Gordon Ramsay Rescues Vasi’s Restaurant and Bar in Waterbury Connecticut

Vasi's Waterbury Gordon Ramsay

Gordon Ramsay attempts to rescue Vasi’s Restaurant and Bar on 24 Hours to Hell and Back this season. The restaurant is located in Waterbury, Connecticut, and it is also known as Vasi’s Taverna, according to the CT Post, which is a change implemented by Ramsay.

Vasilios “Vasi” Kaloidis, who co-owns Vasi’s with his mother, was leaning towards closing the restaurant and staying open as a banquet hall, to help save the business, before Ramsay stepped in. When speaking to the CT Post, Kaloidis said that things were definitely heated and tense when Ramsay showed up at the restaurant. Kaloidis said, “That’s when the staff was ready to quit and everything you see on TV started to happen. I had to do damage control and say ‘it’s one day,’ and we all decided to do it.”

Kaloidis continued, “The chef is 60 year-old-woman and she went back at him right from start. So I had to play damage control. Usually, I’m outspoken, but I was a little bit be under control … I went into defense mode all day instead of attacking back. My mother and wife were here. I kind of zoned him out to make sure my staff didn’t quit.” He also said that he hopes the show doesn’t hurt the reputation he has built for himself and the restaurant, though he does love the renovations that Ramsay put forth.

According to Vasi’s website, some of the menu items available at the restaurant include Grilled Halloumi Cheese, Lemon Olive Oil Cake, Halibut Picatta, and a Caprese Salad. For those looking to host an event in the banquet hall or need off-duty catering, some of the food options available are Cheese Ravioli ala Vodka, Pistachio Scrod, Prime Rib, and Chicken Francaise.

Also on the Vasi website is the background story on the Kaloidis family and how the restaurant got started. The restaurant’s bio section reads, “As a poor man in 1968, Vasi’s father, Athanasios “Athan” V. Kaloidis, left Greece and the love of his life, Vasi’s mom, Demetra ‘Toula’ Stratakis for America and his pursuit of the American dream vowing to wait for her … Vasi’s parents are none other than the owners of the iconic Waterbury gathering place, Spartan Restaurant … The love of food came from his grandmother, Falia, who remains, and Vasi emphatically defends, the best cook around.” Vasi actually met his wife, Lauren, at his parents’ Spartan Restaurant.

The website also was sure to make note of Gordon Ramsay’s visit to their restaurant, writing, “The television personality, arriving in his state-of-the-art 18-wheeler housing a mobile kitchen and command center, brought his sharp tongue and biting attacks to set for the camera. Vasi recalls seeing the caravan and semi bearing the name Hell on Wheels arriving to meet his nervous apprehension and hesitant staff. Vasi concedes the process of being part of the series required him to swallow his Greek pride. Humbling and difficult describe his experience. To his credit, Vasi stayed open throughout the ordeal.”

The site continued, “In the end, Vasi’s gained a new menu and a renovation. The restaurant learned a few new tricks, gained some new perspectives and became a much closer family. ‘Before facing Gordon Ramsay, my staff and I were like distant cousins, but now we are more like siblings. I always say as a proud American with deep roots in the Greek culture that I am an American, but my blood runs blue and white for Greece,’ Vasi confesses. Gordon Ramsay got Vasi to see he needed to bring more of this loved heritage to Vasi’s menu.”

Vasi’s Taverna is located at 1700 Watertown Ave, Waterbury, CT 06708.