James and Anne Abbott, owners of Abbott’s, sit in brown leather club chairs in the back room. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

James and Anne Abbott, owners of Abbott’s, sit in brown leather club chairs in the back room. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

It survived a pan from Gordon Ramsay — but not a pandemic

The building with a colorful past of dancing and fine dining at 1414 Hewitt Ave. is for rent — again.

EVERETT — It survived “Kitchen Nightmares” but not the COVID nightmare.

The century-old brick building at 1414 Hewitt Ave. with a colorful past of dancing, dining and Gordon Ramsay stardom is for rent again.

It has had three tenants in 10 years.

Abbott’s, one of the priciest restaurants in Snohomish County for the past two years, closed for good this month due to lost revenue from the coronavirus outbreak.

Restaurateur James Abbott called it “a casualty of these times.”

The building is perhaps best known for the Prohibition Grille with gyrating belly dancers that attracted the “Kitchen Nightmares” TV celebrity chef in 2012 to save the struggling restaurant. Crowds of Ramsay’s fans gathered on Hewitt to try to get a glimpse of the brassy chef during the weeklong filming.

Ramsay slammed the place for its food and bare bellies. A video clip of Prohibition owner Rishi Brown explaining the “Soup of the Day” went viral with 7 million views.

A kinder, gentler Ramsay returned seven months later for a revisit episode of praise. He signed autographs and a fan’s prosthetic leg. Then-Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson proclaimed July 31, 2013, “Prohibition Gastropub Appreciation Day.”

Ramsay’s makeover magic lasted three years. In 2016, Brenton Holland, who also owned a nearby gay bar, bought the Prohibition’s business operation from Brown. He replaced Gastropub with Grille & Saloon and focused on steaks and whiskeys. He also added a drag-show brunch on Sundays.

Less than a year later, Holland closed the doors.

Abbott, owner of Buck’s American Cafe, a popular watering hole with blue-plate specials and prime rib at the other end of Hewitt, seized the chance to open a new place, this one with posh dining, chic cocktails and romantic ambience.

“This is my answer to people saying you have to go to Seattle or Edmonds to have a fine dinner,” he said in a 2018 Herald story. “You can stay in town. People can go to their shows. They can walk down to the water when the sun is setting.”

Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay hurriedly walks into the Prohibition Grille on Dec. 5, 2012 while filming an episode of “Kitchen Nightmares” to makeover the struggling downtown Everett restaurant. (Mark Mulligan / Herald file)

Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay hurriedly walks into the Prohibition Grille on Dec. 5, 2012 while filming an episode of “Kitchen Nightmares” to makeover the struggling downtown Everett restaurant. (Mark Mulligan / Herald file)

Abbott and his wife, Anne, spent five months remodeling the venue. They toned down the bar, which had been painted bright red during Ramsay’s revamp, to complement new drapes and a subdued decor. A candlelit dinner with swordfish and filet mignon for two could run a couple hundred bucks, and couples could sink into the brown leather club chairs in the back room and sip brandy. Most social media reviews were glowing.

He decided to close Abbott’s due to the months of lost revenue.

“We are thinking it best to concentrate on just the one place and be the best we can be, especially through these uncertain times. We can feel good knowing that Abbott’s was a success, just a casualty of these times,” Abbott said Tuesday.

The building at 1414 Hewitt Ave. that has housed several high-profile restaurants in recent years is for rent. It was featured in Gordon Ramsay’s “Kitchen Nightmares” and last was Abbott’s. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

The building at 1414 Hewitt Ave. that has housed several high-profile restaurants in recent years is for rent. It was featured in Gordon Ramsay’s “Kitchen Nightmares” and last was Abbott’s. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Morrie Trautman, owner of the building for about 12 years, said last week that three people in the restaurant industry had inquired about the 2,500-square-foot space.

“It’s a turn-key operation the way I built it out. All the equipment is in the building already,” he said. Tables included.

Ramsay’s legacy lives on.

“I still get people bringing that up to me,” Trautman said.

Meanwhile, this week Ramsay premiered a new show, “Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted” on the National Geographic channel, in which he journeys to the ends of the earth in search of culinary adventure.

Andrea Brown: abrown@heraldnet.com; 425-339-3443. Twitter @reporterbrown.

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