Spin a Yarn before Kitchen Nightmares
Spin a Yarn in Fremont, California, was bought by Saki Kavouniaris in 1995 as the 60-year-old restaurant was struggling to stay afloat. The establishment got back up to its feet as business was booming, that is until Saki hired bartender Jennifer and got married to her two years later.
Turns out, Jennifer was inexperienced in the restaurant business and lied her way into getting the job. Fellow employees admitted that she didn’t know what she was doing while on the floor. Additionally, when the establishment’s profits slowed to a crawl, Jennifer suggested to Saki that the place needed a remodeling. She was tasked with purchasing the furniture and décor needed to achieve this, and she did so without looking at the price tag of the items she bought. This ended with Saki accumulating more than $900 grand in expenditures.
Eventually, the relationship between Saki and Jennifer became sour as the restaurant became increasingly plagued by problems. Their daughter Mikayla was caught in between, and she knew that her parents were headed towards divorce. With nowhere else to turn to, the couple wrote an emotional letter to Gordon Ramsay and Kitchen Nightmares before it is all too late.
Spin a Yarn on Kitchen Nightmares
After receiving the letter, Chef Ramsay decided to visit Jennifer at her home before going to Spin a Yarn. In their conversation, Jennifer admitted that she lied to get the job and that Saki hired her even if it was glaringly obvious that she lacked the necessary skills to be one of the servers. She also confessed that she wasn’t totally attracted to Saki at first, and it took her eight months before she fell for the man. Nowadays, the couple rarely talked especially after that remodeling incident that put the restaurant in a very difficult situation.
Ramsay then visited Spin a Yarn and, after seeing the attire of the male servers (which they didn’t like), commented that they looked more like funeral undertakers and fat penguins. Saki gave Ramsay a tour of the restaurant where the latter got a glimpse of what Jennifer bought during her shopping spree such as expensive bathroom tiles, the shockingly-pricey granite countertops, and a fireplace. Adding to the many problems of the restaurant is its lack of identity as Saki couldn’t even tell what cuisine his business specialized in.
To sample the menu of Spin a Yarn, Ramsay ordered a handful of dishes like the Greek Sampler which was made of canned ingredients, the crab louie which was not quite fresh, and the rubbery filet mignon with a teriyaki sauce that tasted like cough medicine. After the disastrous taste test, Ramsay headed to the kitchen to chat with the personnel. The kitchen staff revealed that Saki was holding them back from what they wanted to do with the food, and the owner was unable to defend himself from these claims.
During the dinner service that night, the kitchen had troubles with staffing as their head chef was washing dishes no thanks to the lack of personnel, a problem that could’ve been solved if Saki was not hesitant to pay additional expenditures. This led to the food being returned as the customers weren’t pleased with what the chefs cooked up, and Saki just stood in one place without doing anything to alleviate the situation. Jennifer was also in the restaurant, but she was unable to help as she didn’t know what to do, no thanks to the lack of communication between her and Saki. To make matters worse, Ramsay discovered that the ingredients stored in the freezer were moldy and rancid. After some words from the Kitchen Nightmares host, the couple began working on cleaning the contents of their freezer and Saki taking responsibility instead of blaming others.
The next day, Ramsay sat with the couple to try and mend their marriage. Saki admitted that he must change his ways, and he realized that he really needed Jennifer to be on his side. With the two committed to being a team, Ramsay delegated the couple to hands-on responsibilities for that night’s dinner service to make them more involved. Jennifer was frustrated as she was tasked with serving prime rib, something she’s never done before. After making one too many mistakes, she finally got a hang of things and became more confident in cutting and serving the meat.
To give Spin a Yarn the makeover it truly needed, Ramsay focused its cuisine on steak so the menu isn’t a confusing mess of dishes. During the relaunch night, the customers loved the new dishes. However, Jennifer was having trouble again in cutting the prime rib as she carved them at inconsistent sizes. Because of this, the restaurant’s stock of the meat ran dangerously low as a large number of orders came in. Fortunately, the kitchen had an emergency prime rib stashed in their storage, and Saki and Jennifer worked together in serving those.
In the end, things turned out well with the couple having a renewed relationship and the restaurant not in troubled waters anymore.
Spin a Yarn Now in 2018 – The After Kitchen Nightmares Update
The episode was aired in February 2012. In the following years, the restaurant amassed a good number of positive feedback.
As of this year, Spin a Yarn is still alive and kicking. Recent reviews praised the restaurant’s selection of dishes, the attentive serving staff with pleasing personalities, and the ambiance. The restaurant also has large rooms for private groups, buffet meals, and brunch specials based on occasions.
The menu on their website features a wide variety of dishes aside from steaks like seafood, cakes, and a vast array of wine selections.