The Black Pearl restaurant that was featured on the second season of Kitchen Nightmares closed down just days after the episode aired.
The “Black Pearl” episode from the second season of Kitchen Nightmares has become one of the most infamous episodes from the show.
Unfortunately, the restaurant’s three owners, who had caused so much of the conflict on the episode, could just not keep the restaurant afloat. Hence, Black Pearl closed down in 2008.
The original Black Pearl Kitchen Nightmares episode
Gordon Ramsay originally visited the Black Pearl in the fifth episode of the second season of Kitchen Nightmares. The “Black Pearl” episode aired on 25 September 2008, even though the episode had already been filmed in February.
While fans were already used to seeing Ramsay square off with the owners of failing restaurants at this point in the reality series, this episode proved to be particularly interesting considering that the Black Pearl restaurant had three different owners that Ramsay had to contend with.
Dealing with not one, but three owners, with three different sets of problems, proved to be almost too much for Ramsay, even with a successful re-launch night with Greg in charge.
Kitchen Nightmares: Is Black Pearl still open?
Even though the “Black Pearl” episode of Kitchen Nightmares was one of the earlier episodes in the series, it has become one of the most infamous episodes. This is because of all of the drama and conflict that happened throughout.
It was evident from pretty much the first moment that Ramsay entered the Black Pearl that the restaurant had no chance of succeeding if the management of the restaurant did not change.
Black Pearl was originally started by David Leonard and Brian Woods, who were old friends. They later also took in a third partner named Greg Ryan.
Ramsay affectionately nicknamed these three “Grumpy”, “Sleepy”, and “Dopey” based on what he observed from their leadership styles.
In fact, Ramsay even decided that he only wanted to work with Greg for the restaurant’s re-launch at the end of the episode, and though this event was incredibly successful, the other owners remained stubborn.
The episode eventually ended with Ramsay leaving the restaurant after effectively being kicked out for suggesting that Brian and David should let Greg buy them out of their business.
In a not-very-shocking twist, Ramsay revealed in the “Revisited” episode that the Black Pearl had closed down shortly after the owners reverted back to their old ways.
It turns out that Black Pearl actually closed down just four days after their Kitchen Nightmares episode first aired.
The owners also published a scathing letter in which they call the show a “joke” and claim that Ramsay’s interventions in the restaurant and menu were the “direct cause of a 50% drop in revenues.”
What happened to the lobster claw machine?
One of the main points of contention between Ramsay and David in the original Black Pearl episode was that David was falsely selling Canadian lobsters instead of Main lobsters, which is what the restaurant’s marketing promised.
At the end of the episode, Ramsay happily unveiled a special lobster claw machine and promised David that the lobsters were really from Maine.
Unfortunately, Steven, one of the waiters that used to work for Black Pearl, informed Ramsay that David had sold the lobster machine just a few days after he left the restaurant.
Does Black Pearl have new owners?
When Ramsay returned to the location where Black Pearl used to be, he found that another restaurant called “The Hog Pit” had opened in its place.
Ramsay did say that The Hog Pit’s pulled pork sliders were very good, but it seems like this restaurant also did not last long. A new restaurant, called “The Flatiron Room” has now opened in this location.
What happened to David, Greg, and Brian after Black Pearl closed?
After Black Pearl closed down in 2008, all of the previous Black Pearl owners, except for Greg, left the restaurant industry.
In the original “Black Pearl” episode of Kitchen Nightmares, a staff vote elected Greg to be the single general manager who would work with Ramsay on the re-launch night and Greg has certainly proven that this was the right decision.
Greg has since gone on to manage other restaurants such as Brazilia Cafe, Bellini Restaurant, and Hakkasan NYC.
While Brian has lived up to his Kitchen Nightmares persona and has been fairly quiet since the Black Pearl closed, David decided to return to his music career when Black Pearl failed.
His personal website describes him as a “guitarist, vocalist and songwriter” and lists performances that he did as recently as wAugust 2022.