Restaurant Impossible - Joe Willy's Seafood House - OPEN

Joe Willy's Seafood House Restaurant Impossible

In this Restaurant Impossible episode, Chef Robert Irvine visits Joe Willy's Seafood House in Fishkill, New York.

Joe Willy's Seafood House is owned husband and wife Joe and Deana White, who bought the restaurant five years ago.

The couple have been married for twenty four years and also own a successful seafood business.

They opened the seafood business a year after they got married and they supply seafood to restaurants and markets.

Seafood is Joe’s life and he always wanted to own a seafood restaurant and Deana eventually gave in and agreed to open a restaurant.

Joe works as a cook, whilst Deana runs the front of house and three of their children also work in the restaurant.

The income from the restaurant is not enough to support the family so she always works in another restaurant to earn extra money.

They have no made profit since opening the restaurant and they are thousands of dollars behind on their bills.

Robert arrives and thinks that the restaurant looks on its last legs. The restaurant has dirty, peeling floors and the ceiling has watermarks.

It looks as though someone has put a bar in the middle of the room and it doesn’t look like a restaurant.

Robert asks to meet with Joe and Deana, who tell them it cost them $140,000 to open the restaurant five years ago.

Deana thinks that the business is failing due to the location, building and in some part due to them.

Sometimes Deana is late or doesn’t arrive at the restaurant and Joe will take care of everything himself.

Robert wants to observe a service but as the customers arrive and settle to read the menu the kitchen begins to flood with water.

No one knows where the water is coming from and the staff are forced to start the service by mopping up the water.

During the service an argument breaks out in the kitchen between Joe and cook Donna.

The staff are confused as Joe doesn’t communicate well with them and he gets overwhelmed whilst trying to do everything himself.

Robert sees some terrible cooking techniques that are ruining excellent fresh produce and the food is taking a long time to leave the kitchen.

The front of house is running poorly and the back of the house is lacking in vital equipment.

Robert feels that there is a lack of respect for the family members as colleagues and they are treated like they would be at home.

Joe also needs to trust the staff to do their jobs and give them proper training and equipment to work with.

The food Robert samples is overcooked and smothering seafood and fish in cheese and burning food is unforgivable.

Robert meets with designer Lynn and the rest of the design team to discuss ideas for the restaurant.

The staff help to empty the restaurant so that the design team can get to work.

Robert wants to make sure the kitchen staff are up to the task of what Robert has planned so he asks them to meet.

They talk about the management and staff and they say that Joe sets the tone of the kitchen.

If he is calm then the kitchen is calm but if he is chaotic or crazy then the kitchen becomes chaotic and crazy.

When the kitchen becomes chaotic and crazy there are mistakes made and food is burnt and the quality slips.

Joe has everything he needs to succeed as he has great produce, ability and there is potential in the staff but his attitude gets in the way of success.

Stephanie offers to do some market research whilst Robert works with the kitchen.

She takes a camera to speak to the local community about the restaurant.

Robert believes that the location is a problem as the sign is hidden and it makes the restaurant harder to find.

He sees Deana leaving the restaurant and it turns out that she is going to work at another restaurant.

Robert persuades her to stay as he promises that he will make things better at Joe Will’s and she agrees to stay.

He gives them homework for the next day to make a list of what they would wish if they had three wishes.

Before leaving for the day he checks in with the design team to see their progress and encourages them to be finished on time.

The next day, Robert returns and first checks in with the design team to check on their progress and is pleased with what he says.

Roberts first task is to work with the kitchen and train them on the new items on the menu.

He will be introducing a Shrimp Mousse Topped Salmon and Sausage and Herb Stuffed Clams.

The staff enjoy the training and feel more confident after the training.

Robert meets with the owners and family to discuss the homework that he set them the previous evening.

They address and talk through the issues that have caused conflict both in and out of the restaurant.

He makes them see that they need each other more than ever if they are to succeed.

They agree and promise to change for the better for the sake of the restaurant.

Roberts next task is to work on getting the restaurant noticed in order to bring in more customers.

He shoes Joe and Deana the market research that Stephanie had taken the previous day.

There are many locals who had either not heard of the restaurant or not knowing where it actually was due to the poor signage and lack of marketing.

Robert has got some magnetic posters that can be added to the side of cars to promote the restaurant.

He has also placed a brand new sign along the busy road close to the restaurant to help draw in customers.

The design team are finished and the family are brought in to see the changes.

The family are overwhelmed at the new dining room and love the new bar that has been added.

On relaunch night, the customers love the new menu and the new refreshing decor and promise to return to the restaurant.


What Happened Next at Joe Willy's Seafood House?


Joe Willy's Seafood House is open

After filming there has been a significant increase in business, sales had tripled from before the show.

They are making a profit, allowing them to pay vendors, staff and tackle the debt they were in.

Their relationships had also improved as the stresses were lessened.

Deana was spending less time at her job and more time at the restaurant.

They moved the restaurant to a larger location and decided to close for lunch on two days to be able to spend more time together.

Yelp Reviews are mixed, with compliments to service but some complaints on some menu items being overcooked.

Robert returned to the restaurant in 2016 and they reported that business has doubled and remained steady since the show.

Joe Willy's Seafood House was Restaurant Impossible season 6 episode 1 and aired on April 14 2013.


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Next episode - Old World Italian Restaurant

This post was last updated in February 2021.

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