Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Restaurant Impossible - Goombazz Big City Eatzz Update

Photo - Food Network
Tonight on Restaurant Impossible, Robert Irvine and crew are going to Rock Island, Illinois to makeover Goombazz Big City Eatzz.  The restaurant has only been open for one year and is struggling to attract customers to earn a profit.  Robert discovers that the owner Sal's short temper is driving people away such as his co-owner, the staff and the former GM.  The restaurant is also supposedly $300,000 in debt.  As I normally do with Restaurant: Impossible episodes, I searched around the Internet to read stories, comments and reviews about Goombazz Big City Eatzz 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:
  • "Robert Irvine just visited this restaurant and had them shrink their menu substantially. My son had the pork tenderloin sandwich and said it was the best he's ever had. My other son had a chicken sandwich that was very good. I had the reuben and as far as reubens go, it fit the bill but wasn't anything special."
Negative Reviews:
  • "We loved this before place BEFORE the remodel. There were lots of meals we wanted to try. The new menu is 1/4 of the original menu. There was nothing appetizing on the new menu except the pizza.... Their fries were underdone and slightly warm. Their waiter was slow.... The newly remodeled place is crap and went downhill. Awful....avoid. Too expensive for what u get. Pizza is now one size, limited toppings ($1 per topping too) and no specialty pizzas either."
  • "The New Menu is Pretty Much the Same EXCEPT it is Now Half of What it Was Before....The Service Was Slow for a Lunch Hour. I finally received my cold meal 30 min later.  The Staff Was Snobbish, Seemed Confused and Too Busy Even Though the Dining Room Was Only at Around Half-Capacity. The Food Was Freezer Burned, My Fries Were Room Temperature, Refill came back half Iced Tea, half Pepsi. C'mon Man! Avoid"
  • "My wife and I visited Goombazz about 1 month after Robert Irvine had completed his "Restaurant Impossible" makeover. Decor was attractive, but the paint on top of the table where we were seated had chipped in places (our server said the painted tables were not completely dry when RI did the reveal and reopened the restaurant).  The restaurant was pretty empty when we arrived, so service was prompt and courteous....Our food was bland and average at best... nothing special...Bottom line: We found nothing here that would bring us back across the river to dine at Goombazz."
  • "I was really excited to go to Goombazz after hearing about Robert Irvine being there. I was really disappointed by the reality of my visit...Would I go back to Goombazz? Nope. There are too many restaurants with smiling faces who don't make snippy comments that serve amazing food in the Quad City area."

Other News and Links:
  • Goombazz originally opened in the SouthPark Mall in 2011, so I guess after their year was up at the mall, they decided to move to their Rock Island location, which formerly hosted Godfather's Pizza.
  • Here is a commercial from last year that Goombazz created.
  • Here is their website, as well as their Facebook Page that they keep up to date.  If you enjoy words that end in 'S' being replaced by two 'ZZ's', those linkzz are perfect for you.
  • When Goombazz opened in October of 2012 in Rock Island, the received a $25,000 low-interest business loan and a $3,800 rebate from economic development staff of Rock Island (link).
  • Goombazz is closing tonight to have a private viewing party at the restaurant for staff and their families.  They have also invited any volunteers that helped out, which is a nice gesture. (Link)
  • Goombazz runs a promotion every week with a local radio station B100 where they give out a free lunch for 5 people along with someone from the B100 staff.  You can see a lot of these pictures on their Facebook page.


Despite only being in business a year, Goombazz has already received help from the Rock Island government as well as Restaurant Impossible.  Not sure when they applied to be on the show, but it was definitely before they were in business for a year.  The restaurant should not need too much work as far as renovations with it being new, so I would expect this episode to focus on the owner's personality.

The reviews that have been left since the Restaurant Impossible visit have not been that good, with the normal complaints about a menu being too small.  It seems that service was a problem both before and after the makeover.  While changes in restaurant names do not usually happen on this show, this would have been a good candidate in my opinion.

The restaurant does seem to care as they have made commercials and do promotions with a local radio station, but if they do not get the issues they have worked out, they will have trouble succeeding.

UPDATE 2/2014 - Goombazz Big City Eatzz has closed.  Here is more information on the closing.

*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 


  1. I just can't with "Goombazz" and "Eatzz." It sounds like some thirteen-year-old wanna be gangbanger came up with the name.

  2. "Goombazz" sounds like what Irvine would call the Goombas from Super Mario brothers. Not exactly what I want to picture when looking for a place to eat!

  3. I've heard of pizzerias and smaller, casual Italian spots called Goombas but the two Zs at the end of this name is where the shark really gets jumped.

  4. So, "Robert Irvine Eatzz!" wouldn't have been a winner?! lol

  5. Only if he keeps Miley's "Bangerz" album playing in the background on an infinite loop ;)

  6. worst name ever for a restaurant

  7. The owner and her boyfriend seemed extremely inept. As has been mentioned, how do you mess up a place that quickly if you have experience?

  8. Bad service and inconsistent food is a bad formula for success. They won't last if sonething doesn't change.

  9. As usual Robert reduces the menu to almost nothing and raises prices. Hasn't worked at most of his other re-models and won't work here.

    I'm really getting tired of his being the Dr. Phil of Restaurant shows. Do drama queens sell? I guess so but I'm now switching to Kitchen Nightmares which is more about restaurants and less about psychotic owners and family dynamics. No more recording RI for me.

  10. I haven't watched Kitchen Nightmares in a while, though when I have, I've vastly preferred it over RI. There's still the yelling, yes, but there's tons more focus on the business and the skill set of the owner and staff - no artificial "two days, $10,000" framework that shifts attention onto ridiculous drama involving cosmetic changes. (And I still think it's disgusting that they do the soft re-opens on RI with the stench of paint and glue all over the dining areas.)

    Gordon Ramsay > Robert Irvine.