Thursday, 5 November 2015

Restaurant Impossible - County Fare - CLOSED

County Fare Restaurant Impossible
Chef Robert Irvine visits County Fare in Stafford, Virginia, the restaurant has been open 5 years and is now on the verge of closure. Owner former US Marine chef Eric Green has sunk his life savings into the restaurant after feeding 7000 marines a day. They are in $520,000 in debt, eh has never taken a paycheck and they are surviving on his pension and his wife Liz's wages. The electric company wanted to turn off the power and vendors are insisting that he pay in cash. Robert decides to launch a surprise attack and enters through the back door. He finds a bad smell, food stored next to cleaning products and there is bacon sat on a hot sink unit. The decor is bland and the customers find the food bland. Robert samples the food and finds the biscuit rock hard, the baloney isn't cooked in the middle and the breakfast in a cup is very salty. Eric admits he lost his sense of taste and smell during his service in Kuwait. 

Robert finds caked on grease on the kitchen equipment, enough grease to violate the fire code and a poorly thought out kitchen layout. The first change is to rearrange the kitchen to allow the staff to be able to cook easier and they also deep clean the kitchen equipment. Robert meets the designer and they discuss an American diner theme for the restaurant. Robert teaches them some simple dishes that would be perfect in the diner including a Reuben burger and Apple pie. Robert finds Cynthia moaning to Eric and she admits that she has lost motivation. The next morning the kitchen staff are trained on making the dishes that Robert had shown them the previous day, there are a few mistakes at first. Cynthia is announced the taster of food after acing the ingredient taste test and Robert introduces a pie eating competition to promote the restaurant. They work until the last minute on redecorating the dining room and the owners love it.

On relaunch night, the customers love the new look diner, Cynthia is overwhelmed in the kitchen and struggles to communicate but steps up after a pep talk from Robert and does a great job. The customers love the new food and the locals promise to return. 

What Happened Next?

After the show aired, owner Eric Green reported business improved for one month and then sales dropped and they had 2 of their worst months in 3 years. Yelp reviews after filming were mostly average to poor, most claiming that the restaurant was unexpectedly closed when they tried to visit. The restaurant closed in October 2011, 6 months after the show aired as the changes came too late. 

It was briefly reopened by a new owner in January 2012 as County Cafe. The reviews of County Cafe were good but it closed after less than a year. In 2013, Smoke Pit Cafe opened and reviews are good. 

County Fare was season 2 episode 4 and aired on July 27 2011, there were 18 episodes in season 2 aired between July 2011 and January 2012 and the closure rate for Restaurant Impossible Season 2 currently stands at 67%

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