Denise Whiting will be watching Friday night's "Kitchen Nightmares" episode featuring her restaurant in the cozy confines of Cafe Hon — in the attached Hon Bar, to be specific. Cafe Hon is bringing in a big-screen TV for the viewing, which is open to the public but booked solid, Whiting says.
Whiting said she hasn't seen the show yet but has seen the promos for the episode that have been running on the local Fox affiliate.
"I'm really grateful to Gordon Ramsay and his team for dealing with everyone here so graciously. They really wanted to help us," Whiting said. "At one point they weren't sure they could help us."
Whiting said business at Cafe Hon has been better since November, when the restaurant-makeover program came through but admits that there have been some challenges. "It was truly like opening up a brand new restaurant. Because everything we knew was not the same."
Whiting said she's been listening carefully to customer comments and feedback. She received so many requests from parents to put chicken fingers back on the children's menu, that she eventually gave in. "Monday we're going to have chicken fingers back on the menu," Whiting said.
"I look at is a new beginning," Whiting said. "I think I'll really be able to start fresh. We plan on being here for a while." In April, Cafe Hon will celebrate its 20th anniversary on 36th Street.
The "Kitchen Nightmares" episode featuring Denise Whiting and Cafe Hon airs Friday night at 8 p.m.