How Blackberry's Is Doing After Kitchen Nightmares

What a way to open a season: In Season 5, Episode 1 of "Kitchen Nightmares,” celebrity chef and restaurant fixer Gordon Ramsay visited Blackberry's Catering and Family Restaurant, a soul food restaurant in Plainfield, New Jersey. In typical fashion, the chef found chaos in the kitchen and on the menu (per Reality TV Revisited). Some of the restaurants Ramsay visited over the years for the Fox reality show, which he now regrets ending, truly were nightmares, and Blackberry's was no exception (per Kitchen Nightmares Uncensored, on YouTube).

Blackberry's had a long list of problems. The dining room was done up in gold and purple with vinyl records hanging on the walls and from the ceiling. Ramsay removed a record from the wall and found a gaping hole behind it. Owner Shelly Withers ran her restaurant and managed her staff (including her mother), with an off-putting "my-way-or-the-highway" attitude. Ramsay famously found a dead mouse in the restaurant's entryway (Withers and staff accused him of planting it there) and later dashed for the restroom after sampling the restaurant's chitlins, a soul food staple made from the intestines of pigs.

Withers, a caterer turned restaurant owner, believed her restaurant had everything going for it — except for diners at the tables. Her mother, Mary, the restaurant's dessert maker (and key investor) told Ramsay that his fresh and modern makeover of the dining room and his revamping of the kitchen, team, and menu, wouldn't be "in vain.” But it turns out that it was.

Gordon Ramsay's influence couldn't keep Blackberry's open

As might be expected after exposure on national television, Blackberry's appeared to experience a surge in business after the episode of "Kitchen Nightmares” featuring it aired in September 2011 (per Reality TV Revisited). Users of crowd-sourced restaurant review site Yelp gave Blackberry's a mixed lot of reviews, and Yelpers have since reported that Blackberry's is closed.

The thousands of people who have watched the "Kitchen Nightmares” episode on TV and YouTube might not be surprised by Yelper Kevin Y.'s reaction: "Owner had [a] bad attitude. She yelled at her staff in [the] kitchen and you [could] hear it while dining.” Visitor Charles L. of Jersey City, New Jersey, concurred: "This place is a horror show,” he wrote. "All the yelling and screaming put a knot in our stomach, and from there the food itself made things worse!”

In March of 2013, it was announced on the Blackberry's Facebook page that the restaurant was closing and relocating to a place to be announced in the future (per Facebook). The announcement said that catering for private events would continue.