Sunday, September 24, 2023

Kitchen Nightmares - Bel Aire Diner Update

On the season 8 premiere of Kitchen Nightmares, Gordon Ramsay is in Queens, New York to help out the restaurant Bel Aire.  Bel Aire is a family restaurant and Gordon needs to get the two brothers to work through their emotional conflicts in hopes of saving the restaurant.  While Gordon is there he discovers a menu that is too large, a filthy kitchen and food that doesn't taste good.

Kitchen Nightmares visited Bel Aire in May 2023 to film the episode, and I searched around the Internet to read stories, comments and reviews about Bel Aire Diner to get an idea of how the restaurant is doing since Gordon Ramsay visited, and here is what I found (note - all reviews are post Kitchen Nightmares):

Positive Reviews:
  • "Great experience at Bel Aire diner. all the food was fantastic. My omelette was done to perfection as well as perfectly seasoned home fries. great music and great vibes."
  • "Never had anything bad here. Usually here when I'm working overtime. The food is reasonably priced and you can find something for everyone"
  • "What a place! I’d done a bit of research on this place and always wanted to go so in our last day on our trip to NYC we did. What a quaint setting and you go back in time as you walk through the doors! It has a great history too. The staff were great and the service was excellent. Originally, we only went there for coffee but when we keep seeing all the amazing food coming out, we asked for a food menu. There was so much to choose from and the food lived up to are expectations. Prices were also good too, a noticeable difference from Manhattan. We would recommend taking a small trip out to this place and it’s only 25 mins away by subway inc walking. It was worth the trip for us and finished off a perfect trip to NYC!"

Negative Reviews:
  • "Bel Aire is not what it was before the pandemic. Now the food lacks quality, and the service sucks. I returned a week ago after all the hoopla about the Gordon Ramsey Show Kitchen Disasters. It appears they learned nothing from the experience. Why oh why? A short while back, they had been closed down for serious pest violations. My buttermilk chicken fingers were a disaster, as you can see from the photo I attached. Now I am definitely not going back."
  • "My family has been coming to Bel Aire since the 80s. We used to really really love their food and amazing service. Unfortunately, the pass couple of visits have not been delightful. Our waiter took more than 15 min to come take our order. They were also never around when we needed something. The food was slightly burnt and not as flavorful as it used to be."
  • "Had to update my review after comming back for thier "new menu"...ordered the Chicken and biscuits wich was absolutely HORRIBLE! is was supposed to come with a sausage gravy but instate came with sliced breakfast sausage and ALFREDO SAUCE OVER SOME CHINKEN FINGERS! It like the cook had no clue what he was making and took a guess! Had to take a pic of the plate. YOU BE THE JUDGE ON APPERANCE. VERY DISSAPOINTED!"
  • "We went for breakfast early morning. There were only a few other diners, yet we had continually request service and had to wait a long time for food. For example, we forgot to order toast without butter.  I had to hunt down our server to ask for toast without butter and then had to remind her to bring it after we had finished the food.  And we were still (over)charged for it.  Overall too expensive as well.  50 dollars for two breakfast plates with juice."
*Reviews from Yelp, Google

Other News and Links:
  • The makeover happened in May 2023 and all of the episodes this season will be in New York and New Jersey.
  • Here is the Bel Aire Diner website and Facebook page.  They are also active on Instagram.
    • Bel Aire Diner has been open since 1965, so they have been in business almost 60 years.
    • The restaurant is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year.
    • The website boasts that they offer over 500 dishes.
  • Patricia commented on a Facebook post about Kitchen Nightmares saying, "A lot of editing." (Link)
  • Here are the reviews for Bel Aire Diner on Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Google
    • They have a 3.2 star average on Yelp and reviews haven't improved yet since the makeover.
  • In October 2022, the health department shut down Bel Aire Diner due to "pest conditions" and other violations.  There were a whopping 89 points including evidence of rats. 
    • They have not been inspected since the Kitchen Nightmares makeover.
  • In a recent Instagram post, the brothers Peter and Kal said the show brought them closer to each other and the business has been better. (Link)


The reviews for Bel Aire Diner since the Kitchen Nightmares makeover have been somewhat negative with people complaining about the food and service.  The reviews before the makeover were also not that great with similar complaints. Reading through the reviews, it seems like they have a lot of regulars, so they probably help with keeping the restaurant going.  Peter and Kal seem excited about how things turned out and say the show brought them closer to each other.

*To see updates on all the restaurants from Kitchen Nightmares and to see which ones are open or closed, visit the Kitchen Nightmares Update Page. Plus Follow on Twitter to keep up to date on closings.

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