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 (440)

  1. Eric Gullstrand says:

    Given the fact that the owner is so independent and defensive, a new overhaul is not going to enable this place to last for more than 5 years tops. The food was great after the show, now it is marginal at best. I am in this area every month for business and don't feel that I would ever consider going back. Wow. She won a chance from Food Network and she blew it.

  2. I like Restaurant Impossible, but I wish they'd show updates. They never go back to show how the restaurants are doing after the makeover. Shark Tank always goes back & shows what happened after the deals are done.

  3. Tucker says:

    Come, enjoy dinner. We have a spoiled, unruly brat running around screaming. No extra charge for the ambience.

  4. bobojack says:

    Paliani's was doomed , with a owner who had her head up her @## , and a brat running around ? WHY is it that 98% of the people He helps NEVER know HOW to run a restruant ,Yet buy into one ?? Hey kid ! pull a hot
    pan of oil on ya face ..Hear that it closed ? GREAT ! bub bye dummy woman , let ya kid sell papers

  5. DaisyMae says:

    I have never seen an episode that I wanted to fail so much. This woman should be working at McDonalds, shes such an idiot. Glad she closed!

  6. zlite says:

    This restaurant has closed since the airing of the original episode.

  7. Larry says:

    They have gone out of business for close to a year, Can't under stand why you keep rerunning the show about helping save the business.

    • Meredith says:

      Hi Larry, I follow this show regularly and I think some of the restaurants are, unfortunately, too far gone when Robert gets too them. But I can learn as much from the failures as the successes. So I'm okay with rerunning an episode even after it has failed because of the lessons I can take from it.

  8. Bruce says:

    It is just a TV show, but if they air it years later and tell us at the end to check out how they are
    doing on website, then the website should be up to date. This "update" would make someone think that everything worked out OK. It did not and the restaurant closed. Fess up RI, or at least have the humility to NOT tell people to check out how things worked out at the end of reruns where the restaurant eventually failed.

  9. Paul says:

    JBL, and the others that believe it can't be done in two days. When they remodeled Bryant's Seafood in Hueytown, Al.(set to air in April), they were only here for two days. I should know, I live in the area and grew up in Hueytown. They did an awesome job. As for this owner, she should have fired the one person responsible for her failures, herself. Some people have no common sense. These people ask them to come out and help but most put up a fight and argue with the professional help that they seemed out in the first place. Some people are just idiots.

  10. Robert says:

    Love this program, but this episode was a joke. I would rather see Robert walk away than use his resources, time and talents on a place that is just going to go broke, from a stupid owner. Since she couldn't figure out that having her child on premises was bad for business and dangerous to boot, it was clear she wasn't going to make the place successful. I wonder if sometimes the owners just use the remodel with the intention of selling. They probably make much more off the business after it's been redone by the great builders and designers from RI. I knew this one didn't stay in business before I even checked. Really, the producers should let Robert walk from these doomed redo's.

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