Restaurant Revisited: Revved Up at Shade Tree Customs and Cafe
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.
Weekly owners' meetings are still in effect at Shade Tree, and Josh, the owner and general manager, regularly offers up the restaurant's financials, which his fellow owners now understand well.
The outdoor patio isn't yet open to customers, though the team is working with the city for permission and hopes to start serving outside soon.
Looking back on their Restaurant: Impossible experience, the guys of Shade Tree were especially moved by the bike rally and the large community turnout. The owners add that being on the show allowed them to rethink their approach to the business and try new ideas to improve it. Rich explains that while the guys' friendship might have been strained before the taping, theirs is a tighter bond today, as they now feel better unified in the goals of the business.