Restaurant Revisited: Goombazz Gone Wild at Goombazz Big City Eatzz

by in Shows, December 18th, 2013

Robert Irvine on Restaurant: ImpossibleFacing nearly $300,000 of debt, Sally Fatzz and Brenda Brewer turned to Robert Irvine for a restaurant rescue at their eclectic one-year-old restaurant, Goombazz Big City Eatzz, specializing in regional cuisines from around the country. While Sally had enjoyed prior ventures in the restaurant industry, Brenda was new to the restaurant scene, but both recognized their need for a Restaurant: Impossible

transformation if their business was to have any chance at future success. It didn’t take Robert long to realize that this Rock Island, Ill., restaurant was failing largely on account of Sally’s out-of-control temper, which ultimately led to unhappy customers and a dissatisfied staff. With a budget of just $10,000 and only two days to work, Robert and his team overhauled the interior of Goombazz, updated the eatery’s menu, and began mending Sally and Brenda’s relationship. Read on below to hear from both owners and find out how their restaurant is doing today.

Since the transformation, “business is up,” Sally says. “We went from $800 to about $1,200 on weekdays, and [on] Friday and Saturday, $3,000.” He adds that “everyone loves the new decor.” Brenda explains: “The floor is amazing, the bridge mural is beautiful, we love the back bar, but [we] had to add our own lighting, and the kitchen pass-through window being closed up is my favorite change! I also love the fresh flowers on the tables.”

Some customers miss dishes from Goombazz’s old menu, but Sally admits that, “with the addition of the new entree items, the menu now suits the restaurant better.” Nevertheless, he and Brenda have added a few of their original items back to their list of offerings. “Based on sales, we have removed two items that were not selling and replaced them with two old favorites, one of which is our top seller,” Sally notes. “Best-selling of Roberts’s addition is the fish and chips — and the crab cakes.” Brenda adds, “We have perfected the fish, created our own original tartar sauce and people are loving it.” Brenda explains that in terms of food prep, “The kitchen staff has perfected the menu and ticket times down to 10 minutes even on our busiest of nights.”

Darren is once again working at Goombazz, and Sally notes, “Brenda, myself and [the] staff are very happy to have him back.” He adds, “[Darren's] first day back was a big adjustment to new cooking techniques, but after the first week, he and the rest of the staff had Goombazz running like a clock.”

Sally explains that he’s getting better at handling his anger: “I am thinking before I speak. It has greatly improved my relations with the staff and is helping the restaurant run more smoothly.” He adds, “To become a better leader, I have taken a lesson from Robert; I am trying to become a teacher rather than a criticizer.”

Looking ahead, Sally tells FN Dish: “I believe that given the proper time, we will get out of debt. We still are barely at a breakeven point, but I believe in the long run it will work.”

Check out the top-five video mash-ups of Restaurant: Impossible to see the best design updates, the most-emotional reveals and the dirtiest restaurants

More from Restaurant Revisited:

LBI Pancake House (December 8)
Ship Bottom Volunteer Fire Company (December 8)
Mike La Susa’s Italian Restaurant (December 4)
Seven (November 27)
Georgia Boy Cafe (November 20)
Coach Lamp Restaurant & Pub (November 13)
The Windsor 75 (November 6)
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 (92)

  1. keith says:

    goombazz is closed for good

  2. 69pross says:

    It was announced today that Goombazz has closed for good. If you have ever met Brenda the owner you would know why she is a real stuck up B- – - – and she was fake during the show. Who's laughing now? Karma is a real B – - – -. :)

    • evilflying monkey says:

      How do you know that?

    • Jason says:

      WOW,a place that "Chef" Robert helped has closed…that's a first…(note Sarcasm) At least the worst Mexican food in the QCA is still around.. Rudys Tacos…eck. Should of got help from Gordan Ramsey,hes not a fraud.

      • Jay says:

        Based on what I read from the revisted comments the restaurant owners went back to the old ways. They rehired the cook they got rid of then changed the menu back to some of the old food. Robert is not at fault for the failure if the owners don't take his advice. Just by reading the owners comments made me realize they were going to be closed down soon. The business was failing because of what they were doing and they decided to stay on the road to destruction. What a waste of time and money for Robert and his crew.

    • Bitterolequeen says:

      Having worked with Brenda in the past, the last words I would use to describe her is a stuck up B. I don't know what kind of sour grapes you have but she is a sweet kind person. Its not easy to open and manage a restaurant and they got in over their heads. I have seen MANY restaurants come and go in the area… they were by no means the worst. All you have to do is drive around to see how many businesses of all types are gone… empty storefronts from big chains to mom and pop stores. In this case they were in trouble when it was shot and there was a very long wait for it to air. It gave them some help but it was too late. I wish Brenda the best of luck in her future.

  3. swgirl1983 says:

    The only thing that was ever good at this place, was the pizza BEFORE the make over. Otherwise, it was always OVER PRICED and you'd get very little food for the price. The menu was misleading too on some of the items. The wait staff was always horrible. For a place that you should get in and out of within 30-45 minutes (due to no one being there), we were stuck there for over 1 1/2 hours because the waitress/waiter would be missing in action.

    After the make over, the pizza was awful (due to the cook's fault, no fault of Robert Irvine). And much more overpriced than before. $15 for a 14 inch cheese pizza then $1 per topping after that. It even tasted awful. I ordered a tenderloin (which are usually thin) and got a thick piece of fried pork. It was nasty. The fries were underdone and cold. The restaurant itself was FREEZING! We wore our coats the whole, blowing into our hands to keep our hands and nose warm. Sal, the owner, was there and did nothing to turn the heat on. Ridiculous. Then our waiter was gone for 45 minutes and never came back.

    I am not surprised at all that they are now closed for good. (http://qctimes.com/news/local/goombazz-locks-its-door/article_45c7d291-f95b-5c59-af78-8b4860ce9ac7.html). My friends have gone here and have had horrible experience and thought it was overpriced for medicore food.

  4. Harry Galley says:

    It's gone and there's no love lost over it. We live 2 blocks from this place and never once went there. It just didn't have it. I got to talk to the "chief's" right after Robert left and they told me that they will go back to the original menu. Losers!!!! and the name didn't make any sense to us either. It's a sham on Italians!!!
    Was not a fan of the "lady that was losing money in the fact she had no reason to be in the restaurant business with no background… just thought that she should "do it" She was wasting her time and it showed with the "yuh food"
    Good Bye

    • JMB says:

      tons of restaursnts are started by people with no experience- taking on a restauarnt is very ballsy- most fail in 1st 2 yrs.. and if u didnt go there HOW can u critique it moron??

  5. Kayla says:

    They are closed up now. This week they locked the doors and put a sign on the door.

  6. Mike Adams says:

    I went to Goombazz a couple times Dec-Jan and they told me they did take the Chef's menu but people complained some of the things they liked were gone. The show was taped in Oct 2013? and in the show he focused on the people – I didn't see him do much with the food. There idea was "they had favorite items from various big cities and used their recipe" Really??? I had a reuben and it was mediocre at best – on the smallish side for the contents and just cheap corned beef lunch meat sliced thin and the menu wasn't that exciting. It was like pizza shop that wanted to be a little more but didn't do anything great to bring the people in. Actually Sal hanging around didn't help and may have hurt the ambiance unless you like going to a place where somebody's aging mafia wanna be grandfather was hanging around by the bar.

  7. DanaH says:

    So sad that Sal and Brenda's place did not succeed…they are both really great people, and I have had opportunity to work with them prior to the restaurant…Will miss going there to eat…the food was AMAZING every time we went

  8. John Mazza says:

    Robert, being from Chicago and growing up on Chicago Dogs, you didn't even give the dog a chance, did you eat it or even taste it??? Have you ever been to Chicago for some Italian Beefs or Combos, or the Chicago Dog? It proved on this episode, you have not and don't have a clue.. We call it the garden dog.. I tell people all the time to watch your program, my house stops ever Wednesday, BUT, this is the second time I watched this episode and watched you RIP the Chicago Dog.. Way out of line dude..

    By the way dude, please get some shirts that fit…… We are not impressed in San Diego…

    Call me anytime Robert,

    John Mazza
    San Diego
    760.877.8214

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