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Food Network’s show brings new life to Rock Island restaurant

A Rock Island restaurant overhauled by the Food Network is open for business. The owner’s talking about her experience with a tough TV chef. The owner showed News 8 inside for the first time.

It’s been a long few days for Goombazz Big City Eatzz owner Brenda Brewer, but now she can start to get back into the routine of things.

“It happened so fast and so much happened and we were beat up emotionally, we were raised up emotionally,” said Brewer, as she describes her experience on Food Network’s TV show, Restaurant Impossible.

The business had been open for almost a year, but Brewer wasn’t making enough money to cover expenses. So she applied for the show as last resort and waited for a call.

“I just broke down at my desk and I cried. I seriously cried, because we’ve been struggling financially as a new restaurant,” said Brewer.

The show led by host Chef Robert Irvine remodeled the entire inside giving it an industrial look with a big city feel.

“It seems more upscale now, definitely really fancy, I like it. I think it looks a lot better,” said customer Karissa Caballero.

Along the way she says Irvine didn’t hold back on the tough love.

“He thought our food was the worst food he’s tasted which I definitely argued with him about and our restaurant theme, he thought it looked tacky,” said Brewer.

You can also find a new look to their menu, cutting it down from 82 items to 30 and adding fresh ingredients.

“Our new menu does incorporate freshly prepared food, they’re all made from scratch,” said Brewer.

She says its too early to tell if the experience was worth it, Brewer says Irvine said something that will stick with her.

“He said ‘if Brenda fails, he fails and he wont let that happen’,” said Brewer.

Brewer said customer’s are missing some of the restaurants favorites so they plan on putting a few of them back on the menu. Owners have heard the show will air sometime in December, but haven’t gotten an official date from the show’s producers.

3 comments

  • Charlie

    Hopefully Robert straightened out your service issues besides your food. My complaints were based on having a wife who at one time was head server/waitress/trainer/manager for several national restaurant chains. Servers who seat you and ignore you for more than 15 minutes, then seats another couple or group 10 minutes after you came in then takes their orders prior to you, then welcomes you saying she’ll be right with you, it then is another 10 minutes before she shows up. We sat there and watched as your server(s) ignored us for over 20 minutes. Forgot that she even seated us. Waited on friends and family. It was 35 minutes before we got the nachos, then another 30 minutes before the meal came. We spent almost 2 hours at your business. And to add food back to the menu that Irvine reduced to help you out will only lead you back down the same road you just traveled.

  • Keith

    Agreed, The service ignored us for most of the time we were there and there was only another couple in there. I hope you canned the servers you had before or straightened them out. And yes, don’t add more stuff back. You have too many selections, you aren’t applebee’s.

  • Rachel

    We went this weekend and thought the food was very good and liked the new decor. Service was good too.
    I hope the business does well – would love to see you be successful for yourselves and for Rock Island! We don’t need another empty restaurant.

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