Restaurant Impossible - Whiskey Creek Steakhouse - CLOSED

Whiskey Creek Steakhouse Restaurant Impossible

In this Restaurant Impossible episode, Chef Robert Irvine visits Whiskey Creek Steakhouse in Keyport, Washington.

Whiskey Creek Streakhouse is owned by Pat Ziarnik and his wife Karan.

They bought Whiskey Creek 27 years ago because they want to own their own restaurant.

The experience, success and dedication they had with other companies was the motivation for starting the business on their own.

For the first 20 or so years they were highly successful but four years ago Whiskey Creek Steakhouse started to struggle.

Two years ago, it went from bad to worse and they don't know how much longer they can stay open.

They are struggling to keep afloat with the business costs.

They are $15,000 behind with the landlord for rent, $30,000 behind to taxes and other vendors.

The finances are so bad that they lost their house. The business has also cost them their cars, life insurance and savings.

Pat is in ill health, having been diagnosed with a congested paraphilia, diabetes type 2, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

Karan thinks the most challenging thing is to see Pat's health deteriorate because the business is also have a big effect on his health.

Pat can also see that Karan is stressed and trying her best to make the restaurant work as best she can.

Robert arrives at Whiskey Creek restaurant and thinks it is dated.

The wood is too dark and overbearing and there is a smell.

Robert meets with the owners who tell him about the restaurant.

In the glory days there were making $1.5 million a year in revenue.

This declined in 2008 and with high food costs at 48% they are currently losing an average of $4,500 a month.

The owners are at the restaurant as often as they can be, around 3 to 4 hours every day.

When they are not around the staff run the restaurant in their absence.

Robert wants to observe a dinner service and he meets Joan, who steps up as manager when the owners aren’t there.

She is also a server so when they aren’t there she juggles both roles at the same time and a result she can’t fully fulfil either role.

There are issues with service including servers touching the food on the plates as they are served.

The customers aren’t impressed with the d├ęcor of the restaurant.

They it is dated, the chairs are uncomfortable and the artwork is awful.

Along with the poor decor, the service is also poor too as they all just do what they want as there is no leadership.

Robert summons the owners and tells him about the service he witnessed.

He asks Karan to talk to the customers for their feedback and it is negative.

He next wants to talk to the servers and cooks and tells him the issues with the service and the lack of management.

Robert asks to sample some dishes from the menu but he is disappointed with what he is served.

After the disappointing food, Robert meets with designers Taniya and Tom to discuss who they can modernize the restaurant.

They get to work on the renovations with the staff removing all of the tables and chairs and furniture so they can get to work.

Robert meets with the owners who admit they are blind to what is happening at the restaurant and have become complacent, but they promise to step up.

The designers are making good progress in the dining and Robert decided to tackle the high food costs.

To do this Robert takes a look over their books and is shocked to discover there are discrepancies between spend and takings.

Robert is unsure at this stage whether this is due to mismanagement or if someone has been stealing from the restaurant.

He promises the owners to get to the bottom of it.

The next day, Robert checks in with the designers and is impressed with their progress but urges them to work faster to meet the deadline.

Robert reveals to Pat and Karan after spending the evening going over the books that they should have made $400,000 after selling 18,000 steaks at $24 a piece.

However, they made less than $300,000, there is $100,000 missing from sales of food and drink that needs to be accounted for.

Robert calls a staff meeting where the staff tell Robert that they have seen a former member of staff taking drinks, food and other items without paying for them.

Unable to change the past Robert puts plans in place to avoid this happening in the future.

Each servers checks will be numbered so it can be tracked what has been served and by whom and the high expense items will be on inventory.

Robert makes it clear that there needs to be ground rules to follow as they aren’t in the restaurant all of the time.

They also need to ensure they are followed up with consequences if they aren’t.

The owners are beginning to feel that to fix things they need to be in the restaurant a lot more.

Roberts next task is to address the food quality issues.

He introduces new menu items including a Coconut Walnut Halibut and Peppercorn Demi NY Strip Steak with Olive Oil Poached Mushrooms and teaches them how to cook them.

The restaurant will be operating as a casual steak house due to the high volume of steak they sell.

As a final task Robert works with the servers to improve their server skills so that there isn’t a repeat of the issues in the first service he observed.

Robert reveals the revamped restaurant to Pat and Karan, including the new bar.

On relaunch night, the customers had a lot of compliment and they all enjoyed the evening in the new atmosphere with delicious meals.



What Happened Next at Whiskey Creek Steakhouse?


A few months after filming they had a good couple of months of business after the show was filmed and had begun to pay off their debts.

They moved from the location featured on the show to a bigger location across the road.

The couple brought back the old restaurant with the old menu, live music and the kitsch decor.

They told the local press that they had made a mistake appearing on the show and regretted many of the changes made during the show.

Reviews after the episode was filmed were mixed with complaints on service, small portions and inflated prices.

The previous location was sold, probably due to the increase in value of the space following the revamp in the episode.

Pat and Karan retired in November 2013, passing the business to their employees.

Whiskey Creek Steakhouse closed in August 2016.

They announced the closure by posting a sign in the window of the restaurant.


Whiskey Creek Steakhouse was Restaurant Impossible season 5 episode 5 and aired on January 02 2013.

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This post was last updated in December 2020.

3 comments:

  1. This angers me. Robert was taken advantage of trying to help a couple who were being robbed blind from their employees... sad

    ReplyDelete
  2. this too, angers me! I cant believe they would say they made a mistake going on the show after they seemed so grateful for what Robert did!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hmmm, so you were failing before the show and found enough success to sell the place after and buy a bigger place, yet you think it was a mistake being on the show? I call BS.

    ReplyDelete

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