Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Restaurant Impossible - Whiskey Creek Steakhouse Update

Whiskey Creek Steakhouse Restaurant Impossible
Photo - Food Network
Tonight on Restaurant: Impossible, Robert Irvine is going to Whiskey Creek Steakhouse in Keyport, Washington, which has been in business for about 20 years.   Owners Karan and Pat have said that their business has been as slow as ever and due to not having electronic records, it makes it hard to keep track of money and food.  As I normally do with Restaurant: Impossible episodes, I searched around the Internet to read stories, comments and reviews about Whiskey Creek Steakhouse 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:
  • "We had the hamburger with fries and I have to say we both enjoyed it very much.... I do think they may still need a bit of help with staffing and customer service technique but all in all it was a good lunch and I'd be happy to go back."
  • "As to the food, my prime rib was excellent and cooked as ordered, I also enjoyed the garlic mashed potatoes and asparagus that came with. Everyone at the table enjoyed their meal, one person had chicken and the rest had different cuts of steak.... I was moved to take the time to write this review because I really feel the folks at this restaurant are trying hard to improve their business and give good value. I think our experience was improved by the folks who wrote negative reviews and that the owners have taken these complaints to heart and made improvements."
  • "Service was prompt and friendly. I like the new menu; trimmed down with a much tighter focus. The food arrived in a reasonable timeframe. My wife ordered Prime Rib and I had Chicken Cordon Bleu; both were very good! For dessert, we had the Apple Crisp and it was excellent. Overall, I thought the wait staff and kitchen did an excellent job. I will definitely be returning and bringing a few friends." 

The Negative Reviews:
  • "The portions were so small that we went home and had additional food. This was our favorite steakhouse. Now poor food with no flavor, good service, nice atmosphere and no live music. We won't be going back anytime soon. They ruined the place."
  • "I asked for the check and had to flag down a busser to remind the server, after we waited. No one asked us how our dinner was, no one noticed my mother didn't eat but a few bites, and by the time we were leaving, the restaurant was pretty empty.  We were really disappointed, the service has not improved, and the menu is lacking flavor and variety and so completely overpriced its laughable. Alas this was our last visit to Whiskey creek."
  • "We decided to go there to check out the remodel after filming Restaurant Impossible and was terribly disappointed....The other customers looked extremely unhappy as well.  On the drive home I started experiencing nausea and the need to vomit, which I did upon coming home and was sick the rest of the night.  I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS PLACE AT ALL!! THEY WOULD GET ZERO STARS IF YELP WOULD ALLOW IT."
  • "Everything was horribly underseasoned, we had to add salt and pepper to everything we ate.....Sorry guys, we won't be back."
  • "The menu has changed the fries are limp and greasy, the entres over priced.  the only good thing the make over did was get rid of the chairs in the main dining room."
  • "The bad news is that the food and service are the same i.e., bad....We certainly won’t be back and I doubt that others will either after the novelty of the press coverage and show wear off."
  • "The decor has changed for the better but the food and service is not good. I give them 3 months before they go under. They no longer have music during the week which was their big attraction." 
  • "Renovated & revamped and I still give this place an F! The service was terrible and our food sat under the heat lamps for an hour before it reached our table. We will never return to this establishment again."


The reviews for the Whiskey Creek Steakhouse were overwhelmingly negative.  The majority of the time, a negative review will at least give 2 or 3 stars, but the a good amount of the Whiskey Creek reviews were 1 star reviews.  It seems like the service is very lacking, the food quality not up to standards, and the prices too high.  Some customers miss the live music that was at the restaurant, but that was costing the owners too much money.  The menu shrunk from 48 items to 22 items after the makeover, but some of the items that were removed have made their way back onto the menu due to customer requests.

Whiskey Creek saw a strong increase in visitors during October, after news spread that Restaurant Impossible was filming there.  However, the owners have said that in November things were back to normal.  They hope when the show airs, it will bring more people into the restaurant again.

It looks like this may not be one of the success stories of Restaurant: Impossible if they do not turn things around quickly.  They even have negative reviews on their Facebook page.  You would think that a business would delete negative reviews on their Facebook page.  Another telling thing is that restaurants usually have a viewing party the night the episode airs on the Food Network.  The owners have stated they are not doing one for their episode, and will watch at home tonight.

What are your feelings on the Whiskey Creek Steakhouse?  Will they suffer the same fate as Paliani's?

Reviews from Google, Tripadvisor, Facebook and Yelp 
Some information from Kitsap Sun

Update 6/30/2013 - According to the North Kitsap Herald,  Whiskey Creek decided to move to a location across the street, pretty much undoing all of the Restaurant Impossible changes.  Despite business 'falling off' in March, the location they are moving to is a bigger one, where they plan to re-create the 'old' Whiskey Creek Steakhouse look.  They said the new contemporary look drove away customers.

Update - Whiskey Creek Steakhouse was sold to new owners in 11/2013 - Restaurant Impossible Update page.


  1. Whiskey Creek is no longer one of my favorite destination restaurants.  I have to agree with the other comments.  The live music was one of the main reasons for going off the beaten path to this cozy, quaint venue.  It is cleaner and has an updated decor, but has  lost it's small home town feeling.   When we ordered, they were out of our first two choices, one being a salad.  The waitress was more interested in visiting with her friends or regulars (?) at the nearby table than in attending to us.  LONG waits between seeing her to take our order or check back with us.  She never did come take our money.  We carried it up to the bar as we were leaving.  It's sad to say, but we won't be back either.  My recommendation to others?  Don't waste your time.   

  2. I haven't been there since the remodel (we have moved out of the area), but it sounds like while Robert fixed the color of the restaurant he didn't do anything about the content!  The service was the worst (even when we lived there three years ago), we always had long waits for our food and had to flag down servers to get attention...sounds like none of that has changed and that is sad because it could be a really neat little hidden gem and the new decor looks pretty awesome.

  3. My wife and I went there on a Saturday afternoon about a month ago to try the new menu and have a glass of wine. We got the wine in about a minute or two after sitting down, but that was the end of the service. We sat there looking at our menus and waiting for someone to take our order but no one did. So I left some cash on the table for the wine and we left. We used to go there in the past and loved the steaks and the atmosphere. It's all gone now. We won't be going back.

  4. The place HAD a little bit of a identity crisis.  Steakhouse or bar that played live music.  The owners decided to go forward with the steakhouse model which upset quite a few people.  No more heavy pours so the alcoholics needed a new place to drink.  No more live music so the geriatrics on a fixed income couldn't nurse an ice water all night while taking up space.  So what do they do?  Sign up on TI or Yelp just to slag the place.  I particularly like the made up reviews that are based on menu items that are found on their website.  Hello....the menu they use day to day is not the one on their website (which they have not updated in quite a while).

    I applaud the owners for making the right decision here.  There are enough dive bars in Kitsap County already

  5. Fell asleep watching this last night, but it makes me VERY sad that this restaurant is not doing well, because I like the couple so very much. 

  6. Being a parent of a staff member I think the biggest mistake that they made as owners was greed in trying too fast to get a new restaurant going in Poulsbo. That was their demise not the identity crisis.  The food was great, the working staff is great. But to get respect you need to give it.  Joan and JJ and Brandy we will miss you ♥ You all held a special spot in our hearts. I can not argue enough that Pat and Karan used you all as escape goats instead of divulging the truth.

  7. All of the reviews are based on poor service and food. The "working staff" nor food is "great" if you read the reviews ding dong! If you apply for a job hoping for respect, rather than busting your ass for the sake of doing a good job and getting paid for it, do everyone afavor and stay on welfare.

  8. They were cooking the books!

  9. Reh, I Resent Rhat.

  10. VERY DISAPPOINTED!  We used to love Whiskey Creek went back after make over love the new atmosphere but very disappointed in the menu and service.  After complaning about meal being over cooked & cold we got a frree appietizer coupon to use on our next visit which will not happen.  Also had to wonder why people that came in after us got their meal & left before we even got our salad.  Which you now get charged extra most restaurants soup or salad is included with price of meal.  We reflected our disappointment in our tip...sorry waitress!

  11. Today is June 26, 2013 - It looks it's improved by now, I seen it before and tonight I watch it again. What is the update in the restaurant today?

  12. I just looked at their website which states that they are closed until June 29th because they are MOVING ACROSS THE STREET? WHAT? Didn't Restaurant Impossible just REDO their entire restaurant? What's up with this???

  13. I have updated this post with info

  14. And they're still not open. How can they possibly afford that? Maybe they are scammers.

  15. sold - Nov. 2013 -- new owners

  16. Those who have negative reviews are most likely hoarders. what I saw of the airing restaurant impossible done a great job. The owners just need to stay on top of their employees, keep working, showing their presence daily and if they get overwhelmed hire someone they can trust. But, who can you really trust in a business. I look forward to visiting soon. Dallas

  17. So sorry it sold. I love the new decor, I really was shocked to read that they over at at longer location. Sense tells me they really were not cut in owning a restaurant. The decor transformation, was beautiful! Love the show!!

  18. Misspelled. What I was saying that I was shocked that after the show the owner moved to a larger location, Crazy!!

  19. My husband and I ate here for our Valentines Day date (we went on the 13th to avoid the rush) and we weren't terribly impressed. The steaks we ordered were juicy, and cooked how we ordered them (med-rare) but had no real flavor at all besides the char from the grill, the garlic mashed potatoes were more like creamy mashed potatoes and the portion they served us was ridiculously large! They gave my husband the wrong dressing with his salad, there was too much Caesar dressing on my salad and our waitress never really came back to check on us.
    The live music was too loud and pretty much ruined our experience. It was too expensive for something that I could make better at home.