Restaurant Impossible - Lyon's Pharmacy of Elkton Update - Open or Closed?

Restaurant Impossible Lyon's Pharmacy of Elkton

In this Restaurant Impossible episode, Robert Irvine visits Lyon’s Pharmacy of Elkton in Elkton, Maryland.

Lyon’s Pharmacy is a mom and pop drug store with an old fashioned lunch counter.

It is owned by Marybeth Sniadowski-Cole, who runs it with her mother Bernadette.

The business has been in their family for over 50 years.

The early success of the store was due to their father Tony, who purchased the place in 1961.

At this time it was trendy to have a lunch counter within a pharmacy.

He was charismatic and well-loved by the community.

Sadly, he passed away a year ago.

Marybeth is struggling as she is a pharmacist and can run the pharmacy.

The lunch area is suffering as she lacks experience in this area.

They are losing money and do not want to close it as they want to preserve what Tony started.

Robert arrives and can see it is on a main street which is good for foot traffic.

Inside, it is old, outdated and worn out with a number of empty shelves.

The ceiling is leaking and the carpets are torn.

The business only made $14,000 profit out of nearly $2,8million gross.

Marybeth has had to dip into her savings twice to keep the place open.

He meets the customers and they love the history but are not inspired by the food on offer.

They also feel the quality has dropped and Tony was the main reason they started to come to the counter.

Robert meets first with Bernadette and then Marybeth.

They let Robert know they wanted to preserve the legacy.

He tells them these types of places are disappearing because it no longer works.

Robert is shocked to hear the numbers and wonders why they are still open.

Marybeth feels a burden to keep the place open for the community as well.

Robert is concerned there is no business anymore and he wants a take from the community.

First, he wants to test the food they serve and he hates everything except the crab cakes.

It is not plated and priced properly and he promises to help them sort it out.

After talking to Robert Marybeth is second guessing her decision to keep it going.

She asks a producer to call Robert to speak to him again.

He reassures her he is not wasting his time as long as he can get the community to buy into keeping the place open.

Once it is emptied Tom and the design team are brought in and they discuss all they will be working on.

The family, staff and volunteers empty out the restaurant.

Tom reminds them to pack the items in the right boxes so it is easier for them to put it all back.

The drugs from the pharmacy have to be secured with a security guard.

The family are all emotional as the space is emptied and they share stories of growing up there.

They say a tearful goodbye to what the space was.

Robert has some local volunteers come in to help with the work as they have a passion for it.

Work begins and Robert meets with the staff to find out what is going on in the business.

Marybeth explains that they hired extra staff and expanded the menu to over 100 items.

He tells them their main failing is over burdening themselves with the menu and bad food.

He gives Marybeth an assignment of putting a plan together on how she will restructure the business.

The team in the pharmacy complain of the complex flooring that is taking time to take up.

Robert learns that in the basement are some old vintage items that can be used in the pharmacy.

The next day, Robert comes in to see the team have worked all night.

The flooring is finally done and they are building a wall.

The vintage items from the basement are being cleaned and there are some great finds that they cannot wait to use.

Marybeth has a meeting with Robert and she says she does not have the skillset to put the people in the right roles.

Robert does an exercise that shows it takes common sense to know what good produce and arrangement looks like.

All she needs to do is to teach her staff and enforce a standard.

She has a plan to assess her staff on how they do the right things.

The team are resetting the space and have a head start on stocking the shelves while they are still doing construction.

Robert meets with Marybeth and the staff.

All of the new recipes will be using fresh ingredients instead of the frozen ingredients that they previously used.

He remakes the soup they served to him using a new recipe and it tastes better.

He also remakes the overpriced crab cakes so they can charge less and still make a profit.

Robert has some alone time with Marybeth and is happy with the change in her personality.

The family are recognised in a town hall meeting.

Robert appeals to them to keep the sense of community and support the business, in order to keep it open.

A sign designer from the local community donates an exterior sign to the pharmacy.

Robert thinks it will be nice surprise for the family.

After 6 hours the team are still stocking shelves and are racing to finish up.

There is now a story wall of Lyon’s pharmacy that features Tony and the origins.

The family are all taken into the space and it is warmer, modernised and inviting.

They love the vintage items and cry when they see the poster on the wall of Tony.

More family are let in and they are all emotional at seeing the place transformed.

Robert shows them the new sign outside community and the mayor is there to cut the ribbon for the relaunch.

On relaunch, the customers come in to use the lunch area.

They love the look and feel of the space and the food they are served.



What Happened Next at Lyon's Pharmacy of Elkton?


A few months later, it is revealed that sales are up 15%.

There is a new cook who is only cooking using fresh produce,

Marybeth is spending more time in the pharmacy as the lunch area is doing better.

The whole family is happy and expect many more years of success.

Lyon's Pharmacy of Elkton closed in October 2017.

They closed due to financial pressures as they were losing money on 2/5 prescriptions.

Lyon's Pharmacy of Elkton was Restaurant Impossible season 11 episode 5 and aired on 22nd April 2015.

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Previous episode - Zest Bistro

This post was last updated in December 2022.

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