Ginger Monkey - Restaurant Impossible Update - Open or Closed?

Restaurant Impossible Ginger Monkey

In this Restaurant Impossible episode, Robert Irvine visits Ginger Monkey Tavern in Chandler, Arizona.

Ginger Monkey Tavern is owned by Jackson Armstrong.

He has been in the restaurant business for over 23 years and it is all he’s ever done.

Jackson opened the restaurant in 2016.

Monique is running the restaurant with Jackson.

She has been at the restaurant since day 1.

Monique and Jackson met almost 20 years ago.

Jackson worked at the hotel across from the bar that Monique worked at.

At first, they were just friends but they later realized they had feelings for each other.

They have been dating for almost two years.

Jackson would love to have a family with her but the state of the restaurant is holding them back.

It cost Jackson $500,000 to open the restaurant and he took out $100,000 of loans.

In the first year, they lost a little over $140,000.

Since then, they have been losing money every year.

If the restaurant closes, Monique says this would affect their relationship.

She isn’t sure how much more she can take.

Robert arrives and isn’t impressed.

He thinks that the tables and chairs have seen better days.

Robert calls Jackson and Monique to the front of the house.

Monique feels like she has failed.

Monique says Jackson carries the weight of the world on his shoulders and that it is hard to watch sometimes.

Robert says that a failing restaurant can ruin relationships and that no relationship is perfect.

Robert says he wants to watch the service and then try the food.

Robert notices that as everyone is being seated, Jackson is nowhere to be found.

Monique is running the front of the house and is doing a lot.

She bartends, seats customers and takes orders.

Robert heads into the kitchen and Jackson is on the line.

Robert says that this is a mistake.

He says that Jackson should be controlling the flow of the customers and the food.

Customers are left waiting for their food.

There is no way the kitchen will be able to catch up.

The restaurant has descended into chaos.

Robert says he has seen enough.

Jackson has no clue how to operate the restaurant.

Robert yells at them to stop.

Robert tells the other staff to expedite instead of Jackson.

Jackson is a little emotional at being removed from the kitchen.

Robert shows Jackson that he needs to connect with the customers.

The customers tell Jackson what they think about the restaurant.

They think that there are way too many choices on the menu.

Monique is upset because it’s hard to see the state of this restaurant.

Robert tries some of the dishes off of the menu.

He thinks it looks like hospital food and the burger is disgusting.

The wings aren’t crispy and taste like sugar and the short rib looks sad.

Robert spits out every bit of food he tries.

Jackson admits that the menu is tired and the food isn’t up to standard.

Robert meets with his design team of Lynn and Tom to discuss the direction for the remodel.

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

Monique and Jackson are ready for change.

Robert is looking at the profit and loss statements.

Jackson isn’t on top of the finances.

The food cost is right on the line.

Jackson uses the food truck for private events.

In between events, Jackson uses it to feed the homeless with the mayor once a month.

They are overspending.

Robert checks in on his design team.

They are making a lot of changes to the seating.

Robert meets Monique and Jackson at the end of the day.

Monique says that today was emotional.

She was feeling her own emotions, but she also felt Jackson’s emotions.

Jackson says he would love some direction with the food truck.

Robert says that the food truck has potential.

He thinks that it could help them save money on advertising.

Monique will run the food truck and she says she is very excited to do so.

Lynn is going to install some vintage lights.

Robert shows them dishes that are reinvented dishes of what he tried yesterday.

Jackson says these recipes are delicious.

Robert has the idea of offering the food truck to attend the local high school.

If they can take the food truck to sports events at the high school, they could make a lot of money.

They take the food truck to the school for the staff to try out the dishes.

They love the food and Monique tries to close the deal with the school.

The principal says yes, they would love to work with Ginger Monkey.

Next, Robert gives Jackson a lesson in connecting with the customers.

They have one hour left before reopening and they have a lot of finishing touches to do.

They begin setting the tables.

It is time to show the restaurant to Jackson and Monique.

Jackson says that Robert coming here has breathed light into both himself and Monique.

He has shown them what to do and what not to do in the restaurant.

Monique says she is incredibly proud of Jackson.

Robert takes Monique and Jackson into the restaurant.

He tells them both how proud of them he is.

They are amazed by how gorgeous their restaurant is.

Jackson and Monique invite the customers into their new restaurant.

On relaunch, Jackson is doing a great job talking to customers.

He is letting the staff do their jobs.

The customers love the food.

Robert says the future of this restaurant and this couple is as bright as can be.

Jackson thanks Robert for coming and everything he has done.

Jackson proposes to Monique and she says yes.

What Happened Next at Ginger Monkey?


In the weeks after Robert’s visit, their sales were up 35%.

When the pandemic hit, Jackson and Monique served takeout from their food truck to stay afloat.

The restaurant has since returned to full service.

Jackson and Monique are excited for their future.

Ginger Monkey is open.

Reviews are mostly positive with praise for the improved food and service.

There are some negative reviews that there isn't consistency in food and service.

Ginger Monkey was Restaurant Impossible season 17 episode 5 and aired on 11th June 2020.

Click for more Restaurant Impossible Restaurants

Next episode - Don Luis Restaurant

Previous episode - T. Philip's Alehouse and Grill

This post was last updated in February 2023.

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