When Gordon Ramsay gets to Everett, Washington to check out Prohibition Grille in Season 5, he was surprised to see advertisements for learning belly dancing after he walked in. After being greeted by the owner, Darlene 'Rishi' Brown, he learned that the advertisements were for her side business, Rishi's Egypt Belly Dance Company. When Ramsay asked how she went from 30 years of belly dancing to opening a restaurant, she laughed and told him that she spontaneously decided while having a drink one afternoon. She was a bit more blunt with The Herald. "I opened it with $10,000 and no restaurant experience. A month after we opened the economy crashed."
Viewers will remember Rishi as the inexperienced restaurant owner who had no idea what the meaning of 'Soup of the Day' was, or that calling food fresh didn't just mean it hadn't been frozen. She also regularly performed with her belly dancing troupe during dinner, which confused and annoyed customers. The restaurant's staff thought Rishi was nice and meant well, but was naive and had no idea how to run a restaurant. She put all her trust in Chef Rocky, even though the servers claimed he spent most of his time on his phone or outside smoking. Prohibition Grille's problems were mild when compared to other "Kitchen Nightmares" horror stories of kitchens infested with critters, but Ramsay realized quickly that he needed to help educate and empower Rishi so she wouldn't lose her restaurant.
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What Happened To Prohibition Grille On Kitchen Nightmares?
When Gordon Ramsay asks Rishi about the style of food they serve, her response of gourmet Southern, fine dining, and a steakhouse/dinner-house theme baffles him, but not quite as much as when she informs him that Prohibition Grille doesn't even have a grill. In response to this, Ramsay takes duct tape and blocks out the word 'Grille' on the sign before the dinner rush.
Ramsay is astonished to discover a multitude of kitchen problems, such as cooked and raw food next to each other, and old food being simply reheated and re-served days later. He also notices food is constantly being sent back to the kitchen because it's undercooked, or guests just don't like it.
Most of Prohibition Grille's staff are restaurant industry veterans and they express their frustration to Ramsay. One tells him that she and Rocky started at the restaurant at the same time, and he was once very passionate about his job. But over the last few years, he began to put in minimal effort, and he told Rishi that she doesn't pay him enough to do a better job. Ramsay is even more shocked to discover that the servers give Rocky 3% of their tips because he convinced Rishi this was normal.
After a staff meeting without Rocky, Ramsay convinced Rishi she needed to take charge of her restaurant and stop letting Rocky drag it down. Thanks to Ramsay's help, Rishi finally found the strength to take bold steps to turn things around.
Prohibition Grille After Kitchen Nightmares
The "Kitchen Nightmares" episode ended with the restaurant remodeled into the Prohibition Gastropub, and Chef Ramsay introduced Tyler Palagi, a Northwest chef with 20 years of experience. Ramsay promises Rishi that when Palagi -- who's in the process of opening his restaurant, Radiator -- leaves, he'll train another chef to take his place. The menu has also been pared down so the small kitchen isn't overwhelmed, and Rishi has new business attire to wear, courtesy of Ramsay.
Guests seemed to really be enjoying the makeover also, and the reviews became more positive. "Can't get a meal like this anywhere else in Everett. It's a gem. If you live in Everett and want a fine dining experience this is a great choice," wrote one fan on Google shortly after the remodel.
Seven months later, Season 6, Episode 10 featured Ramsay visiting to see how things were going. When he walked in the door he was pleased to see the place was busy, and after playing a joke on him, Rishi assured him there was no more belly dancing. She also told him proudly "I've been working around the clock here since you left. Now I'm totally an owner here." Rishi is involved in all aspects of the business and has also hired a consulting chef to help. Things were going much better for the restaurant, and Everett's Mayor Ray Stephanson even proclaimed July 21 Prohibition Gastropub Appreciation Day at the end of the episode.
Is Prohibition Grille On Kitchen Nightmares Still Open?
Despite swearing that she would no longer have belly dancing in the restaurant, in 2015 she began occasionally having her Rishi Egypt dancers perform during dinner -- which she obviously kept quiet about to Gordon Ramsay. "I didn't tell him, he didn't ask," Rishi Brown told The Herald.
Prohibition Gastropub was doing well and lasted three years before it was sold to Brent Holland, who claimed he'd been pestering Brown to buy it for two years. In a 2016 Facebook post, the changing of hands was announced, and, despite Gordon Ramsay having changed the name due to the lack of a grill, Holland decided to add the word back in, this time calling it Prohibition Grille and Saloon.
Less than a year later, that restaurant closed. James Abbott, who already owned another restaurant on the street, decided to buy it and turn it into a sophisticated fine dining establishment. Dinner prices were between $25 and $45 a plate, and Yelp reviews were outstanding. But Abbott's closed a few months into the pandemic. The newest venture, Flying Pig, opened in the spot in 2021 and is still going strong with a 4.3 out of 5 stars rating on Yelp.
What's Next For Prohibition Grille And Rishi?
After selling the Prohibition Gastropub to Brent Holland, Rishi Brown changed course. She continued promoting her other business, Rishi's Egypt Bellydance Company, with frequent posts on the company's Facebook page. It's unclear if the business is still going, as the last Instagram post, or social media post of any kind, was in September 2022.
According to her LinkedIn page, Brown has been working in beverage development and as a restaurant manager for Tulalip Resort Casino since January 2017. Her Facebook page also says that she works for Anthony Brock Promotions. Anthony is her son, and her many posts about his band, the Anthony Brock Group, and their performances show a loyal and dedicated mother who is eager for the world to hear his music.
Meanwhile, remember the chef whom Rishi had fired? Rocky opened his own restaurant in 2013. Ole Soul Southern Creole was just three blocks from Prohibition. The restaurant seemed to be thriving when it suddenly closed in 2017, with a Facebook post claiming it was due to a medical emergency.
Read the original article on Mashed.