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 (207)

  1. Mashku AL-Masktoum says:

    I had a former bodyguard of mines, eat at the Pinehurst, he loved it. I'm a Muslim from Al-Maktou family of the UAE and I just don't eat anywhere. I eat only halal food but my friend is very very picky about where he eats. I was surprised, to hear him say something positive about the place.
    For also to wake me uput of my sleep, to let me know the episode about the Pinehurst was on T.V, he must ate something really good.

    I'll visit in July

    My name is Mashkur Al-Maktoum and I approve this message, lol

  2. DeJane says:

    I don't understand why people think they can run a restaurant. ALL the statistics say that 90% of new or renewed restaurants fail! Did this former successful couple study the restaurant business BEFORE jumping in? I worked in restaurants and bars for 26 years and many people tried to get me to open up my own business and I said NO!

  3. Jersey Doug says:

    I watch RI from time to time and play catch up when I can. This is one of the best episodes I've seen. No family drama. What a relief. Genuinely nice folks. How refreshing!

    So the owner didn't do his homework prior to buying a restaurant. Oops. He's learned a lesson. Being unemployed in his age group in this economy ain't easy. Been there, done that, still under employed. When you're scrambling for a job, purpose in life, self esteem, sometimes you ignore some realities to take a chance on something that you hope will turn things around. Good for the owner.

    For all the haters who don't think he deserved any help. This owner was simply out of his element and needed some guidance. Robert didn't berate all the existing dishes and the staff wasn't a dysfunctional mess and there weren't cockroaches roaming about the kitchen or kitchen equipment that was utterly filthy.

    Best of luck to the owners and their family.

    • Ramon@yahoo.comaG says:

      Well somebody gets it. Life is hard. He took a chance out of his element and is doing it. They say you have about five career changes in a lifetime in todays world. Roger was thinking longterm…retirement. Better than depending on social security or a pension that may or maynot be there. RamonaG

  4. Nancy M Dean says:

    I have been watching Robert fix resturants for several months. Now when i see a resturant that has closed or is for sale, i wish it were mine so i could get his help. Alas, i am not one so prosperous. Good show, guys!

  5. j mcintyre says:

    I always tape and watch; entertaining. I usually follow up. But it seems that most of these places simply don't have the chops to make it, and don't, regardless of the help they get from the show. You can't put lipstick on a pig and pretend it isn't a pig. So, watch it for the time wasting entertainment value!

  6. Just Sayin' says:

    I have never eaten at this restaurant. But that's not going to hold me back from posting a pointless opinion. It sucks. Or it's great. Or something pointless. I haven't eaten there.

  7. Rader3467 says:

    Like this post if you like chicken

  8. AlistZ says:

    Pinehurst is in North Carolina. That's too far to drive for any meal.

  9. Patrick says:

    I've read the rest of the comments on here, and I guess my wife and I are just mean, old cynics. Both of us thought this episode was crap from about 5 minutes in. Who in their right mind would buy an already declining restaurant so far from home that they don't ever get to see their kids, grand kids, or even wife more than once every two weeks? How also, then, if he's been up there isolated from everyone he knows for the last 6 months has he not read every book and done everything possible to fix the restaurant? How does he not even know the numbers of the tables? People keep giving him credit for not fighting Robert, but I don't think it has anything to do with humility; it just seems like he doesn't care and isn't invested in it at all.

    So, if you take a guy having a mid-life crisis after losing his job and being out of work for four years, move him to your vacation home where he has no oversight or responsibility, and give him as many blank checks as he wants, but then he produces absolutely no tangible results, there aren't many reasonable conclusions to draw. Maybe he's utterly incompetent, but that wouldn't make sense considering his former line of work.

    Also, the redesign was one of her worst. Bad carpet choice, weird paint choices, and the trashcan thing was nothing short of bizarre.

    • Helen says:

      Classic case of judging a book by its cover! Unless you step foot in this restaurant and meet the owners for yourself, don't assume anything. As an actual customer, I can say that Roger is one of the sweetest and most genuine restaurant owners I have ever met, and the renovation looks gorgeous in person. Think twice before you speak ill of people and places you have only seen on your television.

      • Patrick says:

        I get what you're saying, but Food Network chose to edit and portray the episode and persons involved in such a way that led me to my conclusions. I definitely leave open the possibility that things are different in person, but I don't think the majority of viewers can or are expected to actually visit each restaurant in person to have a valid opinion on what was shown in the episode.

    • Dawn says:

      you need to get a life and grow up and give these people credit for trying something different in their lives, maybe you are just jealous, not to mention very childish, if you dont like it then go somewhere else, they have lots of other customers and people who do like the changes. GET A LIFE

      • Patrick says:

        Owning a restaurant is definitely not for me; I'm perfectly content to acknowledge that I would not be happy in that life. Kudos to them for deciding to take on the challenge. That's where my kudos ends, however, because I don't think any of their decisions from that point made any tangible quantity of sense. Considering that they eventually called Robert Irvine to fix their failing restaurant, it must necessarily be the case that I'm right. There just isn't any disputing that.

    • GinSoCal says:

      Sweet and nice will not make you successful

      Ignorance will make you fail every time.

    • elif says:

      OMG – somebody`s tryring to do the A. Bourdain Kitchen Confidentials on the FN/RI forum, please… Good you`ve read the book, but please show some empathy towards the damage already done and the fate of these people!

      • Patrick says:

        Sorry, other than having seen a few episodes of "No Reservations", I'm pretty unaware of the body of work Bourdain has produced, though I do expect most of it is pretty interesting. I gladly empathize with all kinds of people in various situations, but in this case, I mostly feel bad for grandchildren who don't ever get to see their grandfather because he made a decision that didn't make a ton of sense. This wasn't like a crazy act of nature, it was just really poorly managed. I guess I feel bad for them that they're so terrible at running a restaurant, but that kind of goes without saying.

    • Don says:

      Yes you are a mean old old cynic who spent more time typing your boaring reply to a stupid show than I spent reading it. But you must have a good deal of time on your hands and feel people need to hear your opinions about carpet. Good for you.

      • Patrick says:

        It's hard to quantify what are and are not valid comments on the internet comment board of a cable television show, so I don't know how you can condemn mine but find yours perfectly acceptable to post. I clearly had enough time on my hands to get personal value out of typing my original comment and these subsequent follow up comments, but I guess you have enough time on your hands and felt I needed to hear your opinions to post what you did, too. This gets pointlessly circular pretty quickly.

        • Leslie says:

          I agree with you, Patrick . He may be sweet and genuine but he made a really dumb decision to open a business with no advance training or education or experience. I would love to take people deep sea fishing on a fishing boat in the Gulf for a living. I've been deep sea fishing and it is my dream. I have the money for the boat and I'd be so nice and genuine to my customers! But that would be the dumbest decision I could ever make! I don't know the business of fishing. Dreaming of owning a restaurant is fine. But if your only experience is that you enjoy eating out, you are sunk.

    • EdM says:

      So what you're saying is ….. what ? Come on and tell us what you think.

      ps. You are down right rude !!!!!!!!

    • jojo says:

      LOL! Patrick!! Tell it like it is and don't hold back. I agree about the trashcan "chandelier."

      I really want to feel bad for Roger, but, Lord! give me $350,000 to invest and I sure wouldn't waste it on a restaurant in the middle of nowhere that's been on the decline for the last decade or more (I live here).

      I can only imagine that they were going for some kind of loss and tax write off. ??? I dunno'.

    • Mary Martinez says:

      Get a life Patrick. Watch something else.

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