How Kitchen Nightmares Affected The Business At Handlebar

Gordon Ramsay smirking
Gordon Ramsay smirking - s_bukley/Shutterstock

Gordon Ramsay always had his work cut out for him trying to save this local hangout. Handlebar may have once been the talk of the town in Mt. Sinai, New York, but by the time the "Kitchen Nightmares" star arrived on the scene in 2008, it had fallen into disrepair. Owners Billy and Carolyn LeRoy bought the establishment thinking they could turn it into a success, but the couple failed to renovate Handlebar to match the times. Unfortunately, Ramsay's show only managed to artificially extend the restaurant's life, and its days were numbered.

Ramsay and Billy clashed from the moment that the "Hell's Kitchen" star arrived at the restaurant. Ramsay called out the owners for their poor kitchen conditions as well as the quality of their food. Likewise, slow wait times led to customers quickly losing their patience and seeking service elsewhere. What Handlebar needed was an overhaul, out with the old and in with the new. Ramsay thought he found the key to the restaurant's future success by turning the location into one of Long Island's only Gastro Pubs.

Despite protests from Billy, the relaunch proved to be a success, even garnering an appearance from Twisted Sister's Dee Snyder. So where did it go all so wrong?

Read more: 40 Best Kitchen Nightmares Episodes Ranked

Here's What Happened To Handlebar And Its Owner

handlebar restaurant and parking spaces
handlebar restaurant and parking spaces - YouTube

A year after Gordon Ramsay attempted to revitalize Handlebar, business appeared to be booming. Ramsay revisited the establishment and found it teeming with customers. Billy Leroy had put aside his ego and appeared happy with the changes in the restaurant. Overall, it appeared that Ramsay had breathed new life into the dying restaurant. But, this sadly didn't last.

Handlebar closed for good in 2009. Its location has housed several other restaurants in the years since, most recently Bench Warmer's Tavern. It's unknown what exactly led to the restaurant's closing, but it is possible that Billy may have decided to cut his losses and sell the establishment. It's an idea that he flirted with during the taping of the show. Public reception to the restaurant remained mixed with one person on Yelp lamenting about Handlebar's ultimate decline. They wrote, "I was sad to see it went downhill and sadder to see that it closed. It had been around for a long time."

As for Billy Leroy, he passed away in 2015 but is remembered by both TV fans and locals as a good man. One person wrote, "He was a good guy. His restaurant was top tier after Gordon Ramsey helped his restaurant [rise] to the top."

Read the original article on Mashed.