7th Restaurant and Lounge - Restaurant Impossible Update - Open or Closed?

Restaurant Impossible 7th Restaurant and Lounge

In this Restaurant Impossible episode, Robert Irvine visits 7th Restaurant and Lounge in Charlotte, North Carolina.

7th Restaurant and Lounge is owned by Don Bryant.

It is a soul food restaurant.

He started out early working in kitchens and was progressing in his career.

However, at 21 years old he got shot and paralysed during a home invasion.

After recovering, he stayed on the path and got back into cooking.

He was given $150,000 from his cousin, who won the lottery to put into the business.

He has struggled breaking even and is in almost $200,000 debt.

Robert arrives with high hopes as Charlotte is a growing restaurant area.

He enters the restaurant and sees broken fixtures, dust and plenty of broken chairs.

There are sticky floors, a dirty kitchen and improperly stored food products.

Robert meets Don and tells him the truth of what he observed and how it is not enough.

Don explains he does not have the right support staff.

Robert finds out Don does not own the space or the equipment.

He paid the $160,000 for just the name.

Don has taken a loan of $120,000 and lost count of his personal funds that have gone into the business.

He believes that it is more than $60,000.

He tells Robert of his trauma of getting shot 4 times and how he became in a wheelchair.

Don admits he does everything, not just cooking and the books.

He keeps the business open because he has a family to support.

The restaurant is opened so Robert can watch them work.

He is immediately puzzled that Don is prepping when service has already started.

Robert predicts it will be a disaster and it is.

One hour in and no one has been served any food.

It is still being prepped and customers are still waiting to be served.

When the first meal comes out Robert shuts it down and sends the customers home.

Robert wants to sample some dishes from the menu in front of Don to give him direct feedback.

He cannot taste more than half of it because of the state of the kitchen and the poor storage of food.

Not one dish was redeemable and Don has not held his staff accountable.

All the staff are brought in and Robert addresses their poor service and the cleanliness of the place.

Robert brings in his design team of Tom and Lynn.

They find the space dark with poor utilisation of the space.

They have a lot of work to do including rebuilding the backbar and replacing the whole floor.

The place is emptied out quickly and Robert sits with Don in the empty space.

Don admits the place used to be fun and cheery but now he is quieter.

Robert tells him he needs to find his old self again.

With 30 hours to go Robert takes a sledge hammer to a wall with Tom.

Robert meets with Don in the back room and has him clean the serving bottles.

Don starts doing it himself when Robert corrects him and tells him to delegate.

Robert calls 2 servers and tells them how to get it done.

Robert takes Don aside and tells him to be less hard on himself.

By the end of the day Robert checks in on his team and the space is open and looking brighter.

Robert meets with Don and reminds him that he cannot do everything.

The next morning, Robert meets with him again.

He finds out Don never confronted his attackers and never got counselling afterwards so offers help.

Robert checks in on the design team and they have progressed nicely over night.

Robert sets up another experiment for Don presenting him with veggies to be prepped for dinner.

After thinking about it he calls his cooks to do it.

He supervises the work and Robert is happy he got the message to delegate.

Robert shows Don and his cooks 3 dishes that are high quality but easy to make from fresh.

He makes a crab based salad, directing them on what can be premade to make it faster to put together.

He also makes a pasta dish with seafood and a steak with creole sauce.

They are excited to taste it and even more excited to cook it.

With one and half hours left to the reopening, the team is rushing to finish up with curtains.

They have yet to be put up and the furnishings need to be put back in.

They over shoot the opening time by about half an hour but get all the final touches done.

Robert brings in Don and shows him the new restaurant.

It looks like an upscale bistro with warm lights and ambience.

Don is impressed and cannot believe it is the same restaurant.

Tom and Lynn come in and Don thanks them directly.

Don proudly lets the customers in and the regulars love the changes.

On relaunch, the servers are doing alot better.

Don is leading, telling the staff what to do rather than do it all himself.

The customers get their food on time.

They give great reviews on the freshness and the taste of the dishes.



What Happened Next at 7th Restaurant and Lounge?


After the show, sales have increased slightly.

Don continues to delegate and lead his staff.

For the first time in 7 years, he took time off to visit family.

7th Restaurant and Lounge is open.

Reviews are mixed with some customers complaining about the long wait and service.

7th Restaurant and Lounge is Restaurant Impossible season 20 episode 13 and aired on 21st April 2022.

Click for more Restaurant Impossible Restaurants

Next episode - Smith's Soul Food Bistro

Previous episode - Dreadlife Kitchen

This post was last updated in July 2023.

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