Soul Food in the Park - Restaurant Impossible Update - Open or Closed?

Restaurant Impossible Soul Food in the Park

In this Restaurant Impossible episode, Robert Irvine visits Soul Food in the Park in York, PA.

Soul Food in the Park is owned by Audra Crenshaw.

She is the owner and chef of the restaurant.

Audra says she has always wanted to have her own restaurant.

She wanted to own one as cooking comes naturally to her and people like her food.

She wants Soul Food in the Park to be a staple in this community.

Audra also says that the stress of the restaurant at times is overwhelming.

She has invested around $30,000 of her own money and is losing around $1,000 a month.

When COVID hit, they were lucky enough to receive grants.

The grants helped them stay afloat.

If it weren’t for the grants, they probably would’ve had to close.

Audra’s husband Russ says that Audra tends to get a little bossy.

Audra says that Russ doesn’t have any restaurant experience.

Audra is a kind and generous person but she is impatient.

Russ says that this gets tiring.

He’s doing what he’s being told but his heart isn’t in it.

He’s not feeling any joy in doing it.

This restaurant is causing problems in their marriage.

They argue more than they ever have and some days they are more distant with each other.

Russ loves his wife but he can’t do this much longer.

Robert arrives at the restaurant.

He says he isn’t sure how the health department allowed them to stay open.

He also says that Tom has a lot of work to do.

Robert calls Audra and Russ into the restaurant for a brief on the restaurant.

Robert tells them he feels like he’s in a horror movie.

Audra worked in a detention center for 18 years and got a lot of experience cooking there.

An opportunity opened up to rent the space and she began leasing it in 2018.

Their gross revenue in 2018 was $92,000 - $93,000.

They are breaking even right now and she uses the money to pay the bills.

They don’t pay themselves a wage.

All of the grant money went to the landlord for the rent.

Russ and Audra have been married for 34 years.

Audra does all of the cooking and Russ is a manager.

He does the paperwork.

Audra says she wants to find Russ’ niche in the restaurant.

Audra’s sister Toni also works there.

Mary works there too but she isn’t related to Audra or Russ.

They pay Toni and Mary.

Audra doesn’t use social media for her business because she worries that people will leave bad reviews.

She says she knows the food is good.

She says people leave bad reviews for no reason because they are haters.

Audra says she is confident but she really isn’t.

Robert says he wants to see the service.

The customers have been waiting for their food for around 20 minutes.

They don’t have a POS system.

Toni says she only works here because Audra is her sister.

She’s used to her being so bossy.

One customer says she would feel better if she were served food on an actual plate and not in a Styrofoam container.

The customers want to feel at home.

The fish has been cooking for too long and now they are burning.

Robert’s first impression is that the restaurant is chaotic.

Robert tells Audra that he wouldn’t want to work for her.

This is not a healthy work relationship.

The mac and cheese has been sitting out for around 30 minutes.

The chicken has been sitting in the basket for 20 minutes.

Robert checks the temperature of the chicken.

It should be at least 155 degrees but it is at 115 degrees.

The salmon is only at 100 degrees.

Audra isn’t serving food safely at all and is going to make people sick.

Robert shuts the restaurant down and wants to try the food.

He asks for one of everything on the menu.

The potato salad sat out for 25 minutes.

The jerk chicken is very salty, the salmon cake is bland and the fish nuggets have a putrid taste.

Audra’s organization, food cooking skills, safety and knowledge isn’t good enough.

Audra is clueless.

Robert gives them his opinion on the food.

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

The staff begins taking everything out of the restaurant.

Lynn says the place is depressing and they will have to start from scratch since there is nothing he can work with.

Robert has Audra tell the staff to clean out the kitchen.

Robert is watching on the surveillance camera to see how she does.

Right away, Audra goes back to her bossy ways.

She treats Toni and Mary with respect but not Russ.

Robert needs to get to the bottom of this issue.

Robert gives Audra homework.

She must overcome her fear of social media by opening up a business account.

She must also write a letter of appreciation to Russ.

Audra says she believes in her and her husband.

She thinks she can be a better wife.

The next morning, the kitchen equipment Robert has ordered arrives.

Audra created a social media account for the restaurant.

She reads the letter to Russ.

Russ says it’s nice to hear Audra say these things because he usually doesn’t hear it.

Audra says this was a necessary exercise.

Robert will have Audra tell her story on social media.

Audra is struggling with her confidence.

Robert shows Russ and Audra their new kitchen equipment.

Audra says she has to be a better leader for her team.

Robert shows Russ and Audra recipes that will be added to the new menu.

Robert got them a POS system.

They will begin setting up for the service.

It’s 5 o’clock and they are hours behind since they had to start from the ground and build up.

Russ and Audra are learning the POS system with the staff.

Robert coming in has brought new life and confidence into Russ and Audra.

Russ says this makes him happy.

Audra has the tools and procedures set up and she feels like Robert has made her a part of his family.

Robert takes Russ and Audra into their new restaurant.

Russ and Audra are amazed by how beautiful their restaurant looks.

Russ and Audra invite customers into their new restaurant.

On relaunch, the customers love the food.

They say they would come back to this restaurant every day.

Russ says the future of this restaurant is bright.

What Happened Next at Soul Food in the Park?

A month later, they have seen a 40% increase in overall sales.

Audra says the new kitchen has eliminated her stress.

It helps her serve food safely and more efficiently.

Russ has continued to take charge of the front of the house.

He enjoys getting to know all the new customers.

Soul Food in the Park is open.

Reviews are mostly positive but some seem to suggest that the place isn't always open when it should be.

Soul Food in the Park is Restaurant Impossible season 19 episode 9 and aired on 15th July 2021.

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