Restaurant Impossible - Big Jim's Bama Q Update - Open or Closed?

Restaurant Impossible Big Jim's Bama Q

In this Restaurant Impossible episode, Robert Irvine visits Big Jim’s Bama Q in Hammondville, Alabama.

Big Jim’s Bama Q is owned by Daniel Millican.

Daniel bought the restaurant around 10 months ago.

He owns a saw mill down the street, which he says is his first love.

However, he says that it’s always been a dream of his to own a restaurant.

He bought Big Jim’s as he thought it was already an existing business when he bought it.

However, he didn’t realize how much work went into running a restaurant.

Daniel relies heavily on his sister-in-law, Carolyn to help him at the restaurant.

Carolyn says that Daniel has no experience with restaurants.

She offered to help him because she has some restaurant experience.

Daniel says that he can’t figure out how he is losing money at the restaurant.

Since taking over the restaurant, Daniel is working 100 hour weeks between the mill and the restaurant.

Working that many hours has taken an emotional toll on Daniel’s marriage and life.

Daniel says that he’s sacrificed too much just to give up on this place and that he’s got to make it work somehow.

Carolyn says she hates to see Daniel suffer because he is a good guy and has his heart in the right place.

Daniel says that the stress level is outrageous.

Robert arrives and meets with the original owner, Jim McManus.

Jim says that his wife and him were getting older so they decided to sell the restaurant to Daniel.

Robert walks into the restaurant and points out that the inside looks similar to a front room of a house.

This place is dated and in desperate need of a remodel.

Robert meets with Daniel and asks for a brief about the restaurant.

Daniel tells him that the met the original owner as a customer at his saw mill business.

He only works part-time at this restaurant, so he has no clue what goes on when he isn’t here.

Robert says their system defies common sense.

He says they waste time by putting the wrapped silverware into plastic bags.

The customers don’t really like the food and it is no surprise as they boil the ribs.

The customers say that the barbeque is dry and isn’t good.

Robert wants to see for himself and tries a handful of dishes off of the menu.

The mac and cheese is full of grease and some of the chicken is microwaved.

Robert says the meat texture is wrong and there’s too much smoke in it.

Robert realizes that Daniel needs to be a bigger part into this restaurant.

Robert meets with Taniya, his design expert and they talk about how this restaurant is a mess.

The flooring needs to be consistent as it is a bit of a mess at the moment.

Robert asks the staff to help remove the furniture so that the design team can get to work.

Robert makes a hole in a wall as he wants it taken out, which Tom hasn’t agreed to.

Taniya agrees with Robert on opening up the wall so Taniya also takes a swing at the wall.

Robert goes into the kitchen with Daniel and his two managers.

He asks him what his food cost is and Daniel has to guess what it is.

Robert asks Daniel if he really wants to be in this business and will commit.

He says the same thing to Carolyn and the other manager.

Daniel gave the design team a lot of wood to work with from his mill for the redesign.

Robert tells Taniya that he wants to change the name of the restaurant.

Robert wants to make this restaurant all Daniel’s, not Jim’s.

He meets with Daniel, Carolyn, and Audra and Daniel says he is in this business.

Robert tells Carolyn that he feels like she should be in this business because she complements Daniel’s laidback attitude.

Carolyn feels like she shouldn’t come back as a manager but would still like to help out.

She thinks being a manager took too much time away from her and her kids.

Audra admits that she has a lot to learn but wants to continue to learn.

Carolyn says she is hoping to see the passion in Daniel to wake up and start to fight a little bit.

Daniel teaches Robert how to drive the tractor type thing he uses to gather wood for his saw mill.

Robert says he is having a lot of fun doing this.

Robert meets with Daniel and the cooks to show them new recipes for their menu.

He shows them his way of making barbeque sauce and lets them try the sauces with some pulled pork.

Robert also shows them a better way to make mac and cheese.

He lets them try the mac and cheese and they love the taste.

Robert meets with Daniel and Carolyn to show them the new name.

He has changed the name to Bama Q, reflecting the change in ownership.

Daniel is crying a little because of how he has a new sign that is all his.

It hurt him to keep the old name of the previous owner.

Robert markets the new and improved restaurant by having a rib eating contest.

The contest begins and the contestants are excited to try the new food.

The people who came for the contest say that the ribs are the best they’ve ever had.

Carolyn says that there was a ton of positive energy and that she hopes it will carry over to the restaurant once it opens up again.

The construction crew makes the finishing touches to the restaurant.

When Robert first came here, this place had Big Jim written all over it.

Carolyn says that when Daniel bought the place, he had been working in Jim’s shadow.

She also says that this is Daniel’s last chance.

Robert shows them their new restaurant and Daniel says that this is a dream come true.

Robert brings in Taniya and Bob to meet Daniel and Carolyn.

On relaunch, the customers pour in and all of the seats fill up fast.

The customers love the changes and they think the new atmosphere is so much better than the old restaurant.

Robert installed a new kitchen set up so it’s easier for the servers and cooks to move around and deliver the orders to the right people.

The meat is no longer boiled inside a bag.

The customers love the sauce, they say it is the right combination of sweet and tangy.

One customer says that the mac and cheese is just like her mother’s.

Carolyn says that this place really feels like Daniel’s now and they are happy with the changes.



What Happened Next at Big Jim's Bama Q?


A month later, income is up $1000 a week.

Customers love the new decor and the new menu is also a hit.

Carolyn can see a change in Daniel.

She isn't working at the restaurant and isn't sure if she'll take up a role there.

Big Jim's Bama Q closed in 2016.

Reviews are few due to the rural location of the restaurant but suggest they went back to their old recipes.

Big Jim's Bama Q was Restaurant Impossible season 8 episode 10 and aired on 28th May 2014.

Click for more Restaurant Impossible Restaurants

Next episode - Grace's Place Bagels and Deli

Previous episode - Cave Inn BBQ

This post was last updated in February 2022.

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