Mill Street Bistro to become family-friendly tavern

Less than year after 'Kitchen Nightmares' featured Norwalk's fine dining restaurant, the owner is changing it to Maple City Tavern.
Aaron Krause
Dec 15, 2013


The Mill Street Bistro will change over from a “fine dining” style restaurant to a family-friendly tavern early next year, owner Joe Nagy said Friday night.

Nagy said the restaurant will not close but will make the transition to its near-future name “Maple City Tavern” between now and early January, featuring “good food and drink and great prices.”

“The Bistro had a great six-year run,” Nagy said. “We did very well for six years, but a restaurant has a life and life changes.”

Nagy said he was considering the transformation even before Chef Gordon Ramsay brought his reality television show “Kitchen Nightmares” to Mill Street Bistro to film a two-part episode that aired in March.

A story about the restaurant was published in Saturday's Norwalk Reflector. So you don't miss stories such as this one, you can subscribe to the Norwalk Reflector to receive home delivery and/or the e-paper, which is a complete digital replica of each issue. For more information, call (419) 668-3771 or click HERE.



Then you spend your money on 4 lousy meals and then let me know how you feel. Really? Not sure on the exact phrase, but...The definition of insanity...doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.. let me know how that works after your 7th lousy meal there.


Good call conqueror of Shambala, try the place out. If it's good go back, if it stinks don't. Don't listen to the keyboard cronies on this website.


4484, you miss Jack?

Judy Moody

"It's Christmas - let's practice kindness. " Ok shambala lets assume more will change than the menu. Yay. Keep my two cents to myself. Merry christmas


Went there about 4 months ago and the food was great and so was Joe! I never even watched the kitchen nightmare show because unlike you people, I form my own opinions. I don't base any of my opinions on those of an arrogant hothead (Ramsey)! He seemed very knowledgable about the different wines. I love that the meat was fresh from his farm. He invited us out to see his farm. I really liked the atmosphere. It did seem a little pricey, but the experience was nothing but good! The bistro burger was really good. I am glad I gave him a chance. I will definitely go back and will definitely try the new place .... I say good luck to anyone with their endeavors.

JMOP's picture

Although I never ate there myself, I agree the show was about pushing Joes buttons for the drama.
I applaud the man for keeping his business still running. After all the negative feedback on here, he just keeps on going. Maybe the fuel helps his fire.


Thank you. :)


Moderators have removed this comment because it contained A duplicate post.


I enjoyed dinner there and he seemed very knowledgable. He seemed very easy going and he didn't dwell on the show. There is nothing wrong with change and there is nothing wrong with being an outsider trying to make a name for himself and run a business. It shocks me at how nasty some people can be. I only moved here a few yrs ago and love the area and my neighbors. Will definitely be going back ...


Speaking from experience, it is not a easy job to be successful in this industry but I do know that respecting and caring about the customer as well as your staff is crucial. Great food at reasonable price is also just as important. I think his arrogance and belittling of the community is what basically destroyed him, being a restaurant owner myself....we encourage any ideas or criticism from our customers and we will do EVERYTHING in our power to be sure everyone leaves happy, we have been open a year and still and always will be dedicated fresh food and always thankful and appreciative of everyone that has supported us.... we REALLY DO CARE, maybe Joe does too, perhaps maybe just his delivery or pompous communication style? At any rate, its a hard business and whatever the story is with change, good luck to you. If you haven't checked out Timbers Smokehouse, please do...we will appreciate and cater to the "hillbilly community".... our ribs are so juicy, you can leave your teeth at home. Merry Christmas!!!


Went to Timbers about 5-6 months ago and stood at the entrance while employees sat and laughed in another room. Took a few minutes to get seated. Didn't try the ribs, but will definitely come back to try those. I was not at all impressed by the lack of steak choices and it was overcooked. I felt that the dessert was way way too expensive. I believe it was about 9$ ... Won't be getting dessert again. We actually got ready to leave because there were 3 people sitting in the room off the entry and one lady held a finger up as if to tell us to hold on. I felt a little concerned but we tried. Will definitely come back to try the ribs, but will steer clear of the steak.


You sound like a peach.

Kottage Kat

Never have gotten a bad meal at Timbers. The service was good. I would recommend it. I will give Joe a shot, publicity aside. Have fresh Elk in my freezer to make chili. Want a good hamburger that is NOT fast food. Time will tell. Wish the NR had a restaurant critic.


The bistro burger was good. He said if there is something that you may want that isn't on the menu ... He could try to accommodate cause they probably had the stuff to make the meal you want. We also had the beef stroganoff and you could tell the meat was fresh.


I ate there before the show and after, to give him a chance, still wasn't impressed.


Didn't Nagy say in the show the elk and stuff was fresh from his farm and Ramsey found out that want the case, that it was frozen and shipped shipped in from somewhere else? And the so-called fresh veggies were also bogus? If I want decent good with my family, I'll make the drive somewhere else.


Buggers78, so sorry , wish you would have brought to our attention. We have changed our steak to Certified Angus Beef and it is amazing, also our prime rib! I invite you back to on me, also I would never pay 9.00 for a dessert and our most expensive is 7.00 Hot Fudge cake w vanilla bean ice cream, but most are 5.00 and all homemade. It is a learning experience and a difficult one at that, we have made several changes and I think you will be impressed, the only thing I ask of anyone that has issues is that you let us know and at least a chance to make it right,before you leave. I've been in restaurant from corporate to independent fine dining management, we can't fix what we don't know. Thank You for your honesty. Dinner on me, contact me personally at


It was the cake that was the dessert and we received it with no ice cream so we asked about the ice cream and were charged extra. The ice cream was very good however. I will definitely give it another chance. Like I said, haven't tried the ribs and we all like ribs.


Hey vanessa? Why are you useing this story to promote your restaraunt? Thats kind of low isn"t it? I drive by "TIMBERS" restaraunt everyday and i only see like one or two cars in the parking lot? Maws place didn"t make it there either!
It takes "proffesionals" to make a business successful!
Maybe you should take a class on business management or hospitality!
Not trying to cut you down, I just don"t think this is the time or place to promote your business!
If your "PRODUCT" and "SERVICE" is awesome you won"t even need to advertise...good luck!


I don't know the guy and never ate at his place, however he did invite a show to his place in hopes of increasing business and then accuses them of taking some of the frozen meat after they left, this says it all. He can't recreate his history.


Well, this place was listed for sale for weeks on the Huron County MLS. Don't know if it sold or not since the Auditor records do not reflect a transfer but if the corporation was sold itself the real estate records would not reflect this transfer. When it was the "Press Box" the food was good but expensive. When "Friendly Corners" the food was still OK but still expensive. Currently the food is nearly inedible and several steps down from Wendy's. Failure to clean up the vomit promptly near the entrance presumably from fleeing lunchtime patrons does not add to a pleasant dinner experience. Here's hoping the place was sold and the food improved.

Now The Rest of...

Tried this place three times, food was overpriced for what you got, the owner was just a pain with his opinions that we really didn't need. Will never go back as long as he owns it. As for the Timbers tried it twice, food was OK but the service was poor, both times we waited for everything they were not busy, both times the waitresses reeked of cigarette smoke, won't go back.


UGH... I'm an ANTI smoking, disgusted by it owner especially around or near food. I learned quickly that my staff are entitled to those breaks but I also learned they do it much less when it is a break taken from paycheck. Somebody else complained too and we have since fixed it. Sorry, wish you would have let me know your thoughts prior to leaving. It is a hard business like any other to keep everyone happy and even the smallest problem can hurt a company. Once Again, my apologies. We aren't perfect nor is Joe or the chains...only way we can get better is to keep moving forward and caring about what we know about and correcting it. Thank you also for your honesty.

William Jeffers...

Dag, tough crowd. I will try the new place, but probably just order dry toast and water.


I ate at the bistro "once" several years ago, long before the place was on kitchen nightmares.
I was highly disappointed and way over priced!
I knew then and there that i would never be back.
And I haven"t since, but after watching the tv show i can see why!
I don"t know mr.nagy and won"t use this website to attack him, but the restaraunt business is not his calling in life.
That doesnt mean that this building has to have a negative imprint on it!
Norwalk needs a good "mom and pop" restaraunt! Home style cooking with a love of cooking and not in it for getting rich quick thing.
Maybe we need a good hillbilly restaraunt...hehehe

Dr. Information

Its Norwalk Ohio. Prices have to reflect that and so does the food. If an owner thinks they are going to be packed serving 20 dollar meals, they won't. If people think they are going to go in there pay 7 bucks for a meal and walk out like they just ate at Ruth Chris, then they are asking to much.

Its Norwalk, prices need to be good and so does the food. Expecting great food for low prices won't happen and vice versa. Expecting a great crowd when your prices are high won't happen.