Restaurant: Impossible on the Food Network is hosted by world-renown chef, Robert Irvine. Robert goes to restaurants that are failing and turns them into a better place with help from his design team and master carpenter. With a budget of only $10,000 and two days, they transform tired restaurants with bad food and owners who have lost their way into better establishments. Robert pulls no punches and does not hesitate to tell owners the truth, even if it hurts.
This episode brings Robert and his crew to Olean, New York to the Oleander Bar and Grill. A restaurant only ran for six months by a mother and daughter, Kelli Truman and Abby Grabow. Kelli owned the property that housed two restaurants that both failed. Unable to sell the property, and Abby had worked there since high school, so they decided to pick up the pieces of a failed business. There is an apartment upstairs from the restaurant where Kelli hoped that Abby would live with the baby, but the relationship is strained and the restaurant needs a makeover.
In came Robert asking the tough questions. Kelli is a nurse and also works that job, is over $150,000 in debt and between them, have no idea how much the expenses are to run the place. Abby is there from opening until closing, and their relationship is a constant battle.
As a customer tries to order, they are out of everything the customer orders. The restaurant manager is called over and has less of a clue than the owners, as does the bartender. People have management titles, but no management skills. Robert’s sampling of the food and portions is abominable. The portion sizes are outrageous, and the staff is not being paid regularly.
Robert found that the cook is dedicated and really cares and promised to stick with him and help him. When the designer and carpenter came in, they saw a lot of potential in the place and got started to give the place a makeover.
Robert took the responsibilities and broke them down for Kelli and Abby and enabled them to solve their differences. He tweaked the portions for the restaurant and the bar and got everything humming. Once the restaurant was ready, he took Kelli and Abby to the restaurant to see the finished product. Their relationship has been saved, and the restaurant was beautiful and a nice place to dine and work. On the opening night, the restaurant was packed and customers were delighted to once again have a good place to eat and drink. The place was humming, customers were thrilled thanks to “Restaurant: Impossible.”
Photo of Robert Irvine: Wikimedia by Sarah Stannard