Restaurant Revisited: Windseeker Restaurant

by in Shows, January 16th, 2013

Robert Irvine on Food Network's Restaurant: ImpossibleFor Windseeker Restaurant in The Dalles, Ore., the problems went beyond a tired dining room and lackluster food. They had been battling negative press for years, and owner Veta Bingman and general manager Patty Taylor faced a constant struggle to attract customers to their out-of-the-way location, despite the breathtaking river views that surround them. In just two days and with a $10,000 budget, Robert Irvine and his Restaurant: Impossible team transformed the eatery into a sophisticated space complete with a high-quality menu that would improve Windseeker’s local reputation. We checked in with Patty a few months after Robert left to find out how the restaurant is doing today.

Comparing year-over-year numbers, Patty says that “Business is up by $30,000″ following the renovation, and she adds that the cost of food and wages has increased as well. Since their Restaurant: Impossible experience, the staff has not borrowed money from the restaurant.

Veta has allowed Patty to run the restaurant within her role as general manager, which recently has become more important than ever, as Veta has been in and out of the hospital. Patty is no longer bartending or cooking lunch, but she continues to be a front-of-house server and has also taken on the responsibility of ordering supplies for the restaurant. Despite these demands, Patty tells us that she was able to take a vacation in October.

More From Restaurant Revisited:

Whiskey Creek Steakhouse (January 2)
Rising Sun Bistro (December 19)
Boys & Girls Club of Southwest Missouri (December 9)
Bronk’s Bar and Grill (December 5)
Rohrer’s Tavern (November 28)
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)

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Comments (442)

  1. Dying says:

    Amy, my suggestion to you is stop replying, life is too short to waste your time on internet wars with strangers. go enjoy your life and stop worrying about who thinks what and says what. the hours you spent on these arguments could have been so much better spent. life is precious and short, go have some fun and enjoy life! dont look back at these times regretting not doing something important with the time. we dont have alot of time on this earth, make every moment worthwhile.

  2. Birdie says:

    Not impressed. Patti is not the person that she buffaloed through and made Chef think she was. Have known for many years living in this small town all my life. We had a huge family gathering there , about 30 adults & kids ( buffet style) a yr or so ago and by golly Patti would not let any other server help because she wanted the entire tip, which with a 700.00 bill I tipped her 150.00 even tho the drink service was really slow it was the only right thing to do as well as I tipped the cook 50.00 for laying out a fabulous buffet. Can't complain about the food service since it was serve yourself, but being a server myself elsewhere I was picking up plates putting over on the old breakfast bar area because she didn't come around often enough to pickup. But she never once smiled, wasn't even dressed nicely and kind of scrubby looking , she never greeted my out of town guest and only dealt with me since I was picking up tab and this was all organized a month prior to having and menu items for buffet chosen. And yea they have a pretty new eating area but as previously stated the locals call it the WIND TWEEKER for a reason, I noticed the lowlife bar side was not mentioned or focused on at all. I have been in there 2 times, and when you have icky people you dont want to go there. In order to get to the restaurant part you have to walk by the bar area where there have been numerous fights in parking lot, drug deals, drunks staggering out, hoards of people outside smoking. As a smoker I had went to my car to have a cigarette while there and had a drunk guy bothering me trying to get me to come in bar to buy me a drink. So until they clean up the bar side I don't see the restaurant long term succeeding. The only reason revenue is up now is from curiosity. I havn't been in there nor do I plan to but living here 30+yrs have known numerous people that have and have said service sucks and food is basically the same, really depends on who's cooking whether or not the food is good. As far as the daughter, Patti has been there done that as well and the Veta should be more supportive of her daughter, Patti seems to have taken the role and ran with it, thats wrong and if she loves Veta as much as she said she needs to try and mend the relationship between Mother and Daughter, but it appears from the show as well as personal views from locals that she is a big wedge between them ( surprised Patti totally pulled the wool over the Chefs eyes, if he only knew the whole truth). Veta needs to pay landscapers and Tiff needs to move on and let the place eventually flop, like I said curiosity is the only thing keeping it going. The show didn't show all the industrial area plants getting to location, its just a bad place to be and the bar will always make the locals think of it as the WIND TWEEKER. I know its a REALITY SHOW, but so annoying that the real issues weren't addressed. So nice try but not going to work long term…

    • beachinfrizzy says:

      Hi Birdie, near the beginning of the show I did notice ONE quick shot of the restaurant with what looked like power plant cooling towers right behind it…and Robert did make a point of saying "look out THIS way" (or something to that effect) very specifically when he was proposing the outdoor grill. But yea, except for the river on one side and the (beautifully done – gotta give Tiffany credit there) gardens right next to the building, I was wondering what the rest of the neighborhood looked like.

      • Terry says:

        What you thought were power plant cooling towers are Googles buildings that are down the road or the big grain elevators next door.

        • beachinfrizzy says:

          Thanks Terry, after I posted I saw another commenter who said they were grain elevators. Either way it's a pretty jarring contrast between the picturesque river angle with the peaceful mountains in the backdrop on one side that the show was trying to sell, and the reality of giant imposing metal structures and other industrial-looking buildings dominating the skyline on the other.

          • ftb says:

            Actually they were metal grain storage silos ,there is usually one or may two elevators used in a storage facility like that.Big round tall objects are silos,elevators real tall narrow system to elevate the grain to the silo.

    • mlaiuppa says:

      I wouldn't be surprised if Patty is planning on manipulating Veta into leaving her the restaurant and cutting the daughter out of the will.

  3. Amy says:

    How about you get a life or a hobby instead of judging someone you don't know…just a thought…

    • Amy says:

      I'm strange for replying to people's rude comments? And I have a life thanks though for the suggestion. And my dog and I have been attacked by a lab, yet my "deadly dogs" have never bitten a person or another animal. Why do you care how I spend my day off work?

      • Saul says:

        you'll still be sitting in front of your computer desperately waiting for more comments while we normal folk move on and get back to our lives. the lab was probably protecting itself from your deadly dogs…. ok i'm going back to the real world now, have fun here in cyber land crazy dog lady!

  4. Jeremy says:

    I just love the transformation of this place. "Beigeland" to a restaurant that looks like a hotel restaurant. Lynn is a great designer. Mr. creative is what I call him.

  5. Pauette says:

    As a dedicated viewer I was troubled by the intensity of the mother/daughter relationship. Robert is wonderful and does amazing work. I mean if your in such financial difficulty do you really think he's going to sugar coat things?? Clearly there are many underlying things going on here. Lynn Wow awesome job!! As for Patty not sure your sad story is believable. Not at all sincere. Veta clearly will let her run the place as she chooses and that will only lead to ruin. I hope for all the workers stakes you'll get your acts together and treat customers as they should be treated. Tiffiney You are an amazing gardener!!!!!!! I have a garden and that is sooooo much work and requires long hard backbreaking hours. Clearly your talented and I hope whatever your troubles your able to get it together and find common threads with your mom.

  6. TDBorn&Raised says:

    Sadly I don't think Windseeker will ever be able to get over it's reputation of meth use and abuse within it's walls. Many of it's employees over the years have brought the persona to the restaurant and bar. The best hope for Vita and her future retirement is to sell the business and hope someone can give it a new name and image with employees and management that are qualified to work in a restaurant.

  7. TDBorn&Raised says:

    The business will fail in due time I believe. Patty I know to be a thief from personal experience so if what she's done to other elderly people in vulnerable positions before she will do again.

  8. Epic Fail says:

    Irvine doesn't seem to understand the function of a payroll service. Pretty sad for someone who is an employer. Payroll services don't employ employees (other than their own). Employees don't answer to them. They don't manage employees either. All they do it what the name says…payroll. And they can't and won't stop the owner from writing a check to anyone that asks or her employees from asking.

    All in all, this episode was pretty much of a wash and hard to pay much attention to with all the weak employees who can't stand up for themselves and their whining about the GM.

    Conclusion: Put R:I to rest and go back to doing D:I.

    • TooOlduvai says:

      I think he was talking about an employee leasing firm, not a payroll company. The employees do in fact work for the leasing company, not the restaurant.

    • Texas Owner says:

      After having worked in management for Steak and Ale and Oxford Street chains and opening our own restaurants we agree that a payroll service does nothing but take your figures, calculates paychecks, W2's, unemployment tax reports, etc. They do not manage or employ employees. Robert, you know better that that!

    • MuddyFuddy says:

      I hope Oprah interviews Robert Irvine and asks him directly if he is on steroids.

    • MMW says:

      You do not even know what you are talking about. Irvine does more good than you think. Maybe this one episode had more problems than they could fix, but maybe YOU can do better than Irvine? I doubt it…

    • Tws says:

      You don't know much about payroll services Insperity actually is the employer and manages most aspects benefits, training etc not just payroll you are clueless

      • Epic Fail says:

        It looks like you're the one who needs a whack with the clue stick.

        Insperity is a Human Resources management company. They provide administrative support, payroll being part of that support. They are not employers, an employment agency, nor do they manage employees. As an HR company, small companies would not use them because it would not be cost effective. A single, on it's rear restaurant like the Windseeker definitely would not use and could not afford an HR company. They could use a payroll service ONLY, like my business does, which is what Irvine suggested to contain payroll costs while not knowing exactly what they actually do. And that still would not stop the owner from writing checks to every employee or anyone else who put their hand out.

        Consider yourself to now have a clue.

    • Guest says:

      I noticed right off that the t.v. description was wrong (Direct tv) saying the restaurant/show was filmed in Dallas, OR.
      I noticed right off ~~~the back ground, scenery being so dry, then the restaurant obviously being filmed on a large river that Dallas does not have!

      How can this help a restaurant that is showing all it's faults if the station, or network can't get the location correct?

      • bendjoe says:

        it is THE DALLES not dallas, dig out a map look it up.

      • FTB says:

        They said the name of the town many times during the show,THE DALLES,OR.

      • Dan says:

        Remember there is two words in the location… THE DALLES.. and there is an E at the end and not an A. Once you figure that out, you MIGHT be able to find the place on the map. And the river… it is the Columbia River that separates Oregon and Washington's state lines.

  9. Amy says:

    And yet again I will say, any dog regardless of breed can attack. I will guarentee, if that story is even true, that was not a loved family dog. Humans are to blame for attacks, not the dogs. If you treat an animal with love and respect it's fine. Abuse it and something like that happens. Breed has nothing to do with it.

  10. Julie Heideman says:

    Wow, I don't think the show was there to work out the mother daughter problem,but 5 min's into the show they were throwing Patty under the bus,all had to say was Welcome to The Dalles the drama lives,and I'am From The Dalles..

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