January 3, 2011
Food Network issues 'casting call' for a restaurant in need

By Allen Pierleoni

The executive team behind the Food Network show "Dinner: Impossible" is putting out a casting call for its new show, "Restaurant: Impossible."

It's looking for a Sacramento-area eatery that's suffering economically and needs some help in the "front of the house" as well as the back (kitchen). The goal: To perform a 36-hour restaurant makeover and film an episode about it, to air sometime this summer.

The makeover itself will likely occur in the second quarter of this year.

"We're looking for a family-run restaurant that's fallen on hard times, not a chain," said "Restaurant: Impossible" associate producer Justin Leonard. "Everybody's been hurt by the recession, and there's nothing we can do about that. What we can do is go in to a restaurant and update the menu and help them redesign the interior. It's the tangible things we're looking to change in a very quick turnaround."

After the selected restaurant undergoes the speedy makeover, there will be a grand reopening.

The debut episode of the "Restaurant: Impossible" series will air at 10 p.m. Jan. 19, based on restaurant makeovers in 2010. "Restaurant: Impossible" spends an average of $10,000 on a typical makeover.

The makeover team will be led by Food Network celebrity chef Robert Irvine, host of "Dinner: Impossible," and a support crew of a designer and construction specialists. "Chef Irvine will work on what's going wrong and make a plan to make it right," Leonard said.

Part of the "Restaurant: Impossible" casting call reads: "Is your restaurant at risk of closing? Are you in need of a boost in customers, good reviews and overall revenue? We are looking for passionate restaurateurs who have fallen on hard times. The restaurant's owners and management ... must be willing to overhaul their menu, décor and theme to put them back on the path to success."

Restaurateurs can apply for the makeover at

Call The Bee's Allen Pierleoni at (916) 321-1128.

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