Restaurant Impossible - Smitty's Italian Restaurant - CLOSED

Smitty's Italian Restaurant Restaurant Impossible

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

Smitty's Italian 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 espceially at lunch but business has declined in the last 6 years.

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

After the bounced a number of checks Evi's father came to work at the restaurant as a Heaf Chef. She also bought in her oldest son John to learn the business.

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 cockroaches based on what he has seen.

Robert speaks with the owners who tell him that they are barely keeping the restaurant open and are barely paying themselves with their home 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 the dish and 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 and shortly after he finds a host of live bugs. As a result he shuts down the kitchen.

Robert meets designer Taniya and tells her that he wants everything changed and warns her that there is a cockroach infestation.

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 and he isn't sure if the money or time he will be there is enough.

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 and needs both a spraying and to be bombed, meaning 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 less money and 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 and they will be anonymous so they can be honest.

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 and it not safe to use as it is a fire hazard.

After the exterminator he checks on the kitchen and it is sparkling clean! They also get a great deal on a stove.

Robert meets with Gus and wants him to cut the menu down from 200 items 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 Italian Restaurant?

Smitty's Italian 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 September 2020.

1 comment:

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


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