What Happened To Mill Street Bistro From Kitchen Nightmares?

Chef Gordon Ramsay
Chef Gordon Ramsay - Featureflash Photo Agency/Shutterstock

It's no secret that the restaurants featured on "Kitchen Nightmares" have some serious problems, and for Mill Street Bistro, that problem was owner Joe Nagy -- though he wouldn't exactly admit that was the case. Located in Norwalk, Ohio, the "farm-to-fork," "fine dining" establishment earned a visit from Gordon Ramsay and the "KN" crew in 2012 to film what is now widely regarded as one of the best episodes of "Kitchen Nightmares."

Viewers may remember this top-rated two-parter from season six for the menu's out-of-place elk quesadilla, White House-approved garnish of micro carrots, quiet kitchen policy, and, of course, Nagy's massive ego and arrogant attitude, which was a major cause of grief for both diners and staff. "Business is super slow and the big reason that people don't come in is because of Joe," one employee said, while another added that the restaurant wouldn't survive without him changing his ways.

Still, Ramsay took on the challenge of getting Mill Street Bistro on the right track to success, but a few menu changes can only do so much. With just minutes left of the second episode in this double feature, an explosive argument between Nagy and the "Hell's Kitchen" host makes it seem like the restaurateur will never learn the errors of his ways. Even an eventual name change couldn't save the restaurant, so what happened?

Read more: The Untold Truth Of Kitchen Nightmares

What Happened To Mill Street Bistro On Kitchen Nightmares?

Gordon Ramsay and Joe Nagy arguing
Gordon Ramsay and Joe Nagy arguing - Fox/Hulu

A trip to Joe Nagy's farm leaves Gordon Ramsay anxious to taste everything that made it to the table at Mill Street Bistro. However, upon trying the food, he finds that the restaurant isn't exactly true to the "farm-to-fork" concept he was promised, but rather, "freezer-to-fork." Dinner service took things from bad to worse, with Ramsay witnessing several flaws with the eatery, including the owner's arrogant attitude.

Part one of the series ends with things heating up between Nagy and Ramsay in the kitchen to the point that the notoriously angry TV chef threatens to leave, but by the beginning of part two, their argument has quelled, and Nagy asks for help. This process includes a staff meeting full of complaints about Nagy, which Ramsay secretly has him listen in on from a separate room, and a revamp of the menu to make it more on par with the restaurant's bistro concept. Yet, when a dinner service testing out some of the new entrées turns into another argument, Ramsay realizes the ultimate problem is Nagy's presence in the kitchen.

The next night, Ramsay brings in a new chef to run the back of the house while Nagy stays up front, resulting in a successful relaunch. Still, even as Ramsay departs, he knows the only way the success will continue is if Nagy keeps his promise to change his attitude and stay out of the kitchen.

Mill Street Bistro After Kitchen Nightmares

Mill Street Bistro staff
Mill Street Bistro staff - Fox / Hulu

Despite the post-filming check-in finding that Gordon Ramsay's menu changes had held up and business was steady, Joe Nagy had already returned to the kitchen as head chef, and several staff members seen in the episode were no longer with the restaurant. "The future of Mill Street Bistro is questionable," the narrator says -- though there's no question about how diners felt following Ramsay's visit.

While the eatery did earn two five-star Yelp reviews after its two-part "Kitchen Nightmares" episode was filmed in June 2012, its online accolades were predominantly single-star by the time they aired in March 2013. By December of that year, Mill Street Bistro had been rebranded as the Maple City Tavern with Nagy still at the head of operations. However, Yelp reviews for the newly-renamed establishment were still dismal, averaging only 1.5 stars.

Outside of the kitchen, Nagy also filed a lawsuit against Gordon Ramsay shortly after filming his "Kitchen Nightmares" episodes in which he claimed the crew damaged his restaurant and stole cooking equipment and elk steaks. The dispute was resolved in January 2014 when the "KN" producers paid Nagy £900, or roughly $1,500 at the time.

Is Mill Street Bistro From Kitchen Nightmares Still Open?

Joe Nagy serving food
Joe Nagy serving food - Fox / Hulu

Mill Street Bistro rebranded in December 2013 as Maple City Tavern, but even a new identity couldn't save Joe Nagy's failing business. The restaurant, under its new guise, permanently shut its doors in 2016, marking the end of a nearly 10-year run for the restaurant owner, who first opened Mill Street Bistro in 2008. Records indicate that the building was sold that year for $140,000 -- less than half the original asking price of $379,000 that the space was listed for in September 2013.

"It had a great run," Nagy told the Norwalk Reflector after the sale in February 2016. "It's a good restaurant and a wonderful building. The guy who bought it will make it a very nice place, as well," he added.

The building has been occupied by a few other restaurants since and, as of June 2024, is home to an Irish pub called the Red Shamrock. It does not appear to have any affiliation with Nagy, nor does it offer any dishes featuring elk.

What's Next For Mill Street Bistro's Owner?

Joe Nagy
Joe Nagy - Fox / Hulu

Upon selling the building formerly known as Mill Street Bistro in 2016, Joe Nagy told the Norwalk Reflector that he was going to remain involved with other food-related businesses. "I never had a plan to retire from that particular restaurant. That was never my intention," he explained.

It is unclear what, exactly, that involvement entailed, as Nagy doesn't appear to have any social media presence for himself or the ranch he owned that supplied Mill Street Bistro with some of its food. In 2018, however, a Reddit user said they met Nagy at a food festival in Tampa, Florida, and even shared a photo of the run-in. Unfortunately, their post has since been deleted, but YouTuber MermaidGrove contacted the Redditor in 2021 to learn more about the encounter. According to the Redditor, Nagy had retired and was traveling the country selling elk burgers and other products -- but no elk quesadillas.

In January 2024, another Redditor shared that they allegedly met Nagy at the North Ridgeville City Fair in Ohio back in 2022, where he was selling scallops, elk burgers, and alligator meat from a food truck. They added that they had photos from the event, but never returned to the Reddit thread to share them. Still, you may want to keep your eyes peeled the next time you attend a food truck festival. You never know if you'll run into the "Kitchen Nightmares" legend that is Joe Nagy.

Read the original article on Mashed.