Food Network’s Chef Robert Irvine and crew arrived at Stella’s Restaurant Wednesday to make over the restaurant and menu in two days time. That proves to be quite the challenge for the crew at
Division 9 Design and Construction from Clinton New Jersey who does the work for the show. They have to wait for the designer to come up with the concept then run to Home Depot and get all the items needed for the makeover before they can even begin to work. So the crew is lucky if they get a day and half to do the actual work, usually with very little sleep. the pilot show they said they were awake for over 36 hours straight, they were up mostly because the were excited to be part of the show. Restaurant Impossible intended to use local construction crews for each show. Division 9 Design and Construction, run by Tom Bury, Angelo Russomanno and Chris Balasic worked the pilot show, Food Network used another crew for the second show. Division 9 was called back for the third and the other 40 shows. On They told me ” you know what it is like to hire a contractor for your home, can you imagine doing that show after show?” I doubt there are many crews can work under such tight time constraints.
The reveal was scheduled for 6pm. I was told they rarely make the intended time for many reasons. I showed up at 7:45pm and there were over 100 people lined in the drizzling rain waiting to get in. I’m told you had to have reservations weeks in advance to get seated. It wasn’t until 8:25 that the producers came out with owner Michael Savoie to set up the scene for Chef Irvine to come out and tell the owner that hundreds of their friends have gathered for their grand reopening. The news media that was in attendance as well as anyone gathered were told not to take any video or photos. The audience needed to be quiet from this point including the reveal to the owner inside the restaurant, the audience was very cooperative. By 9pm they started filing see the changes and to try out the new menu.
This episode is scheduled to air sometime in June. Here is an interview with Chef Irvine earlier in the day with Ali Reed from WTNH: