Sabatiello’s from Kitchen Nightmares season two, closed down in 2008 after the owner, Sammy Settembre, was evicted from the building.
Ramsay and his Kitchen Nightmares team often have to update and re-launch entire restaurants in the span of one episode.
And although Ramsay felt like Sabatiello’s did not need a makeover, the restaurant did end up closing down just a few months after the chef’s visit.
The Kitchen Nightmares format
Every episode of Gordon Ramsay’s popular business-rescue show, Kitchen Nightmares, starts out in more or less the same way: a few business owners who have run out of ideas for ways to save their businesses from their mounting debt, plead with Ramsay for his help to save their restaurants.
Ramsay then travels to the restaurant, observes the dining room and the restaurant’s other patrons (if there are any) and even orders a few dishes from the menu.
This usually elicits a few not-so-thinly-veiled observations from the famed celebrity chef and restaurateur, which he usually employs to help the owners come to terms with the real issues that have been plaguing their businesses all along.
By the end of the episode, Ramsay helps the owners to run a final service, where they get to show off the newly-made changes to their restaurants.
The truth about what happened to Sabatiello’s from Kitchen Nightmares
In the “Sabatiello’s” episode from the second season of Kitchen Nightmares, which first aired on November 13, 2008, Ramsay travelled all the way to Stamford in Connecticut to help the owner of a struggling Italian restaurant.
Sabatiello “Sammy” Settembre, the owner of Sabatiello’s, had all of the confidence in the world that his restaurant was absolutely perfect (besides being just a few months away from foreclosure) when Ramsay arrived.
However, it did not take long for Ramsay’s menu critiques to elicit threats of violence from the over-protective owner.
Sabatiello’s was one of very few restaurants featured on Kitchen Nightmares where the restaurant’s interior did not need to be redone at all.
Ramsay spent most of the episode focusing on getting Sammy to see the truth about the food and his staff, instead.
And although this episode did end with a somewhat successful re-launch, as you would expect from any other Kitchen Nightmares episode, viewers did not get an update on how the business was doing after Ramsay’s visit.
And as it turns out, the reason for this is the fact that Sammy was evicted and Sabatiello’s closed down permanently in December 2008, just a few months after the episode was filmed.
Why did Sabatiello’s close down?
Before Ramsay arrived at Sabatiello’s, the restaurant had racked up almost $1 million in debt.
Although the additional publicity from the show and all of Ramsay’s changes may have been enough to get Sabatiello’s out of debt, Sammy revealed in a 2008 interview with NBC Connecticut that the increasing debt had simply become too much by that point, stating
“It did hurt me when we were filming. He gave us a few dollars to close for the week, but it wasn’t enough to compensate us for the business we lost”.
Ultimately, the authorities arrived at Sabatiello’s on December 4, 2008, with an eviction notice. This forced Sammy to close the place down permanently.
How did Sammy feel about the Kitchen Nightmares episode
Sammy never really got the opportunity to see what appearing on Kitchen Nightmares could do to help his business get out of debt, but although the episode had not been successful, Sammy did not think that the experience was that bad.
Sammy admitted that he had “mixed emotions” when it came to Kitchen Nightmares and that he wished that the show had transformed more of the restaurant.
But he did not criticize Ramsay’s approach or changes, even after Sabatiello’s had shut its doors.
What happened to Sammy Settembre?
Unfortunately, Sammy’s troubles did not end after Sabtiello’s’ closure, as he was arrested on charges of first-degree criminal mischief a few months after the restaurant closed.
The incident reports for Sammy’s arrest detailed about $20,000 worth of damage to the former Sabatiello’s building, which the authorities held Sammy responsible for despite his insistence that he was not involved, as there were no signs of forced entry into the premises.
About a week after the news of this arrest broke in 2009, Sammy was also charged with felony larceny charges.
Although there has not been any official update on how or what Sammy has been doing since these charges were filed, sources have reported that Sammy opened another Italian restaurant in New York (which has also since closed down) and that he currently works at a gas station in Appalachia.