Dunbar's Creole Cuisine - Restaurant Impossible Update - Open or Closed?

Restaurant Impossible Dunbar's Creole Cuisine

In this Restaurant Impossible episode, Robert Irvine visits Dunbar's Creole Cuisine in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Dunbar's Creole Cuisine is owned by Celestine Dunbar and Freddie Baker.

This restaurant is the Dunbar family’s legacy.

The original Dunbar’s opened in 1986.

The original restaurant was destroyed during Hurricane Katrina.

It was water damaged by 8 feet of water and everything was ruined.

Celestine wanted to reopen the restaurant.

She approached the bank for funding but this was refused.

Freddie is a family friend and offered to invest into the restaurant.

Celestine’s daughter Alicia is the general manager.

Celestine started Alicia off running the register when she was just eight years old.

Freddie’s son Russel works at the restaurant.

Legally, Freddie is the owner of the restaurant.

However, Freddie says that Celestine is the true owner of the restaurant.

Since they reopened in 2017, they haven’t made a profit.

They are in around $350,000 of debt.

They have communication issues and the food is terrible.

This restaurant is months away from closing.

Robert arrives at the restaurant and takes a look around.

There is lots of damage to the walls.

There is nothing that says this is a restaurant.

Robert calls Celestine to the front of the house.

The cook Frank has been working here for over thirty years.

Due to the lack of money, they have entered a leasing agreement.

Robert says he wants to see the service.

Frank knows how to move in the kitchen.

He communicates well and seems to enjoy cooking.

However, the food is cooked from frozen.

All the fish is frozen, despite the prime location for seafood.

Alicia does every other job except running the restaurant.

She is being micromanaged by Celestine.

Robert orders a few dishes from the menu to try.

The gumbo is very salty and the red beans and rice is good.

The chicken is cooked well but has no seasoning.

The mac and cheese is salty and the onion pebbles are also salty.

The banana pudding is very good.

Celestine and Frank sit down at the table.

Robert tells them the food isn’t creole to him.

Robert thinks they lost their passion for the food.

Frank admits he has messed up.

Robert thinks Frank has passion but has lost his way.

Frank is feeling emotional and disappointed.

Robert meets with his design team of Lynn and Tom to discuss the design concept.

The staff begins taking everything out of the restaurant.

Celestine feels like her dream is going to come true.

Robert promises that he is going to create their dream.

Robert meets with the younger generation of the restaurant.

Peggy is the liaison between Alicia and Freddie.

Russell is supposed to be the marketing person, but he is just looked at as Freddie’s son.

Alicia and Peggy agree.

Celestine doesn’t like Alicia’s ideas and wants to make every decision.

Alicia feels like Celestine won’t allow her to make decisions on her own.

Robert says that this is a big problem.

Freddie says that his name may be down as the owner on paper, but this is not his restaurant.

Peggy is getting emotional and asks Robert if this is necessary.

Robert wants Celestine to let Alicia do her job.

Robert gives Alicia and Russel some homework.

They must write down three ideas that will bring in money.

They will present this tomorrow and go from there.

Russel says he has never seen his father get this emotional.

Alicia is happy because she got to hear everyone’s truth.

The next day, Robert tells Celestine that if she can’t trust the younger generation, the restaurant will fail.

Celestine says she wants to be involved but doesn’t want to be there every day.

Robert says her role seems to be quality control.

Robert wants Frank to make gumbo with passion.

Robert tries the gumbo that Frank made and loves it.

Robert meets with the staff to discuss their homework.

Alicia wants to get new POS systems because the current ones are too old.

Robert says he can’t afford to get them a POS system.

She also wants them to get a liquor license to upsell alcohol.

Russel wants Celestine to understand their current demographic.

Peggy wants to keep doing what she’s doing but help Freddie more with finances.

Celestine says she agrees 150%.

Freddie says he is good with all of this.

Alicia says it felt good to have her ideas be heard.

Robert has all of them stand up and put their hands in.

Alicia says this is going to be exciting.

Robert calls his fish connection to help bring in fresh fish.

Robert says he lied about not being able to get them a POS system.

He wants it to be a surprise.

Robert teaches them the value of using fresh fish in the restaurant.

Alicia feels like fresh fish will make them money.

Robert shows them more creole recipes.

Alicia says she has learned a lot.

Celestine says the food will add to the legacy of Dunbar’s.

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

Robert gave her the opportunity to move on from the past and she is very grateful for that.

Robert shows them their new restaurant.

They love it so much.

Robert shows them their new POS system.

They invite customers into their new restaurant.

On relaunch, the customers love the food.

They also love the service and new look.

The relaunch is a success and the customers promise to return.

Alicia says the new menu is something they needed.



What Happened Next at Dunbar's Creole Cuisine?


A few months later, sales have increased 20%.

Celestine is happy in her new role overseeing the quality of food.

Peggy, Alicia, and Russel hold weekly staff meetings with everyone’s ideas being heard.

Dunbar’s is now attracting a younger and wider customer base.

Dunbar's Creole Cuisine is closed.

The restaurant closed in November 2022 after Hurricane Ida and struggling during the pandemic.

Reviews were positive after the show with customers loving the atmosphere and the food.

Dunbar's Creole Cuisine was Restaurant Impossible season 18 episode 3 and aired on 18th March 2021.

Click for more Restaurant Impossible Restaurants

Next episode - Cafe No Fur

Previous episode - Boutte's Bayou Restaurant

This post was last updated in April 2023.

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