Sam’s Mediterranean Kabob Room Kitchen Nightmares Update – Open or Closed?

Is Sam's Mediterranean Kabob Room still open?

Current Status: >> CLOSED <<
(keep reading to learn what happened)

Season: 6 | View All Season 6 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: February 15, 2013
Sam's Mediterranean Kabob Room Address: 608-610 S Myrtle Ave Monrovia, CA 91016
Sam's Mediterranean Kabob Room Kitchen Nightmares Update

Episode Recap

Sam’s Mediterranean Kabob Room, or Sam’s Kabob Room for short, was a Monrovia, California restaurant featured on season 6 of Kitchen Nightmares.

The episode was filmed in July 2012 but didn’t air until February 2015. It was episode 8 of season 6.

In this episode of Kitchen Nightmares, Chef Gordon Ramsay takes us to Sam’s Mediterranean Kabob Room, owned by Sam Najarr and his family, in Monrovia, California.

Sam, a former busboy of the restaurant, purchased the business in 1997.

At first, business was booming, but slowly over time it came to a halt, resulting in Sam having to let his entire staff go.

Now the only employees of the restaurant are family members and Sam’s children who are resentful and reluctant to work there due to having to work 12 hour shifts and receiving no compensation for their work.

This video recaps what was happening with Sam’s children including his daughters and sons. This video recaps the meeting:

Gordon quickly learns that the restaurant’s environment is hostile, as Sam and his family, including his children, argue with each other in front of customers trying to dine.

Gordon sits down and talks to Sam about paying his family and children for working there and Sam rejects Gordon’s suggestion, stating that he pays them by giving them a place to live.

Gordon then sits down and orders the Vegetable Combo, Lamb Shank, Gyro, and Top Sirloin Steak and Shrimp cooked medium rare.

To Gordon’s disgust and dismay the vegetable combo contains canned eggplant and both the falafel and hummus lack flavor due to not being seasoned.

The Gyro then arrives frozen and dry; the lamb shank looks anemic and tastes like bland boiled lamb; the steak is overcooked, solid, and dry; and the shrimp scampi is drowning in too much butter and is rubbery and overcooked.

Gordon shares his negative feedback to the Sam’s Kebob Room staff, to which the chef agrees and admits that his heart is no longer in the restaurant.

Gordon arrives the next night to observe the dinner rush and finds moldy food in the kitchen, and rotten produce in the walk-in.

A huge family argument breaks out in the dining area in front of customers after the kitchen tried to serve raw chicken, stating that because it was cooked on the outside, meant it was cooked on the inside.

The next day Gordon gives the kitchen staff cooking lessons and has the kitchen cook kabobs on the skewer, only allowing one person to work the grill so they aren’t reaching over each other all night.

Gordon’s team gives the Sam’s Kebob Room restaurant one of the biggest and most expensive transformations in the show’s history.

Gordon’s team modernized the restaurant by adding new carpets, fresh paint, new chairs and tables, and completely revamping the menu with new contemporary Mediterranean dishes and recipes.

On the night of relaunch all the customers rave about the new décor and compliment the flavor of the new menu items.

The family works well together in the kitchen. Gordon then leaves, giving the family a framed family photo as a memento.

Sam's Mediterranean Kabob Room Update - What Happened Next?

After the Sam’s Mediterranean Kabob Room Kitchen Nightmares episode aired, things seemed to be good for the business.

The Yelp reviews were a bit hit and miss still. The business only had an overall three star review, but there were plenty of five star reviews sprinkled in there (along with one star reviews, of course).

The TripAdvisor reviews were also much better.

Sam’s Kebob Room continued to stay open for about a year after the episode aired.

However, it eventually closed in January 2014.

Why did Sam’s Mediterranean Kabob Room close?

Sam told the media that appearing on Kitchen Nightmares actually wasn’t a good thing for the restaurant.

He seemed that the show initially brought a bunch of business for around two weeks after the Sam’s Kebob Room Kitchen Nightmares episode aired.

However, the restaurant didn’t gain any significant amount of long-term business from that burst.

Beyond that, Sam also said that there was a lot of competition from other restaurants in the area, including some new Mediterranean restaurants opening nearby.

More Information

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Last updated: 2022-03-22 10:49

9 thoughts on “Sam’s Mediterranean Kabob Room Kitchen Nightmares Update – Open or Closed?”

  1. This was a classic case of the Father wishing to run and own a restaurant, while his adult kids literally pay the price. I do not mean that in any way disrespectfully!.

    It was so obvious from the moment the cameras arrived, that the kids were literally doing their best to run the business into the ground as quickly as possible.
    Not through spite and perhaps not even realising what they were doing, but nevertheless they felt their only option was to Get It Over with! .

    One of the male kids, Jamal, would have very likely been stabbed in the back, Literally !, By either one of his Brothers or even one of the Sisters for that matter, If Gordon had not arrived when he did.

    In this industry, under normal circumstances, where things are going extremely well, I have witnessed such attacks taking place.
    Otherwise very ordinary, good natured, genuinely nice people reach their limit and just can’t take anymore, and against all norms, they freak out and attack a fellow worker, something that they would never even contemplate in any other circumstances.

    That can be the level of pressure which can build up within someone and unless the owner/s or Manager /s have the facility, financial means or contacts to reach out for professional help, the end result can be life altering for both the aggressor and the victim alike.

    I genuinely believe that even Gordon in his heart, knew that despite all his efforts and absolute kindness and I might include his genuine desire to help, he knew the chances of Sam’s staying open long term, was very slim.

  2. A terrible pity, this restaurant closed, lovelly family very hard working dad the public really should have supported there aspirations, perhas what was needed was additional after show temporary marketing and management support.

  3. Having your kids just so they can work in a restaurant and not actually fulfill their own dreams? I think someone’s power got just slightly to their head. Hope sons and daughters are doing well (even jamal, I know) and Sam, smh.

  4. Such a shame – a nice family beneath all the turmoil and acrimony – even though Chef Ramsay turned their attitudes around there was no way all the problems could be overcome with just 1 day of training. I agree with commenter Sheldon, they needed more support after Gordon left to solidify the culinary side and overcome their negative reputation in the community. I sincerely hope everyone in the family is doing OK and that Sam and his wife were able to overcome the huge burden of debt they had accumulated.

  5. When Sam admits to having kids for the sole purpose of turning them into unpaid slaves to his restaurant is a pity! And to even admit that their “pay” is the roof over their heads… that’s Sam’s job to provide.

    He’s a big controlling cheapskate, and the closure of this business is well deserved. Kids are not slaves.

    You have to wonder why Child Protective Services never got involved in their past.

  6. Jamal was a nasty piece of work, the rest of the family seemed to want the best for each other even if they were going about it the wrong way.

  7. Typical Mediterranean and Eastern European male mentality. You own your children and they are there to work for you for life. Sorry your restaurant closed. But using your children to make your ends meet while crushing their hopes and dreams for your ego satisfaction is just wrong and abuse. Free slave labor is wrong. Hire and pay REAL workers to do the job.


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