Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Restaurant Impossible - Mainelli's - CLOSED

Mainelli's Restaurant Impossible

Chef Robert Irvine visits Mainelli's in Providence, Rhode Island, to save Mainelli's, a once popular Italian restaurant owned by Jerry and staffed by his family. They are losing $11,000 a month and are facing financial ruin. He has never paid himself a salary, the gas company came to shut off the gas and he will also lose his home as he lives above the restaurant. Robert wants to find the problems and surprises the staff with a bus full of customers but they struggle with the large menu, slow service and dirty tables. 

The customers order but they don't have any of the items in! The kitchen is filthy and there is 9 day old eggplant and fresh pasta stored at room temperature. With only one chef in the kitchen Robert decides to shut down the restaurant, he allows them to keep just four items on the menu and calls in a designer. A customer arrives who has booked a surprise birthday but due to lack of organisation they had failed to cancel the reservation. Chef Tracy is untrained, willing to learn but her food is inedible. Robert discovers that Joey the dishwasher makes the sauces and they can't afford ingredients. The walk-in is bare and she is using savings to buy ingredients. Robert resorts to rescuing the tables from the skip to save $3000, Robert teaches Tracy the menu and makes a food order.

Robert visits a local magazine that published a negative article with food samples. He meets with the editor Gail, who is surprised that they are still open and asks her to write an article on the relaunch. They decide to spray paint and reupholster the chairs and change the floor. The entire family pitch in to help Robert with his changes with Joey now assisting in the kitchen. Robert teaches them simple to cook pizza and garlic bread dishes and meets with the designer and staff to introduce the new menu and decor. He also removes the misleading closed sign from outside the restaurant and trains the wait staff. 

On relaunch night, editor Gail is in the restaurant and the staff are holding up with the pressure of the relaunch at first until it gets to Tracy and the kitchen backs up. Robert heavily praises her for the service and surpass his expectations. The customers love the food, praise the new food and improvement and are placing reservations to return.


What Happened Next?

Reviews after Robert's visit were good but the restaurant closed in January 2012. Not long after the episode was aired a car went through the side of the building forcing the restaurant to close to be able to repair the damage. The owners said that they may open in a new location at a later date but this so far has not happened. The restaurant was sold at auction on 10th September 2013. Reviews for the restaurant were good on Yelp before and after Robert visited the restaurant. 

Mainelli's was season 1 episode 2 and aired on January 26 2011, there were 7 episodes in the season, airing from January to March 2011 and the closure rate for Restaurant Impossible Season 1 currently stands at 86%.


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