by Maria Russo in Shows, February 11th, 2015
by Maria Russo in Shows, February 4th, 2015
At Dog & Pony Ale House in Renton, Wash., the issue wasn’t that the food was poor — Robert Irvine, in fact, was surprisingly pleased with it — but rather that owner Kristen Fisher was mismanaging her business. This too-nice owner had all but given herself and the control of her eatery over to a select group of customers who were adamant that she make changes to the equipment and menu at Dog & Pony, and ultimately her willingness to concede and her struggles with trusting her staff led her to become buried in debt. With the help of Robert and his Restaurant: Impossible team, however, Kristen learned top tips for running her restaurant, and within only two days reopened the doors at Dog & Pony, a business worthy of a second chance at success.
“For December there has been a 45 percent increase in sales,” Kristen says of the finances at her business, adding that most diners’ reviews of the updates at Dog & Pony are largely “very positive.” She explains, “We are definitely listening to all the feedback and making changes that will make all our customers happy. We have brought back some of the things that the customers loved but are keeping the menu to one page, streamlined and running specials.”
by Maria Russo in Shows, January 28th, 2015
It’s no secret that Robert Irvine has visited his share of far-gone restaurants in the nearly 10 seasons of Restaurant: Impossible, but on tonight’s new episode, he was quick to admit that Zoog’s Caveman Cookin may surely be among the worst he’s ever encountered. From the too-dark interior and the filthy kitchen that Robert was forced to shut down to owner Zoog’s lack of commitment to the business, Robert and his team faced two days of daunting challenges before they could reopen the Port Hadlock, Wash., restaurant to a packed house. Read on below to hear from Zoog and find out how he and his restaurant are faring today.
Business has increased nearly 20 percent since Robert left, Zoog explains, though he adds that his personal health went downhill. “I’m sorry to say that about four weeks after [the Restaurant: Impossible experience], I had a heart attack,” he says, before adding, “I am taking my medicine now and am feeling better.”
by Maria Russo in Shows, January 21st, 2015
“I have no idea what ‘Mystic Treats’ means,” Robert Irvine told husband-and-wife owners Michael and Erika Lowe of the name of their Ashland, Ore., eatery. Though the couple has a shared background in the IT field, the two opened Mystic Treats three years ago and recently relocated it to a space with history as both Mexican and Korean eateries, which only furthered Mystic Treats’ oddball identity. After hearing feedback from the community, Robert managed to find his vision for the updated interior, and he tasked his Restaurant: Impossible design and construction teams to bring several themes to life, including “earthy,” “vibrant,” “quirky — a little bit” and “homey.”
by Maria Russo in Shows, January 14th, 2015
No matter how dire the scene may be when Robert Irvine arrives at a business, he’s not one to back away from his mission. Over the course of nearly nine seasons, Robert’s surely been tested with fiery owners, filthy kitchens and family feuds, but through it all, he and his Restaurant: Impossible team have given even the seemingly farthest-gone eateries a second chance at success, all with only $10,000 and 48 hours to work. On tonight’s special episode of Restaurant: Impossible, Robert looked back at some of the most-unforgettable transformations, reliving the process it took to shift owners’ perspectives, as well as their kitchens’ cleanliness and dining rooms’ design, and ultimately revealing the impressive finished updates.
by Maria Russo in Shows, December 29th, 2014
Intrigued after arriving at Shade Tree Customs & Cafe — a dual motorcycle-repair shop and restaurant — in Albuquerque, N.M., Robert Irvine told owners Ryan Green and Rich Rael, “We’re going to see a service so I can understand what you do, because I’m not sure what you do right now.” Though the food there wasn’t outlandishly poor, Robert wasn’t impressed, and designer Taniya Nayak admitted that the decor was “college dorm-ish.” Together Robert and his Restaurant: Impossible team had just two days to overhaul the interior of Shade Tree, foster a connection between the restaurant and the shop downstairs, and improve the relationship among Ryan, Rich and their fellow owners and investors. Read on below to hear from the guys to find out how their business is faring today.
The guys are wowed by what they’ve deemed the “stunning” look of the “motorcycle chic” decor now at Shade Tree Cafe. They plan to put the signs and relics that one lined the restaurant’s walls into the bike shop, and they add that they hope to begin refreshing the current wall space with artwork from locals.
by Maria Russo in Shows, December 15th, 2014
While restaurant owners must invite Robert Irvine to their business in order to initiate a Restaurant: Impossible mission, he’s not always warmly welcomed when he arrives, and hardly ever does he encounter no resistance at all in the process of his updates. Still, while some confrontation and minimal chaos may be expected, it’s rare that missions turn into all-out screaming matches or no-holds-barred tantrums; those seeming disasters, while surely salvageable, have indeed led to unprecedented arguments on air.
On tonight’s episode of Restaurant: Impossible, fans look back on some of the most-unforgettable blowups to ever appear on the series. From the outspoken servers at Hillbillies Restaurant to the yelling and door-slamming at Nanny Goat’s Cafe & Feed Bin, Robert has paid witness to over-the-top tempers, but they surely haven’t stopped him from completing his missions. Read on below to hear from the owners of some of the restaurants featured on tonight’s episode (a few couldn’t be reached for comment) to find out how they fared after Robert’s initial visit.
by Maria Russo in Shows, December 8th, 2014
The scene at San Antonio’s Knife and Fork Gastropub was tense when Robert Irvine arrived, as owners Gabe and Javier Orozco — two brothers — were facing a $400,000 debt to their mom and stepfather, who’ve contributed greatly to the eatery. After inspecting the bar and kitchen, Robert could easily see the filth that had accumulated at Knife and Fork, and with only two days to work, he and his Restaurant: Impossible team were faced with both making the space clean and safe, and also mending the strained relationship among the Orozco family. Read on below to hear from the brothers and their mother, Norma Montalvo, as they reveal how Knife and Fork has fared since Robert left.
“I needed someone to tell Javier some of the stuff and it had to be Robert,” Gabe said of the importance of Robert’s mission. “He has definitely fired me up. Now that it’s my kitchen, I think we are getting more done than ever before.” Javier added, “[Robert] didn’t say anything we did not already know, but [he] gave us a fresh perspective.”
by Maria Russo in Shows, November 24th, 2014
In the largest Restaurant: Impossible challenge to date, Robert Irvine and his team traveled to Lake Luzerne, N.Y., for an extra-special mission at Double H Ranch, a year-round camp dedicated to serving children with life-threatening illnesses. Double H was founded on the premise of “health and happiness” according to CEO and executive director Max Yurenda, and the camp indeed lives up to its promise, as every child who attends is welcomed and made to feel safe and hopeful.
With the help and generosity of Lexus, Robert and his team had three days and an increased budget of $50,000 to transform the kitchen and dining hall at Double H, and it’s a good thing they had extra time and money to spend, because the 4,000-plus-square-foot dining room was among the largest they’d ever attempted. In true Irvine fashion, Robert welcomed the challenge, and not only did he overhaul those spaces and turn them into comfortable, friendly and functional designs, but he and Lexus also gifted the camp dozens of pieces of new equipment, plus a $10,000 donation. Read on below to hear from Max, and director of operations Jacqui Royael, to find out how Double H is doing today. Then, browse insider photos of the transformation in progress, and see Robert at Double H.
How have the new hot boxes improved serving time?
Jacqui Royael: The new hot boxes will allow more time for staff and campers to enjoy their meal together and less time waiting in a crowded line in the kitchen. The food can now be prepared and ready to go the minute the kids enter the dining hall, allowing all of camp to be served in half the time and eat together. So what once was 20-plus minutes and several trips back and forth to the serving line will now be a quick five to 10 minutes and one trip to have everyone enjoy a meal together.
by Maria Russo in Shows, November 3rd, 2014
Tonight marked the first time Oklahoma City’s Mama E’s Wings & Waffles appeared on Restaurant: Impossible, but it wasn’t the business’ first time on Food Network; just a few years ago it was a bustling eatery that enjoyed a showcase on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Problems began, however, when husband-and-wife owners Keith and Stephanie Patterson wanted to open a new Mama E’s outpost. Ultimately the venture proved unsuccessful, and, perhaps worst of all, the trials nearly cost them their relationship. It was up to Robert Irvine and his Restaurant: Impossible team to mend Keith and Stephanie’s damaged marriage before he could begin overhauling Mama E’s, and they had only 48 hours and $10,000 to do it all. Read on below to hear from Stephanie and find out how her restaurant is faring today.
“Over time the revenue has doubled or more,” Stephanie explains. “I love the walls with the recipes and so do the customers.”
When Robert Irvine arrived at Papa C’s Eastside Cafe, the family drama he discovered was unlike that at any other restaurant he’s visited in nine seasons of Restaurant: Impossible. Owner Sal Cimino and his three sons, Sal Jr., Justin and Rick, work at the business together, though much of what they do involves yelling and arguing. It was up to Robert and his team to mend the frayed family dynamic at Papa C’s and overhaul the menu and interior there to reflect a contemporary eatery. Read on below to hear from Sal and find out how his restaurant is doing today.
“The restaurant is doing much better,” Sal reveals of Papa C’s Eastside Cafe. “Revenue is up about 20 percent, and we are now closed on Mondays.”