Restaurant Impossible - Poco's on the Boulevard - CLOSED

Poco's on the Boulevard Restaurant Impossible

In this Restaurant Impossible episode, Chef Robert Irvine visits Poco's on the Boulevard in Kansas City, Missouri.

Poco's on the Boulevard is an authentic Latin restaurant, owned by sisters Claudia and Dana, who have been running the restaurant for three months.

Their mum worked as a chef in the restaurant and she purchased it seven years ago and named it Poco’s as her nickname was Poco.

Sadly their mother passed away from cancer two months ago and Claudia took over the restaurant, having previously been her business partner.

Their mother remains the heart and soul of the restaurant, having trained the existing kitchen staff on how to cook the menu.

Claudia has struggled since taking over the business and relied on help from other family members,

Her father helps with the deliveries of fresh produce and Dana is a server in the restaurant.

Like most sisters the pair will often bicker and argue with each other over in front of customers and the relationship is turbulent.

Dana thinks that Claudia is too bossy, can be too aggressive with staff and often doesn’t think before speaking but she feels it could be the stress affecting her.

Their mother took out a number of loans to keep the restaurant afloat so they inherited debts when they took over.

Claudia doesn’t have any savings and the inherited debt is making things more difficult for them. She is currently losing sleep over the restaurant.

Robert arrives and isn’t impressed with the bland and unattractive decor.

He is confused by the different colours used in the dining room and isn’t hopeful for the food.

Robert meets with the owner to learn about the restaurant and even though Claudia had worked as 15 years as a Chef she had no managerial experience.

Along with their mothers investment, Claudia has invested $50,000 and there is currently $15,000 of debt on a credit card. Their father David has also invested money into the restaurant.

They admit to Robert that they have a rocky relationship.

Robert asks to see a normal service so that he can find out the problems at the restaurant.

It doesn’t take long for Robert to see that nobody respects Claudia in the kitchen.

The food is poor, one customer complains of greasy food and under cooked fries whilst another has burnt asparagus.

When confronted the kitchen staff refuse to take responsibility and ignore the owner. One cook even laughs at the state of the food and Robert shouts at her.

Robert samples the food and feels that there is some promise in it but a lot of room for improvement and it needs to be more consistent.

Robert meets with Tom, who will be on double duty as designer and builder.

They briefly discuss plans for the restaurant and the staff get to work emptying the restaurant for the renovation.

The sisters struggle to see the restaurant emptied but they also know their mother would have wanted them to succeed.

Robert meets with David who was in charge of the food trucks that the family uses to sell hot lunches.

Next, Robert asks the staff to gather to air their grievances about the restaurant.

He asks Claudia to write down five issues and the staff aired their grievances too so that they can move on from it.

Robert tells the staff that if they aren’t ready to up their game then they should leave the restaurant.

He checks in with Tom to see how his redesign is going and he is impressed with his progress.

Robert plans to work with the servers on a new menu but notices that Dana looks like she has been crying.

She admits that the drama with Claudia was getting to her and she speaks with Robert about it. He advises that she talks to Claudia to make up with her.

The next day and the second day Robert is at the restaurant was their mothers birthday and the best day to start with a clean slate at the restaurant.

Robert decides it will be the best time to get the family members together to speak about the memories they shared together.

First, he catches up with Tom and is impressed with his progress but tells him he will need to be faster to meet the deadline.

Next, Robert meets with the sisters to see if any progress has been made overnight.

They both share their expectations of each other and they hug each other. Both seem much happier to have cleared the air.

Robert plans to shift focus to the new menu for both the restaurant and the food trucks.

He introduces two new dishes, Pulled Pork Burritos and Pork Chops with Apple Bacon Salad that can be served in both.

Other menu items will be improved and they use the food trucks to market the new restaurant and show off the new dishes.

Meanwhile, the new servers learn the new menu and Robert tests them and he also checks in with Tom.

Claudia’s husband Justin steps in to help with the electrical works whilst the rest of the crew is working to the max to meet the deadline for reopening.

The decor of the restaurant with a new revamped bar, a bright wall colour and they added authentic Mexican artwork.

It is revealed to the family and they tear up upon seeing the new dining room.

On relaunch night, the customers love the new decor but the kitchen staff couldn't keep up with the rate of the orders and Robert had no choice but to help to turn the relaunch around.



What Happened Next at Poco's on the Boulevard?


When Robert checks in with them a few months later, sales are up $20,000 a month.

Claudia reports that the customers are happy with the new changes with the menu and decor.

They added a dozen of the old customer favourites back to the menu at the customers request but they also kept Roberts new additions to the menu alongside these.

Trip Advisor and Yelp reviews after Robert's visit were mostly very positive, with compliments on the food.

The restaurant moved from it's previous location to a smaller premises in Linwood in March 2015 due to a rent increase at their previous location.

They also dropped the dinner service and were only open for breakfast and lunch.

Poco's on the Boulevard closed in August 2015, after just 5 months at their new location.

Poco's on the Boulevard was Restaurant Impossible Season 5 episode 1 and aired on November 21 2012.

Click for more Restaurant Impossible Restaurants

Previous episode - Oleander Bar And Grill

Next episode - Rohrer's Tavern

This post was last updated in January 2021.

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