restaurant was opened back in 2002 by Al and Gaye Wilson.
They named the smokehouse after their daughter, Natalie Michon Wilson.
The restaurant ran smoothly for years under Al.
Fast forward to today and we have a Al Wilson forced to stay home after an operation to save a collapsed lung.
Spoiler alert – he wasn’t even able to make it to the relaunch because of his health issues.
Of course, when the cats away, the mice will play, and the kitchen at Michon’s Smokehouse collapses under mismanagement.
Heck, we have cooks serving microwaved food and prepared items to increasingly angry customers.
Wouldn’t you be mad if you paid big bucks for microwaved food?
Concerned that his restaurant is now over $200,000 in debt, he installs cameras to view the action.
Appalled is the word to describe their reaction, even I was upset for the Wilson’s.
They feel that all is lost unless something drastic happens.
That something is Gordon Ramsay.
Ramsay meets with the Wilsons where Al makes it clear that he wants to retire and, if his daughter steps up her game, she can manage the restaurant.
The question is can she handle it?
Next stop, the restaurant. It starts out promising with Gordon being impressed with the decor.
Unfortunately, it goes downhill fast from there, which is what you’d expect from the Michon’s Kitchen Nightmares episode.
Shock is an understatement when the chef doesn’t want to serve potato salad since peeling potatoes is beneath him.
He tries the chicken wing brought to him just to discover some decent sauce covering a day old microwaved wing.
I have to point out that I almost lost my lunch watching that part.
It gets worse with rotten tomatoes and cornbread that could double as sandpaper.
Here is where it gets interesting…
Ramsay goes to the back to talk to the head chef, only to find out that out of the three chefs, no one is in charge.
When they admit that nearly his whole meal was microwaved, he, the great Gordon, master of the art of profanity, is speechless.
He walks out.
But Gordon Ramsay has a plan to fix Michon’s Smokehouse.
The real problem is a simple fact that there is no leadership.
Without Natalie stepping up to the plate or a head chef, the Michon’s restaurant is sinking fast.
So they pick a head chef, and a teary-eyed Natalie states she is ready to take over.
After a new menu and other changes occur, they are prepared to relaunch the all new Michon’s BBQ.
Gordon surprises them with a visit from some of the biggest names in the BBQ game.
Overwhelmed with the new menu, it is almost game over.
However, Natalie steps up, and while she gives a tour, Ramsay helps to regroup the chefs.
Disaster averted, Natalie shows that she can lead Michon’s Smokehouse to a new level of excellence.
After bashing heads during the episode at point, Ramsay gives Natalie a big hug before leaving.
So was the Kitchen Nightmares Michon episode a success?
Keep reading our update to learn what happened next and if Michon’s Smokehouse is still open in 2024 and beyond.
Michon's Restaurant Update - What Happened Next?
Now that we’ve recapped the Michon’s Kitchen Nightmares episode, let’s get into what happened to the restaurant after Gordon Ramsay and his crew left Atlanta, Georgia.
Things seemed to start off well for Michon’s Smokehouse.
As I mentioned above, the Michon’s episode of Kitchen Nightmares originally aired in January, 2012.
Soon after, in March 2012, they decided to ride the wave of good publicity and opened a second location in downtown Atlanta at 161 Peachtree Center Ave Atlanta, Georgia 30303.
All good so far, right?
Sadly, disaster struck eight days later when an electrical fire burned the restaurant down.
The fire started around 9:15 am and was a three-alarm fire.
Two employees were in the building at the time that the fire started, but they were able to escape without any injuries.
You can see a news article about the Michon’s fire in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The electrical fire burned the new location – not the original Michon’s Atlanta, GA location that you saw on the Kitchen Nightmares episode.
The original Michon’s College Park location struggled on for a bit, but the restaurant could never recover.
Is Michon’s Smokehouse still open after Kitchen Nightmares?
The original Michon’s BBQ location from Kitchen Nightmares closed sometime around 2015, which means that it survived for around three years after the episode aired on TV.
That’s the last date that their Facebook page had an update.
All the other news about the restaurant seems to stop around late 2014.
As of 2023, the old Michon’s Smokehouse College Park location is occupied by an Ethiopian restaurant named Bole.
It seems to have pretty good reviews, with a 4 star rating on its Yelp page.
You can see it in the most recent picture of the original Michon’s Smokehouse College Park location from Google Maps street view:
As I mentioned earlier, there was also another Michon’s location in downtown Atlanta for a very brief time.
As of 2023, the other Michon’s Atlanta GA location has been replaced by a new apartment building called Ascent Peachtree.
Ascent Peachtree is a “pet-friendly apartment community” that opened in 2021.
So it seems like there won’t be any restaurants at that location ever again.
Here’s what the old Michon’s Smokehouse Atlanta GA location looks like in the most recent picture from Google Maps street view:
What happened to Natalie Michon Wilson?
Natalie Michon Wilson was the daughter of the Michon’s owners, Al and Gaye Wilson, and the restaurant was named after her (and the episode was about her taking over).
After Michon’s Restaurant closed, she spent some time as the operations manager for a catering service and as a marketing representative.
In 2020, she founder her own business named Heir Tight, which is a platform for people to securely store and communicate their wishes for what they want to happen after they pass away.
You can learn more on her LinkedIn page.
What happened to Al Wilson?
Sadly, Al Wilson, the Michon’s owner from the episode, passed away in 2018.
You can see Al Wilson’s obituary here.
Final Thoughts on Michon’s Smokehouse
Overall, the Michon’s Kitchen Nightmares episode is a tough one to unpack.
The restaurant seemed to be doing ok after the visit from Gordon Ramsay, even expanding with a new location.
However, a freak accident led to an electrical fire that destroyed the new location before it could even have the grand opening.
While the original Michon’s Atlanta GA location was able to keep going for a few years after that, the loss seems to have been to much to overcome.
Natalie Michon Wilson seems to still have the entrepreneurial fire, though, as she launched her own business in 2020, though it has nothing to do with the hospitality industry.
Sadly, Al Wilson from Michon’s passed away in 2018.
If you want to see another Atlanta Kitchen Nightmares episode, you can check out my Park’s Edge Kitchen Nightmares update.
For some other nearby Kitchen Nightmares episodes, you can read these posts:
- Chappy’s update (Nashville, TN)
- Zeke’s Restaurant update (New Orleans, LA)
- Oceana update (New Orleans, LA)
Thanks for reading!
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Last updated: 2023-01-15 06:04