Food Network's 'Restaurant Impossible' takes over Bryan's Smokehouse in Lufkin

Photo courtesy of: Food Network
Photo courtesy of: Food Network

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - The owner of a Lufkin restaurant that's barely scraping by and on the verge of failure reaches out to the Food Network for help, hoping that the impossible task of rebuilding their business is possible.  

If you drove down Timberland this weekend, you probably noticed tents and plastic trying to veil a secret operation in Bryan's Smokehouse in Lufkin.

Well the secret's out. The reality television show "Restaurant Impossible" took over the smokehouse on Friday and had 36 hours to transform it into a hopefully successful restaurant.

"Restaurant Impossible" host Robert Irvine said, "I'm here to fix a family who has a lot of money, to the tune of $140,000 invested in this restaurant and its losing money and only making about $200 to $300 a day."

Struggling restaurants, like Bryan's, who want Chef Irvine's help have to apply via food Network to be on the show "Restaurant Impossible" and even after 15 years of being in business Bryan's Smokehouse really needed Chef Irvine's help.

"So far the people are great. The restaurant is terrible. The food was disgusting and no leadership," said Irvine.

Irvine said Lynn Bryan, the owner of Bryan's Smokehouse was fed up with the restaurant and walked out 3 years ago leaving her employees to run it and now he's here to save it.

"It's a real show. We come in with 2 days and $10,000 to change somebody's life from bankruptcy back to stardom and it is literally about 36 hours in total time," said Irvine.

Irvine said, "I walk in. I don't know the people 'till I get here. I don't know their story 'till they tell me and what you see is real."

"It's really interesting when you talk to somebody under stress when they need help, how much information they'll give you, you just have to ask the right questions, Irvine said. "And you'll find out the answers you need and that's what I do, I ask the questions. Sometimes it's tough. Sometimes people don't like it but when you hold the mirror up to them and say okay this is you, do you like what you see and do you like what the people's perception of you and your restaurant is...sometimes it's a little hard for people."

Bryan's Smokehouse is Chef Irvine's 71st take over and he has a 91 percent success rate, with only 7 restaurants failing after "Restaurant Impossible" came to the rescue.  

"Restaurant Impossible" airs on Food Network Sundays at 9:00 PM and Wednesdays at 8:00 PM. The air date for the Bryan's Smokehouse episode has not been set yet but producers say it's expected to air in May.

Bryan's Smokehouse is scheduled to re-opened at 7:00 Sunday night. Cameras were not allowed inside to see the transformation but Bryan's is open for business so you can go check it out for yourself after Sunday.

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