Restaurant Revisited: Poco’s on the Boulevard

by in Shows, November 21st, 2012

Robert Irvine at Poco's on the BoulevardWhen Robert Irvine arrived at Poco’s on the Boulevard in Kansas City, Mo., he met owner Claudia Endicott and her sister, Danna Gutierrez, who were ready and anxious to receive Robert’s constructive criticism about their Latin restaurant. Since their mother passed away several months ago, Poco’s had been dishing out inconsistent food, and Claudia had struggled with earning the respect of her staff. Robert and the Restaurant: Impossible team spent two days revamping the dining room and overhauling the menu, and in the end, they helped return Poco’s to its former glory. We checked in with Claudia a few months after Robert left to see how the restaurant is doing today.

Since the renovation, diners have been pleased with the changes at Poco’s. The restaurant is once again making a profit, and sales have risen $20,000 from July to August.

Claudia appreciates the updated decor, including the new paint color and expanded bar, and says that it has been well received by customers. “The counter space makes it more comfortable to spend time at the bar,” she tells us. She especially like the photo of her mom, Poco’s founder, which was hung near the entrance. “I feel like she’s present when I see it,” Claudia says of the image.

Robert’s new menu has proven to be a hit with customers, but Claudia says that she’s added a few dishes from their previous menu, like her “Mom’s award-winning fish tacos and basic burritos.”

The cooks now are working with Poco’s original recipes, and Claudia adds that they “are creating a recipe book to instruct new employees as well as control food servings and portions.” Claudia has been spending more time in the kitchen recently and “is learning how to prepare the food as well as helping to direct staff during heavy volume.”

Claudia notes that she and Danna have been “more sensitive to each other” since Robert left. She’s happy to report that she has “improved in her professional mannerism” and is being respected by her staff. “We are looking forward to the future and what it may hold for Poco’s,” she says.

More From Restaurant Revisited:

Oleander Bar and Grill (October 17)
Valley Inn (October 10)
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 (173)

  1. SueHeartshome says:

    Not enjoying the show anymore. Feels more like an Oprah-type show than a FoodNetwork show. But none is forcing me to watch it so will just cancel the TIVO recording.

    • cherrycooks says:

      Robert Irvine is a nice guy and knows his way around the kitchen, but he should stick to cooking and not try to be an armchair psychologist. "Dr. Phil meets Food Network" is not a good thing.

      • Marjorie says:

        Robert is also a highly successful restauranteur and I think he brings not only experience but a frank approach to desperate owners. There's nothing wrong with a harsh look at reality when you are on the brink. No amount of excellent dishes and charming decor will revive a restaurant until you tackle and solve its core problems.

    • Don'twatchthen says:

      Then don't watch it, plain and simple!!

    • Pete says:

      Sue you are truly an idiot!

    • pretendernx01 says:

      I thought this was one of the better episodes. I got a feeling these two really deserved the help with being overwhelmed, unlike other episodes where the owners seem mean and the staff seems lazy.

      These ones also kept it up afterward and are doing well.

      I say "yes" to more Oprah-type episodes if it means more deserving restauranteurs get helped.

    • Wonderful Show says:

      Cancel Away…… SEEEEEYYAAAAA

  2. John says:

    Hottest owner so far in the history of the show.

  3. C Wescott says:

    This is the Single Most Important "Restaurant: Impossible" I think ever seen, I can honestly say that I've prayed for each and everyone of them many, many times!
    Just remember "POCO" and "Mother Mary" are Always Watching!!
    …:}

  4. Bob says:

    I loved the show about pocos it made me cry alot, and i am a guy. The one person i was really impressed with was DANNA!!!! She is so beautiful!!! I would love to get to know her. I feel like she could be my soul mate. DANNA if you are ever in california i would love to take you out on a date.

  5. Mike says:

    Loved the show, I plan to visit on my next trip to KC. Food looked great!!

  6. Mike says:

    Being from Kansas City, I can't wait to go back home to go back there. I moved away 6 years ago, and used to go to Poco's all the time. I actually knew Poco and Claudia well. I was always the type to go to hometown-style places over chain restaurants any day. It's kind of disheartening to see that it went that far down after her passing, but I love seeing that it has a second chance. Excited!! I'll be up there over Christmas, and will definitely be paying Claudia a visit.

    • Jumping Bean says:

      Did the restaurant have mixed Latin style cooking when Poco was alive or was it soley Mexican? The sign out front gave the impression that the recipes would be drawn from more than Mexican cuisine. Mexican restaurants are a dime a dozen; I thought the idea of Central and South American food would be something unique to showcase on RI.

  7. Guest says:

    Danna is the hottest owner I've seen! Now that that's out of the way. Her father seemed like such a great guy and I'm sorry for the loss of his wife, she had such great smile too. I'll be stopping by this place on one of my many trips across the US.
    Did I say how smoking hot Danna was yet?!

  8. Janko says:

    I used to drive by there every day on my way to work even before it became Poco's. And I never went there to eat. Now I want to go back to KC just to try them out! It's crazy to see Robert in the city I grew up in!

  9. AlistZ says:

    Robert made a comment during the voice-over that now the restaurant was filled with 'authentic mexican decor' , but I think most of that crap Tom bought was probably made in China.

    • Jennifer says:

      you've obviously never gone into one of those stores; we have them all over Phoenix, and everything has labels on that say "hecho in Mexico.' (that's 'made in Mexico' fyi.)

    • chuck says:

      A great show!! Poco,s one of the most emotional of all !

    • Trish says:

      From what I saw, Tom didn't buy that, it was salvaged from what was strewn all over before the remodel.

      • John says:

        Some of it was bought from a store ("El Mesa" I think) on the same street as Poco's. Probably a lot of stuff in the Mexican restaurants on Southwest Blvd come from that store.

        • Pat says:

          Tom reused the items from Pocos as well as purchasing items from the store across the street. I have been there and purchased items myself. They are authentic.

  10. Jolynne says:

    Such a touching episode. Really touch my heart. Lost my dad as well this year witch put my family to a complete stop in life. I had no choice but to push my mother forward. I can really relate to your mother saying. I have family that live up there so when I have the chance to fly there from hawaii ill stop by.. I wish the best of luck to poco.

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