Sunday, June 9, 2013

Restaurant Impossible - Pinehurst Country Lodge Update

Restaurant Impossible Pinehurst Country Lodge
Photo - Food Network
Tonight on Restaurant Impossible, Robert Irvine and crew are going to Greeley, Pennsylvania to help out the Pinehurst Country Lodge.  After losing his successful corporate job, the owner Roger, who has no previous restaurant experience, purchased the Pinehurst Country Lodge.  After six months, he is now supposedly $350,000 in debt and on the verge of losing everything.  As I normally do with Restaurant: Impossible episodes, I searched around the Internet to read stories, comments and reviews about Pinehurst Country Lodge to get an idea of how the restaurant is doing since Robert Irvine visited, and here is what I found (note - all reviews are post Restaurant Impossible):



The Positive Reviews:
  • "Where shall I begin?  Great ambiance, service was excellent.  Limited but quality menu.  Salad bar was nicely stocked with numerous vegetables, dressing choices and fresh bread....I ordered off the nights specials, sirloin and shrimp.  It was excellent, cooked perfectly and the portion was adequate as well.  I highly recommend this place!"
  • "There is something very special about PineHurst...the comfortable atmosphere ...the friendly welcome .... the delicious food .... the super salad bar .... new decor.........now serving lunch and dinner...my favorite local restaurant....no longer lost....you must dine here..."
  • "Been to this establishment in the past and never really cared for it. Now there is a new owner and the tables have turned. The food is very good. Everything tasty and fresh. Prime rib, chicken, and seafood dishes all up to par. Plus a great salad bar to compliment your meal. The staff is very attentive-friendly and the owner really seems to care. I expect great things from this cozy restaurant and can't wait to come back."


The Negative Reviews:
  • "After waiting over three hours for our reservation on re-launch night (The Restaurant was chosen for an airing of Food Network's Restaurant Impossible), I am sad to say we walked out.  The over all atmosphere remained nice, but obviously service and kitchen were struggling severely.  I normally wouldn't leave a review, but I was terribly disappointed that most tables that were seated were friends and family from NY and Long Island.  If you want to remain in business, and you are truly struggling, then I am sorry, but reservations should be given to those who you would like to return.  I am not in any rush to go back for this sole reason."
  • "What a shame - used to be such a pretty place - now looks like decor for a teenager's bedroom. What is with painting everything black? Went Sunday evening - tea was cold, food was cold. The prime rib was plunked right on top of the mashed potatoes and made them mushy. Spagetti was cold and lumped together with a couple of pieces of brocolli in the one dish. Just awful - will not go back. We had been going there for over 10 years - new owners don't have a clue."
*Reviews from Yelp, Tripadvisor, Urbanspoon

Other Stories:
  • An article in the Wantagh Patch stated: Restaurant Impossible "will highlight how Roger and his wife Sandy decided to tackle owning their own restaurant near a vacation home in Greeley, Pa. after the husband lost his successful corporate job during the economic downturn. Sandy Murray remains in Wantagh working for a company in Melville while Roger is in Pennsylvania running the day-to-day operations of the new restaurant."
  • In an article from NEagle.com, Roger said "they did a "wonderful, wonderful job" and has had good feedback from his clientele. He says he was probably picked because his story is a bit unusual- changing careers in mid-life and facing an uphill struggle, not knowing what they were going to do.

Conclusion:

The restaurant was called Pinehurst Lodge before the new owners bought it and changed the name to Pinehurst Country Lodge.  While there weren't too many reviews post-Restaurant Impossible, there were a good amount of reviews since Roger and Sandy took over the restaurant.  Most of these reviews were 5-star reviews and complemented the new owners and how they are doing a great job.  So, it looks like with the publicity and positive feedback that they shouldn't have any issues being successful with this restaurant.


What I think is interesting is how they claim to be $350,000 in debt just six months after buying the restaurant.  When you have a home in Long Island, NY and a vacation home in Greeley, Pa, and have enough money to buy a restaurant, I doubt you can be $350,000 in debt.  Unless you don't consider properties as assets.  Also, to get picked to be on the show that quickly, they must have filled out the application right after purchasing it.  While the fact that someone decided to open a restaurant rather than find another job was probably interesting to producers, I bet there are a lot more restaurants in greater need.


*Visit Our Restaurant Impossible Update Page to see all Restaurant Impossible Updates, and which restaurants are open, closed, or have been sold.  Also Like Us on Facebook  and  Follow Us on Twitter

25 comments:

  1. The business created a $350,000 hole, obviously.

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  2. Best wishes to these two. They deserve it. Great job!

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  3. This was my favorite episode. The Murray's are a wonderful couple. They and the staff were so open to constructive criticism. The chef also wanted to make a difference. Their was absolutely no attitude with the owners and the staff. Robert does such an incredible job in turning around the restaurants. The designers also did a fantastic job. My partner and I got chocked up watching this episode. We hope the Murray's are able to spend more time with their family. Congratulations to your new secsess. Les

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  4. learn_how_to_spell_lynnJune 9, 2013 at 11:32 PM

    Apparently at the relaunches its almost all friends and family...

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  5. Michael Lindeen Jr.June 10, 2013 at 4:58 AM

    I also found the ep a little odd. It reminded me a little of the Stacey Poon-Kinney episode. The business seemed to be in decent shape before Robert got there. It felt like an "interesting story" episode and not a place with a real need.

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  6. Why would you go on the opening night and say 'you're never coming back because the kitchen was overwhelmed?' that's incredibly dumb.

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  7. Prime rib served on top of mashed potatoes made them 'mushy'? Guess nearly every high end restaurant in America is doing it wrong, then. If you liked the old decor so much, I guess you liked the 'smell of old' and lots of dust!

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  8. Maybe the producers realize they need a few slam-dunks in their pockets to improve the ration of failures to "successes."

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  9. Any restaurant making mashed potatoes, period, must be doing it wrong.

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  10. You think a restaurant that looks like a dungeon, is losing 20K a month, serves carrots as a side dish with every meal (or ANY meal), serves frozen appetizers, doesn't have a decent bar, and has an owner that doesn't know anything about serving OR cooking is in decent shape? Just because the kitchen is clean and the owner isn't a half-wit, this place needed HELP! :)

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  11. I guess you don't go to high end steak houses...some sort of mashed potato is usually one of their top-selling sides. If you're going to attempt to be snarky, at least be smart about it. :)

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  12. Wow, if you're going to attempt to slam someone you don't know a whit about, do a better job. I need no schooling on "high end steakhouses" from an internet stranger; I know quite well, thank you. It would appear you missed the joke. I guess you miss a lot of jokes.

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  13. Not if it's funny.

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  14. You're a riot, Alice.

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  15. They're clearly $420,000 in debt on the restaurant itself, if you just add up the numbers they put out through the show. They *didn't* have the money to buy a restaurant - they borrowed $75,000 from friends for the down payment and the rest is mortgaged. They may or may not be $350,000 in debt overall, but it's not that much of a stretch to think they could be. Roger said he was out of work for 4 years, and he didn't say (that I heard) how he'd been living during that time. He did say they've dipped into savings and 401k's for the restaurant, but that doesn't mean they didn't also have personal debts.


    I didn't hear whether their houses are paid off, but if they've been living off a second mortgage or home equity loan (which seems likely), then that would explain being $350,000 in debt overall.


    They really shouldn't have bought the restaurant, but as a business owner myself, I understand how easy it is to convince yourself that it'll be easy to make money, and it was a profitable place before they took over...

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  16. These two deserve to be successful. They took this as a learning experience as well as the staff. To many people go into the service industry with no leadership experience. Management doesn't equate to leadership. Good job for asking for help and actually listening. Hope it works out for them.

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  17. You mis-spelled idiot Origami;-)

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  18. You're very kind, Toddfather :)

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  19. Roger use to work at Esquire Deposition Svc. he was a total A-hole, that explains the bad luck he had with the Pine Lodge, glad it turned around for you.

    Sloan G.

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  20. I love this episode hope they are doing well

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  21. Why would you buy a restaurant--not an easy business even for someone with experience--when you have absolutely no restaurant experience whatsoever?


    If you check the prices of similar local restaurants you will find that the new owners charge at least 10 dollars more for the same meal. The Inn at Lackawaxen, set on the Upper Delaware River, just down the road from Pinehurst, with beautiful views and an outdoor deck, charges $14.95 for Prime Rib, while Pinehurst charges $23.


    These people came from NY with no idea of how to run a successful restaurant and then try to charge NY prices. This is probably one of the main reasons they are losing the business.

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  22. pfft its easy to get in a hole for 350,000 you don't tie your home or homes inthe ix so you can lose them to if you are smart

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  23. Loved the episode- could not have helped nicer people:)

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  24. Love this show! Great site, btw! Just watched this episode last night. At first I thought the guy was nuts, but then he had such a keen determination and willingness to succeed, I felt myself cheering for him! Hope they stay open! Best. Episode. Evah.

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  25. It doesn't matter the cost of the dish unless u know the quality of it as well as the portions sizes. I would gladly pay more for prime rib if the quality is good. Charging just $14.95 for prime rib really doesn't make me want to take the chance of having a quality meal. You pay for what you get and prime rib costing just $14.95 tends to make me believe that the prime rib at The Inn at Lackawaxen would probably taste like it was made out of Play-Do (or is it Play-Dough).

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