SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — The owners of a Phoenix-area restaurant who became notorious after yelling at unsatisfied customers and pocketing employees’ tips during a volatile appearance on Fox reality show “Kitchen Nightmares” will soon close its doors.
Co-owner Amy Bouzaglo said Thursday that she and husband Samy Bouzaglo are in final negotiations to sell the property in Scottsdale but that they are keeping the Amy’s Baking Company name. She plans to focus on making desserts for Phoenix-area restaurants and online instructional cooking videos.
The decision had nothing to do with lingering negative publicity from the show, though people on social media have assumed otherwise, she said.
“People want to say we’re desperate and closing and bankrupt,” Bouzaglo said. “Sorry, we’re not. Sorry to burst your bubble.”
The couple drew outrage and ridicule after a profanity-laced appearance on a May 2013 episode of “Kitchen Nightmares” that ended with celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay walking away.
“Every day since the show has aired, I have received some kind of death threat,” Bouzaglo said. “Any other person on this planet, I don’t know if they would have survived what we went through because it was horrible.”
Bouzaglo maintains the producers of the Fox series edited footage to paint her as a volatile restaurant owner.
“They got their drama,” Bouzaglo said. “It’s OK. It is what it is. We learned. There’s no hard feelings with anybody.”
The couple say they opted to sell because they also had issues with the building’s former landlord. Bouzaglo says the landlord allowed construction in other spaces in the shopping centre that led to a sewer-like odour seeping into their restaurant.