Prohibition Grille Before Kitchen Nightmares
Founded by a professional belly dancer named Rishi in 2008 within the city of Everett, Washington, Prohibition Grille started out as quite the eccentric location, with an even more eccentric owner and sadly, a lazy chef. While entertainment and novelty have kept the doors to Prohibition Grille open, it appears Rishi has been losing around $100,000 a year trying to make this business work. Can Chef Ramsay come in and save Prohibition Grille before the funds run dry? Let’s find out.
Prohibition Grille on Kitchen Nightmares
Starting off the episode, Rishi fully admits to knowing nothing of the restaurant business, and claims knowing how to run a dancing company should be comparable. As a result, she keeps the kitchen staff to their own devices including the head chef, Rocky.
Rocky for his part seems to take advantage of this, taking plenty of smoke breaks and phone calls while working. Rishi doesn’t help the situation as she regularly destroys the theme of her restaurant by doing belly dances in the middle of service.
Gordon Ramsay walks in and sees a card for the belly dancing performance, and he is in a bit of disbelief when he is told she is both the dancer lead and the owner.
He asks the obvious question of why she got into the business, and it turns out it was an idea while drunk. It’s clear she is a little confused over what kind of food is served, and it seems the kitchen is lacking a grill, despite it literally being in the name.
The menu seems to be as confused as the owner, but she claims the food is perfect. Ramsay orders the “soup of the week”, a jalapeno corn chowder, a filet mignon, the brown sugar glazed salmon and some pan-fried oysters, which all should be quite fresh given how close they are located to plenty of fishmongers. When the owner is addressed about the soup of the day, she realizes she had no idea what that term meant.
When the soup is brought out, it’s bland and not good, and the owner admits to never having the soup herself. She hopes the oysters will be made to his liking, which she doesn’t realize they tend to just be opened, and she then admits they certainly aren’t just opened but are in fact frozen. This makes Ramsay’s jaw nearly hit the floor. The oysters end up being tasteless medallions.
The owner, when speaking to a server, is corrected on her idea of fresh, which she thought simply meant “not frozen”. The filet comes out, and it’s got no real quality to it. The owner tastes it and thinks it’s fantastic. Last up is the salmon which, being a salmon fisher for a good portion of my life, I would be unable to identify from a can of tuna. It tastes as you’d expect. When meeting Chef Rocky, Gordon makes the joke that he felt like he went 12 rounds against him.
Ramsay claims the dishes were an embarrassment and Rishi’s opinion matters about as much about the wall behind her. Likewise, her opinion is shot by the fact that she’s losing around $100,000 a year to the poor food. By time dinner service rolls around, Ramsay makes a quick correction to Prohibition Grille by taping over the Grille bit of it on the front door. While he’s in the kitchen, he hears that Rishi is about to go belly dancing for the crowd. In the back, Ramsay finds a wasted plate of cornbread.
As if on cue, Rishi comes out to dance and it’s in all honesty hard to watch. Ramsay, in probably the smartest move of the night, locked himself in the freezer to hide. What can’t be hidden is the lack of quality of food, as returns rush back to the table as a result of cold meat and steaks. Rishi appears to have any criticisms fall right out her ears, except when it comes to the gravy, which Ramsay tests and spits up.
Cooler inspections went as expected, yet again, with cross-contamination, putrid food, and trout which looks like it had been around since the real prohibition. After seeing this, Ramsay calls into the dining room to stop anyone from eating as a result of extremely low quality and a potential health hazard. In the meeting thereafter, Rishi tries to defend Rocky while also absolving herself from blame. She somehow confuses quality with loyalty, though she is openly ignorant of food in general. Ramsay states that she needs to get a grip, stop being used by kitchen staff and that he’s out for the night while the staff cleans up.
The next day, Ramsay is still confused with everything going on. The staff meeting shows the staff knows what’s going on, which is a lack of passion and skill from Rocky. It turns out Rocky has also been stealing tips, and he’s been bullying the owner into unethical practices. Ramsay states changes need to be made. It’s clear Rishi does care, but she is in fact scared to address them. Ramsay offers to find her a replacement chef, so she can get out from under the situation. Of the many changes, the first is that Rocky is now fired, which he does take well. Ramsay then takes her to the kitchen to teach her some basics of what will become the new menu, which is empowering for her. The next change is for Prohibition Grill to become a Gastropub, which is a great idea given the layout and the new menu. A new chef comes in by the name of Tyler, who also owns the Radiator who can work until his spot in downtown Seattle opens and promises to get a replacement for himself when he leaves. As expected the relaunch goes off wonderfully, sans belly dancing. But does that mean success lasts until 2017?
Prohibition Grille After Kitchen Nightmares – 2024 Update
Prohibition Grille underwent significant changes after the show, both in terms of their business and reputation. For one thing, they improved both the menu and service quality with Chef Ramsay’s professional guidance.
Ramsay’s team also redesigned the interior updated the menu to focus more on quality steak and seafood offerings, and retrained the staff to provide an improved dining experience. This led to an initial improvement in customer reviews and an uptick in business.
That’s not all, they also boosted their digital presence with an updated website and active social media profiles. If anything, this allowed them to promote their revamped image. Not only that but they also used the platform to entice customers with visually appealing food photographs and interactive posts.
However, the long-term effects of their appearance on Kitchen Nightmares were not as positive as expected. In the end, the owner of Prohibition Grille, Rishi Brown, decided to sell the restaurant shortly after appearing on the television show.
Despite initial improvements after Ramsay’s intervention, it seems that sustaining the momentum was a task too daunting for the owner.
The Prohibition Grille was ultimately sold to new owners who renamed it to ‘The Prohibition Gastropub.’ While this new avatar of the restaurant maintains some elements from its previous incarnation, it has distanced itself from its past by focusing on new menu offerings and a fresh dining experience. Despite this change in management and identity, customer response has been mixed.
As of 2024, there is a bar called Flying Pig at their old Everett location.