Restaurant Revisited: Caseyville Cafe

by in Shows, March 13th, 2013

Robert Irvine at Caseyville CafeAlthough mother-daughter duo Diane Emery and Robin Gordon had no previous experience in the restaurant industry, together they purchased Caseyville Cafe in Caseyville, Ill., more than three years ago. At one point their eatery was making enough money to simply break even with its costs, but it soon turned into a failing venture, with more than $6,000 being lost every month. Just months away from shutting down their business entirely, the ladies looked to Robert Irvine for a complete Restaurant: Impossible overhaul. It soon became clear to Robert that this “dirty, dysfunctional” space was in need of not simply an aesthetic transformation, but also vast changes to its menu and management. In two days and with only $10,000, he worked with Diane and Robin to revamp all aspects of Caseyville Cafe, which ultimately reopened with crowd-pleasing food and a roomful of satisfied customers. We checked in with Robin a few months after Robert left to find out how her business is doing today.

Since its Restaurant: Impossible debut, Caseyville Cafe has had an increase in business. Although they’re still working to manage supply costs, Robin and Diane are slowly minimizing their debt.

Much of the front-of-house staff remains at the restaurant, and the servers are now taking better care of their customers. Diane and Robin still struggle with gossip among the servers, but Robin notes that her mother “has been trying to improve” in her communications with the staff. “My mother has been spending more time at the cafe. She has been doing the majority of the management,” she tells us.

Robin adds that “the food has improved and is consistent” at Caseyville. The restaurant is now featuring both its original menu and Robert’s new offerings, but Robin says that “the ribeye and asparagus have been a success.”

Looking back on her Restaurant: Impossible experience, Robin believes its most-valuable result to be the effect it has had on Diane. “I think Robert has finally made my mother realize that she needs to take the cafe more seriously or else it will close,” she explains.

More From Restaurant Revisited:

Maniaci’s Italian Bistro (March 10)
Dinner Bell Restaurant (February 27)
Nanny Goat’s Cafe & Feed Bin (February 20)
Sapori D’Italia (January 23)
Windseeker Restaurant (January 16)
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 (109)

  1. aupinktoes says:

    What bothers me most about this and Kitchen Impossible is the fact that they bring in the guests who order food, the food is cooked, and given to them. AFTER food has been served Robert and Gordon decide to do a kitchen inspection. In a lot of cases bad food/kitchen conditions are found, they declare DON'T SERVE ANYMORE OF THIS, then announce to the guests they have been served rotten food which could make them very sick. Presumably some people have already started to eat the slop. Why on earth do they wait until after people are eating it to inspect the kitchen???!!!! The pro chefs have a responsibility to make sure the food is safe to eat. If someone gets sick they are just as much to blame as the owners/staff. And what was up with "sauce" on country fried steak? That is served with gravy, not sauce.

    • Sabrina says:

      First of all it is Kitchen Nightmares and not Kitchen Impossible; second of all have you ever thought that both Gordon and Robert don't have a choice on bring guests to the back? Have you ever thought that was the producers idea? Yes they are just as guilty on getting people sick just like the restaurant itself but don't forget it is all TV so these guys might not have any choice. Shock factor and with TV producers holding all the power the hosts are pretty powerless.

  2. Elaine says:

    I love watching RI. After seeing the condition of many of these kitchens and how much money food needs to be marked up in order to make a profit, it makes me love home cooking more and more!

  3. ClarkeinAK says:

    This restaurant is an accident waiting to happen…totally dysfunctional owner and staff. At the end of the show, I didn't want them to succeed.

    Not knowing costs is inexcusable – three years of ownership and they don't know anything? They haven't tried to bring in someone that could help them in that 36 month span? The wait staff was pitiful and they should ALL be shown the door…get some folks with a pulse in there. Not to mention folks who SMILE. The only person who seemed to know what he was doing was the cook – granted, the firing was pretty much contrived, but he knew his way around the kitchen.

    In reading the comments of those who have been in since the show, it seems that, yes, you can't teach old (keyword OLD) dogs new tricks and the place still sucks….

  4. Marc says:

    Nothing good there if they last a year i will be surprised.

  5. joe says:

    They need to fire the staff and start all over. You can fix the cafe but you cannot change people over night especially people who do not want to change! For the staff to gossip with the guests and each other, is so high schoolish…I say fire them all if you want to succeed or they will bring the cafe down to their level and run you out of business. What does it take for the owner to see it, unless she likes to gossip too!!

  6. Jodi says:

    Wow, I read every single comment and did not read one good thing about this place. Some people are really stupid. They are given a great opportunity and Don't take advantage of it.

  7. Mary says:

    I checked them out on Yelp and there is only one comment saying that the Cafe has gone back to it's old ways and the only thing they've kept from Robert's visit is the decor. Wow… to pass up and opportunity like this is pure crazy!

  8. cindy says:

    I wouldn't take my dog to that place. They look like they should be out slopping hogs.

  9. Kasey says:

    OMG copy & paste this link to Restaurant Impossibles facebook & read the character assasination being spewed by the owner of this Café. Apparently they have never paid the Chef and she admits not paying other employees! Sadly they are doomed, FAILURE IS EMINENT with this kind of management skills.

  10. Shawn Culver says:

    The owners need to start a new policy of no family members in the workplace and put in effect within the next 3 months, so the ones that are there have time to find new jobs.

    They then need to hire a couple of managers to run the restaurant for them and get some good cooks who cook fresh food.

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