Restaurant Revisited: His Way or the Highway at The Windsor 75

by in Shows, November 6th, 2013

Restaurant: Impossible“This might be a lost cause,” Robert Irvine said while working with the Calos family at their seven-year-old restaurant, The Windsor 75. Owners Therese and George and their two sons needed Robert’s help to not only update what he deemed “blah” decor and improve their menu but also ease the tensions and end the bickering between them. With just two days to work and a $10,000 budget, Robert and his Restaurant: Impossible team accomplished their mission to relaunch The Windsor 75 and set up the Caloses with the tools they need for future success. FN Dish checked in with Therese a few months after the renovation to find out how the eatery is doing today.

Since The Windsor 75 reopened, Therese says, business has increased nearly 10 percent, and they tweaked their hours and offerings, now closing on Monday and serving breakfast only on the weekends. To her, perhaps the most-impressive aspect of the transformation is the updated design. “It is open, airy, and filled with life and hope for the future,” Therese tells FN Dish. “Truly words cannot express how we feel about the decor. Our hearts are bursting! There are too many wonderful elements.”

Long-standing customers are struggling to adjust to the new menu, but first-timers “appreciate the single-page menu. They feel that everything is fresher and more trendy,” according to Therese. “The boys (our sons) are tweaking the menu and some of the recipes. The staff loves the new menu. It is easier to learn and teach.”

When Robert first entered the kitchen at The Windsor 75, he was shocked to find servers preparing dishes while their table sat unattended in the dining room. Since the renovation, however, Therese says: “The servers have nothing to do in the kitchen anymore …. The servers take the orders and bring out the plates — much less stress.”

Therese explains that her sons, Georgie and Johnny, are currently working at The Windsor 75. “Johnny preps the meats for cooking, braises the beef. He also makes some very nice martinis and serves tables. Georgie does more grill work.” She adds that since the taping, her family’s relationship has improved. “Overall the family dynamic has been to respect one another, to listen and act on issues — not to place blame, but to find a solution. We haven’t had meetings, but we do communicate well.” She says that she and George “have backed off and put a lot of trust in the boys.”

Reflecting on the transformation, Therese notes, “The most-important thing that Robert has taught us was to stay the course. These changes have been very hard for us to live through, but necessary. The restaurant industry has changed, so must we.” Still she says, “It was worth it to now have a beautiful restaurant. It was worth it to be able to say this is a new restaurant. It was worth it because we couldn’t have made so many changes on our own.” She says that looking to the future, the goal is to relieve their debt and ultimately become profitable.

Watch the top-five video mash-ups of some of the most-memorable moments ever featured on Restaurant: Impossible, like the dirtiest restaurants, owner arguments and emotional reveals.

More from Restaurant Revisited:

Ducky’s Family Restaurant (October 30)
Mama Campisi’s Restaurant (October 23)
Aponte’s Pizzeria (August 25)
Benner Street (July 28)
Hurley’s American Grille (July 21)
Kalico Kitchen (July 14)
Angelo’s (June 23)
Pier West Restaurant (June 16)
Pinehurst Country Lodge (June 9)
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)

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Comments (63)

  1. Melissa says:

    This episode was terrible from top to bottom. Terrible owners, hideous re-design, nonsensical menu. And then a bunch of meaningless jibber jabber in between.

    This will be yet another restaurant that closes very soon. This show is definitely nearing its expire date.

  2. susan NY says:

    Good luck to Theresa & George & sons in their newly renovated Windsor 75. I loved this episode and I really wish them well. Glad they are starting to increase their sales and hope they start making a profit very soon.

  3. BMS says:

    I was in Windsor on business for ten months and ate at the 75 frequently. The food was always good–best monte cristobalite, fantastic fried chicken, and good burgers before the makeover. I understand the menu needed to be smaller but I honestly am sad they took so many good things off the menu. When I went back after the makeover, the food was still good and I like the new decor. I hope this place succeeds–the family was always very nice every time I went in, although the post makeover menu seemed to be hit or miss.

  4. Margaret says:

    This episode was horrible. That asian designer girl needs to be fired. She always creates some disastrous design made from the cheapest materials possible.. this time it was wire coat hangers.. really? My dry cleaner gives those away for free!

    The menu was horrible for the area as well. I just don't know what Robert and his staff were thinking.

    This restaurant is a complete disaster!

    • Sledge Hammer says:

      I thought she did a great job, especially on the breakfast bar. The coat hangers actually turned out looking pretty cool. Maybe you should go back to watching Swamp People.

    • GiveARat's says:

      Excuse me Margaret, but you DO understand the premise of the program, right? Maybe not. "The cheapest materials possible" is pretty much the mandate of the show.

      And "that Asian designer girl", in my opinion, did some pretty extraordinary things to that very large restaurant with almost no money. The owners were thrilled with it. The clientele was impressed. Fortunately, R.I. and the owners were not obligated to impress you.

      By the way, "that Asian designer girl's" name is Cheryl Torrenueva, and she is Canadian. I personally think she is incredibly talented, and though I don't always like everything she does, it's always entertaining to see what she comes up with. Even when I don't agree with her, she is still impressive, and I have a lot of respect for her and the other designers.

  5. Joe says:

    I live in windsor.. This place has to compete with some very successful places in town.. I am afraid this is a lost cause.. As for the show? What a rude crew.. God forbid you try to take a picture of anyone!

  6. Debbie says:

    I have to agree with many that mentioned the cheap items used for the make-overs. Do you know what I think when I see most of them (especially restaurants that were filthy)? How in the heck are they to keep them clean? A lot of the stuff they use will be difficult to look and be kept cleaned.

  7. LindaSue says:

    The best thing that could happen to this restaurant would be for George Sr to retire.

    And the coat-hanger/shadow-box treatment will be a PAIN to keep clean. Good luck with that!

    To the website designers: PLEASE make the page Restaurant Revisited easier to find. Your design is so cluttered, it is difficult to find anything.

  8. Judy Chapman says:

    went to Windsor 75 shortly after the show. Was very disappointed. Lots of gnats flying around and when I said some thing to the waitress, she said "It's Windsor". The food was dry and the service wasn't that good either. Won't be going back any time in the future.

  9. Kateri says:

    My husband took me there today. It is so dirty. Obvious that the owners did not appreciate the free make-over. They are not keeping up with their end of the bargain. The food was not worth the very expensive bill for two bacon cheeseburgers. $33 plus tip. The doors, tables and floors are dirty. My food fell all over the table. If they had paper place mats, I would have been able to retrieve some of my food. The table was greasy and also the buns. Slid right out of my hands. Robert did his best with these people. Some people get a great offer and they go back to their old ways. I went to the bathroom to wash the grease off my hands and that too was dirty. Do not waste your time or money.

  10. Travis says:

    It's amazing the difference in attitudes of the owners of the restaurants on this series and the attitude of those on Triple D. Restaurants do not fail and go under overnight. It takes a period of neglect and indifference which is quite obvious in the owners here. The condition before the makeover was deplorable which was nothing more then pure neglect and indifference. It makes no matter how much money and time is put into a restaurant when the owners have no desire to make it happen. Some people should not be in the restaurant business.

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