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Robert Irvine on Restaurant: ImpossibleAt Rohrer’s Tavern in North Bend, Ohio, Robert Irvine found an outdated eatery with an unadorned dining space and basic-at-best food to match.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 (133)

  1. beachinfrizzy says:

    Another cringe-worthy makeover by Lynn—early hot dog stand. Must have run out of money replacing all those "worst ever" chairs and barstools instead of re-doing them. And that bar! I hope they do the responsible thing and serve bottles of SPF 30 with the ketchup and mustard. Had to laugh at how horrified Lynn and Robert were at the shingled roof over the bar… didn't Lynn construct a faux "roof" with cardboard tube "shingles" as a decorative accent in a previous episode? Re the food, got a kick out of the "chef" 's excitement to be working with fresh…never occured to her to suggest it? How/when were the cooks taught how to work with ingredients that can't just be dumped out of a bag, or does Robert have some 'ringers' on hand just for the reveals? All that said, the owner seems like a nice lady raising a good kid, they were willing to accept Robert's advice and make the changes and learn from his experience. It doesn't seem like she has any additional outside support (at least, they didn't mention any) and I hope this works out for them.

  2. alaskagypsy says:

    Great all around work, a much needed modern look. BUT that puck lime green is the worst color I've ever seen. Don't think I could eat looking at that color. You need a color coordinator badly.

  3. Guest says:

    Just got home from Rohrers. It was very good, I had the fish and my wife had the hangers steak. It was all ver delicious. It was a very cozy place. I am the kitchen manger at a national restaurant chain and I had no problems with the food and service. I would give it a A+.

  4. blanca says:

    I love this show and I keep thinking,how can I go out and eat at a restaurant and the food might not be clean and I can get sick and its really discusting what I have seen in some restaurants featured in the show like tinker bell. everything was so discusting and the kitchen was so disgustingly nasty.but Im glad he fixed everything there and hopefully the restaurant won't be unclean anymore and the quality of the foood will be good.!!! great tv show love it!!!!!!

    • foofalah says:

      Blanca; I've been thinking those exact same things. This show has made it difficult for me to go to even the more high-end establishments without wondering what their coolers and steam tables are like!

    • Guest says:

      Hello Blanca! I always make a point of visiting the restrooms in any new restaurant that I visit, before being seated. Since these are a place that the owners/managers have to be aware that are likely to be visited by their guests, I expect them to be clean and well kept. If I find them to be substandard or dirty, I can only envision how the kitchen and food quality are handled. I will leave and find somewhere else.

  5. CF & ST says:

    What a GREAT transformation! Enjoyed the new decor and the food was VERY Good! We will be taking family and friends.

    • C&D says:

      Had lunch yesterday with my husband. The food was good and we made reservations for mothers day (prime rib for $16) Very crowded but service was good. Small mens restroom and I could have done without the waitress' booby show but it was kind of fun to watch my husband (a minister) looking at the ceiling while he ordered his food. I had the hanger steak he had the burger

  6. gptma2013 says:

    I love the show, but sometimes think it goes a bit overboard on these "transformations". I also watch Diners Drive-ins and dives, and some of the places they go to, are no better or sometimes worse décor, but the places are booming. It's all about food quality and service. No so much in décor. No matter how nice a place looks, if the food or service stinks, you'll never see that customer again.

    • Nola says:

      Diners dives & drive ins packs those places for filming. They are actually "invite only" for the filming. It's not a valid take on an average business day.

    • Deborah Cox says:

      That's true to a point – that decor doesn't matter as much as food – but, overall, most people want the whole package. It doesn't have to be fancy or high-end, but a fun, bright space makes me want to return (as long as the food is good, too), more than a run-down, dark, dirty place.

  7. gptma2013 says:

    Tanya knocks all the other designers out of the park.

    • s11 says:

      Heck no, she is terrible. Always bright colors and patterns that never make any sense…. Hate almost all of her re-designs. She is better for designing homes or maybe offices, but not restaurants. I don't want to walk into a diner and see my house, I want to see a diner….. or a unique restaurant environment.

    • rtw915 says:

      Tayna is a joke. It's always the same thing. So glad she's gone.

  8. gptma2013 says:

    Maybe it's just me but the one thing I never see in these restaurants that are having all kinds of cost issues, is a good POS system. They are so simple to use, and in my opinion you can run a successful restaurant without one.

  9. observer says:

    All that work on the decor will be flushed away in the next big flood. The tavern is right on the Ohio River. That nasty smell that was in the carpet was probably the 1997 flood.

  10. special k says:

    Me & my family dinned there for lent, it was very crowded.the owner was very sweet to us while we were standing in line,& waited on us once we were seated. We miss the hot slaw,which was a favorite.but we enjoyed are meal.bar area was over lighted couldn't stand to look at it because it reminded me of a garage door with floresent lights behind it. The meal was very fresh & filling. Good Job! Will be back again:-)

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