Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Restaurant Impossible - Coach Lamp Update

Photo - Facebook
Tonight on Restaurant Impossible, Robert Irvine and crew are going to Louisville, Kentucky to makeover the Coach Lamp Restaurant.  The Coach Lamp looks nice, has knowledgeable owners, and the food actually tastes good.  Robert has to sit down with them to try to figure out why the restaurant is failing and come up with unique plan to turn it around.  As I normally do with Restaurant: Impossible episodes, I searched around the Internet to read stories, comments and reviews about the Coach Lamp restaurant 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):

Positive Reviews:
  • "The interior of the place is really nice and the patio is great....All in all a great first trip. I'm excited to have a new spot so close to my house that isn't near bardstown road and all the traffic and parking issues. I will definitely be going back."
  • "The food was top notch! And the service was excellent! Six of us all tasted each others apps, salads, entrees, and desserts....too many wonderful things to mention them all...So, my Louisville friends, I encourage you to give this place a try (for the first time or try it has improved)."
  • "Since the recent revamp this place has really come into its own. Now its a great representation of the neighborhood where you can go get a solid dinner for a fair price....Sit on the patio if you can. Its brilliant."

Negative Reviews:
  • "This place is a wreck even after the revamping by Restaurant Impossible. We went the week following the reopening and the food was a disaster, with items being substituted from what we ordered off the menu without checking with us first, raw fried chicken, and unflavored horrible wings."
  • "My goodness! I expected so much more from this experience. What I received was 3 bloody chicken wings and deviled eggs that I know the devil made himself... Who can't fry a chicken wing thoroughly? Who can't make a deviled egg? If you value your stomach do not eat here!" (link to picture of the bloody chicken wing)

Reviews from Yelp, Tripadvisor

Other Links:
  • The restaurant keeps an up to date Facebook page, and here is their website.
  • An article said locals felt they were priced out by the owners of Coach Lamp in 2001 when they took over the restaurant and that the food was too upscale for the area.


With the show description stating the food was good, and owners knowledgeable, it sounds like the prices and upscale type of dining may be the problem with the restaurant.  Also, the article above said locals felt this way, so the menu will change quite a bit and offer lower priced, more traditional items.  I think it is interesting that in previous shows, Robert always puts items and prices on menus that do not fit the local area, but this makeover's main focus will be on the local area/prices.

The Coach Lamp restaurant has actually stuck with the Restaurant Impossible changes such as the menu, which many restaurants normally do not do.  A lot of people were also excited about the new patio (Brooke and Billy's Back Patio) that was added during the makeover, so hopefully that can continue to draw customers (although the weather may be too cold to use it in the coming months).

They may want to get the issue of not properly cooking the chicken figured out as there were multiple complaints about raw chicken, with one review having a picture of a raw chicken wing.

UPDATE 10/2015 - In September 2015, Coach Lamp decided to reinvent itself by changing the name and theme of the restaurant.  They closed and now go by the name of Brooke and Billy's Bites, Bourbon & Brew (Link).

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  1. That picture of the raw chicken wing was gross. I have to agree with the blogger, who doesn't know how to thoroughly cook a chicken wing?

  2. Well at least this restaurant wasn't as dirty as the others featured

  3. I cook for my my wife and I every night. The wing is not bloody raw. The flesh looks cooked. Closest to the bone is indeed red and certainly unsightly, but this is a cook trying to make the wing juicy and moist. Yes, I would view this as a mistake to be served, but not a "run away screaming for the Health Department" emergency. Send it back, let them get better, and enjoy your next visit.

  4. I agree. I cook all the time and have cooked many meats especially chicken, because who doesn't like chicken. It wasn't bloody and no risk for food born illnesses.

  5. And also, I agree with returning food if it isn't up to your standards. Don't be afraid to say its not right and give them a second chance to make it right. Most restaurants aren't like the movie "Waiting" people don't do that to food. I've worked in the restaurant industry for over 15 years. I haven't ever done or seen anything like that before.

  6. Are you kidding? If there is blood, it is not cooked properly & should not be eaten. I've been in the restaurant biz for 25 yrs & bloody chicken IS a run away & scream for the health department emergency. Bacteria grows in food, especially chicken, and when it's not cooked thoroughly & properly, will make you sick.

  7. It's nice seeing an ep where bad food wasn't really an issue (if only because we didn't have to see Robert over dramatically spitting out food), though the owner "seeing the light" felt awfully scripted to me. "No. No. OMG I GET IT NOW"

    I suspect they kept the menu because the owners do appear to have functioning brain cells and did realize their old menu wasn't cutting it. And on that note, it was nice to see Robert finding a way to DROP menu prices instead of hiking them way up like normal.

    I'm still slowly burning out on this show, but this was one of the better eps in some time.

  8. I think this is also the first RI I've seen where Robert DIDN'T wield a sledgehammer, or knock over a wall!

  9. I have been begging to see more episodes like this where the place actually has a shot after the show is over. Thank you for doing an episode with people who deserved a chance at success! Less trashy places ftw.

  10. I definitely agree I was so excited to see a show that I really enjoy watching have a chance after Robert leaves.... This episode is one for sure that was a success!!!! P.s if I'm ever in Kentucky I will definitely make sure I stop in......

  11. At first I was excited to see that Robert was coming to Louisville. We watch the show all the time. Then we saw the revamped menu. Not one vegetarian offering. Not. one.

    I just figured someone like Robert Irvine would know that if you're excluding one member of the party then you're losing the entire party. There's a pretty large vegetarian/vegan crowd in Louisville, so it pays to have something decent for us to eat. Or anything for us to eat.

  12. The Coach Lamp actually has a daily vegetarian special for lunch and for dinner. Plus, the owners will happily accommodate you. I'm a vegetarian myself and have checked this place out since revamp. Highly recommend you do too!

  13. I have food allergies, so I like to see what I'm getting before I show up. I suppose I could call first... I've just had too many meals of grilled zucchini & eggplant, you know? If I know I can get a great veg meal at Silver Dollar (for example), because I can see some items that sound good and that I know I can eat then that's where we'll all go.

    I'm just sayin'. We're a demographic that often becomes an after thought.

  14. didnt pandering to a minority crowd original ruin this business? Sure its nice to be inclusive, but its not their fault you are vegetarian,

  15. I, too, thought it interesting that, for once, Robert selected a menu and pricing to meet the neighborhood needs. He usually takes dumps and tries to make them classy and the biggest complaint from customers is that the food is too expensive.

    Frankly, if owners can't keep a place clean they have no real interest in it and RI should pass and work with owners who do but need expertise in running the place. Almost universally the places that are filthy do not succeed despite RI's help.

  16. Did anyone else notice the second chef in the kitchen during this episode (when Robert was showing how to make the hot brown or whatever) is the chef who recently got booted from Restaurant Express? I think his name is Eric. Am I crazy?

  17. funny the y only got bad reveiw for prices before makes me wonder if this even came from there.

  18. lmao Tina you are complaining before knowing the facts so now its a food allergy when you get called out on it

  19. pricing is the 3x rule the owners were the one overpricing

  20. Ok I loved this show but always same issues it was gettting old try bat rescue its more indepth