Old World Italian Restaurant - Restaurant Impossible Update - Open or Closed?

Old World Italian Restaurant Restaurant Impossible

In this Restaurant Impossible, Robert Irvine visits Old World Italian Restaurant in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina.

Old World Italian Restaurant is owned by George Hayek and his wife Teresa.

They started the business 16 years ago with their son George Jnr.

George Jnr went to culinary school before he joined the business.

He managed the kitchen with his mother whilst his father runs the front of house.

The restaurant was highly successful until five years go when the recession hit the economy and the business began to suffer.

The whole family are working hard every day but despite this they are in debt and currently owe $48,000 on credit cards.

George has also had to take a second mortgage on his home to be able to keep the restaurant afloat.

Teresa is struggling as it hard with having to see the restaurant empty every day.

They want to keep the restaurant afloat but they have no idea how to do it and hope Robert can turn it around.

Robert arrives and thinks that the restaurant is dated and carelessly decorated.

He meets with the family and discovered that Teresa has worked in an Italian restaurant for nearly 40 years.

They bought the restaurant because George Jnr was graduating from culinary school and wanted to open a restaurant.

They reveal that they have invested $80,000 in the restaurant, have a second mortgage on their home and have credit card debts.

Robert doesn’t think the situation at the restaurant is the result not the recession and unemployment in the area.

Robert wants to observe a service to find out what the issues are at the restaurant.

He quickly sees that George Jnr isn’t preparing a shrimp dish correctly and he is old that it was his mother’s way.

Instead of cooking dishes properly as he learnt in school he is being told to prepare dishes by his mother.

George Snr blames the issues of the restaurant on everything but the food.

Robert feels it is likely to be the main issue.

Robert joins George Jnr in the kitchen and wants to watch them cook the food.

The customers hate the food and send food back to the kitchen.

The tomato sauce in the pasta is compared to paste.

Robert samples the food and orders a number of staple Italian dishes.

The veal marcella is like eating sawdust and the minestrone soup tastes like tomato sauce.

The egg plant rolantini is cold in the middle and the sauce is the same as the soup.

The basa has a terrible texture that tastes like it is regurgitated and the veal picata is reheated,

The lasagna is tasteless and the chicken parmigiana has burnt breadcrumbs.

Robert asks George Jnr and Teresa to both a tomato sauce from scratch to find out who makes the better sauce.

Robert leaves to meet with Chery from the design team to discuss ideas for how to revamp the dining room.

He asks George Snr and the staff to help clear the restaurant out and help empty the restaurant.

As Teresa is sick with a blood disorder Robert tells her to go home for a rest and take it easy and return when she feels well.

Robert returns to the kitchen to sample the sauces and doesn’t like either of them.

George Snr sampled the sauces and didn’t like either of them either.

He tells Robert that he should have been tasting the food.

The sauce recipe they both used has been used in the restaurant for 16 years and has never been tasted by George Snr.

Next, Robert meets with the servers to find out what is really happening at the restaurant.

The servers complain of poor management and the high costs of the poor quality dishes on the menu.

Robert thinks that George Snr needs to step back from managing the restaurant.

He asks him to get the financial records of the restaurant for Robert to look at.

Robert checks up on the progress of the restaurant renovation and he is impressed with their progress so far.

At the end of the first day Robert visits Teresa and George Snr at home.

They talk about the financials and it doesn’t make sense to Robert.

He decides he will go through the papers overnight to find out what is going on.

He also tells Teresa that he will be changing the recipe for the tomato sauce.

Teresa also agrees that it is time for her to take a break from the kitchen at the restaurant and allow George Jnr to take over.

Robert tasks George Jnr with the task of coming up with new specials for the menu and costing them.

The next day, Robert arrives and checks in with the design team and is impressed but urges them to speed up to finish on time for the relaunch.

George Snr reveals that he agrees with Teresa.

It is time for him to step back as he has caused many of the problems and the restaurant needs new leadership.

Teresa thinks that the pressure of the restaurant has been getting to George Snr and lately he has been cold and distant.

Now that George Jnr is to be taking over at the restaurant Robert works with him to learn about food pricing.

They work together on techniques to create quick and simple dishes that will make a profit for the restaurant.

Robert asks George Snr and Teresa to sample the new sauce and they are impressed.

They talk about the financials of the restaurant and there are some clear reasons they are losing money.

They have given many customers discounted meals leading to a loss of $23,000.

Robert advises them to offer specials rather than discounts.

The design team have finished the renovation and it is time for the reveal to the owners.

They are overwhelmed by the changes and Teresa was tearing up about the changes of the restaurant.

The relaunch is successful with customers loving the new relaxing decor and the new menu is a big hit too.

What Happened Next at Old World Italian Restaurant?

Sales were initially up 35%, they had hired a new manager and George Jr had taken over expediting in the kitchen.

Old World Italian Restaurant closed in September 2013.

They closed after customer numbers declined over the summer and they were unable to afford to stay open.

Yelp Reviews prior to the closure were positive with compliments to both the food and service in the restaurant.

Old World Italian Restaurant was Restaurant Impossible season 6 episode 2 and aired on April 21 2013


  1. It didn't help that Carrabba's soon opened up RIGHT BESIDE THEM. I am from Murrells Inlet and it was sad to hear another locally owned restaurant bit the dust due to corporate greed.

  2. I'm not sure the son actually went to school to cook. it sounded like he got an associates in hospitality or something like that

  3. I wish people would support local restaurants instead of all the chain ones.


Comments will be moderated prior to being published. Those with spam links, offensive language or of an offensive nature will not be published. All comments are the opinion of the commenter and do not represent the opinions of the website owner.

Don't forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter