Tuesday, February 11, 2020

24 Hours to Hell and Back - Southern Kitchen Update

On tonight's episode of 24 Hours to Hell and Back, Gordon Ramsay is in Richmond, Virginia to try to save Southern Kitchen.  Southern Kitchen is a family-owned southern restaurant owned by Shane Robert-Thomas.  The restaurant is in trouble and the family is being torn apart by bankruptcy after putting everything they have into their business.

Let's take a look at some information, reviews, and updates for Southern Kitchen since 24 Hours to Hell and Back and Gordon Ramsay made all of the changes to the restaurant (note - all reviews are post-makeover).

Positive Reviews:

  • "A friend brought me to this restuarant. Little did I know I would fall in love with the food. I ordered the meatloaf the first time I went, yummy! Then on my second and third trips, the turkey wings. The food was delicious and yes a nap had to be had after eating ! Hands down the food is amazing and I've been dragging my friends there when I can. Good pricing on the food."
  • "I loved everything! The server and the hosts were great! All of the staff was friendly. It's a nice open space with great decor. It's not super cramped like other Richmond restaurants. The food also did not disappoint! Their cornbread was amazing, and their special sauce was delicious!"
  • "Beautiful location. Excellent food. The lady who owns it is an excellent host. Highly recommend it. The prices are comparable to other locations in downtown Richmond."
  • "I was in town for a conference and I wanted some soul food. I was going to Croakers Spot when the shuttle driver recommended this place instead. I'm soooo glad he did! I not only saved almost $20 on my meal but it was delicious and not greasy. Ok, I get it. Traditional soul food is greasy but you won't find that here. I had the shrimp, fried cabbage and Mac n cheese. It was only $20. Plus they give you corn bread (for free) while you wait. The owner was cool and she came over to introduce herself. I'll be back but the next time I may ask how I can get a franchise in DC"
  • "Great service, great food, I enjoyed the ambiance of the restaurant. I recommend this as a stop for hosting out of town guest, very accommodating and you can make reservations."
  • "I've been coming here to Southern Kitchen for about a year now (thank my aunt for putting me on)... I am in love with everything about this restaurant from the decor to the music and the food(OF COURSE!). The overall ambience is top-notch. It is absolutely amazing and no matter what I get, I know that it will be delicious. Also love the Southern Flair and it being black-owned as well(woohoo!). If you ever stop by Richmond and want some extraordinary food, please check out Southern Kitchen, you will not be disappointed."
  • "This place is incredible! Some of the best southern food ever. Perfect crisp, juicy fried chicken, flakey melt in your mouth fried catfish, crazy good sides. The fried cabbage was life changing, I’ve been sleepin on this dish. Great service and lovely atmosphere. This place should be at the top of all the lists, it’s the real deal."
  • "Ambiance was EVERYTHING! To include the beautiful decor in the restroom which was exceptionally clean, neat and pleasant smelling, thank you! The food was excellent- EVERYONE at our table loved their dish...not one complaint and the service was spectacular. Owner was very present, invloved, approachable, hospitable and sweet-This is a spot you MUST try!"

Negative Reviews:

  • "The quality of the food is inconsistent. The last meal I had was pork chops and gravy. The gravy tasted as if it was store bought. I called in my order and the customer service was less than satisfactory. The guy that answered the phone stated I'm not sure if we are taking "to go" orders. He put me on hold and then came back on the call stating yes we are taking to go orders. However, he acted as if it was a real chore to take my order. I'm giving three stars because my prior visits have met my expectations."
  • "The food was mediocre. Their whole schtick is elevated southern black food, but across the three meals I tasted, there wasn't enough salt, pepper, or seasoning in anything. The gravy tasted like plain pancake batter, the meat clearly wasn't marinated, and the rice had no flavor. At all. The mac n cheese and cornbread were okay, though. Staff were also okay (though slightly rude)."
*Reviews from Yelp, Google

Other News and Links:

  • The 24 Hours to Hell and Back makeover happened in early November 2019.
  • Here is the Southern Kitchen website and an unofficial Facebook page where customers just check-in.
  • Southern Kitchen moved from its old location to its current location in June 2019, not long before the episode was filmed.
  • In a local article, Shane said the show was worth it and she would do it again.  She said, "Every experience in life is eye opening. If you’re not willing to learn from the best, then what's the point. And as for meeting Gordon Ramsay, He’s something else. And he's very kind."
    • Shane also said she already has another television show filmed and ready, but she can't share the details of that yet. 
  • The restaurant is closing at 5pm on the night the episode airs so they can go home and watch with family.
  • Southern Kitchen is on a 50 in 50 list of Best black-owned soul food spots in each state. (Link)
  • Here are the reviews for Southern Kitchen on Yelp, Tripadvisor, Google
    • The reviews before the makeover on all three sites were very positive.


The reviews for Southern Kitchen since Gordon Ramsay visited for 24 Hours to Hell and Back have been overwhelmingly positive.  The reviews before the makeover were also very positive.  People seem to love the food, service and ambiance.  Shane has said that the show was worth it and she would do it again.  She also said that she has another television show filmed and ready, but cannot share details of that yet.  I will do an update on this post once that information is revealed.

*To see how the restaurants from 24 Hours to Hell and Back are doing, visit the 24 Hours To Hell and Back Updates Page. Also, if you are interested in the restaurants from Kitchen Nightmares, visit the Kitchen Nightmares Updates Page.

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