Blue Orleans - Restaurant Impossible Update - Open or Closed?

Restaurant Impossible Blue Orleans

In this Restaurant Impossible episode, Robert Irvine visits Blue Orleans in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Blue Orleans is a seafood restaurant that is owned by Cherita and Mike.

They will have to close the restaurant this month if things don’t change soon.

They have been married for five years and previously lived near New Orleans.

They saw on the news that a hurricane was coming their way and evacuated to Chattanooga.

There wasn’t much to come back to after Hurricane Katrina so they stayed in Chattanooga.

Blue Orleans opened in July of 2007.

Blue Orleans is a seafood/creole restaurant that specializes in New Orleans food.

Their two children work here as a server and cook.

They work part time as they are both still in high school.

The plan was for Mike to run the restaurant while Cherita was more hands off.

Mike says that the decline began with the economic recession in 2009.

Mike began to drink on the job.

It wasn’t just Mike, the other employees would drink on the job as well.

Cherita felt blindsided and betrayed as she thought they were a team.

Mike says something had to change.

Cherita came in to manage the restaurant and save the restaurant.

In 2017, Cherita filed for divorce, in part due to the restaurant.

She says it was never supposed to turn out this way and she is on the verge of almost collapsing.

Cherita says she often feels used.

They are currently losing $15-$20,000 a month.

This was supposed to be the money for her kids to go to college.

Mike says that closing the restaurant will be the hardest thing he will ever do.

He says he doesn’t have the mental capacity at this point.

Cherita hasn’t thought about her own dream or goals in a very long time.

When Robert walks in, he says he loves the brick walls.

He says it doesn’t look that bad from a design standpoint.

Robert calls Mike and Cherita to the front of the house.

They tell Robert the history of how they came to buy this restaurant.

Robert tells them on the surface, it doesn’t look like a bad restaurant.

Robert asks them why they think they are failing.

Mike explains his drinking problem but he says he stopped two years ago.

Cherita says that she still works here because her attorney advised her to.

She says that sometimes they run out of a lot of key food.

Cherita says they will have to close in two weeks but Mike think they have six months.

Cherita says they are in around $75,000 to $80,000 in debt, but Mike says it is only around $50,000.

Cherita says that Mike owes her money from when she would pay his car and electric bills.

She says that this is Mike’s dream and that she doesn’t want to live her life like this.

Robert says he wants to see the service.

Cherita doesn’t trust Mike to run a kitchen successfully.

She isn’t letting customers in the restaurant because she doesn’t think Mike can keep up.

Robert tells her to let the people in the restaurant.

Mike’s son seems to more in charge and he’s only 15 years old.

Robert is afraid that Mike and Cherita’s kids are part of the failure as well.

Robert says that their son Dallen is smarter than the two of them put together.

He says this is the worst service he’s ever seen.

He says the only good thing here is Dallen and their daughter.

Cherita takes off her mic and walks out.

Robert says that she is letting her kids down by walking out.

Mike shuts the restaurant down for the day.

Mike realizes that there is a lot he needs to work on.

Cherita comes back and says she’s doing this for the kids.

Robert tells her that he knows she’s trying to be someone she’s not.

Cherita says being here with Mike is a constant reminder of everything that has gone wrong.

She asks Robert if he thinks she has to be here and he says yes.

He will give her the chance to leave debt-free but for now she has to work with him.

Robert tries some of the items off of the menu.

The food is good, the dishes just need some tweaking.

Robert tells Mike that there is a lot of potential.

The staff and volunteers begin taking everything out of the restaurant.

Mike says that him and Cherita walked in together, and they should walk out together.

Robert tells the children that they shouldn’t feel obligated to work there.

Mike’s daughter is in her senior year and she’s already missed out on so much.

She says she doesn’t want to be working there.

Robert shows Mike and Cherita the proper way to make the recipes he tried earlier.

Robert has Mike and Cherita choose which tasks they were responsible for.

Cherita will oversee staffing and Mike will deal with cooking.

Robert made the top two selling dishes and the bottom selling dishes, according to Mike.

He was wrong about the dishes and neither were the top or bottom, according to the numbers.

Robert shows them new recipes to add to the new menu.

They begin making the finishing touches to the restaurant and setting tables.

Cherita feels that her and Mike can be business partners and friends.

Mike says he was not doing what he should’ve to make sure this business was a success.

He says now he isn’t going to let himself, Cherita or his family down.

Robert brings Mike and Cherita into the restaurant.

Cherita and Mike love their new restaurant.

Mike promises his kids that he will not let them down .

Cherita tells Mike that she believes in him and sees that he has improved.

Mike and Cherita invite the customers into their new restaurant.

On relaunch, the customers love the changes to the restaurant and the food.

The restaurant is running smoothly.

Mike says that Robert brought them closer together.



What Happened Next at Blue Orleans?


Since Robert’s visit, sales are up by 20%.

Food is going out quickly and Cherita has hired two additional staff members.

Their daughter only works 2 nights a week now to pay for her car.

Dallen only works one night a week when it’s busy.

Blue Orleans is open.

Reviews are very positive after the episode with minor complaints on a slow service.

Blue Orleans was Restaurant Impossible season 16 episode 10 and aired on 27th February 2020.

This post was last updated in February 2023.

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