Restaurant Impossible - Dog and Pony Ale House Update - Open or Closed?

Restaurant Impossible Dog & Pony Ale House

In this Restaurant Impossible episode, Robert Irvine visits the Dog and Pony Ale House in Renton, Washington.

Dog and Pony Ale House is owned by Kristen Fisher.

She invested the funds to open the place with her husband 14 years ago.

Her husband was a popular figure in Seattle and it was his dream to open a pub/restaurant.

Kristen lost her job in commercial real estate four years ago.

After losing her job she started working at the pub.

The pub was dirty and was failing with her $1.5m investment going down the drain.

She left her husband, they divorced and she took over the pub full time.

Kristen has three small children that she adopted.

Her oldest child has additional needs so she cannot always be there in the evenings especially.

She had a setback when the business was defrauded by a manager she hired.

Robert arrives at the restaurant and isn’t impressed.

He thinks it is dark and sees clutter and furnishings that do not match.

Robert thinks that the place is confused with no clear theme.

He meets Kristen and is shocked to find out how much she put into the bar.

She also owes the IRS $260,000 and has just hired her nanny Jackie as the manager to run her business.

Robert scolds her for hiring the wrong staff.

She tells him that her regulars resist any changes she tries to make to the place.

She starts the service and Robert observes that lots of regular customers come in.

Customers who are there for the first time are confused by the theme and decor.

Bartender Trevor is serving only his friends and does not care about the cameras

The customers love the food but say the pub has become very cliquey.

This alienates the new customers as they feel they are crashing a private party.

Robert is called aside by some regulars who tell him their fears on changes that would drive them away.

There is a round table and he lets them know their money is not keeping the restaurant afloat.

Kristen is happy at first that Robert is getting along with the regulars.

She later gets upset that he is giving them too much leeway.

Robert wants to try the food to find out if this is an issue at the restaurant.

He tries the fish and chips, buffalo chicken salad and pasta.

The food isn’t terrible but it could be better.

The food needs more seasoning and better plating would make it better.

Kristen is happy that Robert did not hate the food.

Robert meets with his designer Lynn Kegan to discuss ideas for the restaurant.

He sees the space with confused mismatched tables.

There is a lounge area with a fireplace and Christmas lights

Nothing goes together as there are beer taps hanging off a wall, quirky lamps and a lot of random clutter.

His aim is to make the space about beer and food.

The staff gathers to help empty the space by taking out all of the furniture.

Robert tries to convince Kristen that Jackie is the wrong hire to manage the bar.

She knows what to do with a baby but she does not know what to do with the bar.

Kristen is resistant saying she trusts her.

It turns out Jackie used to be an accountant.

She could be an asset but Kristen does not allow her access to the books.

Robert says she needs some training so the business can move forward.

Kristen gets emotional and eventually agrees.

She also realises that she is letting too many people take advantage of her.

Robert checks in with the design team and finds that they are behind on the work.

Robert asks the staff to meet to find out what they think is wrong with the place.

It turns out they have been doing some really bad practices that are directly affecting the business.

Robert tells Kristen all he found out from the staff meeting.

She needs to decide if she is letting some of them go, offering them proper leadership or retraining them.

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

He is told that bartender Eli is upset and wants to meet with him.

She is upset about being called a thief, even though that did not happen.

She is feeling guilty for being called out and blames Kristen sending a string of texts the night before.

Robert reassures her but tackles the backlash Kristen is getting from their misbehaviour.

Kristen has had enough and wants to fire Eli and Trevor, who she says have given her the most problems.

Robert meets with the staff first to be clear on why he was there.

Kristen tells them that she is giving them all another chance but there is now a one strike rule and she will be tougher on them.

Trevor is both apologetic and appreciates the new opportunity but Eli quits on the spot.

Robert meets with Jackie and Kristen to go through the finances.

Kristen writes a lot of bounced checks and these have cost her a lot of money in fees over a long period.

It is for Jackie to help her by making the best financial decisions.

Robert takes the chef and Kristen through using spices.

They make a new and improved chicken salad and fish and chips with a difference.

The design team are still working and later into the evening than planned.

The chairs and tables are finally ready to be bought back into the restaurant.

Kristen is taken in to see the new space and she is moved to tears.

The space is more open without all the clutter.

It is classy and modern with matching tables and chairs and new wood flooring.

The beer tap display is more organised and a wall is dedicated to artwork.

On relaunch, the customers are let in later than planned.

They love the changes as it is now more inviting.

The food is coming out great.

The presentation is better and the food is properly seasoned.

There are no complaints on the food and new people say they will come back.

The regulars are also happy that the old bar did not disappear.



What Happened Next at Dog and Pony Ale House?


Two months later, it is revealed the Pub has had a 45% increase in sales.

Jackie manages the restaurat fulltime and is in the loop with the financials.

Kristen still maintains the policy for no free drinks at the bar.

Dog and Pony Ale House closed in January 2019.

They closed after being sold to a new owner and reopened as The Hop Garden.

Dog and Pony Ale House was Restaurant Impossible season 10 episode 7 and aired on 11th February 2015.

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Next episode - Be'ne Pizza and Pasta

Previous episode - Zoog's Caveman Cookin

This post was last updated in June 2022.

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