(keep reading to learn what happened)
Season: 7 | View All Season 7 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: April 11, 2014
Pantaleone's Address: 2120 S Holly St Denver, CO 80222
Pantaleone’s was a Denver, Colorado restaurant featured on season 7 of Kitchen Nightmares.
Though the Pantaleone’s Kitchen Nightmares episode aired on April 11, 2014, the actual filming and visit from Gordon Ramsay happened much earlier in July 2013.
Pantaleone’s was Kitchen Nightmares Season 7 Episode 2.
In this episode of Kitchen Nightmares, Chef Gordon Ramsay takes us to Pantaleone’s in Denver, Colorado.
The restaurant specializes in pizza and and is owned by husband and wife team, Pete and Paulette Fafalios.
Pantaleone’s opened its doors in 1985 and was a bustling restaurant in the 90’s, Pete Fafalios’ pizza making skills winning multiple awards.
However, Pantaleone’s better days seem to be behind them at the time of the Pantaleone’s Kitchen Nightmares.
The couple now face the daunting fact that they will soon have to close their restaurant for good if Chef Gordon Ramsay can’t save them.
Upon arrival, Gordon Ramsay is greeted by the couple and their son, Josh.
Gordon quickly finds out that Pete is a hands-on owner.
However, there’s one major oddity right away…
They choose to close the restaurant on Sunday and Monday, despite those being the two busiest pizza delivery days of the week.
What’s more, Gordon soon finds out that the restaurant doesn’t offer a delivery service, either.
A pizza shop without delivery in the 21st century? That’s crazy!
With issues like this, you can’t be too surprised that Pantaleone’s was struggling.
The restaurant is a family-owned business so Chef Ramsay inquires into when Josh, age 33, will take over the family business.
After asking about this, Gordon finds out that Pete has yet to train and teach Josh, leaving Josh very frustrated.
It’s time to eat as Chef Ramsay sits down and orders a sausage pizza, toasted meatball hero, calzone, and a linguini off the menu.
While waiting, Chef Ramsay notices the décor of the dining room and compares it to a hospital waiting room.
That’s not exactly high praise for a restaurant, haha…
The calzone arrives first and Chef Ramsay first notices the enormity of the calzone, claiming it to be too full and cold in the middle.
The sausage pizza arrives next and it is equally as enormous as the calzone and the dough is still raw and dripping with grease and oil.
Unfortunately, Pete, who cannot and will not let the glory days of the past go, refuses to accept Gordon’s feedback and insists that his pizza is the best pizza in the city of Denver.
The meatball hero arrives next and Gordon compares it to a diaper full of meatballs due to it being too big and soggy.
Gordon Ramsay really does have a way with words, doesn’t he?
Lastly, the linguini and clams arrive and Chef Ramsay complains that it is bland, made with canned clams.
It’s also too watery, as Gordon can empty the clam juice found at the bottom of the dish into a glass.
Gordon sits down with the kitchen staff afterwards to give his feedback, claiming that eating the restaurant’s food has been his worst experience thus far.
Given that this is Season 7 of Kitchen Nightmares, that’s a pretty big claim.
Unfortunately, Pete disagrees with Gordon on all his complaints of the food.
I guess it’s only Gordon Ramsay – what does he know about food anyway, right?
To help turn things around at the Pantaleon’s Denver location, Gordon updates the menu with more traditional Italian pizzas with modern contemporary twists added.
The next day, Gordon sets up a taste test where he puts Pete’s pizza up against the best pizza in Denver and a store bought pizza.
Gordon wants to see what people rate Pantaleone’s pizza when they’re being honest.
The Fafalios are watching via a video link and witness the public rate their pizza the worst of the three options, receiving only 10% of the votes, leaving Pete speechless and in shock.
Yes – the Pantaleone’s pizza literally did worse than a store bought pizza.
After much deliberation, Pete agrees to changing the way he makes the Pizza.
Chef Ramsay wants to help mend the father/son relationship, so he sends the two to Las Vegas to visit a pizza restaurant that has been open for 100 years and has seen four generations of owners.
While Pete and Josh are in Las Vegas, Gordon gives Pantaleone’s a makeover.
He replaces the plastic tablecloths, removes the wooden paneling, and brightens it up a bit with more contemporary pictures of family and Italy on the walls.
It’s the night of the relaunch and despite some bickering between an overwhelmed Pete and Josh, the night was a total success.
Pete even calls Gordon Ramsay a “remarkable, remarkable man”, which is a nice compliment.
So was the Kitchen Nightmares Pantaleone’s pizza episode a long-term success?
Keep reading to learn what happened next and if this Denver, Colorado pizza restaurant is still open in 2023.
Pantaleone's Update - What Happened Next?
Now that we’ve recapped the Pantaleone’s Kitchen Nightmares episode, let’s talk about what happened to the restaurant after Gordon Ramsay and his crew left Denver.
Things initially got off to a bit of a rocky star as Pete said that the restaurant was having some issues with regular customers who didn’t like the new menu.
This happened after Gordon Ramsay visited, but before the episode aired.
Remember, there was a nine month gap between when the makeover happened and when the Pantaleone’s Kitchen Nightmares episode aired on TV.
However, those issues were short lived as overall the restaurant’s business was improved by around ~70% after the episode aired.
Is Pantaleone’s still open in 2023?
As of 2023, Pantaleone’s restaurant is still open and serving customers pizza in Denver, Colorado.
However, Pantaleone’s no longer offers dine-in service – they’re only open for takeout and delivery.
This is according to the official Pantaleone’s Denver website, as well as some reviews that I read.
The restaurant is still owned and run by the family trio of Pete, Paulette and Josh Fafalios.
Customers seem very happy and Pantaleone’s has a four star rating on Yelp and a 4.5 star rating on TripAdvisor.
I’ll share some real examples of Pantaleone’s reviews below.
If you want to learn more, you can check out the Pantaleone’s website.
You can also find a direct link to their menu here.
Additionally, Pantaleone’s has since expanded and start offering delivery service via GrubHub and Slice.
However, they’re still closed on Sundays and Mondays, just as they were during the episode.
Here’s what the Pantaleone’s Denver Colorado location looks like in the most recent picture from Google Maps street view…
I also found a 2020 YouTube video via from a channel called Fast Food Pit Stops.
In the video, the host revisits Pantaleone’s and talks with Pete, the owner.
You can watch it below:
Pantaleone’s reviews after Kitchen Nightmares
As I mentioned above, Pantaleone’s has an overall four star rating on over 280 Yelp reviews, which is pretty good as far as Kitchen Nightmares restaurants go.
Here’s a sampling of a few Pantaleone’s reviews that were written after the visit from Gordon Ramsay…
5 star Yelp review from May 2022:
Came by here while I was in town a few weeks ago since I’m a big Kitchen Nightmares fan and absolutely loved the pizza!
They’re only doing takeout right now just a heads up.
After we ordered the owner went and started making the pizza by hand in front of us which was really cool to watch and he was super nice and fun to talk to plus the pizza was great!
I especially loved the sauce and the crust was really great too!
Absolutely recommend coming here if you’re a Kitchen Nightmares fan and just a fan of good pizza I’ll definitely be going back whenever I’m in town!
4 star Yelp review from September 2021:
Good classic pizza.
Really good dough recipe.
This place was featured on Gordon Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares.
The dining room is no longer open, so it’s only pickup or delivery now.
4 star Yelp review from July 2022:
Like most people, I was interested in trying this spot out after watching the kitchen nightmares episode.
Saw it years ago but recently moved to Denver so I had to try it.
Definitely better than any chain out there.
I had the sausage pizza.
The sauce and the sausage is very good.
The crust, while tasting nice, could have seen the oven for a couple more minutes.
It was cooked all the way through but not quite as crispy as I’d like.
Overall, I’d go back for sure.
2 star Yelp review from September 2021:
Genuinely confused as to how this place has it’s rating.
This was, perhaps, the most mediocre pie I’ve had in a very long time.
Don’t bother watching the Kitchen Nightmares episode.
It’s simply uninspired pizza and not worth a visit.
I also found a 2020 YouTube video of some guys who reviewed Pantaleone’s, which includes them eating the pizza in the parking lot outside the restaurant.
What happened to Pete Fafalios from Pantaleone’s?
Pete Fafalios is still the owner at Pantaleone’s, along with Paulette and their son John.
As far as I can tell, nothing has changed there.
If you watch the 2020 video that I embedded above, Pete is still cooking pizzas in the kitchen.
Final thoughts on the Pantaleone’s Pizza Kitchen Nightmares episode
Overall, Pantaleone’s pizza seems like a real Kitchen Nightmares success story.
Despite having what Gordon claimed to be some of the worst food from the show, Pantaleone’s has completely turned things around to build a thriving business.
The same Pantaleone’s Denver Colorado location has been open for almost a decade after the visit from Gordon Ramsay, with no sign of things slowing down.
If you’re in the Denver area, grab a slice (or a pie) and let me know how it went in the comments.
Thanks for reading!
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Last updated: 2023-03-23 06:45