Restaurant Impossible - Goombazz Big City Eatzz - CLOSED

Restaurant Impossible Goombazz Big City Eatzz

In this restaurant impossible episode, Chef Robert Irvine visits Goombaz big city eatzz in Rock Island, Illinois.

Goombazz big city eatzz is owned and run by long time couple Brenda Brewer and Sal Cracco.

Brenda and Sal met 10 years ago because of their love for food.

Brenda has always wanted to be in the restaurant business and about a year ago they opened Goombazz

Brenda had to cash out her 401k and used up all of her savings.

Unfortunately, a year later, they were $300, 000 in debt.

Business had gone down and they were losing $8,000 to $10,000 a month.

Brenda was behind on rent and hasn’t paid her taxes.

On arrival, Robert checks the place out.

He didn’t like the design and the dining room was also dirty.

He meets with Brenda and Sal and asked them what Goombazz is.

Sal tells him a Goomba means a friend in Italian

It cost them $170,000 to open the restaurant.

The revenue was $400,000 in the first year.

They lose approximately $10,000 every month as they hardly have any customers.

The restaurant was originally 100% owned by Brenda and she made Sal a partner.

Goombazz was Sal’s 11th restaurant.

Robert believes Brenda has no business being in the restaurant business as she didn’t manage the affairs of the restaurant well.

The previous general manager quit because Sal barked at him because Sal feels the employees were not doing their job well.

Robert arrives for a dinner service to see how the service is normally done in Goombazz.

A few interviews with the customers shows the customers doesn’t like the design of the restaurant.

They think it has a bad design and conflicting themes.

They don’t like the foods and how it is being served.

Robert notices there is no sense to the setup of the kitchen.

Robert tastes the food after ordering various items from the menu.

The Nola Muffuletta is a bit greasy and the bread is very dry.

The hot beef tastes like whole stale beef and he doesn’t like the pastrami.

The pizza has way too much cheese and the hot dog looks disgusting.

Robert criticized their food and told Brenda and Sal that if they can’t do something well, then they shouldn’t do it.

This made Brenda burst into tears as Goombazz is her dream.

Brenda and Sal don’t feel anything has to change in the restaurant but they need the restaurant to be successful.

Robert feels the reason the restaurant is not successful is because of the food and the management.

The idea behind the design of Goombazz was to bring in big foods from big cities but it currently has no identity.

Robert meets with his designer Cheryl and hopes that she can give Goombazz some focus.

Robert takes Brenda, Sal and the entire Goombazz staff on an exercise to know what they think is the problem Goombazz has.

While everyone was looking away, they come one by one to pick tomatoes and drop them in one of four jars.

Whichever jars they chose was what they think is the biggest problem Goombazz has.

The jars are labelled with Sal, Brenda, food and service

Service and Brenda has only one tomato each, the food has two tomatoes, while Sal has the most tomato.

The staff doesn’t like his temperament and the fact that he pressured general manager Darren to quit.

He was well liked by the staff but he quit as Sal didn’t give him the space to do his job.

They felt like he was the backbone of the restaurant as he made sure everything was taken care of.

Brenda doesn’t agree with Sal’s micromanagement and she has told him several times she doesn’t agree with his behavior.

Sal apologized to Brenda for his behavior.

While the design continues back at Goombazz, Robert told Brenda and Sal to ask Darren if he would come back.

Sal plans to change his behavior and agrees to go to Darren’s place to apologize to him and ask him to come back.

The next day, Robert asks Brenda and Sal how it went with the visit to Darren’s place last night.

Darren promised to give them an answer the next morning.

As there was no assurance of his return Brenda and Sal decide on another strategy.

Robert believes Sal cannot manage the affairs of the restaurant until he gets his temper in control.

He feels Brenda should take control of Goombazz.

Robert has a one on one talk with Brenda and assures Brenda he’ll show her the menu and everything else to make sure she knows it.

The design in Goombazz is still ongoing.

The floor is done as well as the ceiling and some more of the design work is still ongoing.

Robert shows Brenda, Sal and cook Victor a different way of preparing and serving a classic burger.

They tasted the burger and it was delicious.

Robert also showed them how to prepare the Chicago deep dish pizza and they all agreed it was awesome.

Brenda lets out a great smile.

She is optimistic that she might get out of debt way sooner than she may have imagined thanks to Robert’s help.

The restaurant is in a state of chaos as there is much of the design left to be done and only a few hours before the doors are open.

Robert takes the staff out for a friendly competition.

It will build their communication skills, Brenda’s leadership skills and how much Sal can control his temperament.

Brenda and Sal are to lead one of two equally divided teams and each team is to make a perfect pie blindfolded.

Brenda and Sal instructs the members of the team one by one, on what to do and how they should do it.

Both teams are happy with how they were directed and the pie they created.

The staffs were all happy with Sal once again.

Sal apologized to the staff for his past behaviors and thanks them.

The competition was a success.

The design team was finally finished and the restaurant is ready to open after a last minute rush.

Brenda and Sal were amazed by how beautiful their restaurant finally was.

They couldn’t contain their joy, Sal called it phenomenal and Brenda called it perfect.

On relaunch night, the new Goombazz opens up and the customers were amazed at the transformation.

The bar was very busy, even more than it was when they had their grand opening.

The service was great and the food was delicious.

The customers confessed it was the best they have ever had.

Brenda’s is very happy and Sal knows they are going to make it in their relationship, their restaurant and the rest of their lives.



What Happened Next at Goombazz Big City Eatzz?


A few weeks later and business is up in both the weekdays and weekends.

Some customers miss some of the old dishes but Robert's menu is a hit with most and they have returned some dishes to the menu.

Darren has returned to the restaurant and Sal is managing his anger better.

Goombazz Big City Eatzz closed in February 2014 after a sign appeared on the door saying they had closed.

Reviews after the episode was filmed were very mixed with some liking the new changes and some not.

Goombazz Big City Eatzz was Restaurant Impossible season 7 episode 8 and aired on 18th December 2013.

Click for more Restaurant Impossible Restaurants

Next episode - Heather's Country Kitchen

Previous episode - Mike La Susa's Italian Restaurant

This post was last updated in June 2021.

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