Restaurant Impossible - Cape Horn Family Restaurant Update - Open or Closed?

Restaurant Impossible Cape Horn Family Restaurant

In this Restaurant Impossible episode, Robert Irvine visits Cape Horn Family Restaurant in Red Lion, Pennsylvania.

Cape Horn Family Restaurant is owned by Joni Kaufman.

Her husband Barry has contacted the show on her behalf.

He has sent in a video saying it was Joni’s lifelong dream to open her own restaurant.

At first the business was going great but it started going downhill.

Barry thinks that Joni is too proud to ask for help and wants to do everything herself.

She also blames everyone else for the problems at the restaurant,

He thinks that the staff are also one of the biggest problems at the restaurant.

They don’t listen to her and don’t respect her.

They have invested all of their money in keeping it open and have even borrowed money from their parents.

Robert arrives and he is shown live feed from three hidden cameras and microphones.

The restaurant is more of a diner and Robert decides to order food to see how the staff operate.

Two decoys are sent it with spy cameras to check out the restaurant.

Robert sees the staff lazy, standing around while they have no customers in.

Robert’s team make some large orders of lunch and dinner items at breakfast time over the phone.

Laurie who takes the call is rude and says that most of the items cannot be made due to the time.

A team member is sent in to pick up the food.

The dishes were made fast but were not done well.

Robert can tell some were made from preprepared ingredients and nothing stands out.

Robert has seen enough and goes into the kitchen to meet Joni.

Robert talks to the staff and tries to find out what they do and why they do not do it well.

They don’t seem to have any answers for it.

Robert looks around the restaurant and isn’t impressed.

The front of house is in a state with dirty tables, mouse traps and is very untidy.

It is also very dark and gloomy in the dining area.

As Robert sits to talk to Joni he learns she and her husband are in debt,

They have been propping the restaurant up with their savings and retirement.

They currently owe $35,000 to their landlord and $30,000 to their parents.

She complains of her staff not listening to her and she is afraid of losing her home.

Robert has his team come in and empty out the restaurant.

They also look through the kitchen and see that it needs a deep cleaning.

Robert calls the staff together for a meeting.

They are low in morale, not proud of the restaurant or of working there.

He reprimands them on their being a part of the problem.

Robert confronts Joni on not being a strong enough leader or being vocal enough with them.

The design team have a big challenge as the restaurant is large, with a lot of seating.

They pull apart a lot of fixtures that are no longer needed.

At the end of the first day, they have made a lot of progress.

The kitchen is being deep cleaned and the front of house is starting to come together.

The next day, Robert arrives and checks in with the design team.

The walls have been finished and they are moving onto other projects.

They plan on re-upholstering up to 40 booths which is a lot of work.

The kitchen has been cleaned and Robert meets Joni and takes her on an excursion blindfolded.

She is taken to Hershey’s Park for her to face a fear she has of roller coasters.

This will hopefully help her to confront her fear of running her business.

She is scared but rides the roller coaster and leaves with a new bravery that she is eager to take back to the restaurant.

Robert takes her back to the newly cleaned kitchen for her and Scott to cook from the menu.

He makes a crab dish that is one of their bestsellers and a chicken dish.

Afterwards Joni meets with her staff and lays down the law with them.

She tells them that it is a new day and she will hold them accountable for their behaviour and actions.

A few of the staff are happy for her to be stepping up to lead them.

The team hurry and manage to finish the restaurant on time.

Joni and her husband are brought in to see the new space.

It is now modern and bright with whites, wood and blue plaid.

The walls are all gone and the floor is wood, with no carpets.

Their grand children are brought in to see the space as a surprise.

On relaunch, customers are let into the restaurant.

They cannot believe how much bigger and brighter it is now.

The food coming out is also great and the customers are full of compliments.



What Happened Next at Cape Horn Family Restaurant?


Two months later, business is up.

Joni thinks of the roller coaster ride every time she is scared to speak to her staff.

She says the show was both good and bad as it brought in new customers.

The new menu wasn't popular with regular patrons and some popular menu items were returned.

She was unable to be in the restaurant due to her ill health and it struggled whilst she was gone

Cape Horn Family Restaurant closed in July 2016.

They closed whilst owner Joni recovered from a battle with cancer.

Sadly, Joni passed away in June 2017.

Cape Horn Family Restaurant was Restaurant Impossible season 12 episode 6 and aired on 3rd December 2015.

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Previous episode - Stella's Restaurant

This post was last updated in December 2022.

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