Restaurant Revisited: Rohrer’s Tavern

by in Shows, November 28th, 2012

Robert Irvine on Restaurant: ImpossibleAt Rohrer’s Tavern in North Bend, Ohio, Robert Irvine found an outdated eatery with an unadorned dining space and basic-at-best food to match. Lisa Kendall is the owner of this decades-old restaurant, and she needed Robert and his Restaurant: Impossible team to help Rohrer’s avoid a looming closure. We checked in with Lisa a few months after the transformation to see how her restaurant is doing now.

After the renovation, Rohrer’s saw year-over-year growth of $20,000 for the month of September. Lisa explains that while the restaurant used to attract only local customers, it is now “pulling people from other neighborhoods” as well.

“Everyone loves the new look and for the most part loves the menu,” she says. Rohrer’s is still serving most of the menu items that Robert created for them, and they’ve added a few of their previously popular dishes to their list of offerings.

Since Robert left, the kitchen staff has been held “accountable for everything,” Lisa explains. She now challenges them when they tell her that something cannot be done, and says she has “made it clear that I am not just the owner. I am the boss and manager.” She adds, “Criticism is still something that no one in the kitchen likes, but I do it as constructively as possible.”

Still working in the kitchen, Stacy “finally has a staff that she can count on,” Lisa tells us. “Stacy has always been and continues to be my right hand.”

Bev and Renee are both shift leaders, and Aunt Sandy has returned to serving. “She is doing really great with the menu and the computer,” Lisa says of Sandy.

For Lisa, one of most beneficial aspects of the Restaurant: Impossible experience was the food-cost lesson she received from Robert. She says, “I couldn’t thank him enough for sitting down with me to show me how it should be done.” Today Rohrer’s spends about 34 to 36 percent on food, but Lisa notes that she is “still working diligently on making it lower.”

Looking back on the transformation, Lisa tells us, “It has truly been a blessing and brought life back to not only me but to my staff.”

More From Restaurant Revisited:

Poco’s on the Boulevard (November 21)
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)

Similar Posts

Food Network’s New Show Hungry Games will Change the Way You Think About Food

Ever wonder why ice cream is so addictive, or why it gives you a brain freeze when you eat it too fast? And how about that restaurant menu item that s...

Comments (142)

  1. FNGossip says:

    For more updates and reviews from Rohrer's, click my name. 20k from last September to this September is great, but tough to keep that up after the Restaurant Impossible novelty wears off. Hopefully they can keep it up as Lisa seems like a good person.

    • Josh says:

      Well even after the novelty wears off and it drops to 12-13K from year over year monthly increases….that is still enough the keep it afloat.

  2. Family6 says:

    Avid fans of RI, the inside pea baby poop greens a disappointment. We wish the restaurant well but felt decorations were not creative.

  3. MLS says:

    We visited a few weeks back and the changes made to the inside was wonderful. The selections presented on the menu were good but seemed a little over priced for the area. I ordered the spinach salad w hot bacon dressing. The dressing wasn't what I expected, not hot (barely warm) and real thick. I was disappointed. We may try again but will wait until after the 'restaurant impossible viewing' rush is over.

  4. Laser G says:

    Went a month ago and got the chicken dinner. Chicken was good served on smashed taters with gravy also good . No veggie? Seemed unusual for a dinner entre. Also at 12.95 seemed a tad over priced . Good luck on the food cost should be down around 30 or 31 percent. Atmosphere was a big improvement.

  5. lovingbears2 says:

    I wish them well! I just hope that the "previous items from the old menu" does not translate back to "canned /frozen/microwaved from a bag". I don't care how much they "think" everybody loves it (how many shows has that been said at the beginning-"our customers love our food the way it is!") . Later , when Robert shows them their food against fresh/ actually "cooked" instead of just heated up, they will say how much BETTER Robert's is, tastes, looks, etc! Any old items on the menu can get a fresh taste from making it, not buying it and heating it, at a much cheaper cost for better profit, as Robert just showed her. Hopefully, that lesson really wasn't lost already. I hope not, as I really would like them to do well.

    On the same line of thinking, hubby and I got to go to Robert's "EAT" restaurant last month on Hilton Head Island. All I can say is, "OMG!! Fabulous food, fresh, delicious, fabulous staff, fabulous decor!!! We thoroughly enjoyed every minute, every bite! It was very "cosmopolitan" in the decor, and the food was fantastic!, The waitstaff,( at ALL the tables, as you could hear them as they waited on the tables around us,) were extremely attentive, knowledgeable, very friendly and helpful to their guests. REALLY was a great dining experience the whole time we were there, and it was one of most enjoyable evening on the Island! We will definitely be back there, making reservations way ahead, as it is always packed, according to the people who work at a store across the walk from his entrance, esp on Tapa's Tuesday night. Cannot wait to go back!

  6. Jason says:

    That's not unheard of for chefs to have allergies to some of the food they have to prepare. I remember an episode of Chopped where one of the contestants was allergic to shell fish and a shell fish was one of the secret ingredients in two rounds. Chefs get around that by wearing disposable gloves. As far as I know that's actually Health Department rules to wear them, but I'm not 100% sure.

    • @suepaulsen says:

      That's what I kept watching for and didn't see her wearing any gloves. (My son & I were both watching very closely). Fish allergy is one of the top allergens and is very common to have a reaction just by contact. If she is wearing gloves, I'd love to hear that. But I would like to hear what her procedures are for keeping her safe from an Anaphylactic reaction.

    • happy2live says:

      Yeah Sue. Did you see her handling the fish with her bare hands? I just re-winded it and watched again. Nope, didn't see her handing any food without gloves. Could you please give us more information as to where you had seen her handling fish without gloves? I am totally with Jason on this one. The restaurant looks phenomenal!! I wish them nothing but the best!

      • @suepaulsen says:

        I wish them nothing but the best as well. Don't misconstrue my comment as being rude or derogatory towards her or the restaurant. I did rewind it several times as well….as I also have it on the DVR. I did not see her handling the fish (specifically), but did clearly see her cooking/handling food without gloves. We are merely asking what her procedures are for handling the foods that she is allergic to. Does she have someone else prepare those dishes? Does she wear gloves at that time and then take them off to prepare other dishes? These are very logical and reasonable questions to ask for others in the Allergy community.

        • Nancy says:

          who freakin cares about the stupid fish allergy. wtf?

          LMFAO @ "allergy community"

        • Angie says:

          I am part of the "allergy community" and it doesn't offend me whether she IS allergic to fish or just doesn't like it. I cannot stand mushrooms on anything. I learned along time ago that you get a very different reaction from restraunts when you say……I dont like mushrooms = mushrooms show up in my dish. I am allergic to mushrooms = voila! No mushrooms.

          I know people with a variety of food allergies that range from mild and annoying to very severe and life threatening. Some of them still cook with the food(s) that cause their allergy…..some do not. But none of them blink an eye when we order out together and I go no-mushroom.

          Dont sweat the small stuff otherwise you end up with a headache and heartburn

          • Angie says:

            It also stands to mention that not all food alergies result in anaphylactic shock.

          • Joanna says:

            EXACTLY. My mother has a fish allergy that developed in her early 40's. No anaphylactic shock, just a stomach illness and a feeling of low blood sugar. She can physically touch seafood fine.

          • Guest123 says:

            Did she get tested by an actual Allergist? It sounds more like an intolerance as apposed to a real allergy.

          • Lyssa510 says:

            when did this become about food allergies? I thought it was about rest. renovation and saving families!

          • To Answer Your Ques. says:

            When the chef stated that she has a food allergy.

  7. Mel's says:

    We visited a few weeks back and the changes made to the inside was wonderful. The selections presented on the menu were good but seemed a little over priced for the area. I ordered the spinach salad w hot bacon dressing. The dressing wasn't what I expected

  8. kari says:

    First have to say..why all the effort to see if the chef is allergic to fish? Really? Maybe she just doesn't like fish! We had a birthday party for my mother-in-law shortly after the renovation…it was wonderful! There were 25 people and everyone got their meals quickly, the food was hot, and the pork chops were a huge hit. I had the chicken dinner….it was a very generous portion and the taste was terriffic. Loved the new decor…good job to the staff of Rohrers!

    • @suepaulsen says:

      She stated that she is Allergic to Fish. If she lied about that and only said it because she doesn't 'like' fish that is very disrespectful to the growing number of people all across the country that live with food allergies. It is not a joking matter and should never, ever be taken lightly.

      • Shut up says:

        Shut up.

      • AllergicToCauses says:

        Disrespectful to people with food allergies… give me a break. Had you said disrespectful to Robert, I'd agree or at least say she doesn't have a backbone. It's not a joking matter….

        "We got so much food in America we're allergic to food. Allergic to food! Hungry people ain't allergic to s**t. You think anyone in Rwanda's got a f**king lactose intolerance?!" -Chris Rock

        • Nancy says:

          sue – STFU about this stupid fish allergy already! FFS get over it!

          "allergy community".. stop tripping over yourself to be so PC it's pathetic!

        • Bob says:

          You think it is ridiculous about people being alergic to certain foods. You won't think so when someone you know ends up in the hospital because idiots like you didn't believe in food alergies and to show "how smart they were" snuck "alergic food" into an alergic persons meal. I saw this done with a person alergic to mushrooms – he went to the restroom and one of the "smarties" snuck a fwe mushroom pieces under the cheese on the alergic person's pizza. Needless to say, an ambulance ride to the hospital. I saw a similar incident where a person was alergic to shell fish. Of course, I suspect someone like yourself doesn't believe in peanut alergies or is lactose intolerant. I also suspect you have been eating too much gluten and the alergic reaction has turned your brain to mush..

          • Jay says:

            nobody said food allergy was ridiculous. just that it's not a big deal if, let's say a vegetarian said they were allergic to beef. it doesn't hurt someone with peanut allergies for me to say i am allergic to fish.

        • chefstacy says:

          I actually am allergic to all seafood I developed these allergies about 25 years ago. I wish that I could eat it but I cannot. In fact I love fish. It was staple I grew up on but unfortunately for me my body went through a major chemical change leaving me allergic to numerous things. I rely on my other senses to create delicious meals. Some things bother me worse than others, therefore I take many precautions when I am in the kitchen, I cannot believe what I have read here. I would never lie about something like this. I love what I do and that's what matters

      • JackHammer says:

        Are you kidding me? First of all I think she's full of it, and even so, who cares? disrespectful? Get a frigging life! she probably doesn't like fish. What I really want to know is how the chef is allergic to the signature dish? You know, that famous frozen fish and stale bread sandwich? Maybe if she was able to taste the food she was preparing she would know how nasty it is!

        • Bob says:

          I meant to past it to this reply.

          You think it is ridiculous about people being alergic to certain foods. You won't think so when someone you know ends up in the hospital because idiots like you didn't believe in food alergies and to show "how smart they were" snuck "alergic food" into an alergic persons meal. I saw this done with a person alergic to mushrooms – he went to the restroom and one of the "smarties" snuck a fwe mushroom pieces under the cheese on the alergic person's pizza. Needless to say, an ambulance ride to the hospital. I saw a similar incident where a person was alergic to shell fish. Of course, I suspect someone like yourself doesn't believe in peanut alergies or is lactose intolerant. I also suspect you have been eating too much gluten and the alergic reaction has turned your brain to mush..

          • kari says:

            i started the whole food allergy conversation…i did not say they arent dangerous…i said why focus on that instead of eveything else that happened in the show? i have personal experience with wheat and peanut allergies..my problem is why focus on that rather than recognize that the chef made a huge transformation and changed her attitude to become a major part of the change of the restaurant!

          • chef stacy says:

            thank you

      • Mr.Limpet says:

        Plus, it may be disrespectful to the fish. They have feelings too.

      • Jay says:

        ditto to the shut up guy. suepaulsen, shut up

    • steve says:

      What effort? She said she was allergic so Robert ate her half.

  9. Jay says:

    Really happy for the family and excited for their future. Wish they would bring Tanya back as the designer though, Lynn just doesn't have the vision she does. Not too much creativity to use the same colors on the inside and outside of the building. All yellow on the outside with red, all yellow on the inside with a red wall! Family deserved more effort in that aspect.

    • Janice says:

      I agree. Not only is Tanya more artistically creative, she's got a great sparkling personality and works well with Robert.

    • Haley says:

      It's not that they got rid of her, they just have to rotate different designers in because Tanya is very busy with her designer abilities with other shows and projects and cannot be in every episode of Restaurant Impossible. But overall yes, Chef Robert does seem happier when she is around

  10. Nick says:

    What the hell happened with that bar? It was blinding on TV, I can only imagine how bad it must be to sit at it in person

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>