'Restaurant: Impossible' to overhaul Angelo’s in Woodstock
By JAMI KUNZER - firstname.lastname@example.org
Angelo Paloumbis has no idea what’s in store for his restaurant on the Woodstock Square, but he’s ready and waiting for celebrity chef Robert Irvine to sweep in and take over.
A transformation by Irvine as part of his popular Food Network show, “Restaurant: Impossible,” is scheduled to be filmed at the restaurant Wednesday and Thursday.
As part of the show, Irvine is given two days and $10,000 to turn around failing restaurants.
Angelo’s Restaurant is on his radar.
“I have an excitement, but also a calm at the same time, if that makes sense,” said Paloumbis, who has owned the family-run restaurant for nearly 40 years.
Because of the television show’s policies, he was not allowed to talk about the upcoming filming until five days after the show airs.
According to representatives of Food Network, the episode featuring Angelo’s likely will air early this summer. The new season of “Restaurant: Impossible” premieres 9 p.m. today.
As part of the show, Irvine revamps businesses, assessing every facet of restaurants, including the menus, staff, food and decor. On the second day, a grand re-opening is scheduled in which patrons are invited to enjoy a meal at the restaurant.
“The unveiling is basically to do a test run on how everything will work,” Paloumbis said.
His is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday. He has sent out some invites and is accepting reservations, although only about 10 were left as of Friday. Seating starts at 7 p.m., but it could run a little later.
“It is unpredictable,” he said. “Your guess is as good as mine as to what will happen. A lot of it is unknown right now to me.”
Because of the filming, he has anticipated a limited supply of food within the days after Irvine leaves. The restaurant likely will open later, at 8 a.m. instead of 6 a.m. Friday through April 21, Paloumbis said.
Irvine’s upcoming appearance in Woodstock already has started a buzz around town, especially with fans of the show.
“I’m a fan of the show, but more of a fan of Robert [Irvine],” said Shari Gray, executive director of the Woodstock Chamber of Commerce.
She said she also enjoys seeing the end product of Irvine’s work.
“I think it’s wonderful for Woodstock, and I think it’s awesome for Angelo’s Restaurant,” she said. “It’s a nice little attention that’s going to be given to Woodstock for the next few days.”
Excited for Paloumbis, she said she knows he’s eagerly anticipating some fresh ideas.
Angelo’s always has had a very loyal following, she said.
“But I also think that his menu could use some sprucing up,” she said. “I think it’s the standard of what you would find in a Greek restaurant. If you’ve ever been to New York, this reminds me of what you would find on the East Coast, a standard Greek menu.”
Irvine was in Twin Lakes, Wis., this past week revamping Pier West on Lake Mary. A grand re-opening of that restaurant was filmed Thursday and might have included a couple of oars provided by Reclaimed in Crystal Lake.
Designers from “Restaurant: Impossible” stopped by the roughly 8-month-old shop last week, owner Brent Hollenberg said. The business features uniquely restored and restyled furniture and home decor. It provided furnishing to the designers at minimal cost, Hollenberg said.
The designers had contacted the business about two months ago and also were interested in some vintage paddles and chairs, Hollenberg said. He’s not exactly sure where all the furnishings will end up.
Despite it being relatively new, the business already has piqued quite a bit of interest in the design industry, likely because of its social media efforts, Hollenberg said.
“We have random weird stuff,” he said.
“It was cool,” he said of the “Restaurant: Impossible” visit, “don’t get me wrong.”
But it’s more relationship building. We don’t make any money on it. ... Hopefully when they’re doing something and they have a budget of $15,000, they’ll think of us.”