Restaurant Revisited: Michele’s

by in Shows, September 19th, 2012

Restaurant: Impossible
In Corry, Pa., Michele Sventek needed Robert Irvine’s help to give her restaurant, Michele’s, a new look and better food. Perhaps more importantly, she needed Robert to teach her the basics of running a restaurant since she had no experience in the culinary industry. In just two days, Robert gave Michele’s a much-needed overhaul and taught Michele how to best manage her staff and maintain food quality. We checked in with Michele to see how her restaurant is doing a few months after its Restaurant: Impossible renovation.

Michele says that compared to last year, sales have increased “about 40 percent.” Robert wanted Michele’s to achieve $12,500 per month in sales, and Michele is happy to report that she “can see it happening as we progress.”

The new decor at Michele’s has been well received by customers. “Everyone likes the brightness of it, especially the wall between the dining area and the bar, the fireplace (people are excited for winter to see it working) and the mirrors,” Michele explains.

The servers, too, are excited about the changes at Michele’s and “are loving the extra business,” Michele tells us. She says that she is “scheduling more staff” in order to match the demand at the restaurant.

Michele’s menu now features a mix of the most-popular plates from its original menu and the best-selling items from Robert’s menu, and diners are loving the made-over list of selections. Michele’s favorite dishes include the salmon, hamburger and French fries. Jessie is no longer a chef at the restaurant, but Michele says that she has hired a new full-time chef, one with 16 years of experience and who “is excited to introduce new” dishes to the menu.

Michele tells us that her husband, Andy, “is more positive and more focused on us.” Looking ahead, she says that she hopes to be out of debt by the end of the year.

More From Restaurant Revisited:

Paliani’s Restaurant (September 12)
Frankie’s (September 5)
Gusanoz (August 29)
Stella’s (August 8)
Italian Village (August 1)
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 (348)

  1. Korpilanmaki says:

    For your information, what this show does is real not fake. I go to a restaurant here in Ohio that was redone by Chef Irvine and his crew. I ate there before and after he re did it and it is out of this world now, the food and decor are outstanding. 10K can and does re do a place if the crew know what they are doing and they do, as it is done by hgtv. It can and is done in 48 hours because of the massive size crew that is there to do the work. So before you state that since it is on tv, it has to be fake, make sure you have proof of that. A restaurant 'fix" cannot stay fixed unless the owners stick to what he has laid out for them, there are cases where they did not and they ended up closing due to their own stupidity. So in speaking about "yahoos" lok in the mirror, this show is real and it words, if the owners let it work after the fact.

  2. Korpilanmaki says:

    You should not have the username that you have. One thing, you do not type in caps, as it is rude and means you are yelling and who do you think you are yelling at? The show was not bad, it was the usual things actually. No one said the previous owners did not keep books, they most likely threw them away or kept them hidden. Learn how to post things correctly, but since obviously you are a child posting, which is obvious, or just a mindless troll, is the only way you can comment, thinking you are anonymous to everyone on the internet which you are not. Grow up, if you want to join the community, do so with style instyle instead of a mindless baffoon.

  3. Korpilanmaki says:

    But, did you really go there? That is the big question, or are you just someone that wants to jab the place like a troll would? Maybe, if you really are a restaurant owner, you felt in jeopardy from Michele's? A simple comment on a community bulletin board does not prove the fact that you were actually there. Maybe you were and the food was that bad, then again maybe you were not there and made it all up? hhhhmmmmmm

    • Former Corryite says:

      Korpilanmaki ~Seriously? Why would you question someone's integrity? What on earth would they have to gain by making up a story? I have eaten there with my family before Robert stepped in ~ it's hard to burn a stuffed chicken breast but yet have it still be frozen.. but I was served one! Members of my family were among the patrons on the "reveal" night.. I was told the food was just "alright but the portions were very small for the amount they charged". They also went back a few weeks later and said that the service was very slow and "the food was not even close to being good" . They won't be going back again. Corry is a very small town where word of mouth can make or break a business ~ in a depressed economy you can not afford to ignore your patrons.

    • RestaurantOwnerM says:

      Hello Korpilanmaki, yes we were there. How can I qualify myself to you? Andy was wearing a white hat and a button-down shirt. Michelle was wearing a black outfit. There was a table of 8 people who had driven up from Pittsburgh, a party of 4 from Candohota Lake, and a retirement party in the back room. If you'd like, I'll e-mail you my credit card receipt. I do not feel threatened by Michele's as a restaurant owner. Our place is 50 miles south and does not draw from her area. In fact, I wish them well and want them to succeed, but in order to do that, restaurant operators must deal with the reality of the quality of their food. If you'd like my receipt copy e-mailed to you, reply to this message with your address please. PS: feel free to take a look at the website of my restaurant that is closest to Corry, PA:

      • Herbinator says:

        What's up with French Creek Cafe's website? The front page is all black, like a Metallica album, except for the links and logo. When I navigate back to the front page, there's a plate of something that looks like burnt human lungs. I suggest your 'about us' page move to the front page, but what do I know as a professional web designer with $2,000,000 sold? (I’m sure you know better, Mr. Perfect!)

        The dinner menu prices as contrasted with the lunch prices are just weird. Looks like two different restaurants. Maybe you should ask Chef Robert to re-design your menu?

        I wish you success, but I see flaws in your web presence and overall presentation, Mr. Perfect!

      • Herbinator says:

        RestaurantOwnerM, it must have been the Firefox browser that moved the burnt/glazed pork chops (that look like lungs to me) to the front page? I checked it on IE and it didn't put the last menu image I looked at back to the home page when browsing back.

        My creative, positive suggestion is two-fold:

        1) Put an image on your front page, instead of just black background. Invite guests in.

        2) Re-photograph your food dishes at an angle. From what I recall, your pictures are taken directly above the dish, which makes the food appear dimensionally flat. (my mind saw lungs instead of pork/lamb chops). If you notice TV ads for major food chains, the camera is typically pointing from the side of the dish at 30 to 45 degree angles. This makes the portions appear larger, and realistic; like they would look if they were on the table in front you. Pointing straight down from 6 feet has the effect of looking at a plate of food on the floor.

        That's just my observation. If I visit your restaurant, I will be the table who always tips in excess of 30% if the service is good, or a detailed review on yelp if the service is poor or "pathetic".

      • Herbinator says:


        1) The change to your front page is excellent. It looks like a restaurant, instead of a portal to hell (before it was just black).

        2) The Beef Wellington picture is phenomenal. I'm so hungry now. Seriously change all pics at the close angle.

        3) You took my advice but still gave me negatives on my comments?

        It's not like I would send you an invoice, so how about a + this time?

        ps, the 'on the floor from above' other red tablecloth food pics make me nauseous; like I'm at an airport 24 hour Chinese food poisoning joint, but the new beef wellington pic has me salivating…. I see that picture at the close angle and I'm now very hungry. I'd pay $100 bucks for that dish right now, it looks so good!


    • steve says:

      According to your logic, noone who has ever actually been to a restaurant should comment. Sounds to me like you're the troll. hhhhmmmmmmmmm back atcha.

  4. Korpilanmaki says:

    Using simple human intervention anyone can do and Robert uses his wisdom do pull it off. what he did to Andy with that brick wall thing, was brilliant! BTW, you just analized Chef Irvine, did you know that? Where did you get your license? If you do not like the show anymore, why are you still watching it?

  5. Mr. Obvious says:

    Well, if an RI redo won't do it for you, then I suppose nothing will. Have you tried driving by around lunch or supper time? Just a suggestion.

    • Former Corryite says:

      Mr. Obvious ~ the outside was not redone. It is painted a hideous purple/gray and the parking area is surrounded by overgrown weeds.. there is noting inviting about Michele's from the outside. Paint is cheap and so is a sign with the hours of operation. A customer should not have to search out a business.. a successful business welcomes them in.

      • Julie - Florida, says:

        Coryite: You hit the nail on the head. Customers judge the inside of the restaurant by how the outside looks. They should have a painting and clean up party with the staff. Make it a fun day for all, maybe a cookout after there done. If they can, maybe close on a Monday morning for it. Whatever will work for them. I wish them success. If I Iived up there I would come and help them.!

  6. Former Corryite says:

    I've been told that Michele is bringing back the "2 for" type menu that the previous owners had.. we really enjoyed the "Two for Tuesdays" menu of the old owners and ate there quite often when we were in Corry visiting family. I've also heard that their new chef, Nate, is quite good and the food has improved since he was hired. I certainly hope that Michele's is successful as there are very few restaurants in Corry and no steak houses.

  7. Herbinator says:

    I thought Jessie was a plant, put in place by the producers. If so, the owners might not even realize that their 'chef' was a pro that was hired just to get the episode aired. The other two applicants were definitely NOT plants; one was a vegetable, and the other a wiener.

  8. Herbinator says:

    Women believe that strawberries also smell fresh coming out the next day. It's one of those female colon denial psychological things. Women will pay more for any dish with strawberries.

  9. Herbinator says:

    Pamela, Chef Robert's wife is a female wrestler. Can you imagine why?

  10. Herbinator says:

    Ellen, I watched Tanya's design show years ago when she had her own. Tanya is the reason I watch episodes that feature her as a designer. What makes Tanya 'hot' is her design skills. I spend about $12000/yr on average at home improvement stores. My recent kitchen remodel color selection was based on the darker colors and textures that I've seen Tanya use. I used to like pastels and light colors, but I've learned the 'pop' tricks from darker colors and funky contrasts.

    Whenever I read a post that says something to the effect of 'get rid of Tanya', expect me to defend my position of seeing Tanya's work, personality, and appearance as nothing short of eye candy. Lastly, please don't be jealous; it's very unflattering.

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