Restaurant Impossible - Rascal's BBQ & Crab House - CLOSED

Rascal's BBQ &Crab House Restaurant Impossible

In this Restaurant Impossible episode, Chef Robert Irvine visits Rascal's BBQ and Crab House in New Castle, Delaware.

Rascal's BBQ and Crab House is currently owned by Steve Kledaras after he bought the restaurant from his father.

His father opened the restaurant around 40 years ago and he took it over 9 years ago.

Steve has been working at the restaurant since he was thirteen years old and would work part time on the weekends.

He took over the restaurant with the support of his wife Courtney to keep the restaurant in the family.

The restaurant is their livelihood but they are currently losing $10,000 a month.

They only have three or four months before the restaurant will be forced to close.

Robert arrives at the restaurant and immediately notices that the restaurant has a vile smell to it.

There are missing ceiling tiles and the restaurant is cluttered with junk and filthy.

The ceiling fan in particular is caked in layers of dirt and grime.

Robert reveals that he has invited three local restaurant critics to come to the restaurant and test the service and food.

They order a range of dishes but both the taste of the dishes and the service they receive are terrible.

The soup is cold, the crab cake is bland, the clams are rubber and the chicken is dry.

When Robert checks in with Steve he thought that he had done well and was surprised that the food did not impress the critics.

Robert inspects the kitchen and it is filthy with dead flies and caked on grime on every surface.

He finds mice droppings and smells from old produce coming from the walk-in so he condemns the kitchen.

He opens the keg cupboard and retches from it as it is confirmed as the source of the bad smell in the restaurant.

Things get worse when he sees the piles of trash in the outside dining area.

There is also treasure stored out there as there are thousands of dollars of recyclable steel!

Robert meets with the staff to discuss the plan of action for the restaurant starting with a clean up of the restaurant.

Robert tells the staff to put on protective clothing and they remove everything from the kitchen ready for cleaning.

After the equipment is moved Robert can see the true scale of the filth in the kitchen.

Robert is forced to bring in a professional cleaning team to clean the restaurant and makes a call to a cleaning company.

He also calls a company who will come in to remove the junk from the restaurant and outside dining area.

Both of these are going to seriously eat into the budget for the transformation and they will have just $5000 for the transformation.

Robert meets with designer Taniya to give her the bad news that she has just half of her usual budget.

Before the junk is removed he takes Taniya to it to see if there is anything in there she can salvage to save money.

She removes a number of items that she thinks they can use and the rest of the trash is taken away.

Until the kitchen has been cleaned it can’t be used so he has set up a makeshift kitchen in the parking lot.

Robert will be working to teach Steve some basic cooking techniques and he appreciates the chance to learn with Robert.

He also introduces new menu items including Crab Cakes and Brisket made with Dry Rub

Robert questions whether Steve can continue to keep to high standards after he leaves the next day.

In the kitchen, five live mice run out from under a kitchen unit, 13 dead mice are found in a unit and exterminators are called in.

At the end of the day there is still tons of trash to be collected from the restaurant and the kitchen is still filthy.

He checks in with the design team and is impressed with their progress so far.

The next day, Robert arrives and finds that the kitchen is finally sparkling clean and it looks like a different kitchen!

The cleaners were working until 1am in the kitchen, spending close to 12 hours deep cleaning it.

Robert checks in with the design team and doesn’t like some of what he sees and the crew promises to make changes.

Robert takes Steve into the newly cleaned kitchen and tells him that it took the cleaners over 11 hours to get it like that.

For the kitchen to work better it needs to be reorganized to make the service more efficient.

Next, Robert works with the servers Tess and Erin and trains them on how to deliver excellent service and sends them off to learn the new menu.

Robert visits the Chamber of Commerce with brisket to advertise the relaunch and help to draw in new customers to the business.

The cleared patio and the dining room are revealed to Steve and Courtney who are overwhelmed at the changes they have made.

On relaunch night, the customers love the new decor and Steve had asked some friends to help in the kitchen but Steve struggles to run the busy kitchen and needs Robert helps him to step up.

The servers struggle with the first service as they are not used to having so many tables but they are better on the second.

The customers love the new food and are enjoying the live band on the patio.



What Happened Next at Rascal's BBQ and Crab House?


After the Rascal's episode aired, the restaurant only opened on weekends, with Steve claiming it was difficult to get crabs.

He was not happy with the way the restaurant was portrayed in the episode.

He claimed that those working on the show had spread rubbish, old equipment and seeds on the floor to make the restaurant appear worse than it actually was.

He didn't keep Robert's menu for long after filming, reverting to his previous menu and portion sizes.

He claimed that Roberts menu was too fancy for his customers and not what they would want.

Rascal's BBQ and Crab House closed in May 2011.

Rascal's BBQ and Crab House was Restaurant Impossible season 1 episode 3 and aired on February 2 2011.


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This post was last updated in February 2021.

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