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'Restaurant: Impossible' helps Hillbillies Restaurant, Murphys, Calif.

On last night's Food Network episode of "Restaurant: Impossible," Robert Irvine went to Murphys, Calif. to help save a restaurant on this episode titled, “Dirty Laundry.”

Robert Irvine host of Restaurant: Impossible
Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images

Robert came to meet with owner Jami Saul and her mother CC Costa at Hillbillies Restaurant. She opened the place over three years ago after working for a caterer for seven years. In the heart of wine country, with so many upscale restaurants, Jami wanted to give people a down-home type of place where they could feel comfortable. However, over the years, employees have taken advantage of Jami, and although CC does not work there, she helped fund the place. Jami has two sons, and if the restaurant fails, they will suffer as well.

When Robert came there, he saw laundry hanging over his head and a covered wagon, as part of the hillbilly theme of the place, that Robert felt was tacky. The carpet was stained and there were dirty decorations all over the place. When he spoke with mother and daughter, he saw a woman who has given up and told her to stop crying and show him a service.

The service seemed to go well; the regulars liked the simple food that was a welcome in a town taken over by yuppies. One customer raved about the frog legs and eggs for breakfast, but just about everything in the place was originally frozen. So then Robert tried the gamut of the menu that he considered garbage. Steve the cook agreed to heed Robert’s advice, as Jami was very disappointed that he did not like a thing he was served.

Robert met with Lynn, his designer, who never imagined anything so bad. Robert met with the staff and told them they should be ashamed of themselves for taking pay and not cleaning or doing a good job. Then Robert took the entire staff outside to meet with them. He asked Jami to tell him the things that annoy her about her staff. She stated, one waitress spoke to her disrespectfully; that money was missing from the register on more than one occasion, and even so people still work there. CC told Robert that Jami was too forgiving. Then Robert saw how the infighting was causing problems, first hand. He then yelled at Jami, CC, who has an investment and claimed to have no voice, and the staff for their attitudes.

Back inside the restaurant, Lynn and Tom had plenty of ideas for making the place look modern and clean.

Now Robert had to find a backbone for Jami after she had a night of soul searching. Robert gave Jami some lessons on following orders. As a leader, she will be giving orders to her staff, and they will be taking them. As they were blindfolded, they had to listen to Jami’s directions, which gave her a feeling of empowerment, that she lacked before Robert’s arrival.

In the kitchen, Robert showed Jami and Steve how to ramp up their menu, and then he introduced Jami the Boss to her staff.

The new interior was introduced to Jami and CC, and when they saw the place, they were astounded by how clean and bright it was. They were both in tears and Tom and Lynn were so appreciated. When Jami’s sons came in to see the place, they felt the same way. The crowd waiting outside was anxious to try the new menu and see how great it looked; so clean and bright and fresh.

Thanks to Robert and his crew of "Restaurant: Impossible," this restaurant, family and staff have a new direction.

At the end of each show, Robert tells viewers to check his link to see how the restaurant is doing since his visit. If you liked what you read, please Subscribe, and you will never miss another post from this Television Examiner. Thanks!

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