Dirty Dining

"Restaurant: Impossible" in Wisconsin

CREATED Dec 5, 2013

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OAK CREEK - The Food Network invades south east Wisconsin to help a failing restaurant.  We go behind the scenes of "Restaurant: Impossible."

This episode of the show brought Chef Robert Irvine to our state to save a business and the family running it.  
Chef Robert Irvine's task is to get Mike La Susa's Italian Restaurant in Oak Creek off the chopping block.   "I'm looking at a restaurant that's failing to the tune of, in this case, $750,000" Chef Robert told us. He has two days and a budget of $10,000 to fix it.
The restaurant is run by Mike La Susa and his parents.  They admit, "in the three years we've been open for business we've never made a profit."
We were there in late September when The Food Network's show came to town.  It was a closed set, our camera was not allowed inside, but we did get a few minutes with Chef Robert.  His first focus is the relationships, then the restaurant.  "You fix the family and then you fix the restaurant. If you can't fix the family then the restaurant will never be successful."  In the case of Mike La Susa's Chef Robert told us the family can't seem to agree on anything.  "For the first 8 hours people hate me, and I mean right now we're in the middle of a mom here who hates my guts."
Chef Robert can be hard charging but believes it's necessary to fix what's wrong.  "I don't care about the cameras.  We're not making a TV show here we're making a new life for people."  
Restaurant:Impossible started three years ago and has a success rate of 82%.  Chef Robert sums it up with "fear, anger, frustration, sadness, crying, real life emotions are in a 42 minute show called Restaurant: Impossible." 
The Oak Creek episode was featured last night, but Mike La Susa's is not allowed to do anything with the media yet.  I did talk to the owner by phone; he says it's too early to tell if the overhaul of the restaurant is a success. 
Click through our photo gallery above to see more photos of the Restaurant: Impossible episode