Restaurant Revisited: Creepy in Clearwater at Smitty’s Restaurant

by in Shows, April 28th, 2013

Robert Irvine on Restaurant: ImpossibleWhile there were indeed substantial problems with the food as well as the interior design at Smitty’s Restaurant in Clearwater, Fla., the gravest issue came in the form of bugs — an entire infestation of cockroaches, in fact. Overrun with these crawly creatures, husband-and-wife owners Gus and Evi Gialelis’ business faced certain closure if Robert Irvine and his Restaurant: Impossible team couldn’t locate the source of the swarm. But to do so they’d have to rely on a professional exterminator, something that would significantly drain the overall renovation budget.

“I have never come across a restaurant this bad in my whole career,” Robert told Gus and Evi, who felt personally defeated in the wake of their struggling business. He initially questioned whether “this may be the one restaurant that’s too far gone,” but Robert’s not one to walk away from a mission, of course. And in just two days, he reopened the doors at Smitty’s to a welcoming, clean restaurant that was dishing out quality food. FN Dish checked in with Evi a few weeks after the reopening to find out how the restaurant is doing today.

Smitty’s has seen an increase in business since the show taped, and Evi says she’s noticing many first-time customers at the restaurant.

Along with the wait staff, Nick, Evi’s father and a cook, remains at Smitty’s, and he “helps Gus on the line more these days,” according to Evi. They’re now getting along much better than they were before the show.

While the restaurant is still offering the same large menu, Evi explains, “We have incorporated some daily specials on our boards, not at overly discounted prices like before.” One of the most-popular dishes has proved to be the souvlaki salad, topped with pork, beef, chicken or gyro. Nick has also been preparing daily specials, and Evi tells FN Dish that they’re “very good.”

Perhaps most importantly, the eatery is being kept clean, the staff committed to “daily, weekly and monthly duties that are done to keep it immaculate,” Evi says. “We have a professional commercial exterminator come out every two weeks, and the kitchen is the cleanest it has ever been.”

She adds that “The equipment, the food that was ordered and the items that were bought for the show are still being paid off,” so Gus’ pay is still no more than $300. He now “spends more time with all of us,” Evi says, noting that she’s no longer crying at night. “After all that is said and done, Gus is a very hard worker who strives for perfection at work.”

Reflecting on her family since the renovation, Evi tells FN Dish: “Our relationship as a family has always been strong. We are a lot happier nowadays because once again we are putting God first, family second and Smitty’s third. For a long time, we had our priorities all messed up, because Smitty’s always came first.”

More From Restaurant Revisited:

Old World Italian Restaurant (April 21)
Joe Willy’s Seafood House (April 14)
Sweet Tea’s Restaurant & Catering (March 24)
Soup to Nuts Diner (March 17)
Caseyville Cafe (March 13)
Maniaci’s Italian Restaurant (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 (395)

  1. misswendee says:

    These two just made me happy, regardless of how the restaurant looked. It's good to see the inner beauty of people be reflected in how they live and work. Now the restaurant matches this adorable couple! :)

  2. Guest says:

    I go past Smitty's everyday on way to work. When Robt did the reno you could see in the windows and see the wonderful decorations and etc that had been done. In the past couple months, the decorations have been disappearing and now it looks just like it always did. I also notice that the parking lot is just as empty as ever.

  3. Cristy K. says:

    I don't care if this restaurant is doing good or not. All restaurants are dirty in some way. If y'all truly care about what you are eating then get YOUR lazy rump of the couch and go shop at Publix or something. I don't want to hear about not having time to do so. I'm married, two jobs, one child, AND I go to school…and I still manage to cook.

    The whole point is that I cannot believe the hatred towards this couple. It's disgusting to see the same person posting again and again, week after week… YES YOU BINGOPOKERSLOTS!! You are an idiot in the full sense of the work. You don't think people know that you are a competitor from across the street? Or perhaps a loser that has NO job and plenty of free time to follow this article…. The way you act not only do you embarrass yourself but you underestimate all of the posters' intelligence. You are a disgrace to society… a scum that deserves to be in jail or dead. You act like you know everything and you feel invisible behind a nickname. If the stuff you say is so true why don't you reveal your name?

    I cant wait to see what stupid comment he makes next. IDIOT!

  4. PINKY says:

    I dn't care if the restaurant has turned around just that fact of knowing they had and possibly have an infestation of ROACHES is totally disgusting to me. Ok i understand that everyone is not as clean as we would like but to know this restaruant had and INFESTATION im still cringing..will never eat there SORRY!!!

  5. Mary says:

    Just had lunch there yesterday and breakfast today… AMAZING food, BIG portions! Hot food and fast delivery. WILL EAT THERE AGAIN.

    this is Florida people… roaches are a part of the state and THE RESTURANT FIXED THE PROBLEM… which is no easy task to do mind you… So no more bugs… FANTASTIC FOOD!

    my co-workers and I now will keep ordering from here. AMAZINGGGLLY good. Thanks Smittys!

  6. Les says:

    I WOULD NEVER EAT THERE TILL THE COOK PUT A SHIRT ON THAT HAD SLEEVES NO ONE WANTS ARMPT HAIR IN THEIR FOOD!!!

  7. Beej says:

    Where are the health inspectors??

  8. Todd says:

    Robert Irvine and the Food Network should be a shamed of the way they treated my sister after the taping of a show in Palm Coast Fla. It truly showed me how self absorbed and selfish these people really are. It was during a taping of the end of one of there soon to be viewed shows that my sister was told she had to participate in a team building session on her day off. This was mandatory. Mr. Irvine with his astute knowledge of NOTHING. Thought it would be a go idea to place the potpourri of body shapes and sizes and athletic abilities out on a field to play KICK BALL. Hell why not Dodge Ball.

    My sister though 56 years old is in decent shape but not in athletic shape. She was told she must participate. During this game my sister was going for the ball and fell. As she laid on the ground in noticeable pain the film crew continued to film. The concern was that they get the footage and not the fact my sister was in great distress. Finally someone thought it was a good idea to get my sis to a Hospital. So…….. where was the medical crew and ambulance support if you are going to do a physical activity. Mr. Irvine and his crew with their vast knowledge in triage felt it best to get my sister up and move her off the taping site. She was accompanied back to the restaurant and given a ride to a Medi Quick by an Irvine assistant. She was left there to find her own ride to the Hospital because they needed to wrap up taping.

    When my sister finally made it to the Emergency room she was told that her shoulder was fractured and she needed surgery at that moment. Surgery left her with a plate and 2 screws and NO job. She is a month into her recovery and to date never once did Irvine or the food Network ever inquire if she was ok. You would think some flowers or a fruit bouquet at least. Their negligence is blatant but there so is their inability to show sympathy and compassion to a person that was injured. Irvine is a cruel, unkind and thoughtless individual. unable to really see people other than as money and another show. Food Network and Robert Irvine should be ashamed.

    Love ya Sis

    Todd E. Langon

    • guest says:

      Hey Todd: Your sisters restaurant probably got a thousand people sick with all the bugs
      and overall disgusting condition. There is something to be said of people who live like pigs. YOu are probably one of them.

  9. Luke says:

    Smitty's is now closed up.

    • Mark says:

      Drove by and saw the Restaurant For Lease sign today and may I say I'm not surprised. My family and I went there not long after the episode aired and the first thing we saw was ants crawling all over the table. There were literally two other tables occupied in the place. Decided not to stay and was shaking my head in disbelief that Robert's message about cleanliness quite obviously fell on deaf ears. The place had been there for years and at one time it really was a busy place to go for lunch and you sometimes had to wait to get a table. Very sorry to see that they let it lapse this badly and that it's come to this.

  10. Norma says:

    I like the show. I like to see the make over and the new start for the owners. I like Robert and have watched him on the Food network for years. What I don't like is Roberts approach to each new restaurants owners. We all know how smart he is without him degrading people, it really does not make him look smarter, it makes him look mean. I don't blame the people at all for getting upset. I'm surprised the show is still running with Robert acting so superior. Like I said before I do like Robert but it's because I have seen him on so many other shows, I even watched his wedding show. He seems much nicer on the other shows, and a lot smarter too.

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