It looks like Gordon Ramsay’s predictions in Kitchen Nightmares were correct, as Sebastian’s closed just a short while after the episode aired.
Longtime fans of Gordon Ramsay’s ever-popular show, Kitchen Nightmares, will know that this accomplished chef and experienced restaurateur walks away at the end of each episode with a few uncharacteristically sweet words about how there is still some hope yet for these failing restaurants – if they stick to his advice, of course.
However, despite the usually high hopes that these Kitchen Nightmares restaurants will be able to turn things around after Ramsay’s intervention, the show’s actual success rate is quite low – at just around 20% as of 2023.
Sebastian’s ended up closing after it was featured on Kitchen Nightmares
Even the majority of Kitchen Nightmares’ restaurants that end the show with Ramsay’s seal of approval do not end up surviving.
So it is really no wonder that Sebastian’s, a restaurant which Ramsay admitted to not having much faith in by the end of its season one episode, closed just a few months after its episode aired.
That’s right, not only did Sebastian Di Modica (the stubborn owner of this pizzeria located in Toluca Lake, California) not end up getting his pizzas into supermarkets or launching a string of franchises as he had wished, but it turns out that his overly-complicated, “unique” menu and various issues in his personal life also eventually forced him to shut the doors of his beloved business.
Sebastian’s’ Kitchen Nightmares timeline
To be fair, Sebastian’s was one of the very first restaurants to face Ramsay’s wrath on the American version of Kitchen Nightmares.
Furthermore, Ramsay’s statement that he had “never, ever, ever, ever met someone” he believed in less than he did in Sebastian no longer holds the same weight after all of the wacky owners which have been featured on the show since.
But that does not change the fact that Sebastian’s only managed to stay open for about two months after the Kitchen Nightmares episode premiered.
The restaurant’s incredibly short Kitchen Nightmares timeline is as follows:
|Ramsay and the Kitchen Nightmares team take over Sebastian’s for filming
|The “Sebastian’s” Kitchen Nightmares episode officially premieres
|November 7, 2007
|Sebastian’s officially closed its doors
|January 20, 2008
Did anything change at Sebastian’s after Gordon Ramsay left?
Unsurprisingly, it seems like Ramsay was correct when he guessed that Sebastian would not take long to revert back to his old ways.
Fightinmadmary, a blogger from the Toluca Lake area visited Sebastian’s during the short period of time after the episode was filmed and before it aired on television.
Although Fightinmadmary appreciated the restaurant’s new aesthetic, the blogger also said that the “The sandwich part of the menu is still confusing” and that Sebastian managed to list 8 different “gourmet” options on the menu for fries alone.
Sadly, the restaurant was also not faring well amongst other reviewers at the time of its closure, and it only earned a 2.5 out of 5-star rating on Yelp.
The real reason why Sebastian’s closed
Q, a former Sebastian’s chef, who, purely coincidentally, ended up at Casa Roma (which was featured in Kitchen Nightmares’ third season) told Ramsay that Sebastian pretty much disappeared overnight when the restaurant closed down.
But an email that was reportedly sent out to the entire Sebastian’s mailing list shortly before the restaurant’s closure did provide a little more clarity as to why the restaurant closed.
In this email, Sebastian explained that he was “moving back to Boston for family reasons” before going on to thank all of the loyal patrons of Sebastian’s.
What Sebastian Di Modica is doing now
There is no doubt that despite the fact that Sebastian never quite got around to filming that television show (which he reportedly teased in an interview with LAist back in 2008), he has become one of the most beloved characters in the Kitchen Nightmares franchise.
In fact, there is an entire Facebook fan-page devoted to Sebastian and his “20 Gourmet Flavor Combinations menu concept.” This page is still very active, even though the episode is now over a decade old.
It seems like Sebastian’s truly larger-than-life personality has boded well for him in real life as well, as he has now gone on to live a largely successful life even without his restaurant.
Sebastian briefly returned to acting after this episode aired and even landed a role in the 2013 film, Angels around Me.
But more recently, this former pizzeria owner relocated to New England, where he is running his own landscaping business.
He even recently entered the race to become First Selectman, as per his Instagram profile.