Restaurant Revisited: Lost in the Woods at Pinehurst Country Lodge

by in Shows, June 9th, 2013

Robert Irvine on Restaurant: ImpossibleRoger Murray, the owner of Pinehurst Country Lodge in Greeley, Pa., had no experience in either working at or owning a restaurant before he purchased the business just six months ago. Although he was once prosperous in the corporate world, Roger’s venture into the culinary industry proved less successful, and he was facing a $350,000 debt when Robert Irvine arrived to rescue him from despair. Strung with unattractive holiday lights and offering a menu of unpalatable food, Pinehurst Country Lodge was in desperate need of the design and menu revamps that Robert’s Restaurant: Impossible team was ready to provide. After just two days and with only $10,000, Pinehurst reopened to a bustling crowd and offered guests a menu of freshly prepared meals. FN Dish checked in with Roger a few months after Robert left to find out how his eatery is doing today.

“Business has picked up since the filming,” Roger tells us. “Overall I’d give it a 10 percent bump revenue-wise but consider my bottom line to be expanding more than that.” Pinehurst is indeed making more money than it was before its transformation, and Roger adds that he’s now seeing income from the bar.

The table numbers at the restaurant have remain unchanged — with Roger knowledgeable of them — and the menu choices at Pinehurst have been edited only minimally, with the addition of a few dishes, like Shrimp Scampi, Seafood Cakes and Portabella Mushroom. “We did not delete any items as of yet,” Roger says. “Carrots are in the rotation of side vegetables along with zucchini, squash, etc. We still use the asparagus with the prime rib and salmon as recommended.” Although some diners were “initially taken aback by the small number of selections,” Roger realizes that “you cannot continue what we were doing in trying to please everyone.”

Junius “is much better” at handling the kitchen than he was before, Roger tells us, adding that he no longer fears that Junius will leave Pinehurst.

Since the renovation, Roger notes that he “absolutely” feels confident in his ability to lead his employees. He wants to tell Robert and the entire Restaurant: Impossible crew, “We appreciate everyone’s professionalism, understanding and help more than words may be able to express.”

More From Restaurant Revisited:

Bryan’s Smokehouse (May 26)
Wagon Wheel Family Restaurant (May 19)
Mom & Dad’s Italian Restaurant (May 12)
Smitty’s Restaurant (April 28)
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 (202)

  1. Aurie says:

    Watched Sunday for the first time and fell in love with the show. Will be watching every Sunday!

  2. Thomas Lang says:

    As an avid watcher of your show I thought that this episode was very moving. The courage and convictions of the owners to take a chance and risk all their capital was an inspiration to me. I am looking forward to a followup show to see how the Pinehurst is progressing. Whenever I am in Pennsylvania I will show my support by stopping by. What a great show!

  3. Elle Gee says:

    Loved this episode. I've known the Murray family for about 8 years and they are so thrilled that they were able to get the help for the restaurant! Great job and I am sure the business will pick up!

  4. Andy says:

    Great show but I wasn't crazy about some of Taniya's design choices. The light fixture with the trash baskets – yecch! The light green-painted cabinet with the brown table top – no way. Also I agree with the cook, Junius, that there was nothing wrong with his food presentation (other than the fact that carrots were the only vegetable). I thought his steaks and seafood looked really good, especially if you appreciate large portions. Robert's creations were artistic but the portion sizes were too small.

    • cherrycooks says:

      "Great show but I wasn't crazy about some of Taniya's design choices."

      Why did Taniya not use those beautiful Tiffany lampshades or the gorgeous piece of furniture (buffet w/hutch) that was probably an antique? While the restaurant might have been somewhat cluttered and dated, there was a certain charm that went missing with the renovation.

      • MattfromWA says:

        I could do without the trash basket fixture also, but it wasn't horrible. Just below average of what Taniya usually comes up with. I thought Junius's steaks looked good also, but the rest of the presentations were bad in my opinion.

  5. Jim says:

    I watched this show with smiles and amazement with the turn around in the restaurant. I couldn't believe how much could be done in only 2 days. I hope the marketing and success continues for all the loyal staff and owners.
    I wish the Murray Family all the best and many happy returns on their investment.
    Thanks to Robert and his crew- it now looks like a great place for drinks & dinner with good friends.
    Thanks for the great show; I would love to watch this one again!

  6. harvey says:

    i hope this show continues on forever. there r so many restaurants that need roberts help.

  7. Bob says:

    Any time there are major changes in a place, 'old' customers will usually be upset about it, even if the place was crappy…because it was the crap they were used to! What I saw was an old, outdated, dark dungeon-like place that served carrots with everything. Rusty, the problem is the 'old regulars' weren't keeping the place going – so even if it fails, it was time for a long-overdue renovation. Doing the same old thing certainly wasn't going to work. As for your poorly cooked pork chop – what does that have to do with a renovation? And dropping 'popular' items that cost too much to make or require too much inventory just has to be done.

    The cake display freezer in our ice cream shop just went out, and it's going to cost us over $4k to replace it. Guess what – we're not going to. For the 1% of our annual sales represented by people who didn't order a cake walking up and asking for an 'instant cake', we're not going to make an investment that will never be paid back (we sell only 500 cakes out of that case a year. how long will it take to recoup the cost of a four thousand dollar cabinet not used for anything else?) So a few of our customers will be teed off, a few will never come back because they cant count on us for a last-minute cake (while others will hopefully start ordering in advance), but it's a business decision. From the frozen food being served, it seems like the Pinehurst was stuck in some old, unprofitable ways. Time to move on. You and the other 'get off my lawn crowd' can either enjoy the new place, or go elsewhere. They are in it to make MONEY, not to please you to the point of closing.

    • Rusty says:

      My cold, bloody pork loin was a dish I purchased after the show was there and " revamped" both the menu and the ideals of the kitchen staff. If the food comes out and is of poor quality, undercooked, and not appealing, then what did they learn during the time Robert was there????

      • Zach says:

        I have a hard time believing that your pork chop was cold and bloody in the middle, but if it was, you should have politely sent it back – mistakes do happen. I'm guessing though that pork chop you received was slightly pink in the middle and very juicy, which is the proper way to cook a pork chop. Grandma's dried out, over-cooked pork chop chops are a thing of the past. We don't have to worry about trichinosis, people.

      • Guest says:

        Did you share your frustration with the server and/or ask to speak with the owner? It seems as though this problem could have been rectified had you communicated your concern.

    • Rusty says:

      As far as calling us the " get off my lawn crowd " you can surely bet we won't go back. Thanks for the compliment!

    • Sarah says:

      I totally understand what you are saying. Honestly, you gotta do what you gotta do…and consequences need to be weighed out. You must ask yourself if action is really worth it.

      Good luck with your ice cream shop! :)

  8. Guest says:

    Great show! I wish this couple all the best – they deserve it! It was so refreshing to watch restaurant owners that were honest, genuine, sincere & so appreciative. Good job, RI!

  9. Kathy says:

    Loved this episode!! Just wonderful people ,gracious and humble. I wish them all the best! It must be a wonderful feeling for Robert,Tanya and Tom and the whole crew when you complete a show. Just bursting with happiness and just good feelings!! You made my day with this one! Thank you!!

  10. Mike M says:

    I agree that this was one of the better shows in this series, especially since we didn't have to contend with Robert's "Dr. Phil" impression- no family drama this week to smooth over!

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