Robert Revives the Jersey Shore on Holiday: Impossible 2

by in Shows, December 8th, 2013

Holiday: Impossible 2“It’s our biggest mission ever: two locations, three days, $50,000,” Robert Irvine said of what he was about to take on in Ship Bottom, Long Island Beach, N.J. Just one year ago, that community was devastated — along with so many others along the Eastern Seaboard — when Hurricane Sandy smashed on shore with powerful winds and rain, plus multiple-feet-high storm surges. In the spirit of the season and true to Robert’s selflessness, the Restaurant: Impossible host teamed up with Lexus for Holiday: Impossible 2 to give two Ship Bottom businesses that were nearly decimated by the storm a second chance to thrive. With the help of Lexus’ generous donation of extra time and an increased budget, plus the commitment of his design and construction teams from Restaurant: Impossible, Robert transformed LBI Pancake House and Ship Bottom Volunteer Fire Company, both once waterlogged from the storm and in dire need of updates if they were to have any chance at lasting futures.

While it’s rare for Robert to undertake a project of this magnitude, it’s no surprise that he didn’t let the feat stop him from completing it on time and with the very best results. After just a few days of work, he reopened LBI Pancake House for owners Bill and Carole Waldron as a vibrant, welcoming eatery worthy of the neighborhood, and he introduced a revitalized kitchen and lounge area at Ship Bottom Volunteer Fire Company President Dan English and Fire Chief Wade Bradley, as well as the company’s 30 members. Read on below to hear from Carole and Dan, find out how their locations are doing today and see behind-the-scenes photos.

Holiday: Impossible 2

Carole says of the all-new LBI Pancake House: “Bill and I absolutely love the new design, the color [and] the brightness of the restaurant. My favorite is the mosaic wall.” She notes that, in particular, customers “are thrilled the booths are back, plus they love the color combination” of the redone interior.

Given that this time of year is the off-season at the Shore, Bill and Carole haven’t begun serving lunch yet at LBI Pancake House, but Carole explains, “We love the beach-to-go idea and are most anxious to advertise and execute it next season.” Looking back on the transformation, Carole says, “Robert gave and exhibited such enthusiasm for the restaurant business and showed us that change is good.” She adds, “His ideas were magnificent and we are excited to follow them out.”

Holiday: Impossible 2At the fire company, “Everyone is just loving the new spaces,” according to Dan. He also says that the “membership is getting better.”

The team at the firehouse is taking full advantage of the updates, Dan says. “We have noticed that a lot more people are hanging out upstairs in the lounge .… Nobody ever hung out up there before.” He explains: “Now we are holding our monthly meetings downstairs in the hall. Once [the] meeting is over we go straight upstairs to the Robert Irvine lounge … and cook and just hang out! Watching TV, playing pool, shuffleboard.”

Dan offered sincere thanks to everyone who made the transformation possible, saying, “Words cannot express enough what it means to the members of the fire company. You have changed the whole morale and atmosphere here.”

More from Restaurant Revisited:

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 (55)

  1. Stacy says:

    I was really looking forward to this since I'm from New Jersey and have some great memories from Long Beach Island. It really was a feel good episode. I just it was a little bit disjointed running from one job to the other. But they made it work.

  2. Rian says:

    Great episode! It was so nice to see Robert and team helping out for the good of a community. This was a welcome change after last week's painfully awkward and uncomfortable episode.

  3. Cristina says:

    This episode made me cry. I'm so glad someone took time to help those that have helped others before they even thought of themselves!!! Thank you Robert Irvine and Robert's team for caring!!!!!

  4. Jennifer says:

    Painting over the mural by artist Roberta Giannone – hmmm, maybe you should have checked that out first. Well, at least it wasn't Steve Wynn putting his hand through a Picasso so I guess there are bigger disasters in art. I am sure the late night LBI crowd will find the shiny decor of the cheap mosaic quite amusing.

  5. Melissa Epperly says:

    As the wife of a volunteer firefighter, I'm sure the guys (and gals?) appreicated it. Sure, they had crappy couches/loveseats in their lounge, but did you hear they were full of mold? Obviously needed to be replaced. As for the banquet hall, LOTS of firehouses rent out their halls to earn money for needed equipment etc, so that should be nothing new to anyone who's ever been around a firehouse(been there for 10 years now). I think Lexus was very generous, and since the Captain mentioned they need lots of new equipment (turnout gear, i'm sure), that will buy several pieces(VERY expensive). Sure, it won't be new firetrucks, but it looks like those were ok. I can't wait to share this episode with my husband and visit next summer!!! The pancake house was neat, too, and helping a 70+ year old couple rebuild their lives' work was NOT a waste of money.

  6. yyyass says:

    Cheryl finally knocked one out of the park. She has been uniquely terrible on this show, but she did very well with this one. As for the restaurant, it too looked very good, but I think I'd have actually highlighted the orange juice machine in a fun way since the fresh squeezed angle is an important part of their marketing. It looked kind of cool with the fruit dumping in there. I'd have also photographed all of the 'wall stories" and played them back in a framed digital montage so people could revisit their stories. That wouldn't even cost very much. For lunch they should also make a take out window so sandy beach goers don't have to traipse through the restaurant to get a quick lunch.

  7. blim says:

    What is a volunteer firefighting station?
    Do they get trained?
    Where is the town's regular firefighters?
    Do they get paid?
    Do they have regular jobs as well?

    • ConStar says:

      A very large percentage of this country is served by volunteer fire units. There are no paid firefighters in those areas.

      The town has no "regular firefighters." In an area served by a volunteer station, the firefighters are typically business owners, retirees, or workers at companies that know of their firefighting duties and have given them permission to leave work to fight fires as needed. The volunteers typically carry pagers that are set off from a central dispatcher (usually the local police station or 911 call center), and no matter what time of day or night they go off, the volunteers have to respond.

      They do receive training, although it is typically not on the level or regularity as what a paid firefighter receives. Volunteer firefighter units are most prevalent in areas that do not have enough money to support a paid department. They typically get their gear and vehicles through fundraising activities, or occasionally through a gift from the local government or via state/federal grants. Basically, the people that volunteer do so as a way to give back to their communities.

  8. Brenda says:

    It was an awesome episode and I had tears in my eyes when everyone saw how much it meant to those firefighters who give so much of themselves to so many. Volunteer firefighters are the bomb!!!!!!!

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