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'Restaurant: Impossible' helps Bumbinos Italian Ristorante

Robert Irvine host of Restaurant: Impossible
Photo by Aaron Davidson

On last night's Food Network episode of "Restaurant: Impossible," Robert Irvine went to Orange City, Fla. to help save Bumbinos Italian Ristorante on this episode titled, “Bummed Out.” With just two days and $10,000 to do the impossible, it may just take that to fix this place.

Robert met with mother and son team, Terry Gardner and Willie Fretwell. She opened the restaurant to give her son a future and a business; a decision she made with her heart and not her head. He pleaded with her to buy the place so they could work together and bond and make the future theirs. She felt he deserved this, because he needed to prove himself, as nobody ever gave him a chance. Cappy Pierce is also an owner, who works in the back, while Willie does pizza and Terry is the front end manager. Willie and Cappy do not get along, and there is a big divide between mother and son. It is becoming apparent that the strife is hurting the business with their loud outbursts and name calling.

When Robert walked into the restaurant, it was clean and orderly. Usually he can spot immediately why the restaurant was failing, but this is a mystery upon first glance. When Robert questioned the mother and son, he learned that they put a lot of money into this place, and the guy who can cook is making pizzas, another guy who spent his life in construction is doing the cooking and now he sees what is wrong. As Robert observed a service, Terry was the only one waiting tables, and some people waited 15 minutes before even given water.

Robert went into the kitchen and met Cappy. He immediately saw chicken sitting in its juices and warned him not to cook it, because it was laden with bacteria. Now he is worried, because this was only the first infraction he caught. When he checked on the customers, they did not like the food. The sauce was too garlicky, the tilapia was too fishy and the pizza was just ok.

Suddenly, Willie started yelling at Cappy so loud that everyone in the restaurant heard every word. He told them to shut down the service because Cappy did not throw away the bad chicken.

When Willie walked away, Robert went after him and told him to grow up. He stated that if they did not want to change, the restaurant was doomed. Then Robert tried the food, and was served the same chicken he told them to throw away. He told them their problem was the food.

When Cheryl came in, she felt that the family pictures were not appropriate for a restaurant. It looked more like someone’s house instead of a restaurant. They emptied the place from top to bottom and Tom and his crew got busy immediately.

Robert met with the three owners the next day. Willie read them the essay he wrote about respect. Then Robert brought them into the kitchen to show them how to really cook. Robert gave Cappy a lesson in pizza making. He showed him how easy it could be and gave him extra confidence in himself.

When Robert was ready to show them the finished restaurant, they could not believe their eyes. It was an amazing transformation and they were all in tears. When Tom and Cheryl came in, they were so grateful for their hard work. Robert also surprised them with the picture of Terry’s niece, who was nicknamed Bumbino and had her adorable picture on the door. Terry got to try Cappy’s first pizza and it was delicious.

Thanks to Robert and his crew of "Restaurant: Impossible," this restaurant, is back in business and passion is its middle name.

At the end of each show, Robert tells viewers to check his link to see how the restaurant is doing since his visit.

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