Restaurant Impossible - Filomena's Italian Kitchen and Market Update - Open or Closed?

Restaurant Impossible Filomena's

In this Restaurant Impossible episode, Robert Irvine visits Filomena’s Italian Kitchen and Market in Costa Mesa, California.

Filomena’s Italian Kitchen and Market is owned by Linda Johnson.

She opened the restaurant because of her love for cooking and named it after her grandmother.

Linda had no experience in the industry and was previously a real estate agent.

It has been open for more than 7 years and she has never paid herself.

Her husband Kent is a construction worker.

He has put in over $1million to keep the business afloat.

Linda has lost all her savings, her home and her retirement savings to the restaurant.

Robert walks into the restaurant and sees the market which is clean and looks upscale.

He finds the restaurant section and there is no tie between them.

He cannot believe the business is in trouble.

He calls Linda and they sit down for a brief.

Currently, the restaurant props up the marketplace.

She does not want to close it down because it was normal where she is from to have a market.

Robert asks her about the finances and she has no idea as her husband handles it.

They are losing $20-30,000 a month.

Linda buys high end produce, which could be contributing to her failing business.

Linda gets angry she is called a cook rather than a chef but Robert says she is not being open.

Robert brings in some customers as he wants to watch a service.

While the restaurant is buzzing, the marketplace is empty.

Robert watches in the kitchen and none of the cooks are communicating.

Linda comes in and she has many questions, disrupting the cooks as they work.

A customer requests an ingredient change on a menu item and Linda refuses to make the change.

Linda spills oil on herself and as she is badmouthing Robert on camera.

He hears and they get into an argument about how she is more of a cook than a chef.

Robert orders some dishes off the menu and requests a Bolognese without tomatoes.

Linda tells him it is not possible and he will have to take the dish as it is or order something different.

Robert eats the dishes and only likes the Lasagne.

All of the other dishes have problems and Linda walks out on hearing the criticism.

Robert goes after her and another argument breaks out with Linda kicking him out.

Robert brings out reviews after she says they are all positive.

The top ones are all negative and she breaks down in tears telling the producers she is done.

She calms down somewhat and Robert is able to talk her out of quitting.

Time has been lost so Robert gets Taniya and Tom in to see the space.

He tells them that he likes some of the furnishing but the bar has to go and the market has to be reorganised.

They have only 26 hours to remodel and they empty out the space quickly.

Robert wants the market to be more of a grab and go for Linda’s premade meals and accompanying products.

In the main space, Robert uses his sledgehammer to smash the bar counter apart.

He sits with Linda and Kent and finds out Linda lost $500,000 in a second restaurant she ran for 18 months.

Her daughter used to help her in the restaurant.

They clashed too much and she left the restaurant.

She now manages other restaurants in another city.

Robert gets down to why Linda is always angry.

She has a fear of failure and is trying to prove to her stepmother that she can succeed.

At the end of the day, Robert checks in with the design team.

They’ve hit a snag as there are lots of electricals in the bar that need to be rerouted.

The next day, Robert takes Linda to a gym to let out her frustrations on a punching bag.

After that, he takes her to the kitchen with her head cook to take them through some dishes.

They can be served in the restaurant and also be sold as pre-packaged meals.

Linda loves the masala and the meatballs.

Robert demonstrates a new dish for the menu, which she also loves.

Robert checks in on the design team.

He is happy that there is more space and new lighting.

Robert leaves them and takes Linda off for a surprise.

The surprise is her daughter, Lauren who is a restaurant manager in San Jose.

Linda is so happy to see her and is moved to tears.

Lauren gives Linda advice and she reiterates what Robert has been trying to tell Linda.

The renovation is still behind even with 30 minutes until relaunch.

They go over by an hour and a half with customers waiting outside in the rain.

After two hours late, they are still not ready and Robert has to pacify the waiting crowd outside.

Three hours late, they are finally ready and the couple are taken in first.

Linda loves it and she is moved to tears again.

The market place has been replaced with a grab and go for her food so she can make more money.

Everywhere is clean, open, bright and modern.

Lauren is brought in and she is astounded by the changes.

They get to meet the team who made it happen and then the customers are let in.

Once in, they love the space and quickly get to ordering from the new menu.

On relaunch, Linda is a different person.

She is greeting guests and talking to customers about the food.

The food comes out quickly and the customers love the new dishes.

The marketplace is also busy as guests sit on the communal table and order to-go meals.



What Happened Next at Filomena's Italian Kitchen and Market?


Two months later, business in the marketplace has doubled.

They hired a new General Manager so Linda can spend more time with Kent and less time working.

Filomena's Italian Kitchen and Market is open.

They mostly positive reviews and the negative reviews complain of overpriced or average meals and poor customer service.

They had good reviews prior to the show.

Filomena's Italian Kitchen and Market was Restaurant Impossible season 14 episode 2 and aired on 27th April 2019.

Click for more Restaurant Impossible Restaurants

Next episode - Incredible Cafe

Previous episode - Rosie's Cafe

This post was last updated in December 2022.

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