Chef Robert Irvine is headed to New Kensington, Pa. to ambush Stacey, the owner of Stella's Dine-Inn Restaurant. Stacey's daughter reached out after witnessing constant, out-of-control fighting between her mother, who is desperate to keep the restaurant going in her late husband's memory, and her brother, Dom, who serves as the main cook. Robert must work hard to help this family from being torn apart while also facing design struggles with the very large restaurant space.
Chef Robert Irvine is called to the Cape Horn Family Restaurant in Red Lion, Pa. after receiving a plea for help from the owner Joni's husband, Barry. Joni is having trouble paying the bills and has lost control of her staff, but after Robert installs hidden cameras he realizes it's Joni herself who needs work. As Robert navigates a rollercoaster of emotions with Joni, he aims to help her face her fears and repair her self-confidence in order to change her staff and, more importantly, herself.
Marie's at Ummat Cafe poses many challenges for Chef Robert Irvine. Situated next to Atlanta's oldest Mosque, many potential customers falsely think that the restaurant is strictly for Muslims, owner Jaliwa's experience in catering has not translated into running a restaurant and the design team has a fight that puts the entire restaurant makeover in jeopardy.
A few years ago, Keith and Stephanie's restaurant, Mama E's Wings & Waffles restaurant in Oklahoma City, was thriving and was featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. But a failed attempt at opening a second location put a strain on their finances -- and their marriage. Chef Robert Irvine must get this volatile couple communicating again if he's going to be able to save their restaurant.
Chef Robert Irvine receives a heartbreaking plea from Megan, who owns the BFE Bar and Grill in Waynesboro, Ga. with her husband, Mike. The restaurant is deep in debt and their family is suffering, but when Robert shows up, he also finds out that the state suspended their liquor license for not paying their taxes. Robert quickly learns he will have to pick and choose what to fix: their reputation is in the dumps, they're understaffed, and food service is painfully slow. It's a fight to the finish as he desperately tries to fix as much as he can and the owners try to pay back their taxes before the grand reopening.
When Chef Robert Irvine surprises unsuspecting restaurant owners and announces he's there to save their failing business, anything can happen. With no time to prepare for his arrival, these owners often have very honest reactions, from shock to happiness to anger. Robert revisits some of these memorable ambushes, including Lake Arrowhead Sports Grill, Cape Horn Family Restaurant and La Casa Bianca. Plus, get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of how the surprise takeovers are set up and executed, and what went wrong along the way!
Paul's family has owned Paul's Bar & Bowling in Paterson, N.J., since 1929, but this neighborhood staple has been on a downward spiral for the past eight years, leaving Paul with no choice but to call in Chef Robert Irvine for help. Not only will Robert's design team have to renovate both the bar and the bowling alley, but Robert will have to yank Paul and his business into the 21st century.
Chef Robert Irvine may have met his match when he encounters the volatile owners of Mike LaSusa's Italian Restaurant in Oak Creek, Wis. Every time Patrick, Mary and their son, Mike, get together, they fight about everything from the food to serve to the artwork to hang on the wall. The two days Robert has for the renovation may not be enough time to turn this restaurant and family around, especially when one of the owners walks out and never returns.
Daniel is the owner and operator of a successful sawmill, and thought he would be able to run Big Jim's Bama Q in Hammondville, Ala., when he purchased it ten months ago. But his inexperience and naiveness in thinking he could sit back and cash in on the restaurant's reputation has instead left him seeking Chef Robert Irvine's help. Robert needs to find a way to make this restaurant distinctly Daniel's, and that means new food, a new look and new knowledge and passion to turn this dump into a barbecue destination.
When Chef Robert Irvine talks to the staff at Country Cow Restaurant and Bar in Campton, N.H., he hears horror stories of the co-owners, a divorced couple, throwing pans in the kitchen and cursing throughout the dining room. But everyone is on their best behavior when Robert shows up, forcing Robert to consult the behind-the-scenes footage to uncover all the problems that needed to be fixed.
Chef Robert travels to Hagerstown, Md., on a mission to save the Georgia Boy Cafe. The stress of the restaurant is ruining the once loving relationship between owners Chuck and Montez, who now avoid each other at all costs or end up screaming at each other in front of their guests. Robert also needs to address the heaping health hazards in the kitchen, but first, he needs to get the owners back on speaking terms.
Chef Robert Irvine is in the resort town of South Padre Island, Texas, to help the owners of the Padre Rita Grill. This four-year-old business features both food and music, but they're not doing either very well. Robert will have to overhaul the tacky tiki bar decor and get the owners to focus on the bottom line to make life at the Padre Rita Grill paradise.
Chef Robert Irvine has seen a lot of desperate restaurants, but Zoog's Caveman Cookin' in Port Hadlock, Wash., may just be the worst. At just two years old, it's repulsively dirty and the owner has lost his passion, leaving his inexperienced daughter to run the place. And if this wasn't enough of a challenge for Robert to overcome, the government shows up, threatening to close the doors of the restaurant.
Chef Robert Irvine tackles his first-ever theme restaurant, when he comes to the aid of Buzz, the owner of Cave Inn BBQ, a new caveman/dinosaur themed restaurant. Robert and his team will need to completely overhaul the "decor," which currently consists of a few inflatable dinosaurs and foam rocks glued to the wall, as well as the kitchen, which is sent into chaos by Buzz's brother Skip, who puts more energy into his Hollywood dreams than this Winter Garden, Fla., eatery.
Ken opened up Cocoamoda, a French Bistro with an event space and chocolate boutique, seven years ago in the small town of Calvert, Texas. After failing to attract a following from the major cities, he's now deeply in debt, but refuses to advertise or cater to the local community. Ken's daughter calls in Chef Robert Irvine, hoping that the fellow Brit can help her stubborn father see how much help his business really needs.
Chef Robert Irvine receives a pressing plea from Jamie, best friend of Cray Eatery and Drinkery's owner Crystal in Columbus, Ohio. Crystal opened Cray after being inspired by infused liquors from Cambodia, but her lack of experience and dismissive nature have led to her being unable to pay bills and begging for free labor from friends. Robert soon discovers that the restaurant is also unclean, the food service is slow, and the liquor infusions are nauseating. While the restaurant concept is unique, Robert must find a way to solve all of its other problems and help Crystal put her failures behind her.
The nearly three-year-old Fork Diner in Calhoun, Ga., never quite took off, and owners Gray, Diana and Michael are now faced with a failing business and a suffering friendship. Chef Robert Irvine will have just two days to address the boring food, lack of cleanliness, disinterested staff and an owner with one foot out the door.
Chef Robert Irvine arrives at the Dog & Pony Ale House in Renton, Wash., where he meets the owner, Kristen. Despite Kristen's whit and smarts, she's being overwhelmed by a vocal group of customers who cause her to buy equipment and change the menu on a whim, trust issues with her staff and hundreds of thousands in debt owed to the IRS. Robert will have to give Kristen the tools she needs to toughen up and turn this confused bar into a place worthy of all its patrons, before the Dog & Pony is shut down and Kristen loses everything.
Monica and Elvis opened Pasion Latin Fusion two years ago, hoping to bring fun and authentic Latin cuisine to Albuquerque, N.M., but have found little success. Worn down, they turn to Chef Robert Irvine, who has to address two major issues: the tension between Monica and their main investor, Elvis's brother, and a menu that's leaving customers confused and frustrated.