Restaurant Revisited: Paliani’s Restaurant

by in Shows, September 12th, 2012

Restaurant Impossible
At Paliani’s Restaurant in Burton, Mich., Robert Irvine found a decades-old Italian eatery in desperate need of a Restaurant: Impossible overhaul. He had only two days to tackle the filthy interior and disorganized kitchen at Paliani’s, and help give owner Marina Bufalini the tools to improve her management. We checked in with Marina to see how Paliani’s is doing a few months after its Restaurant: Impossible renovation.

Marina is happy to report that since the transformation, sales at Paliani’s have increased. In June and July, the restaurant saw year-over-year growth of 46 percent and 32 percent, respectively.

Paliani’s has seen a mix of returning and first-time customers coming to see the makeover and taste the new food. While some longtime diners have struggled to adapt to the updated decor and menu, many new customers are pleased, as is Marina. Of the restaurant’s fresh look, she says, “I love the decor and how the light panels on the wall brighten everything and give the room more dimension.”

Marina has made a few changes to Paliani’s menu since Robert left. She is once again serving breadsticks, antipasto salad and pizzas, and is now giving customers the option of adding a salad to their entrée for $2 extra. She says that “the most popular dish continues to be pizza, followed by the chicken and then lasagna.” In the future, she hopes to start serving lunch, though she knows that she’ll need to tweak her menu to offer more traditional “daytime meals.”

Although Rob and Tony are no longer cooks at Paliani’s, Lisa continues to work the front of house. Marina says that she is looking to hire a kitchen manager, and thinks that she will promote someone already on staff.

While her son, Nico, still comes to the restaurant several days a week, Marina tells us that he will soon start attending daycare more often.

Marina thanks Robert and the entire Restaurant: Impossible team for giving Paliani’s Restaurant a second chance at success. “The process was difficult and still is on some days, but I am better for it,” she says.

More From Restaurant Revisited:

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 (445)

  1. KERRI says:


  2. Mud says:

    embarrissing to michigan !

  3. Julie - Florida, says:

    G.S. I have to agree with you 100%

  4. Julie - Florida, says:

    Sometimes other people have to fill in when the designers are unavailable. I doubt if R.I. is the only job these designers have. Maybe they just didn't want to do this job.

  5. Julie - Florida, says:

    Your a glutton for punishment.

  6. Banging says:

    Pizza isn't a 'dish' nit wit.

  7. Dana says:

    Becca's just jealous since she can't find a man to have kids with! BOOM!

  8. Princess Glorianne says:

    Lumpy is jealous that she can't have kids herself. What a sad fat woman.

  9. MistyZ says:

    I think you're right. The diner's on Guy's shows the owners are chefs & passionate about their food. When you're passionate you put fun and love into the food, you can taste that. Robert's show seems to be about people that OWN restaurants and the have staff as cooks. I've gone out of my way to go to some of the DDD restaurants can't think of why I would go out of my way for any of the RI features.

  10. Coogs says:

    Yes she did say that the toddler was going to run the place someday. What she was really saying is that he was going to "ruin" the place along with her!

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