Restaurant Impossible - Rising Sun Bistro - CLOSED

Rising Sun Bistro Restaurant Impossible

In this Restaurant Impossible episode, Chef Robert Irvine visits Rising Sun Bistro in Kalispell, Montana.

Rising Sun Bistro is owned by three feuding owners Peggy, Jennifer and Sally.

The three owners purchased Rising Sun Restaurant seven years ago and were originally located at Whitefish Montana.

They moved from Whitefish to Kalispell to open the Rising Sun.

They found an available property and bought the building for $250,000.

Peggy the kitchen manager does all the ordering, Sally does the cooking and prep, Jenny's role has been helping with bookkeeping and anything else besides cooking.

The business was great when they started out but it declined as they struggled with the size of the new restaurant.

The customers got tired of waiting for the service to improve and the French-inspired food wasn't enough to keep them coming back.

Some of their major problems were that the food was coming out too slow and the lack of teamwork between the owners.

Jenny feels her mother, Sally, and Margaret are working against her and she doesn't have a say.

They are in a financial mess as they have many bills to clear and $500,000 of debt and are on the edge of closing.

Robert arrives at the restaurant and likes the decor for a change, he loves the beams, flooring and the brickwork.

He meets with the owners to discuss the restaurant and they tell about their purchase of the restaurant and the issues between the owners.

Margaret feels the emotional damage Jenny has done to her isn't repairable with the way she treats and talks to her and doesn't show any form of respect to her.

Robert thinks the three are pathetic. He expected them to be more open minded and bold enough to address the issues between them.

Robert observes a service at Rising Sun Bistro and the service is slow with no leadership.

Some customers are left waiting 15 minutes for food and there are only three servers, not enough for such a large dining room.

The menu is over complicated and the kitchen struggles to cook it.

In the kitchen he sees a lack of leadership and the food that they serve is nothing like he expected.

Robert asks to sample the food and orders some key French dishes.

He is disappointed in the food as it is poor quality, undercooked or under seasoned and the portions are huge.

Jennifer reveals to Robert that there have been some issues with money in the restaurant.

The money is dealt with by Peggy and Sally and there is often money missing from the bank account.

She is in charge of the weekly point of sales and when she compares it with the money in the bank, it does not match.

The issue of trust comes from prior years when her mom and Maggi went to Europe and used the business card for $6000 of expenses and Jennifer was unable to pay staff.

Her mom counters that it was only $2000 and returned the next day.

Robert wants to get to the bottom of the money situation but gives them time to cool off from the argument.

Robert meets with his designer Lynn and they discuss plans for the dining room.

The staff work to empty the dining room ready for Lynn and the team to get to work.

Robert returns to the family and is somewhat surprised to seem them sitting together after the earlier argument.

Jenny asks Robert to meet with her daughter Ella and quickly notices that they are all close to Ella and she is the link between them all.

He feels getting the owners to realize this link could be what they need to repair the relationships.

After getting them all to see that they need to work on their relationship for the sake of Ella, they promise to work on making amends.

Roberts next task is to meet with the servers and ask why in their opinion that the restaurant is failing.

Most of the staff are on Sally and Peggy’s side as they feel they are great people but they think Jenny treats them like their pet.

They also feel that Sally and Peggy may be too kind and this might undermine their ability to manage successfully.

In the dining room, Lynn and Tom are making great progress with the renovations.

Robert checks in with the owners and it is clear that there are still issues on their minds.

He wants to address the earlier accusations by Jennifer about the issues with money.

The issue isn’t theft, it is their money and they can do with it what they like with it and take money from the restaurant.

The issue instead is with communication, they should always make Jennifer aware if they are to take money from the restaurant.

They realize that they are all to blame for the issues between them and Robert asks them all to write a letter that night on how they can move forward and work together.

The next day, Robert checks in with Lynn and can see that they have been very productive overnight.

Robert leaves the design team to meet with the three owners for them to read their letters to each other.

It was very emotional and it is clear that despite the differences there is a lot of love between them and for Ella.

Jennifer apologises to her mom and tells them that she is ready to be under Peggy’s leadership at the restaurant.

The next job for Robert is to work on the menu.

As the restaurant is supposed to be a French restaurant, he includes French dishes including a Spinach Quiche and Croque Monsieur.

He shows Sally and Peggy how to prepare the dishes and they will be able to send food out quickly.

Next Robert shows Jennifer how to organize the figures and to keep on top of the finances.

Her next task is to speak to her about the servers issues and she read the letter she had written the following night so that they knew why she was the way she was with them.

The renovation is finished and it is time to reveal the new restaurant to the owners.

They are overwhelmed with the interior of the dining room that has been brightened up and there is a new communal dining table.

On relaunch night, the customers love the new decor of the restaurant and they also enjoy the new food and praise the restaurant.



What Happened Next at Rising Sun Bistro?


A few months later, sales are up nearly 30% and customers love the new decor, especially the communal dining option.

They hired more staff but decided to close for breakfast so they could focus more on dinner service.

The relationships between the owners and staff are much improved.

They firstly added new dishes to Robert's menu before they fully reverting to their previous menu.

The restaurant was put up for sale for just under $500,000 .

Rising Sun Bistro closed in April 2014 after Sally decided to retire.

Both Yelp and Trip Advisor reviews prior to their closure are mixed with criticisms on off service and an overpriced and limited menu with hit and miss menu items.


Rising Sun Bistro was Restaurant Impossible Season 5 episode 4 and aired on December 19 2012.

Click for more Restaurant Impossible Restaurants

Previous episode - Bronk's Bar and Grill

Next episode - Whiskey Creek Steakhouse


This post was last updated in January 2021.

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