Restaurant Revisited: Whistle Stop

by in Shows, October 3rd, 2012

Restaurant: ImpossibleWhen Robert Irvine arrived at Whistle Stop restaurant in Hot Springs, Ark., he found an outdated dining space and dirty kitchen in desperate need of a makeover. Linda Todd, employee-turned-owner of Whistle Stop, needed Robert’s help to transform her restaurant into a profitable business and effectively manage her staff. We checked in with Linda to see how the restaurant is doing a few months after its Restaurant: Impossible renovation. Hear from the owner below then take a photo tour of the restaurant and see before-and-after snapshots of the Whistle Stop’s dining room and buffet station.

Since Robert left, the restaurant has begun breakfast service, which Linda says “is doing pretty well” so far. “We started doing breakfast a little over 2 weeks ago and it is doing pretty well. Hopefully it will continue to grow.” She also notes that Brett does not work at Whistle Stop anymore.

In terms of the decor, Robert turned to designer Lynn Kegan to take what was once a dark and drab dining room with multicolored holiday lights, faux greenery and dated black chairs and turn it into a bright, relaxing area with comfortable, contemporary silver seating.

Restaurant: Impossible

Restaurant: Impossible

Additionally, the team improved the flow of Whistle Stop by moving the buffet station from one side of the restaurant to the other.

Restaurant: ImpossibleRestaurant: Impossible

“What I love about the Whistle Stop,” said Lynn, “is that we took an outdated buffet and layout that just consumed space and reimagined the look and layout to make it more customer friendly.”

Tell us: What do you think of the new space?

More From Restaurant Revisited:

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 (298)

  1. Erynne says:

    What the heck I thought this was a blog about Restaraunt Impossible!!!!

  2. Niels Nielsen says:

    I don't like Captcha and similar devices that slow down commenting, but apparently nobody is monitoring this blog. More than half of the entries are spam.

  3. Guest says:

    It appears that Chef Irvine's help only managed to delay the inevitable, the signs are down and the Whistle Stop is apparently closed for business.

    • Guest says:

      I, too, discovered this place has since closed. Too bad I have eaten there since the makeover and was surprised by the results.

    • Bob hope says:

      Useful info; too bad it closed.

    • Kelly says:

      We stopped by over the summer, the buffet was practically empty and when we asked about crab legs, they said they didn't have any come in on their order. Totally disappointing and a waste of our time to even stop in. Not only that, other customers were complaining as they were waiting to pay their bills, saying they would not return.

    • Tammy says:

      The owner Linda needed neck surgery and she was burned out. The place will be a Pizza and Ice Cream place this Spring.

  4. THERESA HIGBY says:

    ROBERT WASTED HIS TIME AND MONEY ON THE WHISTLE STOP.
    DID NOT EVEN STAY TO EAT…

  5. Jepchamp says:

    What does that mean? Indited? Do you mean indicted? Edited? What?

  6. Jepchamp says:

    No, you didn't have to tell someone, especially not here. Go post it on Facebook or something.

  7. Cheryla says:

    Sorry to hear it closed.

  8. Brandy says:

    I tried to go to the Whistle Stop on 3/14/2013 and it had been closed down.

  9. Stan and Mary Wells says:

    Have watched Chef Robert Irvine for the past several years. Looks like Food Network is setting him out to dry. He should be in a venue that truly showcases the talent he possesses. My wife and I are disappointed in Food Network that they waste his talent for accomplishing the 'impossible" when he could be put to much better use.

    • Leisa says:

      My God your grammar is atrocious.

      • Andy says:

        Stan and Mary's grammar is perfect. What are talking about?? Moreover they make an excellent point — love him or hate him, Robert's talent is singularly world class. He's one of a kind and I have a feeling Feed Network is compensating him quite fairly.

    • Larry says:

      I disagree; I think Robert is doing a great job. He gives these owners a second chance. Puts them on the right track. It’s up to the owners to keep up with that. I love his show! If the owners fail after the show, it’s not Roberts fault. Your comment about Robert can be put to better use is very lame!

    • Sarah says:

      I don't think they're setting him out to dry at all. They don't force people to be on these shows, he wanted to do this. He did Dinner Impossible for quite some time, and now he gets to be a part of rebuilding people's lives! As the producers and other crew have said, "Robert's just a big softie". About them wasting his talent, not anyone can deal with remodeling, rewriting a menu, working out the money, and teaching the staff all at one time. If they had anyone at a lesser talent they would never be able to successfully fix a restaurant.

      • Rhonda says:

        Robert gets his "gruff" demeanor from being a chef trained in the Navy. It's "drill sergeant" mentality, and it works to get to someone who is in denial of their shortcomings, and recognize reality.

  10. whippoorwill says:

    what kind of life do you have when you feel compelled to post an off-subject feel-goody anecdote about your day at the beach with your kids on a forum dedicated to something entirely different? Jepchamp is right….YOU DIDN'T HAVE TO TELL SOMEONE ON THIS FORUM. Find the RIGHT forum for your mindless rantings and ravings about completely off-topic things. Find the right forum for that…believe me, there are many. Do you have a life AT ALL???

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