Chef Robert Irvine heads to Starlite Restaurant and Pizza in West Orange, N.J. after receiving a plea from the owner Patty's son. Patty has worked there since she was 13 years old and considers it home, but hasn't made a profit in almost ten years despite cashing in her retirement and mortgaging her home. When Robert arrives, he finds an extremely dirty kitchen and an old-school staff that is completely unwilling to change, including Patty herself. Will Robert be able to return this beloved restaurant to its former glory, or will the Starlite shine no more?
For his next mission, Chef Robert Irvine responds to a call from Tamara, whose mother Raquel owns De Rican Chef in Virginia Beach, Va. Raquel wanted a restaurant that specialized in authentic Puerto Rican food and expanded her business with help from her son, Reuben, but they are barely making a profit and their relationship is suffering. As Robert tries to get to the bottom of their problems, Raquel drops a bombshell about why she has lost her passion, leading Robert to try to heal the family and restore Raquel's love for her special piece of home.
Chef Robert makes his way to Edible's Restaurant & Pub in Horsham, Pa., to find a 26-year-old family restaurant suffering from a complete lack of inspiration and motivation. In order to fix this restaurant, Robert must spend precious time letting the family air their grievances and motivate them to take responsibility for their restaurant before he can tackle the inedible menu, dirty kitchen and drab decor.
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.
Restaurant: Impossible goes hog wild in Albuquerque, N.M., at the Shade Tree Customs and Cafe where Chef Robert Irvine meets a handful of characters who opened a full service restaurant above their motorcycle repair shop. Robert must unravel the mystery of why this restaurant is failing and tackle the blah menu, while the design team is challenged with elevating the Shade Tree's decor without losing its motorcycle soul.
The JuJu Bag in New Orleans is half cafe and half barber salon, and both are in desperate need of makeovers. Chef Robert Irvine has his hands full, with a cafe that looks like a cluttered living room, a kitchen without any commercial equipment, an owner who is stubborn despite her inexperience, and to top it all off -- a barbershop renovation!
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.
Gail, a successful businesswoman, purchased Bryant's Seafood World in Hueytown, Ala., expecting to seamlessly continue its 30 year tradition: But now, four years later, she desperately needs Chef Robert Irvine to intervene. Robert quickly realizes that she hasn't done anything to make the restaurant her own -- the menu, decor and the grime all pre-date her ownership. Two days may not be enough time for Robert to turn this neglected restaurant and passionless owner around.
Sarah and Justin only opened SiP Bistro in Holly Springs, N.C. three years ago, but their business is already hurting. Though Sarah has a background in hotel and restaurant management, her husband, Justin, is demeaning to the entire staff and hasn't allowed his wife to take control or make decisions. On top of trying to mend their relationship and negotiate a healthy balance of control, Chef Robert Irvine and his team must also do a full dining room renovation and find a way to make the extremely small kitchen as efficient as possible.
Eileen's restaurant, Tootie's Texas BBQ in Cathedral City, Calif., started a deep decline while Eileen was battling cancer. Weeks away from closing for good, she calls on Chef Robert Irvine for a rescue. Robert immediately identifies the tasteless barbecue, poor service and the fact that Tootie's isn't bringing in the lunch crowd as the problems causing the restaurant's downfall. Robert has just two days to give Eileen a second chance at success.
Papa C's Eastside Cafe in Fairport, N.Y., might have the most explosive family that Chef Robert Irvine has ever faced. Working in close quarters, Sal and his three sons spend more time pointing fingers than doing their jobs, resulting in inches of grease and grime throughout the restaurant and a screaming match so bad, it ended in a fistfight! Before Robert can address the problems that led to the business faltering, he must first keep this family from completely imploding.
Chef Robert Irvine's in for a 2-in-1 challenge when he's tasked with fixing the Zest Bistro, located inside the Lemon Tree Grocer in Downers Grove, Ill. Best friends Shaun and Tim opened their gourmet grocery store with a full-service bistro almost five years ago, and now both sides of the business are failing and the debts are climbing high. In just two days, Robert will need to reorganize the grocery store, renovate the bistro and ease the growing tension between the owners.
Chef Robert Irvine travels to Mamma Lucrezia's restaurant in Bellefonte, Pa., which is losing thousands of dollars a month and causing multiple family rifts. The decade-old restaurant is owned by feuding sisters Maria and Stefania, who are also faced with a competing Italian restaurant across the street, which happens to be owned by their brother. With excellent food coming from the kitchen, Robert focuses on the issues holding these sisters back.
Mike and Erika opened Mystic Treats in Ashland, Ore., three years ago, hoping to attract customers with their vegetarian and offbeat pizzas. Three years and multiple failed concepts later, they've called in Chef Robert Irvine for help. Robert will have to start from scratch, educating the owners, choosing an identity, focusing the menu and creating a design vision -- all in just two days.
Chef Robert Irvine's next mission takes him to Lake Arrowhead Sports Grill in Blue Jay, Calif., where Konner, son of owners Keith and Karen, begs Robert for help. To Konnor, it seems that everything is falling apart: the five-year-old business, his parents' marriage, his dad's interest in the restaurant, and his mom's health. Robert must uncover the heart of the issues and help rebuild this family that has lost its way.
Chef Robert Irvine is in Fort Bragg, N.C., the largest U.S. Army installation in the world, where he is on a special mission to breathe new life into one of the only full-service restaurants on the post, the Green Beret Club. Robert must find a way to keep the tradition of the restaurant alive, while giving it a much needed update.
Chef Robert Irvine receives a heart-wrenching plea from Yianni, the son of the owner of Broad Street Bistro in North Versailles, Pa. Owner Tasso has only had the restaurant for a year and a half, but he's struggling to keep it afloat as it is dirty and dark with subpar food and a helpless staff. Tasso's wife, Kathy, is unhappy with all of the time he spends at the restaurant, and Yianni, a trained chef, tried to help out but his father would not listen. After ambushing both Kathy and Tasso, Robert plans a third surprise ambush that will keep everyone guessing.