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‘Restaurant Stakeout’ rescues 12 Grapes Wine Bar in Peekskill, N.Y.

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Tonight's episode of “Restaurant Stakeout” was titled "Whine Bar." Willie Degel came to help out 12 Grapes Wine Bar in Peekskill.

Willie met with Rich and Jeannie Credidio, owners of this restaurant with a music venue. This married couple have been sweethearts since high school. They have owned the place for five years and are first-time restaurant owners. They serve twelve red and twelve white wines by the glass. With a strong start, their dream is all but vanished. So they called in Willie to help get it back on track or their future is in jeopardy, as their life savings are in the restaurant.

They met with Willie and gave him the keys. When the project was completed, he set up nearby and the owners got to watch what was happening in their restaurant. They observed the kitchen with the new chef, Dennis whose passion they admire. Andrea the bartender has been there about four years. Andrea then came from behind the bar and sat with a woman she just made a drink for. When the woman said she did not put enough money in the parking meter, she left without paying for the drink. Andrea got very upset and when the woman returned, she gave her a hard time.

When two women came in to have a meal, Mona, the waitress greeted them. They asked if they could do a wine tasting. Whoever poured the two glasses for each woman, gave them about half a glass of wine in each. When Mona returned, she had no idea what wines were given to them. When Andrea came back she poured two more glasses of free wine. This over-pouring was costing the owners money, and they did not like what they saw.

A customer was served ribs, but they were not cut individually and very messy. Mona offered to bring the ribs back to have them cut. Rather than bring them right out, she was behind the bar drinking beer with Andrea and the rest of the crew. Rich realized that he is not strict enough with his staff, and although he stated he is strict with his wife, Willie told him he should kiss her behind because she is his rock.

When the chef came from the kitchen and spoke to the customers with the ribs, he told them to save room for dessert he was sending them. They told him they would certainly be back again. Willie said he was a rock star.

When the music came on, it was too loud and customers could not hear each other talking. They expected to have a quiet dinner, and although they changed tables, it was still too loud and they left. Willie saw the restaurant as having an identity crisis. Willie sent in a couple to test the knowledge of Natasha, Andrea’s daughter who is a server. She had no clue about the wine. Andrea then went over with a bottle of wine and poured more free wine for them to taste. Willie recognized a desperate need for wine training.

Andrea made it a habit of coming from the back of the bar and sitting with more customers. As she was discussing drinks with one customer, he offered to go behind the bar and make her a drink. She then went back there and handed him bottles and allowed him to make a drink from his seat as the owners were appalled. When he poured the drinks, their son who was sitting at the bar, the customer and Andrea all had a drink.

When Rich and Jeannie rounded up the staff, Willie walked in to give them the lowdown. He told Andrea he did not like how she spoke to the woman who put money in her meter. She stated that she felt comfortable there, and that was why she sat at the bar. The staff was in tears as Willie explained how much the couple had invested in the place and them. They are like a family and promised to act more professionally.

The next day, Willie met with the couple. He explained that the restaurant should come first. Wine pairing should be a priority there. The couple promised to work together and both will be in charge of the restaurant. Their most popular wine was a pinot noir from California, so Willie had Dennis make food to pair with their wines. Then he brought in a wine expert to educate the staff and get their ideas for pairing food with wine.

Six weeks later, Willie returned to the restaurant. The couple was happy, and the place was packed. Andrea was doing a great job behind the bar. Dennis was busy in the kitchen and doing an awesome job. The music is only available a few nights a week, and the main focus is the restaurant. Another job well done, thanks to Willie and his staff on "Restaurant Stakeout."

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