Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Restaurant Impossible - Michele's Restaurant Update

Micheles Restaurant Impossible
Tonight's Restaurant: Impossible has Robert Irvine going to Michele's in Corry, Pennsylvania to try to help new owners Michele and Andy, who purchased the restaurant at an auction despite no restaurant experience.  As I do every week, I searched around the internet to read stories and reviews about Michele's, to get an idea of how the restaurant is doing since Robert Irvine visited.

There was not much information about Michele's at all.  There were 2 reviews on Google Reviews, which both gave 0 out of 3 for the rating, but both of these reviews were before Robert visited.  There were no ratings on Tripadvisor, Yelp, Urbanspoon, etc., so it seems as if the restaurant didn't create much buzz or the customers frequenting the restaurant do not care about writing reviews on the internet.

When the Restaurant Impossible crew was there in June, a local article wrote of the makeover and someone commented: 
  • "Hope they renovate the menu and wait staff, this used to be a great place to dine when it was Perry's, was not impressed with it after it became Michele's. Wait staff were slow and not friendly and the menu was boring"
 And a recent article has customers of the restaurant as saying:
  • "Before, it felt like you were walking into an old, dark room. It wasn't someplace you thought about when you wanted to go out to eat.  Now it's welcoming.  And the food is delicious." 
  • "It's better because there are more choices again.  The new menu was very limited."

Without much information from customers that have been to the restaurant after the renovations, it is hard to determine what the locals think.  I know it is a small town, so maybe there is more word-of-mouth reviews, rather than reviews on the internet.  As always seems to be the case with Restaurant Impossible makeovers, Robert makes the menu smaller, some of the local customers complain or the restaurant owners want older items back on their menu, and the restaurant add items back to the menu after Robert leaves.

After watching the episode, I am sure we will get a better idea of how the restaurant will do in the future.  Most people hope for success for the owners, but last week's Paliani's episode proved to be the opposite according to the comments.  What are your feelings on Michele's?  Do they have what it takes to succeed?

UPDATE  - Michele has reported that business is up slightly since Restaurant Impossible did their makeover and was told that the business usually picks up more after the show airs.  Also, she thinks the show focused on her marriage a lot because her kitchen was so clean and they couldn't use dirtiness as a theme.  Finally, Jessica, the chef hired on the episode, cooked the opening night successfully and Michele hasn't seen or heard from her since.  Michele still followed Robert's advice and has hired an experienced chef to run the restaurant after Jessica didn't return.

UPDATE 10/2015 - According to a few online reviews, it appears that Michele's is now closed.

Information taken from and ErieTVNews
Photo courtesy of Foodnetwork


  1. I like your site and will come back for FN news and reviews.

    I am not hopeful that Michele's will succeed. She seems too fragile to be a business owner with so much responsibility. Her husband appears to be detrimental not only to the business but to her as well. It's going to take more than one lecture from Robert to change that husband's bad attitude and bullying demeanor regarding his wife, their business and their employees. 

  2. Michele is a tight wad who probably didn't want to pay a chef market value wages. These owners are given an opportunity of a lifetime, and often times owners don't appreciate all the hard work Robert and his team put forth. Good riddance Micheles your not deserving of that joint or Robert's wonderful talents. #asianwives.

  3. Owning a business is stressful and even worse when you lack the knowledge.  They got in over their heads and lacked the experience and money to make it work.  It's pretty poor profesionalism to take a job, work one days and disappear.  If you don't want a job - then don't apply for it.

  4. i ate at michele's in corry,pa last saturday night. they were very busy with a wedding and a full dining room but our experence was great!!! the food was fantastic, the service was great also. two of us had the two for twenty specials both of us had the steak which was cooked perfect and the baked potato was great salsd with white french dressing(very good) and homemade peanut butter pie  adn the other person had salmon  and he said it was great also. so we had a great experence at michele's and i am telling everyone i know and going back again soon. it is worth the trip!!!          [email protected]

  5. I can't believe "Jessica" didn't return.nervy of her to say the least! I sincerely hope this rest. has a future...wife worked hard with ZERO support. I live too far away or I'd be there. Good Luck!

  6. Just watched this episode in a rerun today.  Who left after one (1) day, the new Chef?  I had high hopes for this place after watching the episode and want to see them succeed.

  7. Glad to hear that they found yet another chef. These owners had better be paying the staff well if they want to keep good talent.

  8. Whatever the theme for Michele's = I certainly hope it is successful.  I live in California so my chances of visiting are minimal, but I hope that others in the area will help you succeed. Knowing that someone across the United States cares-may give you the encouragement you need to continue forward.  Ramona from Valley Center  California

  9. I ate at Michele's, the owner was there, but never came to our table.  The food came to the table very hot, service was very good and the food was cooked perfectly and flavor was great.  I would and will go back many times.  It was not over priced, but just right for the area.  I got what I paid for, a very good meal and a good price. 

  10. I got a kick out of the owner/contractor man referring to the restaurant as, "my business" on their reopening night. Wasn't it referred to as the old lady's before? 

  11. I am from Corry and have lived here all of my life. I also know the owners.
    Andy the husband, is not only an asshole to his wife,  he is an asshole to most people he meets. In Corry, it is all about who you know, and who the owner is. People will take a crappier menu if the staff is polite. Get new owner's, the place will succeed.

  12. I've eaten here with my fiance twice; both after the show aired. The first time we ate, we had a wonderful experience! They had the 2/20, which they no longer have, meal and our waitress was great and I found out that I was actually related to Michele! Unfortunately, we have just eaten there for our second time, our waitress this time wasn't as nice and good, forgot several things and was a little slow at first to bring us items we requested for when placing our order. He got a cowboy cut steak, which was burnt outside and I got a grilled chicken with bacon and mozzarella cheese on top. His steak was burnt and all i could taste of my chicken was a burnt flavor, when my chicken wasn't burnt, and cheese! The corn that came was canned corn and nuked in the microwave, the fries were homemade, but tasted undercooked or reheated, terrible. The side salad was just lettuce leaves, a tiny celery stalk, a small cherry tomato, and a lot of croutons. Loud and obnoxious people on the bar 'side' of the restaurant, which the owners were chatting and serving. WE WILL NOT BE RETURNING!

  13. is Michele's still open? No reviews since 9 months ago?

  14. Drove by tonight at about 8:15 on a saturday night. It was open, but there were maybe 3 cars in the parking lot. Dunno when it closes, people tend to eat dinner way earlier in more rural parts of PA.

  15. This is a happy resolution to everything that happened. I wish the new owners great success.