Farm vs. Bar Food: Which Restaurant Divided Concept Did You Like Better?

by in Shows, November 7th, 2013

Restaurant DividedAfter years of unprofitability and a staggering debt of almost $50,000, the three co-owners of Maggie’s Farm in Baltimore faced a crucial crossroads that would ultimately determine if and how the eatery would ever see future success. One owner, Laura Merino, was adamant in her belief that her restaurant needed to stick to its farm-to-table concept to have any chance at future success, while her partners — the chef, Andrew Weinzirl, who’s also her fiancé, and the general manager, Matthew Weaver — maintained that an all-new Southern-skewed concept would be most beneficial in relaunching Maggie’s. Before he could help the owners come together in agreement, Rocco DiSpirito had to first divide them further, and the only way to do so was to begin a Restaurant Divided takeover.

Working with his design team, Rocco split the space at Maggie’s into two eateries and let diners and restaurant critics speak to which restaurant they’d most want to return. Laura ran the made-over, garden-inspired Maggie’s Farm that featured its signature fresh cuisine; Andrew and Matthew opened the speakeasy-bar hybrid Speakgreazy, a red-walled space with plush seating serving Southern favorites. While both concepts proved able to attract guests and dish out quality plates, 25 percent more customers were more willing to return to Laura’s restaurant, Maggie’s, than they were to the guys’ Speakgreazy. Knowing this and having dined at both establishments, Rocco ultimately revealed that the original business, Maggie’s, would afford the group the best chance at lasting viability.

Which restaurant concept did you like better? Do you think Rocco made the right decision in reopening Maggie’s, or should the eatery have tried a new approach in the form of Speakgreazy? Tell FN Dish by voting in the poll below and leaving a comment.

Tune In to Restaurant Divided on Thursdays at 10pm/9c.

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Comments (7)

  1. Phill says:

    I'd much rather go to Speak Greasy than Maggie's Farm.

  2. Epic Fail says:

    Farm-to-table, gastropub, individual hand written menus…who cares, they're just lame gimmicks invented to cover up lousy, poncy food.

    When I go to a restaurant, I want good food, served hot and reasonably priced. Forget the gimmicks and the garbage that you have to look up on Wikipedia to figure out what it is. From what I saw, I wouldn't eat at either place.

  3. Crouton40 says:

    Its the Food, not the decor. That said, While I do like the rights decor better (red wall, the Rug, and nice dark/warm woods), I am not a fan of tall, leggy, "tippy" chairs. The left's walls look colder and the wood floor is tired (even laquer would help) but I do like tables lower to floor. The right looks like "a nicer restaurant", though.

  4. jess says:

    Live in Houston but I can not wait to go taste this place. With abundant unhealthy choices out there it is so refreshing to hear places like this exist it, this is so true especially now that is finally approved to remove all the disgusting unhealthy fat that is killing us from popular fatty fast food. I just wish they were closer :)

  5. Mtr says:

    I don't understand why people need to be so mean or critical. The show was tastefully done. The owners were very genuine about making their business work. Actually, almost too focused on making it work, as they seemed very unwilling to compromise on the quality of their food. I didn't care for the decor on the Maggie side, but definitely liked the food (sans Wikipedia). Could they incorporate that warm, comfortable layed back feel for Maggie restaurant. Like a throw back theme to early settlers or American colonists, mixed with that pub- like family restaurant, turn semi greasy at night. Good luck to the three….sorry Penny, the FOUR!!!

  6. Karen wrenn says:

    After seeing the show, I am salivating over the Frogmore Stew. I had never heard of it and I would love to get a recipe? Help anyone? I am in Florida and haven't seen it around here.

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