Restaurant Impossible - Mike La Susa's Italian Restaurant - CLOSED

Restaurant Impossible Mike La Susa's Italian Restaurant

In this Restaurant Impossible episode, Chef Robert Irvine visits Mike La Susa's Italian Restaurant in Oak Creek, Wisconsin.

Mike La Susa's Italian Restaurant was opened for Michael three years ago by his parents.

Mike had been working in the restaurant industry since he was 14.

He first started by bussing tables and washing dishes.

Later, he decided he wanted to cook and enrolled for a culinary degree at a local university.

The restaurant was an investment for his parents and the plan was that once it was a success he would pay them back.

This money would then support them in retirement.

The restaurant was started with good intentions but things haven’t gone to plan.

Mike’s parents invested $750,000 but they haven’t made a profit since the business opened.

Mike isn’t making enough to pay the bills and neither of his parents want to work at the restaurant.

Unfortunately they have been forced to work at the restaurant to cut down their labor costs as they don’t pay themselves.

Mike thinks that his parents have taken over whilst thinking they are helping.

Maria disagrees and thinks that Mike is in charge of everything in the restaurant and do not interfere at all.

Whenever changes are to be made there is a constant struggled between Mike and his parents.

Mike has made some changes he wants to make to give the restaurant more an identity.

These changes however were vetoed by his parents as they wanted it their way.

Robert arrives at the restaurant and the first thing he notices is the bar.

The tables and chairs have been damaging the walls and it looks like a grandma’s parlor.

It looks like someone has been riding a bumper car into the walls they are so bad.

Robert meets the owners for a brief and to find out more about the restaurant.

Mike’s father works in the restaurant for three shifts a week and his mother works as a hostess in the restaurant.

Mike is an executive chef having graduated from culinary school.

He also has experience as a restaurant manager at other restaurants.

Mike considers himself knowledgeable on how to run a restaurant.

He feels that the restaurant is failing due to the identity of the restaurant.

There have been many arguments between the family when he has suggested making changes to their identity.

His parents think that Mike isn’t doing what they want him to do and they are still financially supporting the restaurant.

They are having to put money in every month and have invested around $750,000.

Mike’s house forms part of the property so if the restaurant closes he will lose his home.

Robert wants to see a service to see the issues at the restaurant first hand.

He can quickly see that the service station is in the way and that to get to it they will disturb a diner.

Maria tells Robert that she is a hostess and pays bills but she also does so much more to help.

The kitchen staff are all over the place and no one stays at just one station during the service.

They are all getting in each other’s way whilst they are trying hard to get the dishes out of the kitchen.

Robert can see that Mike has no passion left and it is clear in the food that he is serving to customers.

Mike isn’t a terrible chef but he has some flaws in his cooking technique.

Robert thinks that he has been downtrodden by his mother Maria because she thinks that he is a failure.

Robert orders a variety of dishes from the menu and wasn’t impressed.

He could tell from the taste that Mike has lost some of his passion for cooking as the food is mediocre.

Robert meets with his designer Lynn Keagan to discuss plans for the transformation of the restaurant.

He asks the restaurant staff to help with emptying the furniture from the restaurant ready for the design team to get to work.

Robert gathers the staff for a meeting to get to the heart of the issues at the restaurant.

They tell him there are a number of issues and Robert promises to work on them.

Robert speaks with the family to clear the air on the issues and he sees how divided the family is.

They can’t agree on anything and Robert feels like he is hitting his head against a brick wall.

Robert leaves the family to meet with his designers to see the progress they have made so far.

He is impressed with the work that they have done so far.

The next day, Robert returns and checks in with the designers once again.

He is impressed with the progress that they have made so far in the dining area.

The family is still at somewhat of a standstill so Robert meets with the family to try and find a solution to the bickering.

After a long discussion Robert comes to the conclusion that the restaurant is failing because of his parents and not because of Mike.

He feels like he has truly met his match with this family and isn’t sure what he can do to turn things around.

All he feels he can do is show them what is wrong with the restaurant.

Patrick has decided to leave and he is not convinced that Maria wants to change.

Robert decides to focus on giving Mike the skills that he needs and the rest will be for him.

He creates a new menu that Mike can cook with the limited equipment that he has in the restaurant.

The dining room still has a lot to be done but Robert is busy in the kitchen.

Robert shows Mike and Jessica how to make the new dishes.

Mike feels confident for the relaunch and loves the taste of the new dishes.

Robert brands this his most difficult and challenging restaurant to date.

He feels he has done the best that he can even though he isn’t sure he has done enough.

The design team have finished in the dining room and it is time to reveal the new restaurant to the family.

They are overwhelmed by the changes and think that the team have done an excellent job.

On relaunch night, the new decor and new food are a big hit with diners.

They enjoy the relaunch evening and say that they will return.



What Happened Next at Mike La Susa's Italian Restaurant?


A few weeks later, business has struggled since the transformation.

Many of the regulars don't like the new changes.

Mike is still the cook and enjoys the new dishes but plans to add some of the old dishes to the menu.

Patrick is working less at the restaurant.

Mike is going to get an accountant to take over the finances from Maria.

Mike La Susa's closed in November 2015.

Mike La Susa's Italian Restaurant was Restaurant Impossible season 7 episode 7 and aired on 4th December 2013.

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This post was last updated in June 2021.

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