On last night's Food Network episode of "Restaurant: Impossible," Robert Irvine went to Auburn, Wash. to help save a bar and grill named in this episode titled, “Monkey Business.”
Robert came to meet with Donel Brinkman, owner of the Spunky Monkey Bar & Grill, a jungle hut, tropical themed restaurant and bar. About four years ago, when the economy down turned, many people left Auburn and their business went south. No matter how hard they tried to attract diners in the place, their reputation as a bar only drew drinkers.
Managing the restaurant, is Donel’s partner Shannon Fox. Their relationship is suffering because the only fights they have are about the restaurant. When Robert walked in, he was not sure if it was a zoo or a restaurant. The dirt was apparent and as Robert met the couple, he saw that they had a difference of opinions immediately. As he questioned them about the filth in the place, and Shannon owned up to the responsibility of it, so Robert told Donel to fire her, she may love her, but she is no good to her, and he told her she sucked as a manager. Robert read them both the riot act and told Donel he wanted to see a service.
At the service, Robert was thoroughly disgusted. Customers were appalled at the dirt, the worn-out theme, and the food. When he noticed a bartender frying food, he was shocked. A window fan was used as exhaust because the overhead fan broke, and they could not afford to replace it. Finally, Robert accused Donel of checking out. Robert did not even go into the kitchen, but found mold in the ice chest and drink nozzles behind the bar. Robert would not even eat the food.
Although Robert would not eat the food, he wanted to see how Shannon cooked the food. He was appalled at the way Shannon was making the food, and when Donel saw it, stated that it was not the way it was supposed to be done. Now after all this time, she is criticizing Shannon’s cooking.
When Taniya came in to see the place, she was surprised, they all joined forces to empty the place, and as it was being done, Robert took the crew downstairs to question them. He had three piles of hats, red, yellow and blue. He asked if they cooked, to put on a yellow hat, if they served, a red one, and if they bartended, a blue one. The entire crew had all three hats on. Donel defended the action and stated that they did not do all three at once, but Robert differed in his opinion. He explained to Donel, that if they had to do all those jobs, the cleaning and other necessary tasks would never be completed. When he found that Shannon went home just before the busiest time of day, she found that the staff had no respect for her. Because her office was at home, Donel spent most of her time there, and Shannon would come home to be with Donel. Donel admitted their relationship was broken apart as the restaurant was too.
The next day, as the renovations were getting completed, there was a lot of work to do. Robert met with the women to hear their answers to his questions. Both women apologized for their lack of doing their jobs.
When he went to the kitchen, it was sparkling clean, so he gave them a few quick recipes that all just loved. So he went back upstairs to check on the construction. The floor was not in yet, and he yelled at Tom, who was putting the sub-floor down.
Robert went back to meet with the staff. He defined everyone’s job. Both Donel and Shannon apologized to the staff for not being the leaders they should have been.
When Robert took the couple into the new restaurant, they were just amazed at the transformation. The place was classy, bright and fresh with a touch of spunky. When the crowd outside was waiting to come in, they were just as amazed as the couples. The food was delicious because the cooks were cooking, the servers were serving; the bartenders were tending bar and above all; the managers were managing.
Thanks to Robert and his crew of "Restaurant: Impossible," this restaurant and family have better communication and a brighter future.
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!