Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Restaurant Impossible - Green Beret Club (Smoke Bomb Grille) Update

Tonight on Restaurant: Impossible, Robert Irvine and his crew are in Fort Bragg, North Carolina to makeover the Green Beret Club.   Fort Bragg is a major United States Army installation, and the Green Beret Club is the only full service restaurant there.  Robert is on a special mission to update the restaurant while also keeping the tradition of the restaurant alive.  As I normally do with Restaurant: Impossible episodes, I searched around the Internet to read stories, comments and reviews about the Green Beret Club 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):


Reviews:


There have been no reviews since the makeover


Other News and Links:
  • During the makeover, the restaurant was renamed from the Green Beret Club to the Smoke Bomb Grille.
  • Here is an older website for the Green Beret Club. 
  • Here is the Smoke Bomb Grille website, and their menu.
  • Here are some photos of the interior after the makeover.
  • During the makeover of the Green Beret Club, Robert Irvine went skydiving with the US Army Golden Nights, and here is the video.
  • Here is a forum thread on a Professional Soldiers website titled "The destruction of Green Beret Club is Complete."  As the title implies, there are people complaining about the Restaurant Impossible makeover and are wondering if memorabilia went into the dumpster.
  • Here is another forum thread about the makeover, and one post said, "The show had no choice about the name it came from Corps. I think the staff has pushed back a lot."  There were also people there talking about the pictures being taken down and replaced with digitized memorials.
  • Here is a media release about the Smoke Bomb Grille, which states everybody is now welcome.
  • From a recent article, "The goal of the renovations was to change the food and the facility to attract more customers."  One soldier didn't like the changes, stating, "the name change takes away the unique identity of the Special Operations Forces and makes the facility more of a generic place for customers."
  • Another article about the makeover states things such as:
    • The quest to make over the club began when the vice chief of staff, Gen. John F. Campbell, wanted to show a different side of the Army, and Army officers were connected with officials from the Food Network.
    • As part of the agreement to film the show, McCollum said Irvine was asked to scale back his somewhat aggressive attitude.
    • The Green Beret Club has mustered out a profit that's just enough to keep the doors open.
  • The comments on that article also have people talking about the pictures being removed from the walls.

Conclusion:

There haven't been any reviews of the restaurant since the makeover, but there have been a lot of opinions.  Some people are sad to see their old club gone and now turned into a restaurant, while others do not like how the pictures of fallen soldiers have been taken down and replaced with digital frames.

As this was a special episode of Restaurant Impossible, it seems as Robert and his team had limitations and agreed to some stipulations before the show.  According to some comments, the name change and concept change may not have been the idea of Restaurant Impossible, but the idea of the ownership.  Robert Irvine always likes to give back to the troops, so he was probably OK with everything that was suggested.


*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

42 comments:

  1. You can tell that Irvine was stifled by looking at the menu - it's larger than most of his menus, is simpler than his menus (nothing fancied up here, just your solid basic comfort foods) and is more reasonably priced than most.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think renaming the club would have fixed most of the problems the GBC had. Personally, I found their official hours a bit odd. Lunch hours only M-Th, and Friday the only day with normal hours, and weekends reserved for special events? I can see where turning a profit could be a problem.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Such an odd episode. I wouldn't be surprised if the restaurant went back to the original menu the next day.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Mikki needs to go.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I so wanted Robert to rip into that lady with the awful attitude. Guess he was indeed shackled. The producer was harder on her than he was.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I live in a town near Fort Bragg. I've had to deal with them before. It's like trying to force a square peg into a round hole.



    One thing you have to realize when working on a military base, you have to jump through all kinds of "hoops" just to get a simple thing done. Intransigence is often encountered when dealing with military post - change comes hard. The shadow of tradition often clouds many people's' willingness to change.


    I'm sure RI had lots of trials to go through, just to get this much done.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Sad commentary. It seems there were/are more challenges than just those Robert Irvine could address.

    ReplyDelete
  8. This episode really bummed me out. The idea of removing all those historic and sentimental photograghs and digitalizing them in black and white as a slide show on a couple TVs really got to me. Horrendous ! There was NO NEED to change the name from Green Beret Club.
    That's an historical reference. They could easily have done a more modern sign that had 2 lines.
    Top line -Green Beret Grille. Lower line -"We WELCOME all service people and their families".
    A little publicity in some of base newspapers/social media could have fixed that quickly. In this case RI's reach exceeded it's grasp. What a shame.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Up at dawn. Run all day. And turkey burger?? I guess maybe young soldiers are used to that from the school lunch programs. Hot turkey sandwich or hot beef sandwich is ready in 5 minutes. I'd want diner food.

    ReplyDelete
  10. The military approved the name change and chose it themselves. From reading this blog it also seems it was their idea.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Well the place was losing money and was using up tax dollars. That is what the Tparty screams about as "socialism".

    ReplyDelete
  12. Typical government bureaucracy. When I was working for the Fed, I came across a piece of equipment that would have been useful for the job we did and brought it up to my supervisor. It wound up taking weeks and running it past 4 or 5 different departments before they would even look at the product brochures and contact the sales rep. In the end, they did purchase the equipment. I found out later if an employee came up with something that saved the government money, they received a reward. I also found out someone else took credit for finding that piece of equipment, which did save money, something I didn't think about when I first heard about it and went to see a demo of it, on my own time, of course..

    ReplyDelete
  13. It looked to me like all they needed was a name change and to advertise the place. Updating the food a little helped too. He would have been better off teaching them how to cook a fresh hamburger instead, I don't see turkey burgers being too popular an item on a military base. Having beef tacos on the menu would have been a better idea too.

    ReplyDelete
  14. For the pictures they should have either bought or found someone to donate a digital projector and project the pictures onto the wall in a loop. It would have been more impressive a display.

    ReplyDelete
  15. They weren't losing money or using up tax dollars, they were only making 3% profit instead of the 8% they were required to make by the base, and that came from not many knowing the place was there and the name scaring off the ones who did. Those problems were easily resolved.

    You, on the other hand are just another nutjob, low-information voting, handout taking, big government liberal. Get a job and STFU.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Take your political garbage somewhere else.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Birds of a feather....... (as I'm sure you missed it, I'm talking about you and the nutjob)

    ReplyDelete
  18. Please keep running your mouth. You just keep making yourself look more ignorant. Go whine about politics somewhere else idiot. This is a forum about a TV show.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Just gonna say it, if the people who are so concerned over the makeover had frequented the Green Beret Club it wouldn't have been made over or a name change necessary.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Not sure if all of the people on this site have EVER been in
    the Military or Served in the Special forces Realm. But for most of you that haven’t you don’t understand
    the history of that place so you really don’t have the right to comment on it,
    even more if you have never lost a friend in combat. It wasn’t about making a hand full of money. It was a place for the select few to sit down,
    enjoy and celebrate friends past and present. To Honor fallen Brothers and ones
    who are leaving or retiring from service. To remove pictures, Items that were
    put there a long time ago and to change the name was wrong on so many levels. It
    could have renovated but left the memories in place.

    SFC (RET) Wilson.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I like this idea. I think the small digital frames made it hard for anyone to see and appreciate the photos.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I've never served in the military, and I've only been on a military base a few times in my life. But I can appreciate how much that memorabilia meant to the soldiers and their families, and I agree that removing it was VERY wrong.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Let's see.....advertise, change the name, change menu & learn basic cooking techniques (cook a hamburger which an 11 year old can do) and you say 'all they needed' as if only minor changes were needed. If you don't advertise, locals don't know you're in business, your menu doesn't appeal to your clientele, and your kitchen staff can't prepare the basics these are serious and root problems that would keep any restaurant from succeeding.

    ReplyDelete
  24. bildgewaterblue, I'm guessing you didn't pay attention to the show. The "minor changes" I mentioned, that "It looked to me like all they needed was" are what they did, which you would have seen had you PAID ATTENTION TO THE SHOW. Those "minor changes", as you call them, led to a 48% increase in business and 10% in new customers. The renovation would have been wasted without them.

    BTW, when you've been cooking FROZEN HAMBURGERS for years, you may need a refresher in how to cook FRESH HAMBURGERS CORRECTLY for a busy, lunchtime crowd, even if you are an 11 year old, which I'm guessing from your lack of focus and your above tantrum, you are. Duh.

    ReplyDelete
  25. The owner/older manager seemed to be stuck in one gear and unable to adapt to change.



    that is typical of government and career government employees

    ReplyDelete
  26. Interesting what bummed me out is the fact those men died for nothing. Pointless wars that didn't matter.

    ReplyDelete
  27. You can draw conclusions just from OPs name and avatar

    ReplyDelete
  28. Tantrum? Hardly. Just stating my option from what I observed on this program. Sorry if my opinion offended you. I can only surmise you take this light entertainment program very seriously to have evoked such a response to one viewer's comments/opinion.

    ReplyDelete
  29. The restaurant is a privately owned commercial establishment with no oversight or management from U.S. military or government. Your statement regarding government employees is unwarranted and you may want to consider that our troops are government employees. My father was a vet from WWII and when he left the military service, later became a career government employee who was capable of change during is 40+ year career as evidenced at his retirement celebrations. I've had a career in the private sector and find that at times "change" is made solely because it it is change and in many instances has not been proven to be of long-term benefit or improvement to an organization but rather is executed because it's the 'latest' popular idea. Sometimes it's best to stick with the tried and true business basics when operating an enterprise in lieu of jumping on the band wagon for a short lived management fad.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Going by that logic, you have no avatar so you are irrelevant.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Wow, you're a real moron. All of those wars were so pointless huh? Maybe ask some Europeans some time if there was a point to defeating the Nazi's. I'm going to take a wild shot in the dark and feel free to correct me, you're an American. If you are, I might hope that you realize that one of the reasons you live in such an amazing country is due to some of those wars. Does that mean that every war was for the right reason, of course not but to suggest that all wars are pointless is possibly one of the dumbest comments I've ever read.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I completely agree with you in principle. The problem is would you rather have what they did to the place done or would you rather have it shut down? I'm simply asking that question based on the knowledge I garnered from the episode. I think sometimes you have to make the best of a bad situation and that's what they tried to do.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Give the attacks a rest and talk about the show.

    ReplyDelete
  34. DoD Employee On BraggSeptember 21, 2014 at 11:45 AM

    You Are An Idiot. The Restaurant Is Run By MWR. Just Like The Fort Bragg Club, Both Bowling Alleys And Golf Courses On Fort Bragg. Therefore Making It Run By The Government.

    ReplyDelete
  35. One is an idiot if they are misinformed. You, however, are rude and lacking in good manners by calling me such.

    ReplyDelete
  36. I think the makeover definitely helped them, but I agree with Wilson; they could have been more respectful in regard to the memorabilia.

    ReplyDelete
  37. It wasn't actually losing money; it was just that the profit margin was down from 8 percent to 3 percent, and it had to maintain a minimum 8 percent profit margin to maintain its on-base licensing.

    ReplyDelete
  38. You are right about them having a profit-margin issue rather than actual losses, but that's no reason to call another poster names or use abusive language. All you had to do was politely disagree and set the record straight.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Did anyone else notice that Robert introduced Tom as the designer and Lynn as the builder? I played it back three times to make sure I heard it right.

    ReplyDelete