Madison Street Retro Diner - Restaurant Impossible Update - Open or Closed?

Restaurant Impossible Madison Street Retro Diner

In this Restaurant Impossible episode, Robert Irvine visits Madison Street Retro Diner in Muncie, Indiana.

Madison Street Retro Diner is owned by Rita.

She opened the restaurant in May 2012.

It is run by her and her daughter Melissa.

They sell comfort food and came up from almost nothing to running their own business.

They started off being successful and were swamped with customers but it slowed down.

The restaurant is currently losing $5000 a month.

They are a year behind on the rent and they have had the electricity shut off twice whilst they were open.

Melissa joined her mother to help, along with her husband Brandon, who is working in the kitchen.

Melissa worked in retail and has no experience in the restaurant industry.

She is worried that the stress of the restaurant make cause her mother to have another heart attack.

Robert arrives and he is underwhelmed by both the exterior and the interior of the restaurant.

The wall decor is peeling and the chairs are worn.

The tables are dirty and the condiments are leaking all over the place.

The floors aren’t much better, they are worn with two different designs.

Robert sits with Rita and Melissa for a brief on the restaurant.

They tell him that they have put in a lot of money in the business.

They are behind on taxes and do not know the exact figures of how much they owe.

Melissa is there to help but she has no training and has no idea what she is doing.

Rita has a bad heart with health issues so she can’t run the restaurant on her own.

Robert has invited customers to the restaurant so he can see their service.

Melissa runs up and down the restaurant.

She is doing most of the work of the waitresses despite there being four of them.

The food eventually comes out and the customers have nothing but complaints about the food.

Robert checks on the kitchen and meets Brandon.

He puts the meals together with precooked items and cooks everything in a microwave.

Robert finds all the frozen ingredients in the freezer.

He shows all the customers who say they need a chef to cook using fresh ingredients.

The service is shut down and customers leave the restaurant.

Melissa and Rita cry as they talk with Robert about the restaurant.

Robert asks to sample some of the food from the menu.

He cannot keep any of the food down and he spits out almost every spoonful he tastes.

Out of all of the food he has been served Robert only enjoys the milkshake.

He calls Rita and Melissa to the table and asks them taste the food but Rita cannot eat it all for health reasons.

Melissa thinks it all tastes foul and she realises she is not on top of the quality control.

Robert brings in his design team of Taniya and Tom to revamp the decor.

They look through the restaurant and figure out a way to bring the room together.

Robert requests a major change that will be a challenge for Tom.

Volunteers from the community join the team and staff to empty out the space.

Robert takes the kitchen staff through some basic skills as they have not been trained.

He teaches them how to chop onions and has them practice until the next day.

Robert creates a new dish inspired from items on their menu.

Next, he meets with Melissa to give her a lesson and a challenge.

He wants her to look through the financials to learn all the costs and reports for the next day.

This will help her to learn more about the business.

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

The painting has been done and most of the floor has been done.

There is now a single tile design and it makes it look a lot better.

There is also a mural that is currently in progress.

Robert sits with Melissa and she is able to easily produce all the documents he is asking for.

He is able to show her how to cost the meals and what each of the numbers means.

In the restaurant, Tom has successfully moved the kitchen window wall Robert asked for.

Robert meets with the kitchen staff and has them display their skills dicing an onion.

They all did a good job and he can continue with teaching them.

The aim was to get them used to making food from scratch rather than using the microwave.

Robert takes them through 3 completely new dishes for the new menu.

Robert breaks it down to Melissa who then displays her new knowledge and skills to Rita and she is impressed.

Robert is happy with the new confidence she has in the kitchen.

Melissa has a team meeting with her staff to motivate them for the relaunch and the future.

The servers help the team put in the final touches for the relaunch.

Robert takes in Rita and Melissa to see the new space and they are surprised by the changes.

It looks more like a diner with the colours and a retro feel that doesn’t look outdated.

On relaunch, the customers are let in by Melissa.

They love the new look and new food on the menu.

Rita wants to work but she is always told to take it easy and she is happy doing so.

She is so proud of Melissa handling things and is happy to hand over to her.

What Happened Next at Madison Street Retro Diner?

Two months later, it is revealed sales went up by $900 a day.

Melissa was able to hire 8 new members of staff.

They no longer use microwaves and Rita comes in just once a week.

Madison Street Retro Diner is closed.

They closed in May 2020 after being seized by the state

It was renamed to Retro Diner prior to the closure.

The reviews were mixed with compliments and complaints about raw food and on the service.

Madison Street Retro Diner was Restaurant Impossible season 15 episode 15 and aired on 7th September 2019.

This post was last updated in January 2023.

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