Restaurant Impossible - Tootie's Texas BBQ Update - Open or Closed? (2024)

In this Restaurant Impossible episode, Robert Irvine visits Tootie's Texas BBQ in Cathedral City, California.

Tootie's Texas BBQ is owned by Eileen Smith.

Before Tootie's, Eileen and her late husband used to make a living selling hotdogs.

They sold first from carts and then from a space next door to the restaurant.

Her late husband passed away three years ago.

She was very lonely until the opportunity came up for her to buy Tootie's.

Owning a restaurant had always been her dream.

She bought the restaurant for $50,000.

The restaurant was good after they first opened.

It started going downhill and she started losing about $3000 every week.

The failing restaurant is only one of series of hits Eileen's been taking over the past few years.

She lost her sister, mom, dad and also her husband during this time.

After everyone passed, she thought it was the right time for her until nine months ago when she hit rock bottom.

She found out that she had cancer and was forced into bankruptcy.

She couldn't make it on for one more month.

If Robert hadn't come to her rescue, Eilleen would be left with no other option than to close down the restaurant.

When driving to the restaurant it is clear to Rober that it is located within an industrial park with many businesses.

Robert doesn’t understand why Tootie's isn't busy with all the neighbouring busineses.

Robert arrives at the restaurant and spots leaks in the roof and awful decorations with horns.

There are some other artefacts and the restaurant generally has a bland and boring appearance.

He thinks that there is nothing to invite customers to the restaurant.

Robert meets with Eileen for a brief about the restaurant.

She tells him that they purchased the restaurant about three years ago.

Eileen tells her that her husband rented a cart for 25 years.

When her husband got sick she needed to be home to take care of him.

The opportunity came up to purchase Lennie's Weenie's cafe, which was just a little small five hundred square foot restaurant.

She felt it was perfect to have her business and take care of him at the same time.

Four years ago, shortly after they bought the restaurant, he passed away.

When the opportunity of Tooties next door opened, she took it and purchased for $50,000.

They took out the walls and made it into one big restaurant.

Eileen doesn't have any idea or experience of barbeque.

She thought it would be straightforward but it has been way more challenging than she thought.

She doesn't know the first week of revenue from when she purchased the restaurant.

Robert's first clue to where she was failing is in Eileen's overhead.

Her first month of revenue was $21,000 and she is losing about $3000 weekly.

During the discussion, Robert senses that there is a lot more going on than what Eileen is letting on.

Later, Robert learns that Eileen was diagnosed with lung cancer nine months ago.

She doesn't want to walk away because it's her dream and she wants to be successful.

Robert asks to see a service at the restaurant.

There is a large crowd in the restaurant so Robert expects food to be flying out of the kitchen with lightning speed.

However, they are finding it difficult to get food out on time and the service is not very good.

Robert thinks that there is a lack of leadership and the staff aren't doing their jobs.

Nobody is being held accountable for the poor service and the poor food.

Eileen is crying and it is clear that she has hit rock bottom.

It's Robert's job to build her up, fix the restaurant and put it back on the right track.

The secret to the success of any restaurant is in its food.

Robert sits down, ready to see what Tootie's is serving up but the food doesn’t measure up to his standards.

After trying the food, seeing the service and the restaurant, Robert tries to figure out how to change all three of them.

Robert meets with his designers Lynn Kegan and Tom.

They share ideas on the best possible way to fix the structure and bland decor.

Robert asks the staff to help move the furniture out of the space to get it ready for renovation.

Work has started in the restaurant and Robert goes into the local community to find out the locals opinions of the restaurant.

Some complained about the expensive menu and the poor quality of food.

Robert promised to use their feedback to turn things around at Tootie's.

Robert returns and meets with Eileen and her staff to check if everything he's been saying all day is sinking in.

During the discussion, Robert sees that Eileen is too protective of her employees and advises her that it may hurt her.

The next day, he checks in on the dining area where the redesign is going on.

He was very impressed with the progress made overnight and encourages them to keep up the excellent pace.

Robert meets with Eileen and engages her in some discussion on how to be a leader.

Next, he suggests that Eileen addresses her staff, informing them that they are starting a new chapter in the restaurant's book.

Robert spends almost all day working on Eileen and the staffs morale.

This left him little time to manage Lynn and Tom's work, so he left to check upon them.

They have done lots of work and say that they will be ready in time for the relaunch.

Robert teaches Eileen and other kitchen staff some new menu items.

They feel more confident that they will be able to pull it off for the relaunch.

Robert asks the staff to prepare some of the new dishes from the new menu.

He has invited the business owners from around the restaurant to taste the food.

He also invites them to come back to the restaurant for the relaunch that evening.

It's been a few years of hardship for Eileen and she's suffered a lot of losses.

Robert hopes the new restaurant will be the start of a bright future for her.

Robert leads her into the restaurant and she couldn't believe how the restaurant has changed.

On relaunch, the customers enjoy the refreshing atmosphere and the delicious new items on the menu.

The feedback was positive and the customers promise to return to the restaurant.

What Happened Next at Tootie's Texas BBQ?

A few weeks later, sales are up 30%.

Customers praise the new decor at the restaurant.

The menu is now a mix of Robert's and their old menu.

As Eileen learned about food costs she made their existing menu items more profitable.

The employees have also stepped up and she is a better manager.

Eileen sadly passed away in May 2014, two months after the episode aired.

After the new owners took over the hours were erratic and there were stock and food quality issues.

Tootie's Texas BBQ closed in March 2015.

Tootie's Texas BBQ was Restaurant Impossible season 8 episode 2 and aired on 12th March 2014.

Click for more Restaurant Impossible Restaurants

Next episode - Pasion Latin Fusion

Previous episode - Mill Creek BBQ

This post was last updated in February 2022.

Restaurant Impossible - Tootie's Texas BBQ Update - Open or Closed? (2024)


Restaurant Impossible - Tootie's Texas BBQ Update - Open or Closed? ›

Tootie's Texas BBQ in Cathedral City, California, which was featured on season 8 of Restaurant Impossible has closed.

Who owns Tootie's Texas BBQ? ›

Tootie's Texas BBQ is owned by Eileen Smith.

What happened to the restaurants from Restaurant Impossible? ›

Running Total Of Episodes That Have Aired - 119 of 234 Restaurants Have Closed, 4 Restaurants Have Sold, and 111 of 234 Restaurants Are Still Open with the same owners. Still open and the reviews are mostly positive for the food, atmosphere and staff/owner.

Who is the Texas BBQ guy? ›

Aaron Franklin is the host of BBQ with Franklin and owner and chief firestarter at Austin's Franklin Barbecue, widely regarded as one of the most influential pitmasters in the U.S. He received the James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef: Southwest in 2015.

Who is the old lady who makes BBQ in Texas? ›

Norma Frances "Tootsie" Tomanetz (born April 21, 1935) is an American barbecue cook who is the pitmaster at Snow's BBQ in Lexington, Texas.

Who pays for everything on Restaurant: Impossible? ›

Typically, it is the production company providing the budget for renovations. According to Lindsay Kugler, one of the executive producers of Kitchen Nightmares, all of the show's expenses are paid for by production.

How many restaurants from Restaurant: Impossible have closed? ›

As it turns out, sustaining a restaurant isn't easy, even with a professional team's help. As of March 2023, 124 of the 205 total restaurants have closed their doors since filming, leaving the transformative show with a 40 percent success rate.

Does Restaurant: Impossible really take 2 days? ›

Twitter user @philrsteel asked about how much time passes between filming and airing of a "Restaurant: Impossible" episode, and Irvine replied saying, "Normally 6 to 8 weeks prior to being on tv." By reality TV standards, 6-8 weeks is a pretty common time frame from filming to airing.

Who is the most famous Texan BBQ? ›

For the quintessential Texas barbecue experience — complete with a wall of ancient, yellowed business cards — look no further than Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor. Louie Mueller founded the “Cathedral of Smoke” in 1949, running it for 30 years before handing the reins to his son Bobby in 1974.

Who is the most famous BBQ guy? ›

Aaron Franklin is a world-famous BBQ pitmaster who took the world by storm and is hands down, the best-known grillmaster. He started his own restaurant Franklin Barbecue with a $99 smoker before being termed as the ultimate BBQ pitmaster.

How much did BBQGuys sell for? ›

The sale price of BBQGuys is said to be $140 million. BVP buys businesses it believes are positioned to benefit from its marketing capabilities and influencer networks. Brand Velocity Partners (BVP), a private equity firm formed last year, acquired BBQGuys (No.

What is the oldest black owned BBQ in Texas? ›

Texas' Oldest BBQ Joint Owned by the Same Family

The Original Black's BBQ opened its doors in 1932 in Lockhart, TX as a meat market. It wasn't until 2nd Generation Pitmaster Edgar Black Jr. came along that we turned into a full-fledged restaurant.

Who is the best BBQ in Texas Lady? ›

Barbecue aficionados around the world know Tootsie Tomanetz as “possibly the greatest female pitmaster in Texas history,” but she'll always be Miss Tootsie to me.

Who is the female barbecue champion? ›

Melissa Cookston is an American chef and author. She is the chef/owner of two restaurants, the author of two cookbooks, and a seven-time world American barbecue champion.

Who was fired from Restaurant: Impossible? ›

We reported last March that Chef Robert Irvine had been unceremoniously terminated from his Food Network show Dinner Impossible for embellishing his resume.

Do restaurant owners pay for renovations on Restaurant: Impossible? ›

In series like Restaurant: Impossible, the business owners are not expected to cover the costs of their restaurant makeover. Typically, it is the production company providing the budget for renovations.

Who is Robert Irvine's wife? ›

Irvine married professional wrestler Gail Kim on 10 May 2012.

Is the impossible shop a ghost kitchen? ›

Ghost kitchen within Doghaus Restaurant. Menu is 100% plant-based using Impossible proteins, including breakfast burritos with plant-based egg, burgers, nuggets, and fries.

Why was Kitchen Nightmares Cancelled? ›

But in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Ramsay revealed he put the end to one of his shows himself. “I canceled my own show on Fox, Kitchen Nightmares,” Ramsay said. He explained he hit a breaking point with one of the restaurants on his show and realized he had enough.

What is Robert Irvine salary? ›

Chef Robert Irvine Fortifx pays an average salary of $481,410 and salaries range from a low of $425,143 to a high of $545,614.

Is Restaurant: Impossible real or fake? ›

According to people who saw the show from behind the scenes as an impossible transformation occurred, the show is absolutely 100 percent real.

How long does Restaurant: Impossible take to film? ›

In every episode, the menu and décor of an ailing restaurant are overhauled in 48 hours on a budget of $10,000. The project always seems hopeless at first, typically because the food is lousy, the staff inept and the premises a shambles.

When did Restaurant: Impossible end? ›

Restaurant: Impossible is an American reality television series, featuring chef and restaurateur Robert Irvine, that originally aired on Food Network from 2011 to 2016.

Who are the owners of Blue Oak BBQ? ›

ronnie evans - Co-Owner - Blue Oak BBQ | LinkedIn.

Does Glenn Stearns own Underdog BBQ? ›

Glenn Stearns is an American businessman, and the founder of Stearns Lending. He is the star of the Discovery Channel's Undercover Billionaire and subsequent founder of Underdog BBQ in Erie, Pennsylvania.

Who is the owner of Rodney Scott BBQ? ›

Rodney Scott's Whole Hog BBQ
Wikimedia | © OpenStreetMap
Location of Rodney Scott's BBQ
Restaurant information
Owner(s)Rodney Scott and Nick Pihakis
9 more rows

Who owns Georgia Boys BBQ? ›

nickolas reckinger - owner and VP - Georgia boys BBQ | LinkedIn.

Who owns Hoodoo Brown BBQ? ›

Owner Cody Sperry was inspired several years ago on a "guys trip" to Austin, Texas. There they traveled to over a dozen barbecue joints, with owner's generously sharing their stories, secrets and passion for creating true Texas barbecue.

Who owns Jessie Rae's BBQ? ›

Co-owner Mike Ross established the original Jessie Rae's, named for his wife, in September after honing his skills in various barbecue competitions.

Who owns Austin Blues BBQ? ›

Austin Blues® smoked meats - Brands - Hormel Foods.

Why did Underdog BBQ close? ›

Attention underdogs: We are currently closed for renovations!

How much of the barbecue did the billionaire take? ›

During the show, billionaire Glenn Stearns starts Underdog BBQ in only 90 days with just $100 in his pocket.

Who owns Billy Sims BBQ? ›

Billy Sims BBQ is an American restaurant chain founded by former professional football player, Billy Sims and his business partner, Jeff Jackson. In 2004, Sims and Jackson opened the first Billy Sims BBQ location in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The brand is supported by 54 locations operating across nine states.

Who owns Pig Floyd BBQ? ›

Patrick Sheehy - Owner - Pig Floyd BBQ /Smokez BBQ Restaurant | LinkedIn.

Who owns Phil's BBQ? ›

Since 1998, BBQ lovers across San Diego County have turned to restaurateur Phil Pace to satisfy a singular craving: mesquite grilled baby back and beef ribs, chicken and sandwiches.

Who owns slab BBQ Austin? ›

SLAB BBQ & Beer co-owner Raf Robinson said reopening the restaurant to dine-in service June 1 after being closed due to coronavirus restrictions required making the safety of staff and customers his top priority.

Who owns Detroit BBQ? ›

Detroit BBQ Company founder Tim Idzikowski.

Who owns Black's BBQ Austin? ›

Born and raised in Lockhart, Texas, Terry Black passed down generations of barbecue knowledge learned from his experience in the Lockhart BBQ scene. His twin sons Michael and Mark Black bring their very own style of Central Texas BBQ straight from Lockhart to Dallas and now to you and your family to enjoy!

Who owns Famous Dave's BBQ? ›


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