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Restaurant Impossible - Pollard's Bar-B-Q - OPEN

Pollard's Bar-B-Q Restaurant Impossible

In this Restaurant Impossible episode, Chef Robert Irvine visits Pollard's Bar-B-Q in Memphis, Tennessee.

Pollard's Bar-B-Q is a barbecue restaurant owned by Tarrance, Torria and Tenesia.

They opened at their current location 4 months ago changing from a smaller take out place to a large restaurant.

There is a lot of competing restaurants in the area and they weren't successful in their smaller location.

Tarrance wants to keep serving his much loved family barbecue recipes but they are struggling and he is neglecting the needs of a large restaurant.

They are in $280,000 of debt, he has cashed in his 401k and on the verge of losing their house to keep the restaurant afloat.

The customers haven't followed them to their new location and they are losing $10,000 each month.

Robert arrives and finds the restaurant has a lot of empty space and Tarrance has never paid himself a wage.

Robert observes a service and the customers aren't impressed. The customers find the ribs are tough and it all looks like a mess on the plate.

In the kitchen, Tarrance has started to cut corners, the food is either frozen or pre-prepared and reheated in the microwave.

Robert samples the food and is unimpressed with the frozen onion rings and the tough, dry ribs. The turkey leg is cold inside and lacks flavour.

Robert reveals the bombshell that his designer has called in sick and Tom is on double duty but will consult with Tania. Robert reveals that he wants it charming and comfortable with the bar to be changed.

In removing the equipment from the dining room Robert discovers that the ice machine is dangerously dirty and calls in a professional cleaner.

The secret barbecue sauce comes from a bottle of supermarket BBQ sauce and is slightly modified with a few ingredients added!

Robert shows Tarrance how to make a new barbecue sauce from scratch and they both prepare ribs with their own sauces and own methods.

He meets with Tom who reveals the new colour scheme and his plan to move the bar back to allow for more tables.

Meanwhile the ribs are served and Robert's rib is deemed the winner but Tarrance remains in denial about his sauce.

The next morning Tarrance won't come to the restaurant or talk to Robert and Robert tells him he has an hour to come to the restaurant before he will leave.

The paintwork that they did out the back of the restaurant was walked over by a dog and has to be redone, adding to Tom's work.

Tarrance arrives at the restaurant and Robert tells him that he is stubborn but Tarrance continues to tell Robert that his sauce isn't the problem.

Robert appears to have got through to him and he agrees to try his changes for relaunching the restaurant.

Robert reveals the new condensed menu and reveals some changes in order to save Tarrance money and be able to serve diners quicker.

The new colourful decor is revealed and Tarrance is invigorated with the changes.

On relaunch, the customers love the new decor and the new food is a big hit with customers promising to return.


What Happened Next at Pollard's Bar-B-Q?

Since Robert visited, Yelp and Trip Advisor reviews are mostly good with compliments to the food, prices and service at the restaurant.

When Robert revisited a few months later, business was up 20%, they are using social media and the customers love both the new decor and the new food on the menu.

There has also been a tweak to their signature BBQ sauce to make it more unique.

Pollard's Bar-B-Q is open.


Recipes in this episode

Robert Ribs

Rib Rub


Pollard's Bar-B-Q was Restaurant Impossible season 3 episode 12 and aired on May 30 2012.

Click for more Restaurant Impossible Restaurants

Previous episode - University Grill

Next episode - Horton's Kids

This post was last updated in March 2020.


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