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 (174)

  1. winn says:

    …not sure if my last post went through, so trying again: I think Robert Irvine is lovely, and Poco's episode was heart warming. The GREEN is brilliant and cheerful!! It represents the bright colors of the food and culture. It works, I love it!!

  2. BunnyChic says:

    This really was a wonderful episode and I am rooting for this family! I agree with everyone that these folks weren't running the place into the ground because of dysfunction or a bunch of dumb decisions. This is a genuinely close, caring family trying to fill a big hole left by tragedy and their grief made it harder. It seems like the staff was trying to adjust in their own way but wasn't accepting Claudia's authority because they were used to Poco and probably grieving in their own way. Their dad seems like a very nice, hardworking man. So glad that Robert was able to help these folks out and I'd love RECIPES and a follow-up! Go Poco's!!

  3. jake says:

    I liked this episode a lot, though I would have toned down the neon green walls. Frankly, I have such a crush on Claudia. She is not only beautiful but I liked watching her transform from passive into a true boss. I will be rooting for them all.

  4. tootsie b says:

    Who told all these people that lime green is typical Mexican color ?????? Read some books, travel, research, and know your stuff before opening your mouth !

    • The Count says:

      Get you head out of your four pointed contact and pay attention genious!!!

    • The Count says:

      Robert Irvine and his team are decent well grounded folks, with years training, both, in the military and in the the private sector. As well as having a whole staff of people researching color schemes and decor to make these things work. Sounds like the only person that should check for a size 12 boot before they express an opinion is YOU !!!

    • CatMom says:

      When I saw the color on TV, I thought the same thing.
      Having seen it in person, it really isn't bad. It's not as glaring – nay, glowing – as it looked on television.

    • Helen Lamoureux says:

      I grew up in Houston, Texas, lived in San Antonio 4 years and Del Rio, Texas 4 years. I've studied design as well. Green, blues, pinks, yellows, reds and browns ARE TRADITIONAL MEXICAN cultural design colors. Could you name the books you've read that so specifically say differently? Just curious

      • elgee says:

        None of you should be speaking about the "authenticity" of a culture you have nothing to do with, including Robert Irvine. How do any of you know what's traditional? You think living in Texas makes you an expert on traditional Mexican culture? Pft. Self-entitled white people.

        • Laurab says:

          Be interesting to know how you can tell the color of someone's skin by their name or comments. Someone ought to be a little less ignorant herself. You are calling out "White people" for being self-entitled and ignorant. That's called stereotyping and racism. As the saying goes, you know what happens when you Assume!!

        • Paul says:

          Your attitude is going to get you far in this world.

  5. Jay says:

    I agree that the old format was better for the staff–more precise and memorable…plans were laid out and explained so that they could be followed.
    Robert's military-style "wake-up" call is way more effective than being Jackie Chan the Mr Nice Guy. Not that people should yell at the workplace, but yelling works for Robert in the 48 hours he has to remake people's mentality. It's an old bootcamp trick–break 'em down and build a newer, more confident, badass machine. Although I dislike it being used to brainwash Americans into becoming war fodder (soldiers that aren't allowed their own opinions). He doesn't just yell and and criticize. Robert rebuilds them, and later when they do things correctly he tells them he is proud. He believes in people's ability to perform, and just does it in a really efficient way.

    • Wow, have you ever been to bootcamp Jay? I have and I did not lose who I am, and neither did the other 84 people in my company, we just learned how to integrate into a system that has to run like a machine and where people's lives depend on it. For an 19 year old kid, they need that, they have no clue even how to hold down a job. If everyone went to boot camp at age 50 the "brainwashing" as you call it would not be so necessary. Hooyah.

  6. Lawrence says:

    This episode was wonderful and while Tom isn't a professional designer I think he did a great job! The most important part is that the owners are happy :) Best of luck to Poco's!

  7. WeShowDogs says:

    We, a party of four, visited Poco's yesterday at 4:30 PM, and were extremely disappointed. Terrible service, waitress eating from the chip baskets on the kitchen pass-through and dipping from jars on counter. Dry, dry, tasteless burritos. My first try at posting a comment here was too long, as i described our experience, step-by-step. If you want to hear play by play details visit my blog at:

    Read more at:

    • kcguest says:

      read your blog, "…dessert (at $6 each – even flan which is typically $2.50 to $3 at KC metro area Mexican restaurants". i think you made that up, 3.99 for flan in KC min, found another for $4.99, suburan locations as well, not in downtown KC.

  8. SeattleRox says:

    I couldn't agree more! I was crushed at the end of the episode to have gopher husband introduced…but he was a good guy and helped out. Get Tanya back…Tom is a great builder, but clearly out of his element with design. Still, they turned the restaurant round. This was one of the most emotional episodes…you can tell they all miss Poco so much. It was a nice touch to even see hard-as-brass Robert getting emotional"

  9. Deborah says:

    Congratulations to pocos!!

  10. Deborah says:

    Congratulations to pocos!!

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