Restaurant Revisited: Living in the Dark Ages at Cave Inn BBQ
Just when fans likely thought that Robert Irvine had seen it all after nearly eight seasons of Restaurant: Impossible, this week he opened the doors to a themed restaurant for the first time. Cave Inn BBQ, located in Winter Garden, Fla., offered a prehistoric ambiance, complete with pictures of dinosaurs and fake rocks in the dining room and a menu of hearty, meaty plates. While Robert was taken aback by Cave Inn's display, he couldn't convince owner Buzz Klavans to abandon his business' theme, and ultimately Robert and the Restaurant: Impossible crew continued the theme during the transformation. After just two days and with a $10,000 budget, the Stone Age-inspired restaurant reopened, reinvigorated with a second chance at success. Read on below to hear from Buzz to find out how this business is doing today.
"Revenue has risen about 10 to 18 percent," Buzz says. "I'm doing my best to follow all of Robert's advice — some things are easier said than done, especially regarding [the] back of house — but we're trying."
While nearly all of Robert's menu remains in place, Buzz has added several of Cave Inn's original items to its list of offerings. "We do get quite a few requests for a few of the original items, one being our two-pound beef rib; we did put that back on the menu, plus a couple of the original sauces."
Buzz admits that Rich, who's part of the kitchen staff, now has "a lot more freedom," and he notes that Skip, now living in Los Angeles, "has very little, if [any], input in the restaurant."
Looking back on his Restaurant: Impossible experience, Buzz explains, "One thing I've learned: Butchering our own meat instead of getting it pre-packed leaves us with trimmings, which I now turn into ‘Specials of the Week’ — appetizers — which is like making my own money."