Restaurant Impossible - Valentino's Update - Open or Closed?

Restaurant Impossible Valentino's

In this Restaurant Impossible episode, Robert Irvine visits Valentino’s in Summerville, South Carolina.

This is a special episode featuring two restaurants owned by a father and a son separately and are located six miles apart.

They are Valentino’s and Italian Bistro.

Frank, the father opened his restaurant Italian bistro first.

When it was struggling his son Frankie opened a new location, which he called Valentino’s.

He opened the restaurant hoping to share success but a year after it opened it started struggling too.

Frankie is currently losing $9-10,000 per month.

Robert brings in his design team to Valentino’s.

They immediately notice that the floors are two different types that do not go together.

The ceiling is falling apart, the bar is worn and the decor in general is very bland.

Robert tells the design team that they will be redoing two restaurants.

Robert meets with Frankie and Frank at Valentino’s, where they share their background.

Frank has been in the industry for more than 40 years.

Frankie only had experience as a pizza maker and delivery driver before owning his own restaurant at just 24.

He paid $100,000 for the business without even looking at the books to see how well the business was doing.

The service begins at Valentino’s and the customers complain of about the unappealing decor.

They also think that the food is substandard and doesn’t taste very nice.

Robert inspects the kitchen and it finds that it is dirty and caked with grease.

In the fridge there is milk and meat being kept close together with possible cross contamination.

Robert is puzzled as to why Frankie does not walk away from the business.

He calls the family together and tells them he does not believe Frankie has the skills to run a restaurant.

Robert thinks that it would be a waste to help Valentino’s as it won’t succeed.

Frankie walks away in tears and Robert calls him back while the family challenge him on his harsh judgement.

Robert says he has not made up his mind on Valentino’s and wants to test food from their menu.

He orders some staple items from the menu.

Robert isn’t impressed with the food and finds it to be bland.

He leaves for the Italian Bistro and Tom empties the restaurant out pending his decision.

Tom gets the call that the majority of the work will be at Valentino’s while the Bistro will get a face lift.

Robert demonstrates to Frankie what a leader is supposed to do.

He gives him an assignment to write out 10 things he needs to do at Valentino’s for it to run better.

The team struggle towards the end of the day as they have to go back and forth between the two restaurants.

The next day, Robert meets with Taniya and there has been good progress overnight.

There is a new sign to welcome them to the restaurant.

Tom comes over from the Bistro to inform them of the progress he has been making over there.

Valentino’s is already looking better with a new colour scheme.

Taniya is going to set up a divider made of 60 rolling pins that doubles as an art installation.

Robert lets them know the bistro will be revealed first at 5pm then Valentino’s at 6pm.

Tom stays at Valentino’s while Taniya heads over to the Bistro.

Robert meets with Frankie to check on his work.

He is happy with the list but lets him know he has to focus on Valentino’s so that he can be successful.

Frankie tells his father that he will be leaving him to run the Bistro alone.

Frank is not happy with the news but respects the decision and gives him advice on how to run Valentino’s.

Robert then takes father and son through making an Italian style chicken dish and they love it.

Next, he makes a flavourful shrimp carbonara that will be added to the menu.

Frankie addresses his staff letting them know he is fully on board at Valentino’s.

He tells them that he will be more of a leader and they should not slack off.

At 5pm, the new look Bistro is revealed and although only minor changes were made, it looks great.

Robert heads back to Valentino’s and makes some minor changes before revealing it to Frank and his family.

The space is now modern with new colours, a cohesive theme, the rolling pin feature divider and the bar.

They are all moved to tears by the changes and Tom and Taniya are introduced to the family.

On relaunch, the customers are let into Valentino’s.

They love the ambience and the decor especially the rolling pins.

They also love the food that has been elevated and say they will come back.



What Happened Next at Valentino's?


After the show, business is up by 30% in Valentino’s.

Frankie still works at both restaurants but focuses more on Valentino’s and his staff respect him more.

Valentino's closed in October 2015.

Reviews were mostly positive after the show.

Valentino's and Italian Bistro was Restaurant Impossible season 11 episode 2 and aired on 25th March 2015.

Click for more Restaurant Impossible Restaurants

Next episode - Cocoamoda

Previous episode - WhaBah Steakhouse

This post was last updated in December 2022.

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