Restaurant Revisited: Valley Inn

by in Shows, October 10th, 2012

Robert Irvine on Restaurant: Impossible
Valley Inn restaurant in Palos Hills, Ill., is a 40-year-old eatery with a history of success. Recently, however, the restaurant had fallen on hard times, and owner Dennis Ristucci needed Robert Irvine’s help to restore Valley Inn to its former glory. In only two days, Robert and his Restaurant: Impossible team tackled a dark, dirty dining space and low-quality food before reopening to a line of hungry customers. We checked in with Dennis to see how his business is doing a few months after its renovation.

Since Robert left, sales at Valley Inn have increased nearly 85 percent. Dennis tells us that the revised menu and updated decor “have drawn new interest from the neighborhood.” Among his favorite aspects of the remodel are the more inviting entry space and improved flooring.

Today, Valley Inn’s menu is a mix of the restaurant’s original dishes and those that Robert created, and Dennis says that “customers like the combination.” Additionally, he notes that the restaurant is no longer using any frozen food. Dennis tells us his staff are “more attentive to customers” and welcome diners “with big smiles and stories about the show.” He adds that “everyone has been doing their part and cleaning, too.”

In a change less obvious to diners but no less significant, Faye, Dennis’ mother, is no longer telling him how to run his business. “My wife and I are making all of the decisions,” he says. Once again passionate about Valley Inn, Dennis believes that his dad “would be extremely proud” of the restaurant’s renovation.

More From Restaurant Revisited:

Whistle Stop (October 3)
The Maple Tree Cafe (September 26)
Michele’s (September 19)
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 (98)

  1. Herbsghost says:

    A huge hologram of various drunk driver dead victims dancing in slow motion like zombies might bring them in! Get creative with the signage! Marketing is an exact science.

  2. Foodie says:

    Moraine Valley Community College in Palos Hills has both a hospitality (resturant/bar) management class along with a culinary class. I don't know why the son didn't go over and take one of the courses or hire a grad from there?

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    • Howard Beale says:

      It has nothing to do with long term practicality…it is a television episode.

    • Herbsghost says:

      Guest writes:

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      Why so many commas? Your grammar sucks!

    • Huh?! says:

      This is too funny. It's like someone threw a birthday party, brought the cake and the pony and the face painter and then when they left the neighbor comes by to complain that they didn't mow the lawn before they left. It's a kick start of a restaurant, they only have a small amount of money and do wha they can. It *should* be up to the owners to pick up and move forward.

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