Restaurant Impossible - Aponte's Pizzeria - CLOSED

Aponte's Pizzeria Restaurant Impossible

In this Restaurant Impossible episode, Chef Robert Irvine visits Aponte's Pizzeria in Mason, Ohio.

Aponte's Pizzeria is owned by married couple Tony and Sommer Aponte.

Tony and Sommer have been together for fourteen years and married a year ago.

They have everything invested in the restaurant and it’s success.

Tony Aponte has been in the pizza business since he was eleven, when he worked in a New York pizza place.

Tony is from Jersey and says that he has bought Jersey with him to the restaurant.

The restaurant means a lot to Tony as is takes care of his family.

The family relies on the restaurant so he needs to work something out.

The restaurant isn’t doing well at all and some weeks they only serve five tables.

Sommer wants to see her husband success but they are falling deeper into debt.

There are currently in $250,000 of debt and he feels bad as he can’t take care of his family or his employees.

Tony’s three daughters Paige, Corinne and Reece have many good things to see about their father.

He feels that if the restaurant goes down it will take them down with him.

Robert arrives at the restaurant and it isn’t clear where the front of the restaurant is.

Inside the restaurant it looks old and the carpet is dirty with parts that have been torn away.

The chairs and tables are mismatched and the boot is ripped.

Robert meets with Tony and Sommer to hear more about the restaurant.

They have been in the business for eight years and Tony has been in the industry since he was eleven.

Sommer runs the front of house and also helps with serving food a few days a week.

The business started going downhill four years ago and Sommer thinks that it is because they haven’t changed their menu in 8 years.

Tony finds change hard and that is why nothing has been changed at the restaurant.

The restaurant is in $216,000 of debt and the debt is very high interest at 30%.

Sommer had no idea that the restaurant was in so much debt and at a high interest and is upset to hear it.

Tony thinks that he can’t just walk away from the restaurant as he thinks he would be too old to work at another restaurant.

There is money outstanding to the tax man and a loan shark and there is a lot of pressure on the owners.

Robert wants to see a service to find out the issues at the restaurant.

The customers have many complaints about the food and Robert tells Tony that he has to deal with them as he has caused them.

He doesn’t listen to any of the criticism that the diners have on the food.

Robert wants to try the food for himself to find out what it is like.

He orders a number of dishes including a Caesar salad, pasta dish, a cheese calzone and a pizza.

He wasn’t impressed with anything that he tried.

The sauce with the calzone has no flavour and tastes like a can and the calzone is soft.

The garlic knots are creasy and the pizza is bland.

Robert gives his feedback to Tony that the food is bland.

He doesn’t agree with most of what he says about the food and thinks his tastebuds are off.

Tony tells Robert that he uses the same bland sauce for most of his dishes.

He sticks by his food as he has made it that way for years.

Robert thinks that the food is a big problem as to why the restaurant is failing but also Tony refusing to change.

He tells him that he needs to decide if he is ready to change and let him know.

Robert meets with designer Cheryl to discuss the plans for renovating the restaurant.

Tony is given time to cool off and then he speaks with Robert.

He agrees that he will change and as he has agreed the deign team are able to get to work.

The staff help to empty the restaurant ready for the design team to get to work.

Tony and Sommer see the restaurant for the last time before the design team get to work.

As Robert had seen that Tony has a control issue he gathered the staff to talk to them about Tony.

The employees aren’t happy and don’t have much good to say about him and hope that he can change.

Robert thinks that Tony’s heart is in the right place and it is going to be hard work to get the restaurant back on track.

Before he starts work on the staff, Robert checks in with the designers.

He is impressed with their plans and encourages them to get to work as there is plenty of work that needs doing.

At the end of the day he meets with Tony and asks him to do some homework.

He is to make a list of four things that he will change about himself to make the restaurant better.

The next day Robert arrives at the restaurant ready to make more changes to the restaurant.

First, he checks in with the design team to check on their progress and is impressed at what they have done overnight.

Robert leaves the designers to talk to Tony and Sommer.

They talk about the homework that he set him and Tony tells Robert that he is ready to change how the restaurant runs.

Robert meets with the kitchen staff to teach them the new menu.

The new dishes are fast, simple and tasty.

Tony is stubborn and at first refuses to believe that Robert’s pizza is better than his.

To convince him that the pizza recipe Robert sets him a challenge.

They are both to cook a pizza with Robert using his recipes for dough and pizza sauce and Tony using his own recipes.

They take the pizzas downtown to the local firestation who will taste the pizza and pick the pizza they like best.

The fireman decide that they like Robert’s pizza better than Tony’s due to the spiciness of the sauce with a vote of 10 to Robert and 5 to Tony.

He is finally convinced of the changes that need to be made to the pizza recipe.

Tony talks to the staff and tells them about the new opening of the restaurant and what they will be offering.

The design team have finished with the renovation and it is time to reveal the new look to the family.

They love the new look of the restaurant and are very emotional about the changes.

On relaunch night, the customers love the new inviting environment.

The food is also a big hit with the customers who promise to return.



What Happened Next at Aponte's Pizzeria?


A few months later, Tony is adjusting to the changes at the restaurant.

There has been a 60% boost in sales and business is going well.

They have added a few of their old dishes onto the menu and have kept Robert's dishes.

The customers love the new decor and he is doing less micromanaging of the team.

Sales later declined and their debt was at an all time high.

Reviews were mixed with some complaints about the menu changes and increased prices.

Aponte's Pizzeria closed in November 2018.

They moved to another location and reopened as Tony's Pizzeria.

He also runs Aponte's as a catering company.

Reviews are positive of the new restaurant.

Aponte's Pizzeria was Restaurant Impossible season 6 episode 13 and aired on 25th August 2013.

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Previous episode - Benner Street Restaurant

This post was last updated in May 2021.

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