Monday, December 16, 2013

Robert Irvine's eat! To Close Permanently

Back in October, Robert Irvine's eat! restaurant in Hilton Head, SC abruptly closed for emergency repairs, and the restaurant space was also listed for sale/lease with all equipment included.  The restaurant did reopen after the repairs, but they were still trying to decide whether they wanted to renew the lease for the restaurant.

It appears that Robert Irvine decided not to renew the lease, and that the restaurant will be closing for good after December 31st.  There will be a New Years Eve farewell party at the restaurant, which will be the last night it is open.

On a post on the restaurant's Facebook page, the restaurant stated:

"The lease was coming up at our current location and we were unsatisfied with the amount of rent that we were paying. The decision had to be made whether to find a new location or close the restaurant altogether. Ultimately we made the decision to close."
On the same post, an apparent waiter at the restaurant said the rent was "ridiculous" to which someone responded:
"You maybe a waiter at EAT! but you are NOT at all familiar with the Lease terms. The Lease terms were not "RIDICULOUS" and are actually BELOW what other tenants are paying in the SAME SHOPPING CENTER."
Here is the listing that has the space for a lease price of $22.50 per square foot per year.  With 5,000 square feet, that equates to $9,375 per month for the restaurant.

While we may not know the specifics, this doesn't look good for someone whose main job is to rescue restaurants and prevent them from closing.  Perhaps there should have been a special Restaurant Impossible episode filmed at his own restaurant?

33 comments:

  1. Really needed Tom to come in with the sledgehammer and start destroying stuff.


    Turnabout is fair play, amIright?

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  2. I'm surprised you didn't do a write up of the finale of Restaurant Express. I thought we'd have lots to discuss about that! Or maybe I was the only one watching? (Wouldn't be surprised if I was)

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  3. Yeah, I meant to do one before the finale yesterday, but never got around to it.

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  4. I watched it and was thrilled with the outcome. I can't believe nobody called Adam out on his cheating. If you have to steal your opponent's ingredients to win, you don't deserve it.

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  5. Maybe he can do a crossover special with Restaurant Takeover on Cooking Channel?

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  6. I was happy too. Opinions are pretty divided over at the FN forums.
    A lot of people thought Adam deserved it just because he had more experience and that it was rigged from the start. Personally I thought Adam was an arrogant jerk who never did deliver on his promise of "chef quality" food. He was smart and sneaky, which allowed him to sell more food throughout the competition, but he the food was always meh and a lot of people other than Robert commented on that.
    To me it doesn't matter how much experience you have if you can't get people to come back again for your food. While I think Seon's food was always amazing and she can learn the ins and outs of the business side of a restaurant.
    The other funny party is that the show always promised that the winner would get "his or her own restaurant", but in the end it didn't look exactly that. It seemed more like an Executive Chef job at a casino. It doesn't seem the same thing to me.

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  7. Thank you! I thought I was the only one who noticed the sudden change in the wording of the prize. Winning "your own restaurant" is a lot different than winning a position in a restaurant. Kind of sneaky.


    Early on in the season, someone in my house commented that Robert seemed to have a soft spot for Seon and that she looked a lot like Robert's wife. I didn't watch the whole season, but I was surprised that she won since she had no experience in the restaurant business.

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  8. A smart restauranteer knows when the stakes are too high, and gets out before he loses his shirt. If the concept didn't work with that rent, he's wise not to renew.

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  9. Huge swing and a miss for me. There's no more low hanging fruit than Guy FIEEEEETTI and I barely cracked a smile during that sketch.

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  10. If only there was a program out there about fixing failing restaurants...

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  11. Yeah that has been highly suggested over at the FN forums too. Much wrinkling of the noses. But to me, it always seemed as if her food was just fabulous time and time again. And it wasn't just Robert who found it delicious, other people that tried it agreed. Even if she lacked the business skills to lure people into her location of the week, those that did always love it. And since it doesn't seem to be *really* her restaurant, other people will be doing the marketing for her anyways.

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  12. That's what had me wondering if they reconfigured the "prize" to allow for her inexperience. I thought her food looked incredible, too, and her enthusiasm ("I can do ANYTHING!") made me smile, so all the best to her. :)

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  13. I did a write up about the prize back in September: http://www.foodnetworkgossip.com/2013/09/restaurant-express-with-robert-irvine.html

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  14. Aha! I missed that and only heard what they promised on the show. I guess they condensed it and it sounded a lot better. At least the contestants knew what they were getting into. Thanks, Matt.

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  15. Yes you did, I had forgotten. Still funny that it never gets mentioned in the show's 7 episodes until the very end. Even the contestants kept talking about "having my own restaurant". But I guess they must have read the contract before the show and they knew what it really was.

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  16. Apparently not, Matt says below that it was posted on the website that it wasn't "exactly" their very own restaurant. So now I feel kinda duped that I watched basically a 7 episode long Top Chef show.

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  17. This wasn't remotely amusing. Not surprised though. SNL is steadily going downhill.

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  18. It was ok. Made me smile a little bit, but it could have been a lot better. Thanks for posting it. I haven't seen SNL in years so I would have missed it (which might have been for the best).

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  19. As someone who lives in the community and has been to his other place here, nosh, it's not surprising that they aren't reopening. Food and service at nosh are beyond terrible and my girlfriend and I who went there for dinner to escape our husbands and kids wound up being more annoyed than if we'd just stayed home and cooked ourselves. It took them three tries to make a plain (overpriced) cheeseburger.... My guess is the experience is similar at Eat! We haven't been there and don't know anyone who has honestly.

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  20. He can't even run his own restaurants and people are asking for his help!

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  21. Adding a new edge to the reference to him as "fearless" in the RI intro.

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  22. Except that Restaurant Takeover is done in Canada. Although I'd give a lot to see a sledgehammer battle between Robert and Igor. My money's on Igor.

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  23. ifyaonlyknewthetruthDecember 17, 2013 at 3:11 PM

    15gs...poor weatherization......old inefficient a/c.....high regime fee......enjoy alphonses treats!..eat!

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  24. And if they had a musclebound Brit chef swinging a sledgehammer as the host...

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  25. Ramsay should show up with a film crew on NYE.

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  26. Now that would be funny! Then, Ramsay could put him on the next season of Hell's Kitchen so he can try to win his next restaurant!

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  27. Yup. He's the one with the experience going up against a neophyte. Why did he feel the need to cheat -- with hi-def cameras all around? Tells me he was insecure about his food. Plus if he's willing to do that on tv, what is he willing to do when there are no cameras? If I'm the investors, as a matter of fiscal responsibility, I can't let him work for me.

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  28. The place is rated as being between $30-$60 a head; that rent was decidedly not out of line with the concept they were going with.

    If you look at Yelp, however, you'll find that while there is praise for the food, there is also fairly consistent criticism of the service. Personally speaking, at that price point I expect on-point service, not that I'll find better at a local Red Robin.

    It doesn't matter how good your food is. Service is the first and last thing a customer gets and in the long run, what a customer is most likely to remember and bad service kills restaurants fast.

    Sounds like a perfect crossover opportunity for Restaurant Stakeout!

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  29. He says he's on the road over 300 days/year. Sounds like he needs to be there more.

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  30. Yep. I didn't feel strongly about who should win although I thought Seonkyoung's food would have been a better investment but when Adam kept stealing her stuff, I was hoping he'd fail... 3 out of 4 fails served him right.

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  31. Also says that he didn't plan very well for the execution of his menu... not that it would matter with the poor food quality.

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  32. True but her food got consistently good reviews and she handled the restaurant kitchens pretty well. In the end, the dinner service went well except for Adam stealing her food.

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  33. You people are nuts! This was hilarious and sadly I could actually see this happening.

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