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Robert Irvine on Restaurant: ImpossibleAt Rohrer’s Tavern in North Bend, Ohio, Robert Irvine found an outdated eatery with an unadorned dining space and basic-at-best food to match.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)

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Comments (142)

  1. Stupendousness Man says:

    This episode had excellent music. When Robert's team is renovating the dining area, there's this really clever Wire/Hives style riff happening. And lots of different styles and moods of music — from high energy punk/metal to more earnest, sentimental stuff that sounded kind of like the Pillows.

    Seriously, whoever did the music on this episode was really good.

  2. JIM says:

    Are you all allergy specialists? Give me a break. Who cares if she's allergic or not. I'm very proud of what they are trying to do. I wish them well.

  3. Betty B says:

    I hope the latest rumors that the restaurant is slipping again aren't true. This lady and her son need this restaurant to be successful in order to have any kind of future.

    • Cathy says:

      I just finished watching the Rohrers episode and ill tell you I totally agree about the designer. He is horrible. Quite frankly I think it looked better before. Robert, get rid of this guy. Before I went to this website to see how they are doing, I told my husband, who agrees with me, that I was going to call Robert and complain about this designer but then read the reviews and decided just to write this.

  4. Epic Fail says:

    Sorry, but the design on this one was an epic fail. Paint job that looked like someone yakked all over the place, a new, retro style logo that didn't come close to matching the mish-mash of styles the designer came up with, and that bar…atrocious, didn't match anything. There was nothing wrong with the wood paneling that was already there or the roof over the bar. They made the place look like a real neighborhood bar/diner/restaurant, very similar to a local place I frequent. All the place needed was a good cleaning, clear the clutter, open it up like they did and fix the food and staff.

    • Raz says:

      i dont know about JUST a good cleaning …..the place needed a change but that was an "epic fail " , they put brick paneling on the support colomns ….THEN paint them a PUKE yellow color, the first thing i thought when the owner first saw the change was i wonder what would happen if she turned around and said said " Eeww….i dont like it at all " …..like she shouldve !!!! , i guess when the show is paying for the transformation….there's not much your gonna say negative about it but that was disgusting

      • I Hate My Name says:

        one thing you not thinking about, is we are looking through a tv screen. we do not see what it looks like through our own eyes. plus they only have $10,000 totla to do the entire thing.

        • Epic Failure says:

          All the more reason to just clean and de-clutter and spend the time and money fixing the food and staff, which from most of the reviews I just read, they still don't have that good a grasp of.

      • astrostu206265 says:

        Gotta say I had the same thought with the columns.

  5. CzarOfDelhi says:

    My family and I were there for the reveal meal and have been back several times since. I have read many comments about the color scheme. I have to say that it does not translate well on TV but in person it is MUCH more pleasing to the eye. It's been 3 months since the re-open and it seems that the business is doing well at face value.

  6. cathy says:

    I know food allergies can be triggered by simply smelling the source. Some reactions require touching the item. Others require ingesting it. Some reactions result in hives, etc but others can go right into anaphaletic shock. Just depends on your allergy. My son is peanut allergic. Great possiblity he'll go into shock eating them. Epi-pens in my purse. He doesn't react to touch or smell-TG! I watched the show & just figured she had to eat them to have a reaction. And maybe she's being cautious about touching them. And is it crustaceans and/or fish? Who knows. But it would have been nice to know during the show. Expand on such an unusual aspect of being a chef/cook.

  7. Yuck says:

    Please bring the old designers back!! No offense to Lynn, but I agree with the other comments that he is the least inventive, and the designs look pretty awful.

  8. strangefires says:

    This is the second restaurant I've seen that the designer Lynn royally screws up! What is with those horrible colors?!? And the blinding bar?!? And those horrible red decorations?!? The colors are like dirty McDonald's walls.

    • Raz says:

      just watched this episode and thought that the final result was what they shouldve been changing & i agree with "Strangefires" over the blinding bar, this guy robert & designers has NOTHING over gordon ramseys makeovers

    • Angie says:

      The bar was something….and not something great. Usually the redesigns of a bar make it stylish, inviting…..some even look sexy. This one just looked wrong. Like a throw back to something in a 70's disco club. I don't fault Tom….he worked off the idea composed by Lynn, and I cannot help but wonder if the bar came out the way Lynn had envisioned. Sometimes things make sense in our heads but applied in reality…doesnt work

    • Mark says:

      I really do think it doesn't render well on TV. To the person comparing this to Kitchen Nightmares, that's ridiculous. I'm sure ramsey's budget is much bigger and he always has a big team doing the reno. 10k is not much money for such a huge space in a short time. This is a situation where you just want space and simplicity. While these renovators aren't design stars, they do work wonders for the amount of time they have.

    • Epic Failure says:

      8 months later and the designer is still getting bad reviews, the most recent being last weekend's episode.

  9. dissappointed says:

    I had the hanger steak, opted out of mashed to try the new mac n cheese… totally disappointed… especially after seeing the show.. show was one thing..what I got was totally different. I wouldn't have paid $5 for the portion I got. I had LESS then 1/3 of the meat that was shown on the show. The zuchini .. I got littlerally less the 6 coffee stirrer size pieces.. and until the show, I forgot that it was also supposed to come with onion straws… my husband had the pork chop…but this too we were highly disappointed with the portion size.. he had 2 pieces that was not even equal to 1 pork chop… we did order the cake just to make a meal to feel 1/2 way full…. comment bout the fish that we noticed, the french fries .. all the orders looked very over cooked and the majority of the order on each plate looked like it was the edge pieces (small triangle)… not large square pieces..

    • AbbyandSadiesMom says:

      Did you bother to tell the owners/manager about your complaints and/or send it back? No? If you didn't and "suffered in silence" you got what you deserve. If it's crappy, SEND IT BACK! Why pay for something either inedible or it was not what you were expecting? I'd send it back and tell them it's not what was on the show and unless they made it the way they were taught, I'd be outta there and don't expect for me to pay for substandard food either! Of course, you can't eat it if that's how you feel. If you ate it, pay for it.

  10. Artist says:

    As a fine artist and designer, I loved this design. It is bright, cheerful and make me want to visit the restaurant. I find it sad that some who comment accent the negative. Kudos to all on the show. Next time in this part of Ohio, will stop in for dinner!

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