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 (116)

  1. Barbara says:

    Tell Tina at Pauls Bar & Bowling that Her made up dish french fries with mozzarella & gravy was
    not thought up by her. If she would have step out of N.J. over 35 years ago she would have it at any Diner in
    Quenns and Long Island. Back in the 70's they were called Disco Fries! crisp fries with a layer of melted
    mozzarella & homemade brown gravy on the side. Tina, the only credit you should take is… messing up
    a great old favorite diner side dish.

    • Stephanie says:

      Barbara, I'm surprised that you are so defensive of a French fry dish that you clearly know so little about. As Mike noted, disco fries started in NJ AFTER Tina began working at Paul's (31 years ago). It's sad to see someone so adamant about writing a negative comment about a clearly hardworking woman that you do not even know. Just enjoy the show and be happy for these good hearted people.

      Great episode!

    • foodcritic101 says:

      Tina, throw out the canned gravy that you use! Make your own gravy using a stock and the taste will be SO much better! (Canned gravy???)

  2. Don San Jose says:

    Great show tonight. One of the best I have seen. Best of luck to Paul and Ed. Please start serving the new foods ASAP. Hope to some day make it to see your new restaurant.

  3. Barbara says:

    Sorry Tina, disco fries have been around in diner's for over 30 years in Queens & Long Island N.Y.

  4. Dave says:

    Cant believe he's losing $10,000 a month. Hope the staff isn't lacing their pockets.

    • Sandi says:

      He's losing that much because of all the debts that are compounding interest. The staff has nothing to do with that. Their tips seem to be huge, though. Maybe they could kick some back.

    • Tracy says:

      I know I felt sorry for the owner who is their day after day making sure these people still have jobs, and they should have been doing more to help the business and the owner. I am glad they got a second chance and I hope they make it.

  5. Kat says:

    Great episode! Paul seems like such a good guy. And watching him with new technology was endearing. Loved his first text to Robert. Good luck, Paul!

  6. Mike Sullivan says:

    @ Barbara The fries you ate at those diners in NY became Disco fries after Tina fries and are from NJ

    "Disco fries” are first cited in 1996 and are believed to have started at New Jersey diners. Some think that “disco fries” means “diner fries,” while others insist that “disco” means “late night food.” Crisco is often used in making french fries, and perhaps that product also influenced the “disco fries” name. Disco fries soon found their way to diners in New York City.

    • Barbara says:

      Ulg, You got the wrong info. Had them in N.Y. over 35 years ago. Tina does not know how to make the real thing! :)

    • Barbara says:

      Hey Mike Disco fries in 1996? Ugh! In the early 70's & the disco era we would all go to the diner in Long Island
      and in Queens N.Y. after a late evening at the night clubs. we go for our burger and disco fries.All your bah bah bah story and thinking you have a history on the fries. Sorry you missed out on them back in New York
      before 1996 :)

      • pretendernx01 says:

        Disco Fries are just the American version of Poutine: fries with cheese curds and brown gravy (and dating back to the 50s)

        • foodcritic101 says:

          Absolutely right! It's Poutine and has been served in Quebec province for many many years! No big deal. However, they're most unhealthy and loaded with fat. argh.

        • Barbara says:

          YES,YES that's what I was trying to say… Its been around a long time!

  7. Anthony Augustine says:

    I'm trying to "Redo" a restaurant dining room and absolutely love the flooring they used in this , have been looking all over for this vinyl flooring or roll out whatever they called it and can't seem to track it down , anyone have some advice or help ?

    • El Alacran says:

      Home Depot has a laminate that looks very similar to the flooring they used try there.

    • BlueDesert says:

      Both Home Depot and Lowes carry it or something similar. It's very inexpensive as far as roll flooring goes.
      It's linoleum and NOT a laminate.When you see it alongside other roll flooring it looks pretty cheesy.But with tables and chairs and people walking around in the retaurant it's not too noticable.

  8. I don't understand why everybody here is SO focused on the french fries. They seem like a very nice bunch! I wish them the best!

  9. Nat says:

    Favorite episode so far! We loved Paul and Ed and their loyal staff! So nice to see such deserving people on the show!

  10. great2bthesilly1 says:

    This is by far my favorite episode!!! Great job!!!

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