Restaurant Revisited: Italian Village

by in Shows, August 1st, 2012

Robert Irvine at Italian Village

At Italian Village in Milmont Park, Pa., Rob Mellon Sr. and his son Rob Jr. desperately needed Robert Irvine’s help to return their 30-year-old restaurant to its early glory days. It was a big job: Robert and his team not only had to overhaul the menu and dark interior, but also remedy long-standing issues between father and son that were hurting the business. We checked in with the owners a few months after their Restaurant: Impossible intervention to see how the restaurant is faring.

Since Robert and Restaurant: Impossible visited, sales at Italian Village are up 18%.

The owners took Robert’s advice and reduced the number of menu items to about 30. Robert’s recipe for Drunken Penne remains on the menu and is a big hit: “Almost every night, somebody orders it,” says Rob Sr.

The new chef’s table has proven to be a great asset for private events: “We just used it for a small event — a golf outing — just last week with some of our regular customers. They loved it.”

On the weekends, the Mellons have seen crowds at the bar, with many customers eating dinner up there. They are now planning to install flat-screen TVs above the bar: “We want to make it more of a hot spot for sporting events,” Rob Sr. explains.

The mouse problem is now under control. After the show, Rob Sr. contacted the extermination company and met with their regional manager. They sent out a new exterminator who now inspects the restaurant three to four times a month. Rob Sr. personally follows the exterminator around to ensure that there are no more mice found.

The relationship between Rob Sr. and Rob Jr. has greatly improved in the past few months. Rob Sr. is opening up the books to his son so that he can help with the finances. “Rob Jr. is more engaged and interested than ever before,” says Rob Sr. “Communication between us is much better. We’re now talking instead of yelling.”

More from Restaurant Revisited:

Zandi’s (July 25)

The Main Dish (July 18)

Longbranch Steak and Seafood (July 11)

Horton’s Kids (June 13)

Pollard’s (May 30)

University Grill (May 23)

Ristorante Barolo (May 16)

Pappas (May 9)

Mama Lee’s (May 2)

Pelican Grill (April 25)

Valley View (March 14)

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Comments (158)

  1. Brad says:

    Lots of trolling in the comments. Much hatred. Robert’s show is great. He focuses on family aspects because a lot of times, that’s the main issue with a failing restaurant. Stop trolling.

    • jj4eva says:

      agree..restaurarnt ownership/mgmt is almost alway s a family…husband/wife..kids…have worked in the industry for many years…family issues are the main focus

  2. Randy says:

    Congrats to The owners! I hope the new stuff helps, and that Jr. can take over and let Mom & Dad retire soon.

    I watched three episodes tonight. I like Hotel impossible, and this is a little better.
    I'm buying a small resort in the Bahamas 20 cottages and the dinning lodge. That's why I like the shows.

  3. Ssd says:

    I was wondering how to find out where I can get the flooring they used. I love the idea of the stone look.

  4. diner in RI says:

    I don't understand the point to the comment section. It doesn't add anything to the show. It provides a forum for the ne'r do wellers, the trolls, and haters (and just plain idiots). And it doesn't do much for the future of the restaurant in question.
    But, sadly, I read through at least one page – it's kind of like driving past an accident, you just can't help but look.
    I wish all the restaurants on RI well. As many say, the restaurant biz is very tough and to put it all out there that you have issues takes guts. If you learn your lessons and apply them, I hope you succeed. If you can't, then the market will do what it does.

    • EatingAdventures says:

      I like the comment section to see how the food is a few months later. When I'm in a town that had a restaurant "makeover" I like to go…but not if the locals suggest we stay away.

  5. Scott says:

    Don't youi remember what your mama taught you, "if you doin't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all".
    I am so tried of jecks putting everyone and everything down on the internet, because they are anonymous. Just STOP it, nobody wants to hear your crap!

  6. julie says:

    Just finished watching this episode. I love this show! Richard is amazing at not only bringing restaurants back to life, but at healing family relationships. I was impressed with both Rob Sr and Rob Jr's ability to put their troubled relationship out there, let go of their egos, ability to recognize their own faults, and truly work at building their father/son relationship back with love, pride, and respect! I live in California, don't know this family at all, but enjoyed the show, and would definitely go their Italian Village if I were ever in the area! I wish them much success!!

  7. Dedegurl (Ridley) says:

    I watched the show and was impressed with how the restaurant was portrayed. There were no negative comments about the kitchen – so obviously the kitchen was in great shape. He didn't hate food, didn't call it garbage, he said it just need to be tweaked a little to make it taste better and cheaper to make. As for the mouse problem, some of the restaurants RI goes into are horrendous. This was a fixable problem without having to tear apart the restaurant. There was so little that needed to be fixed (decor / menu / mouse problem),, they focused more on the family. I think that says alot about the restaurant. Sorry we didn't see the murals that were painted on the walls. They were beautiful. I have been there 3 times since was open, the 1st time – I thought they needed to expand the menu a little, they took too much off. 2nd and 3rd time were terrific experiences. I have patronized their business for many years.

  8. Lori Hole says:

    I watched the show today, Sunday August 12. 2012. Great show as always. Pappa Mello and Son brought tears to my eyes. Be good to each other, you never know how long you have each other. I lost my youngest son nine years ago this month. Believe me, nothing is worse! I miss him terribly!!!
    Be loving with your family Pappa Mello. GOD bless you all.

  9. rjw says:

    great comments.

  10. DPK says:

    Looks like you are a Liberal Ass Clown

    • Julie - Florida, says:

      No, but I've worked in many restaurants, I've also been a bar tender and bar manager.I also eat out alot. If you want to watch TV while you eat go to a sports bar or order take out and eat at home.

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