Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Restaurant Impossible - Valley Inn Update

Restaurant Impossible Valley InnTonight's Restaurant: Impossible has Robert Irvine going to the Valley Inn in Palos Hills, Illinois which opened 40 years ago and is now being run by the original owners' sons. In doing research and reviews, it seemed as if many of the reviews before the show complained about the dirtiness and appearance of the Valley Inn.  As I do every week, I searched around the internet to read stories, comments and reviews about the Valley Inn to get an idea of how the restaurant is doing since Robert Irvine visited, and here is what I found (note - all reviews and comments are post Restaurant: Impossible):

The Positive Reviews:
  • "I started going to the Valley with my parents over 25 years ago for Lobster and Linguini on Fridays! I have been going off and on over the years and it was average but went to the opening with my girlfriends and it was beyond wonderful! We have been back a few times since and it is great - so glad you did the makeover!!"
  • "Stopped in for lunch a few days ago. The hand cut french fries were outrageously good! Likin' the new look too!"
  • "I love this place and can't wait to see the changes! It did need a facelift but I hope the food, prices, friendly staff and customers haven't changed." 
  • "I have been going to this restaurant for years and the food is excellent. Service is ok and prices are great. You get huge portions and you have it left over for 2 more meals the next day! The decor has been updated and looks very nice now."
  • "I've lived in the area for years, but never tried Valley Inn. I heard that they're going to be featured on an upcoming episode of "Restaurant:Impossible" and thought we'd give them a whirl. I'm glad we did!"
  • "Absolutely the best fried chicken I have ever had, their rigatoni and sausage , and portabella mushroom & artichoke are a staple with my family. Usually good service and nice atmosphere, but no place is perfect. Highly recommended." 

The Negative Reviews:
  • "After the makeover Valley Inn lost some of its personality. I want the old Valley."
  • "They also changed some of their best dishes. I hope once the limelight wears off they'll bring some of the items back."
  • "Unless you are going out to do some hard drinking, give this place a pass. They obviously didn't listen to any advice given to them during the remod as to how to run a successful dining business!"
  • "Since the Valley has gotten its make over it is terrible, should have kept it the way that it was.. On a good note, the Godfather Sandwich which they kept on the menu was still pretty good."

It looks like there are a lot of regulars that go to this restaurant and they all agreed it was in need of a makeover of the interior.  There seemed to be not many problems with the food before Restaurant Impossible came, and the food continues to get positive reviews for its taste and affordability.   Some of the patrons that think the Valley Inn has lost its charm, which probably means they like the feeling of a dive bar.  There is an adjoining bar that was not included in the Restaurant Impossible makeover, probably due to only having a $10,000 budget.  Finally, the Valley Inn has a Facebook page that they keep up-to-date and it seems the owner is active responding to comments about his restaurant, which is always a good sign for continued success after Restaurant Impossible leaves.

What do you think after about the Valley Inn and how it will do in the future?

UPDATE:  Valley Inn has reported that since Restaurant Impossible visited, sales have increased 85%.  Also, Dennis' mother is allowing him to run the business on his own.

Comments taken from Palos Patch articles
Reviews taken from Yelp and Yahoo

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