The Story Behind Purnima Restaurant in New York

Purnima Restaurant

Purnima Restaurant in New York, initially known as Dillons, underwent a dramatic transformation after featuring in the “Kitchen Nightmares” TV show hosted by Chef Gordon Ramsay. This narrative explores its journey from a struggling establishment to its eventual closure.

The Original State of Dillons (Purnima Restaurant in New York)

  • Initial Concept and Challenges: Dillons started as a restaurant combining Indian and American-Irish cuisine, a blend that confused many. It faced numerous issues, including poor management, unhygienic practices, and financial losses, reportedly around $20,000 monthly.

Gordon Ramsay’s Intervention

  • “Kitchen Nightmares” Feature: In 2007, Gordon Ramsay visited Dillons for his reality show. He observed several problems, including hygiene issues, a confusing menu, and managerial inefficiencies.
  • Revamping Dillons: Ramsay revamped the restaurant’s menu, focusing on modern Indian cuisine, and renamed it Purnima. He also brought in Chef Vikas Khanna to assist with the culinary transition.

Post-“Kitchen Nightmares” Developments

  • Brief Success and Challenges: Post-relaunch, Purnima experienced a period of success. However, it struggled to maintain consistent quality and customer satisfaction.
  • Customer Reviews: Reviews from customers were mixed, praising some aspects like staff attentiveness but criticizing the ambiance and overall dining experience.

Key Personalities and Their Path Forward

  • Martin Hyde’s Career Change: Martin Hyde, the general manager during the show, later reportedly managed a car service company.
  • Vikas Khanna’s Culinary Success: Vikas Khanna, after assisting Purnima, achieved success in his culinary career, including authoring cookbooks and appearing on TV shows.
  • Andrew’s Continued Partnership with Khanna: Andrew, the operations manager, formed a professional partnership with Khanna, contributing to various culinary projects.

The Closure of Purnima

  • Final Days and Closure: Purnima could not sustain its operations in the competitive New York City market and closed in 2009, about two years post-relaunch. The closure was attributed to a mix of factors, including customer complaints about overpriced food and a noisy environment.
  • Transformation of the Location: The location that once housed Purnima later became The Grisly Pear, a bar and comedy club.


The story of Purnima is a testament to the challenges in the restaurant industry, especially in a competitive city like New York. Despite the initial boost from Ramsay’s intervention, maintaining high standards and a distinct identity was crucial for survival, something Purnima struggled with.


  1. What was Purnima Restaurant originally known as?
    • Purnima was originally known as Dillons.
  1. What changes were made to the restaurant on ‘Kitchen Nightmares’?
    • The menu was overhauled to focus on modern Indian cuisine, and the restaurant was renamed to Purnima.
  1. Why did Purnima Restaurant close?
    • Purnima closed due to an inability to consistently meet customer expectations and maintain high standards in the competitive New York City market.
  1. What happened to the location of Purnima after it closed?
    • The location transformed into The Grisly Pear, a bar and comedy club