Restaurant Revisited — Bowling: Impossible at Paul’s Bar & Bowling

by in Shows, August 6th, 2014

Robert Irvine on Restaurant: ImpossibleAs time passes and new restaurant trends join the market, it’s often not enough for long-established eateries to continue doing business the same way year after year and decade after decade. Paul Awramko, the owner of Paul’s Bar & Bowling, learned this lesson the hard way when the 85-year-old establishment found profits rapidly declining in the last eight years. “Nothing has really changed” of the dark, old-fashioned interior at Paul’s, says Ed Arzoomanian, an investor in the business. The joint bar and bowling alley in Paterson, N.J., was in dire need of an update, and the menu called for a complete overhaul, both of which Robert Irvine and his Restaurant: Impossible team successfully managed to complete in only two days and with a $10,000 budget. Read on below to hear from Paul to find out how his business is doing today.

“For the first three weeks, business was up 20 percent,” says Paul. He adds, “It looks so much brighter, more comfortable, intriguing, cleaner, more current [and] totally, totally not old school anymore.”

Since the renovation, “open bowling has increased,” according to Paul. He says that the “iPads are a big hit.” But he notes, “We still offer paper and pencil for scoring for the old-school folks.” The restaurant has taken steps to embrace social media, as Paul says that the restaurant is now on Facebook.

As for the menu at Paul’s, “Right now we haven’t incorporated the new items but hopefully soon plan to,” Paul reveals. “Everyone at [the] bar still loves our wings.”

The staff at Paul’s remains largely the same, according to Paul, who says, “Ed is still working full time at the bar, and bartenders are still here.”

Looking ahead to the future, Paul explains, “[The] long-term plans are for Ed to take over and make it Ed’s place to make him happy and profitable.”

More from Restaurant Revisited:

Marie’s at Ummat Cafe (July 30)
The Fork Diner (July 23)
Portu-Greek Cafe (June 11)
Grace’s Place Bagels and Deli (June 4)
Bama Q (May 28)
Cave Inn BBQ (May 21)
Bumbinos Italian Ristorante (April 30)
Bryant’s Seafood World (April 23)
Urban Roots (April 9)
gratifi kitchen + bar (April 2)
Mama Della’s N.Y. City Pizzeria (March 26)
Pasión Latin Fusion (March 19)
Tootie’s Texas BBQ (March 12)
Mill Creek BBQ Restaurant (March 5)
Estrada’s Restaurant (February 5)
Hillbillies Restaurant (January 29)
Spunky Monkey Bar and Grill (January 15)
Heather’s Country Kitchen (January 1)
Goombazz Big City Eatzz (December 18)
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)

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Comments (121)

  1. DEAN says:

    I wish we had a place like that in Gilbert, Az …… that place looks like it would kickASS

  2. Richard says:

    This was a nice change of pace for recent shows … I actually liked the owners for a change, and I sincerely hope they do well. What a fun bar!

  3. Fox says:

    The new bar design looks like a hodgepodge mess. I thought they were going with the nostalgic look of a speakeasy. The bowling ally is also done in poor taste. They should've stayed in tune with the mid-century look of the equipment. The dumbest thing of all, is the cheap looking TV carts placed in front of the lane seating. Why did the so called designer not keep the more nostalgic mid-century score tables? Historical places can be updated without destroying the historical nostalgic flavor. It is obvious this designer has no clue how to work with a theme. It is sad to see an establishment that has been operated by the same family for 85 years has lost all of it's original charm and familiarity.

  4. jersey girl says:

    loved this episode !! i agree with the the other posters , Robert Irvine was at his best ! my father has known Paul since he was young, (he worked for his father) and still fixes lanes from time to time. happy to say, Paul is as genuine and kind in person as he was in this episode. best of luck to Paul !

  5. Eddie says:

    I love Paul and the fact that this episode tries to bring great old world guys into the new world. It is a small microcosm of the economy writ large. Better that Robert be helpful and not belittle the owners. I am rooting for Paul!!!

  6. Kelly says:

    This has been my favorite episode of Restaurant Impossible. If I lived near New Jersey, I would definitely visit Paul's. He seems like a really great, genuine guy. And it looks like a fun place to hang out in too! I wish him much success!

  7. Kathy says:

    I’m in New Jersey and I just can’t wait to go to Paul’s barI think it Robert did a great job and his staff and it just looks fabulous what they’ve done I hope pools there for another hundredhundred years and Ed God bless

  8. Mike Stangel says:

    I have got to say this episode was one of my favorites that Robert and crew has done. These owners seem to be very genuine and sincere in trying to turn things around without all of the negativity that usually goes with change. Paul accepted the new concept without giving Robert a hard time. I do have to agree that the old tin ceiling could have been incorporated in the change but otherwise I really liked the show and wish them the best in turning around the business. I wish we had a place like that to go to. Our town had a place like that when I grew up in the 60's and they were always busy and a fun place to go spend an evening. Wishing Paul and his crew the best in the future. Thank you Robert for getting them on the right track!!

  9. Carol says:

    I agree with those above who love this episode and Paul and Ed! I think this also is my favorite episode of the show. I feel that the changes made were interesting and less out of touch with the spirit of the place than I have seen from the designers in past episodes. I will admit that the introduction of the designers is my least favorite part of each show–they, especially the lady designer, often are disrespectful and insensitive; in this episode with her opening comment, "This place is a dump!" shows a lack of understanding of anyone else's perspective but her own. I wish Paul (and eventually Ed, according to the updates) the very best in rebuilding this business. I would love to drop in and have some of those burgers and go bowling–especially in a vintage lane such as this one (the new ones have all the high-tech lighting that distracts from the basic fun of the game) but I live in Oregon, so I will send them all best wishes.

  10. Bob Herget says:

    This is my all-time favorite RI episode. Paul struck me as being a very humble, pleasant person who just happened to have let the modern world pass him by until he had to catch up in order to survive. His willingness to learn and do what was necessary to succeed even though it was scary to him was very sweet to watch.

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