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. Jeffb says:

    I get a huge kick out of the steady stream of comments in almost every make over about "I liked it the old way" Well guess what, the old way was failing and on the verge of closing.

  2. Robert Irvinevtoo says:

    I go up to Woodloch PA several times each year and that food blows heavy chowder

  3. Andrew says:

    We have been going to the Pinehurst for better then 20 years and when we returned this year we were shocked to find the changes, we were told that there were new owners and that Robert Irvine was there and that he redid the place, that was sad to us as he had also redone another favorite restaurant of ours that will never be the same, one of our favorite waitresses who is now the manager said that she loved the changes, but we wish they never let Robert in, we use to have to wait for a table in the summer months and it was well worth the wait, I use to love the prime rib and the lodge fries, they are no more, Robert should have let the menu be as it was, he took away the bread basket and killed the salad bar, we wish the new owner the best but it will be with out our help, very sad.

    • Paula Lee says:

      Some people are never ready for change, change is good, that's why Robert is successful,

    • Eileen Robano says:

      We went to the Pinehurst last Sat. The table near the bar was very nice, it opened up the place. There was a guitar player near our table, nice but the speakers were not placed right, we could not hear each other. The service was terrible. My daughter in law order soup and salad bar, she got the soup after our grand kids got their dessert, she said she forgot…wrong answer…The food portions were small for the raised prices, not impressed at all this time. I would not go back, with the quaintness of the restaurant I think the food should be more homey, not gourmet, it just does not fit. Robert I love what you do but not happy with this at all. I guess the most important thing is that we locally, and won't go back sorry

    • jojo says:

      You had to wait for a table? Really? I live down the road from the Pinehurst and the parking lot is usually pretty empty. I really can't remember the last time I saw a full parking lot–oh wait, yes I can, it was last year when they were filming, but only for that week because it's back to empty again.

  4. Mention it says:

    Why don't the people who 'used' to love it there and miss some of the old menu items tell the owner? Maybe if he hears of a few dishes several times that are missed he would bring them back – maybe he could make them in a more profitable way a second time around. Give the guy a chance! The only thing that you can be certain of in life IS change – get over yourselves!

  5. Local says:

    Never went back after my case of food poisoning before the remodel.

  6. robin McManus says:

    I am getting just a little sick of some of the light fixtures on this show…. like the upside down waste paper basket chandelier…. I would not be so proud of that…. sorry… but, other than that…. loved the renovation…

    Also, some of the time I like the onsite artwork made from found art… other times…. I don't..

    • Empy says:

      It isn't about how classy the fixture is; keep in mind they're looking for the cheapest ways to make a big change. The innovation is what they are focusing on, not necessarily how aesthetically superior it is.

    • Silver says:

      Finally, someone said it. Trash can chandelier. LOL.

  7. cats says:

    My husband and I have stopped at the Pinehurst twice since the remake and have been pleased with the food and the waitstaff. It is a bit out of the way — a 2+hour drive — but we try to stop there on our way to Route 84 on our way to Massachusetts or on our way home from MA. Once this winter is over, I can't wait to go there again.

  8. Nancy says:

    I think most of his makeover crews show him no respect and most of them have no talent. It has been so long since I have watched RI I have even forgotten their names.

    Love Robert however!!

    • Rach says:

      I think the construction guy is good, but the designers themselves have the ugliest ideas. They change the restaurants for the worse sometimes. I don't think they stayed with the rustic theme with this restaurant, for example. The designers have ugly ideas most of the time.

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