Restaurant Impossible - Smitty's Restaurant - CLOSED

Smitty's Restaurant Restaurant Impossible

In this Restaurant Impossible episode, Chef Robert Irvine visits Smitty's Restaurant in Clearwater, Florida.

Smitty's Restaurant is owned by husband and wife team Gus and Evi Gialelis.

The couple bought the restaurant 13 years ago for $385,000 as he wanted to be able to support his family.

For the first seven years the restaurant was busy especially for their popular lunch service.

They noticed that the business began to decline 6 years ago and now they are struggling to stay open.

The restaurants is now empty most days during their lunch service and they are losing $1,500-2000 a week.

After they bounced a number of cheques Evi's father came to work at the restaurant as a Heaf Chef.

He wants to be the boss and doesn't like being told what to do.

Evi says that some days are good and some are bad and that their family relies on the restaurant.

She also bought in her oldest son John in to learn the business but it is hard working six days a week for just $300.

She doesn't want the restaurant to fail as it will make Gus feel like he has failed.

Robert arrives and thinks it smells and has an old and dirty floor.

The banquet chairs are old, there are holes in the decor and the ceiling tiles are bowing.

Robert is convinced there will be an inhestation of cockroaches and possible mice and rats, based on what he has seen.

Robert speaks with the owners who tell him that they are barely keeping the restaurant open.

They tell Robert that they put down $150,000 and borrowed $175,000 to finance the restaurant.

They were able to pay the restaurant off in the first 6 years and in total with interest it cost them $385,000.

They are barely paying themselves and their home is currently on the line.

Robert observes a service and there is a huge menu that the kitchen are struggling to cook.

The food is terrible with instant mashed potato, gummy gravy and meatloaf that tastes like soy.

One diner finds a hair in their beef and noodles dish and another customer thinks the potato salad is gross.

The kitchen is filthy with no food labelled in the fridge, old food on the floor and the equipment in a state of disrepair.

Robert also finds dead cockroaches meaning that there is a infestation.

Shortly after he finds a host of live cockroaches and as a result he shuts down the kitchen and refuses to serve any more food.

Robert meets designer Taniya and tells her that he wants everything changed.

He will be taking $2-3000 away from her budget to have the restaurant fogged.

Robert suggests refurbishing the chairs to save on the limited budget.

He warns her that there is a cockroach infestation and they are likely to find more.

The staff empty the restaurant, ready to get the restaurant ready for the transformation.

The staff work to clean the restaurant and bathrooms and an exterminator is called at a cost of $3000.

Robert brands the restaurant the worst of his career when he meets with the owners.

He isn't sure if the money or time he will be there is enough to save the restaurant.

Robert warns them that he might not be able to reopen the restaurant but he will try his hardest.

He next meets with Gary, the exterminator who tells him that the infestation is severe.

It needs both a spraying and to be bombed in order to remove the infestation.

This that no one can be in the restaurant for 8 hours due to the chemicals.

Robert meets with Taniya and Tom who admits they will struggle with less time and alongside less money.

They says that they will choose their projects wisely and salvage what they can.

In order to find out what is happening at the restaurant he asks the staff to write down their issues.

They will be completely anonymous so that the staff can be honest about the issues.

Issues are raised from a lack of food consistency, people not doing their jobs, service issues, people not cleaning and a lack of leadership.

Robert shows Gus the stove as whilst cleaning the stove they realised that is in a state of disrepair.

It is not safe to use as it is a fire hazard and could cause a fire at any moment.

The next day and after the exterminator Robert checks on the kitchen and it is sparkling clean!

They also get a great deal on a stove that is to be delivered to the restaurant.

Robert meets with Gus and wants him to cut the menu down from 200 items to save money and reduce the amount of produce they have to buy in.

He agrees to cut it down to around 30 modern, ecopnomical Greek dishes with low food costs.

The decor is given an outstanding makeover with a modernised blue and white Greek theme and refurbished tables.

The owners are overwhelmed when they see the new decor.

On relaunch night, both the decor and new food are a big hit with the diners.



What Happened Next at Smitty's Restaurant?


Smitty's Restaurant closed in July 2014 as their lease was up.

The rent was due to be increased and they were unable to afford the 25% increase.

They had also had a number of poor health inspections including one after the show which found roaches and food not being stored correctly.

Prior to the closure, sales were up, there was an increase in new customers and their relationship was much improved.

They announced the closure on Facebook on July 29 posting,

"Unfortunately smittys has closed. We thank everyone that has come in to eat after all these years. We greatly appreciate your patronage."

Smitty's Italian Restaurant was Restaurant Impossible season 6 episode 3 and aired on April 28 2013.

Click for more Restaurant Impossible Restaurants

Previous episode - Old World Italian Restaurant

Next episode - Mom & Dad's Italian Restaurant

This post was last updated in April 2021.

1 comment:

  1. The owner/chef shouldn't wear a tank top type of shirt - - armpit sweat in the food....gross

    ReplyDelete

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