Restaurant Revisited: Mama Lee’s

by in Shows, May 2nd, 2012

Mama Lee'sWhen Robert Irvine and his Restaurant: Impossible team visited Mama Lee’s soul food restaurant in San Antonio, it had never turned a profit and was just weeks away from closing down. A few months after Robert’s major revamp — he even called in reinforcements from HGTV’s Kitchen Cousins — we caught up with Ken, the owner, to see how business is going.

Four months later, Mama Lee’s is closer to turning a profit. Sales are up 15 percent and Ken is seeing many new customers in addition to his old regulars. With the increase in sales, he is slowly catching up on overdue bills.

Ken still feels reinvigorated as a leader. “We’re holding staff meetings every other Sunday,” he told us, in order to address service issues and discuss customer feedback. “I’m re-energized.”

The restaurant is now a source of pride for Ken and his crew. They are cleaning the new kitchen daily, and the vents are cleaned once a week. Weekly visits from the exterminator have eliminated the roach problem. “The guys are taking pride in the restaurant, and that is reflected in our actions.”

The new decor is a big hit with customers, who talk most about the frying-pan flowers on the walls. Ken’s favorite part is the new bar. He has applied for a liquor license, which he expects will help boost sales even higher.

More from Restaurant Revisited:

Valley View (March 14)

Pelican Grill (April 25)

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Comments (1,095)

  1. Ash says:

    There are TWO locations. One of them is still open.

  2. guest says:

    As of Jan 31, 2014, both Mama Lee's locations are closed. I must say I was skeptical of the ability of the owner to run a restaurant, regardless of the makeover from RI. As filthy as that place was, that was enough to keep me away. If you let a place get that dirty, and put your customer's health at risk, you shouldn't be in the restaurant business.

  3. Awh says:

    I have been wondering what happened to Mama Lee's. I know the building stood empty for a long time before it became a BBq and the a cajun (or maybe vice- versa). I am not surprised it closed down. I always give a place a second try. It did not pass. The one near Lackland I thought was fine. But we still have Pappy Gs in UC and Mr & Mrs Gs on WW White.

  4. raine says:

    according to the source code, this website uses word press blog.

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