Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Restaurant Impossible - Bronk's Bar and Grill Update

Bronks Bar and Grill Restaurant Impossible
Tonight on Restaurant: Impossible, Robert Irvine is going to Bronk's Bar and Grill in Lake City, Minnesota to help a restaurant in danger of closing after 11 years in business.  Some of the problems the owner's Erik and Tracy have are untrained staff, frozen food in the kitchen, and a generic design in the dining room.  Fans of the show who were hoping Taniya Nayak from HGTV would be back doing Restaurant: Impossible makeovers will be happy to see that she is back for this episode.  As I normally do with Restaurant: Impossible episodes, I searched around the internet to read stories, comments and reviews about Bronk's 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:
  • "Started off with Salmon cakes, crispy and delicious but the sauce could have been a little spicier.  Next, I had the Ribeye, excellent! Cooked to perfection and tender with a very good sauce.  The Turtle Cheesecake for dessert was really good too.  Very rich.  Good beer selection, fair prices and great service."
  • "Very good food! All is made fresh. Very nice inside also."
  • "Had lunch here today and the place was great. The onion rings were great, sandwiches were great and the kids meals were awesome (according to our 3 year old and 1 year old). Home cooked mac and cheese was fantastic.... Service was great as well. All in all, would go again in a heartbeat!"

The Negative Reviews:
  • "I asked for a rare burger and she said they could do that. It came out well done and dense as a concrete block. Mac and cheese was mushy. Hot wings were medium to mild in heat and rubbery. Onion rings were good. Service was slow with inexperienced waitress. Best thing I had was the ketchup."
  • "The first time I went I was impressed with the makeover and the menu. The second time, I realized how limited their new menu was. The service was again subpar. The food is average. I hope they can use the bounce from the airing of the tv show to stay open and consistent in their quality."
  • "Their new menu contains nothing but very greasy food. The current cooks are not trained enough to obtain a good quality of food outcome. The service was good but that was about it."
  • "On the whole, I was not greatly impressed by the changes made in this makeover. I might come back if someone suggest it but not in a huge hurry to do so."

It seems as if the reviews are 50/50 for Bronk's Bar and Grill, with people liking the onion rings and having differing opinions on whether the mac and cheese is good or not.  Some didn't like the new menu due to the limited options.  As it normally happens, a new menu was recently released on November 28th with some of the 'old favorites' being added back to the menu.  The customers on Facebook were happy to see that the chicken tender melt, BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger, and the option of having a soup or salad included with an entree are all back.

An interesting fact about the makeover was that Restaurant: Impossible had to apply to shutdown a street in Lake City for 3 days to set up their tents as Bronk's does not have a private parking lot.  The Lake City City Council session notes which reviewed the need to shutdown the street can be found here.  Also found there is a letter Restaurant: Impossible wrote to nearby businesses letting them know about the street closure.  It tells them that they are the #1 show on Food Network with 7 million viewers, so the show will bring more traffic to their area when it airs.  They also invited the nearby business owners to the Grand Re-Opening of the restaurant, which was on September 13th.

Reviews taken from Yelp, Tripadvisor, Urbanspoon and Google
Photo and Info taken from Bronk's Facebook Page

UPDATE - 11/2013 - Bronk's Bar and Grill has Closed.

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  1. We have had great food and service the night it opened and a few visits to date--especially liked the salmon, hamburgers, & steak.  We realize it would be tough because of the other new restaurants in town--and hope that tourism will increase to help out all of our great restaurants in Lake City.

  2. Best wishes to Erik and Tracy.

    They are very nice folks and extended their hospitality to me and 3 buddies (no kids no wives) on our weekend boat trip last June. The best marina on the upper Mississippi is only a few hundred feet from Bronks. It's a great stretch of river to have fun and Erick and Tracy were friendly, outgoing and simply nice to us. Saw the show tonight and will have you in my prayers. Look forward to stopping next time I'm that way.

    Thanks again, the guys from Madison, WI   

  3. Who in their right mind eats a rare burger? Are they asking to get sick? Have they ever heard of E. Coli?

    1. Haaaahaaaa! Besides that, I thought there were food laws/policies/ restrictions for resturants to serve hamburgers and such anything under medium rare? The guy shouldve went to a sushi place instead!

  4. Great show, good luck.

  5. I like rare parrot... better than rare hamburger

  6. Any updates on the owner couple? They seemed like such sweet people who actually cared about each other, so I was just wondering if they're still together.

  7. Bronk-asaurus, yes, Erik & Tracy are still together and seriously doubt that will change.

  8. Bronk's is closing this coming Sunday.

  9. Yup... Saw a post on their Facebook Page yesterday.. Will do a post about it soon.. Thanks