Restaurant Impossible - Meglio's - CLOSED

Meglio's Restaurant Impossible

In this Restaurant Impossible episode. Chef Robert Irvine visits Meglio's in Bridgeton, Missouri.

Meglio's is an Italian restaurant that owner John Meglio opened five years ago on the back of his family’s famous restaurant.

His family have owned a restaurant for more than thirty years and ever since he was a kid he wanted to own his own restaurant.

He worked in sales for more than 20 years before he decided to open his own restaurant.

He has put a lot on the line since opening the restaurant and opened the restaurant despite his father Antonio warning him against it.

The business at the restaurant has never been consistent and on some days they were fully booked and some days they were mostly empty.

John has invested a lot into the business. He got a second mortgage on his house and took out large loans and borrowed against credit cards to the tune of $250,000.

Robert arrives and struggles to find the restaurant as he can’t find a clear sign for the restaurant.

He is confused inside the restaurant as there is a wall covered in Luigi’s nostalgia from a different restaurant.

Robert asks John why there are conflicting names on the outside and inside of the restaurant.

John tells him that Luigi’s was a successful restaurant opened by his uncle and grandma in 1953 that he pays tribute to.

It was this restaurant that caused his love of the restaurant industry and was his motivation to open Meglio’s.

He had no restaurant experience before opening Meglio’s and worked in sales of wholesale electrical products for more than 20 years.

Robert finds the decor is dated and the floor and ceiling is dirty. There is dust on the artificial flowers and the paint is flaking from the walls.

Robert invites guests to the restaurant and they aren't impressed by the shabby decor and the servers are confused.

John is doing everything in the restaurant, seating customers, serving customers and preparing food in the kitchen.

The pizza impresses but the customers think that the rest of the food is disgusting.

Robert goes into the kitchen and finds that they are serving mostly frozen food that is reheated.

The staff in the kitchen won't eat the food and there are cross contamination issues.

Robert inspects the walk-in and finds boxes of frozen food whilst they promote family recipes.

Robert meets with the staff who admit that the food could be better and he lays out the plan for turning the restaurant around.

He insists that they throw out all of the frozen food as they will be cooking using fresh ingredients.

Robert meets with designer Taniya and Tom to discuss the plans for transforming the restaurant.

The plan is to remove the carpet, remove the wall and counter, repaint, recover the chairs and bar and add new lights.

To be able to get started Robert asks the staff to remove the furniture from the restaurant.

They remove all the clutter and half of the dividing wall.

Robert teaches the kitchen staff fresh new dishes and it is the first time they have used fresh fish and made fresh pasta.

Robert is checks in with the design team and is told they don’t have the carpet tiles yet.

The next day, Robert arrives and checks in with the design team.

He is concerned about the lack of carpet tiles and Taniya promises to make calls to suppliers to get hold of them ready for relaunch.

Robert meets with the servers to introduce the new menu that they will need to learn.

The new dishes are simple using fresh ingredients including a Cowboy Stromboli.

He leaves them with a copy of the menu to learn and plans to test them later on in the day on the items on there.

The kitchen is prepping the food, there are some consistency issues that are quickly rectified and the fish is filleted perfectly.

Robert orders the restaurant a banner to be able to promote the restaurant and he also orders some t-shirts to help with marketing.

John goes out with Robert to hand out the t-shirts and promote the reopening that evening.

When Robert returns he is happy to hear that Taniya has sourced the floor tiles and they are being laid.

He checks in with the kitchen and they seem a little slow but are making great progress.

The banner also arrives and it is put up so that the restaurant can be seen better from the main road.

The servers are given a game to practice service where they have to serve customers, practice table service and spot the missing ingredients on each dish.

There are a few issues but Robert guides and helps them to complete the exercise and they clearly know the menu.

There is a race to the finish in the dining room, Robert gives the kitchen a pep talk and the new restaurant is revealed to John.

They are all blown away by the changes as it looks like a different restaurant.

On relaunch night, the new decor is well received and the returning guests are shocked by the changes they have made.

The shortened menu is popular and the open bar is deemed beautiful by the customers.

At first the food leaves the kitchen cold and the quality starts to decline, they aren't used to serving at a fast pace but they turn it around.

The relaunch is a success and the customers love the food.



What Happened Next at Meglio's?


Yelp, Urban Spoon and Trip Advisor reviews are mixed since Robert visited the restaurant.

After Robert left, owner John Meglio brought back the beef cannelloni even though the dish is frozen.

He claimed that locals enjoy frozen pasta and have been eating it for over 50 years.

He also changed other dishes claiming that locals are reluctant for too much change.

Meglio's closed in January 2015 and was put up for lease.

Frederick’s Steakhouse & Pizzeria has since opened in its place and reviews are mixed.


Meglio's was Restaurant Impossible season 1 episode 5 and aired on February 16 2011

Click for more Restaurant Impossible Restaurants

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Next episode - Secret Garden Cafe

This post was last updated in February 2021.

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