(keep reading to learn what happened)
Season: 4 | View All Season 4 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: February 4, 2011
PJ's Steakhouse Address: 73-11 Yellowstone Blvd Forest Hills, NY 11375
PJ’s Steakhouse, later renamed PJ’s Grill, was a Forest Hills, New York (Queens) restaurant featured on Season 4 of Kitchen Nightmares.
Though the PJ’s Steakhouse Kitchen Nightmares episode aired in February 2011, the actual filming and visit from Gordon Ramsay took place much earlier in March 2010.
It was Kitchen Nightmares Season 4 Episode 3.
P.J.’s Steakhouse is owned by husband and wife duo Joe and Madalyn.
The restaurant is located in luxurious Forest Hills, which is located in Queens New York.
They opened the restaurant in honor of Joe’s brother PJ who died, which is a nice thing to do.
However, they have invested close to $2,000,000.00 into the restaurant.
They serve different meat dishes, as you’d expect from the name.
Joe and Madelyn have no prior experience in the restaurant business.
Instead, Joe had previously worked in construction.
As a result, the restaurant is losing money and definitely needs help from Gordon Ramsay.
With so much money riding on the restaurant, they desperately need the PJ’s Steakhouse Kitchen Nightmares visit to be a success.
Gordon Ramsay enters the restaurant and notices there is no one operating the desk.
He finally locates the owner seated at the bar.
Joe’s wife, Madelyn, and the head chef are also eventually found.
Gordon quickly realizes that Joe has no feeling for the restaurant business, which makes sense given he lacks prior experience.
As Gordon sits down to dine, he notices that the restaurant is empty.
For a steakhouse, P.J.’s Steakhouse only offers two cuts of steak, which is super weird.
The restaurant lacks a porterhouse and a New York strip.
Why call it a steakhouse if you’re not going to focus on steak?
Colin, Gordon’s server, greets him, and Gordon orders crab cakes, roasted garlic ravioli, and filet mignon.
Side note – has anyone noticed that Gordon Ramsay almost always orders crab cakes?
The crab cakes arrive first, and Gordon doesn’t like their presentation immediately.
He also finds plastic pieces mixed in with the crab, which is obviously not a good sign.
The steak is slightly better than the crabs but is still tough.
Gordon calls the ravioli disgusting.
He now understands why the restaurant is so empty even though there is a ton of foot traffic outside.
Gordon confronts the chef, who is unhappy about Gordon’s comments, and a fight ensues.
It’s only Gordon Ramsay – of course the PJ’s Steakhouse chef knows better! /s
Despite the many issues, the owners refuse to take any responsibility for the state of the restaurant.
Frustrated, Gordon leaves the restaurant.
Gordon sits down with Madelyn to discuss Joe’s brother’s death and the restaurant’s situation.
She informs him the restaurant only makes $4,000 a week and requires $17,000 to stay open.
They even had to sell their self-designed dream home to keep the restaurant dream alive.
Gordon, who now has a better understanding of Joe, watches dinner service.
The kitchen becomes overwhelmed.
The wait time for food is astronomical, and there are hungry customers.
Gordon learns from Madelyn that it usually takes up to two hours to serve a meal, which is just ridiculous.
If I were there, I would walk out before waiting that long.
Gordon then goes and checks the storage area…and it’s not good.
He finds moldy fruit and vegetables.
Gordon is disgusted and informs the staff to throw everything out and get to cleaning.
During the dinner service, Gordon records locals and gets many negative reviews about P.J.’s Steakhouse.
Gordon comes for another dinner service and throws in special dishes like a mixed grill platter.
He puts Madelyn in charge and warns Joe to stay away from the bar.
The first specialty dish is sent back for being too cold.
The head chef, Eric, gets frustrated and walks out.
Without a chef, they have no choice but to shut down the restaurant.
As part of his efforts to revamp PJ’s Steakhouse, Gordon gives the restaurant a brand new look.
The interior has family pictures of Joe and his brother PJ.
The restaurant really honors his memory in honor of PJ Gordon introducing an Irish stew.
Gordon also helps the restaurant find a new chef, Mark, and general manager, Edna.
For the final piece, Gordon renames PJ’s Steakhouse to PJ’s Grill.
Given that the restaurant only served a few steak dishes, it seems like it makes a lot more sense to call it PJ’s Grill, so I certainly agree with Gordon’s decision here.
So would the PJ’s Grill Kitchen Nightmares changes help it achieve long-term success?
Keep reading to learn what happened next and if PJ’s Grill is still open in 2024.
PJ's Steakhouse Update - What Happened Next?
Now that we’ve recapped the PJ’s Steakhouse Kitchen Nightmares, let’s talk about how things fared for the newly named PJ’s Grill once Gordon left the building.
Overall, this is one of the shorter Kitchen Nightmares updates that I’ve written, which should give you an idea of where this is going.
Is PJ’s Steakhouse still open?
PJ’s Steakhouse closed in May 2010, which was just a few weeks after the episode was filmed and long before the episode aired on TV.
Remember – the PJ’s Grill Kitchen Nightmares episode aired on February 2011, so the restaurant closed like 9 months before the episode aired on TV.
Yeah – with so much debt and incompetent owners, I don’t think Gordon Ramsay ever had a chance here.
As of 2023, the old PJ’s Steakhouse Queens location is now occupied by a restaurant called Manor Oktoberfest.
The new restaurant seems to be doing good as it has a four-star rating on its Yelp page.
Here’s a look at the old PJ’s Grill Queens location in the most recent picture from Google Maps street view…
Why did PJ’s Steakhouse close?
PJ’s Steakhouse closed because the debt load was just too high.
Gordon Ramsay didn’t really have a chance to save the restaurant because it had already lost so much money.
The fact that it closed just a few weeks after Gordon’s visit demonstrates this.
What happened to the PJ’s Steakhouse owners?
After PJ’s Steakhouse closed, the owners went back to their prior careers in the construction industry.
As far as I know, they’re done with the restaurant business.
What happened to Chef Eric from PJ’s Steakhouse?
Unfortunately, Eric doesn’t seem to have much of an online presence so I have no idea what happened to him after the PJ’s Grill Kitchen Nightmares episode.
If anyone knows anything, please leave a comment!
Final thoughts on PJ’s Steakhouse / Grill
Overall, the PJ’s Steakhouse Kitchen Nightmares episode wasn’t very satisfying because we never got a chance to see if Gordon Ramsay’s new PJ’s Grill concept would work.
I think the restaurant just had way too much debt and the owners did not have the skills to run it.
Honestly, the PJ’s Grill Gordon Ramsay visit just never had any real chance of success.
If you want to see some other New York City Kitchen Nightmares episodes from Queens or nearby areas, you can check out my updates for Kati Allo Greek restaurant in Queens, Bel Aire Diner in Queens, The Black Pearl in Manhattan, Purnima / Dillons in Manhattan, and Mojito Cuban Cuisine in Brooklyn.
Or, I’ll also include links to updates for the previous and next episode from Season 4
👉 Read other Season 4 updates:
Thanks for reading!
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Last updated: 2023-09-24 05:04