The Olde Stone Mill Before Kitchen Nightmares
The Olde Stone Mill Restaurant and Bar, located in Tuckahoe, New York, was opened in 2001 courtesy of Dean Marazzo and his wife Barbara. The establishment was situated in an abandoned stone mill, and Dean himself worked on virtually every aspect of its renovation such as the woodwork and the plumbing.
Things were initially great for the restaurant. However, Dean’s harsh treatment of his employees sapped them of morale. This led to the chefs becoming uninspired to whip out quality food, and the other staff members to not give their best at work. They were also clueless to the fact that barely any customer visited them despite being situated in a strategic location. As the earnings went down the drain, the owners were barely able to pay their employees.
With their future at stake, Dean and Barbara had no other choice but to call for Gordon Ramsay in a bid to save their restaurant from shutting down.
The Olde Stone Mill on Kitchen Nightmares
Ramsay arrived at The Olde Stone Mill and was awestruck at how beautiful the restaurant was. He also wondered why nobody ate in such an attractive establishment. His curiosity was answered inside the place when he ordered food and the staff were as slow as molasses in January. He also found none of their food appetizing as he tasted menu items such as the mushroom risotto, the chopped salad (prepared using a funnel), and the tilapia stuffed with lobster. The crab cakes that were served to him were made with canned meat, despite the waiter’s reassurance that they utilized fresh ingredients in making their dishes. As Ramsay delivered his verdict to Dean, the owner took offense and silently wished he could smash the man’s face with a plate.
The next day, the Kitchen Nightmares host sat with the owners to get a firm grasp on the restaurant’s troubles. He found out that Barbara was kept in the dark regarding The Olde Stone Mill’s financial struggles, and Dean defended himself by saying that he didn’t want his wife to worry. The place also had a half a million bucks worth of debt, including the mortgages and the unpaid salaries of the workers.
Afterwards, Ramsay observed the restaurant as the customers flocked in for a Saturday night dinner. The chef Michael expressed his frustration as he had nobody else to help him cook the large number of orders that poured in. Dean and the general manager Tom walked around the dining area without even helping the employees. As for the customers, they complained about the poorly-cooked food which were sent back to the kitchen. Dean never cared about the quality of the restaurant’s dishes as he was only concerned in ensuring that the customers had something to eat, regardless if it was palatable or not. From his observations, Ramsay finally understood that Dean only focused on beautifying the restaurant while neglecting the menu items.
Ramsay then met with Dean and the staff members, and the master chef grilled the owner about the restaurant’s lack of concern over the food. Unfortunately, Dean took offense at Ramsay’s verbal lashing and fought back by insisting that he did a good job in making the customers happy. This forced Ramsay into calling the owner a “fake”, and the latter responded in kind. Dean also insisted that he had a commitment to the restaurant, and Ramsay told him that he had to change himself for the sake of the business.
The next day, Ramsay walked around town to check the competition and found out that there were a lot of restaurants nearby. Also, he learned that there was not a single steak house in the vicinity. Armed with this knowledge, the host brought a prime rib to The Olde Stone Mill’s kitchen and taught Michael how to include it in the new menu. Ramsay then relayed the information to Dean who was skeptical with such a radical change. That night, Ramsay brought in his team of designers and worked on the décor of the restaurant.
The following morning, Ramsay revealed the new signage of the restaurant which clearly indicated that the building was a steakhouse. The interior had pictures that showed the history of the establishment which can keep the customers occupied while waiting for food. The dining area now had new furniture, tableware, and a bright color scheme that made the area look lively. The new menu now consisted of delectable steak and seafood dishes, and the notorious chopped salad was given a better-looking incarnation. Afterwards, Ramsay taught Tom how to introduce the new dishes to the customers which was extremely difficult considering that it was new territory for him.
During the grand reopening, the customers loved the new and refreshing atmosphere of the place. The employees struggled as they were not yet completely familiar with the things implemented by Ramsay. Tom was clearly pressured by the relaunch, causing him to commit several mistakes while sweating like a pig. The service was still slow due to the broken ticket printer in the kitchen, and some of the customers were getting impatient including the city mayor himself. Michael and Dean clashed as the latter blamed the former for the restaurant’s delays, while the chef insisted that he didn’t receive any tickets at all. Ramsay huddled with the staff and rallied them to do their best at such a critical time. Eventually, the employees pulled through and were able to provide excellent service.
The Olde Stone Mill Now in 2023 – The After Kitchen Nightmares Update
The Olde Stone Mill restaurant struggled with poor food quality, unimpressive service, and an outdated decor, which made it difficult for the owner, Dean Michon, to keep the restaurant afloat despite his passion for the business.
Since their appearance on Kitchen Nightmares, the Olde Stone Mill has undergone several changes, one of the biggest beings its transformation in terms of ambiance and decor. Thanks to Ramsay’s intervention, the restaurant now boasts a modern look while still retaining its old-world charm. They also revamped the menu to highlight the restaurant’s improved food quality. For one thing, most dishes were made using fresh ingredients.
Like many businesses, however, they struggled to maintain the standards set by Ramsay after the show. Not only that but they also faced some criticism initially due to inconsistent food quality and service. However, with time, they managed to improve their performance and started receiving positive reviews from customers.
One more interesting development at the Olde Stone Mill was its change in ownership. In 2009, Michon decided to sell the restaurant, almost two years after their appearance on Kitchen Nightmares.
The new owners continued to operate under the same name and aimed at maintaining the improvements brought about by Ramsay. As of 2023, the Old Stone Mill is still in business.
Today, the Olde Stone Mill is thriving and has successfully managed to overcome its past struggles. It has become a popular dining spot among locals and tourists alike. It continues to serve a variety of tasty dishes and offers an excellent dining experience to its customers. This turnaround would not have been possible without their appearance on Michon Kitchen Nightmares and Ramsay’s invaluable advice.