Restaurant Revisited: University Grill

by in Shows, May 23rd, 2012

University Grill

At the University Grill in Burlington, N.C., Robert Irvine faced three co-owners who refused to get along. Siblings Eleni, George and Manny opened the restaurant five years ago to help provide for their retired parents, but they were facing failure when Restaurant: Impossible came along to help. We checked in with the siblings after their restaurant’s makeover to see how business is going.

A few months after Robert and his Restaurant: Impossible team arrived on the scene, sales at the University Grill are up 15 percent. “Everyone loves the new decor,” says Eleni.

Salmon is the most popular dish on the new menu. Robert promised that if they switched from frozen to fresh salmon, it would be a big seller. He was right.

The owners are working on establishing formal guidelines and training for the staff. Local university students are helping them launch a new website.

Eleni is still running the restaurant, though George helps out some of the time. She has mostly kept up her promise to stay out of the kitchen, but she pitches in when they are busy or during breakfast. She is able to take one day off a week, as well as a couple of nights.

Eleni has brought on a new hostess and new servers and is now in the process of hiring an additional chef: “We’re still looking for that perfect match,” she says.

More from Restaurant Revisited:

Ristorante Barolo (May 16)

Pappas (May 9)

Mama Lee’s (May 2)

Pelican Grill (April 25)

Valley View (March 14)


Similar Posts

The Curse of the Deconstructed Dish — Alton’s After-Show

Watch the latest installment of Alton's After-Show to see the host dish with tonight's judge, Antonia Lofaso....

Comments (404)

  1. I keep listening to the reports talk about getting free online grant applications so I have been looking around for the finest site to get one. Could you advise me please, where could i get some?

  2. Ami Mckain says:

    Hello, i believe that i saw you visited my website thus i got here to °ßreturn the prefer°®.I’m trying to uncover items to enhance my internet website!I suppose its ok to make use of several of your concepts!!

  3. Judi says:

    We just ate lunch at the University Grill today (11/8/12) after seeing the show last evening. The fries and chips were way overdone, the hamburger steak was VERY well done and the chicken bacon wrap was okay. The chicken a little dry. The restaurant was kind of drab and dirty. Their sanitation rating is only a 94.5 which is not very impressive to me. We will most likely not be going back.

    • smileybailey says:

      Actually a rating of 94.5 is excellent in the food industry!! After I watched the show, one of the owners, Eleni, seemed to be a B….. It's a shame she can't let her brother help more. It's a shame that the restaurants he has helped don't seem to help. What a waste of his talent.

  4. Shady Lady says:

    I just wanted to say Hi to Richie Mead! The cute little kid that used to follow me to school calling me his shady lady!

  5. mygirlfund says:

    100% Tested and guaranteed! read more

  6. C Biggs says:

    I visited University Grill the week after the show aired.. it was great.. however, on a return visit 3 weeks later service was bad, wait staff was lounging on the bar, reading the news paper, 3 customers in the entire place.. just after lunch time.. between 12:30 and 1:00… no one greeted us.. Food was so-so.. sad to say in just a few short weeks they seemed to have gone back to what they were before the show.
    Just this month on their facebook page they stated the business was sold… I wish the new owner's well.. maybe they can make it work.

  7. maria christensen says:

    I love theshow with Mr Irvine, however how come you never address the problem of waitress with long hari hanging down.? That turns my stomach to see their hair all over the place

  8. Go figure says:

    It's been a while so RI was here in Burlington for the University Grill. I remember when Robert Irvin was here in town, it was big news. I live right down the road from there. Only the "important people" in town were permitted to be there for the reopening. For a while there were a lot of cars there. They always seemed busy the majority of the time. About 9 or 10 months ago they had a "Now Hiring" sign up. My husband went and put in an application. About a week later he called to check on his application and they told him they were going to be taking applications for another week, then would decide. Two weeks later we drove by and there was a sign that they were temporarily closed. About a month later they were completely out of business. An Italian restaurant moved in in it's place, and pained over the mural that was painted there while Robert Irvin was there. :/

  9. Stacey says:


  10. Harry A says:

    YEAH because what if someone doesn't have internet access. Id say about 999 out of 1,000 people who have cable TV have access to the internet some how. people stop bitching.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>