(keep reading to learn what happened)
Season: 6 | View All Season 6 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: June 16, 2013
Pier West Restaurant Address: 511 Wilmot Ave Twin Lakes, WI 53181
Pier West Restaurant was a Twin Lakes, Wisconsin restaurant featured on Season 6 of Restaurant Impossible.
Though the Pier West Restaurant Impossible episode aired in June 2013, the actual filming and visit from Robert Irvine took place before that.
It was Season 6 Episode 8 and the episode name was “Sink or Swim”.
Pier West Restaurant is located in Twin Lake, Wisconsin, and owned by Woody Walmsley.
If you’re not familiar with Wisconsin geography, Twin Lakes is a beautiful village on the very south edge of the state, right along the border with Illinois.
The population is only around 6,000 people, but it obviously has some beautiful lake views (hence the name).
Woody opened the restaurant more than ten years before the Pier West Restaurant Impossible episode, so he’s had plenty of chances to make it a success.
After hiring managers who didn’t work out, Woody thought it was a good idea to give the job to his son Chip.
Brian, Woody’s other son, does not believe his brother is a good fit.
Unfortunately, Pier West Restaurant hasn’t been profitable in three years.
Chip is struggling, and the only reason he can stay afloat is that his father keeps giving him money.
The family now has a tumultuous relationship, and the rift keeps getting bigger.
When Robert Irvine arrives at Pier West Restaurant, he immediately hates the color of the walls and the carpet.
Emanating from the rug is a disgusting smell.
The area surrounding the restaurant is beautiful, and Robert thinks that is the only saving grace for the restaurant.
Woody and his sons meet with Robert to discuss the restaurant.
Chip admits he has no experience in the restaurant industry.
On the other hand, Brian is finishing up college with a degree in hospitality, so you’d think he’d be a more natural fit to run the restaurant.
Pier West Restaurant has a bad reputation amongst the locals.
The restaurant is losing thousands of dollars monthly, yet Woody continues to give Chip money.
Brian tells Robert Irvine that Chip is not a good leader as he doesn’t listen to others.
Robert promises to make Chip a better manager and change the reputation of the restaurant.
He also tells Brian he will get customers into the restaurant again.
Robert stays to watch a dinner service.
Kim, a server, looks confused and can’t remember the table numbers.
Woody is greeting customers at the door because he doesn’t have much restaurant experience.
Because Chip and Woody are constantly changing the menu, Brian doesn’t do a good job expediting because he doesn’t know the menu.
When the service ends, Robert decides he wants to sample the food.
Neil is the chef and has only been at Pier West Restaurant for a few weeks.
Woody only recently hired the other kitchen employees, and no one is familiar with the menu.
Robert orders a French onion soup which he thinks needs more seasoning, and a tasty chicken marsala.
Designers Cheryl and Tom meet with Robert and discuss what can be done to update the restaurant with the show’s $10,000 budget.
After meeting with the designers, Robert gathers the employees together.
The staff complains about inconsistency. No one respects Chip. His employees want him to get his act together or quit.
Woody’s family gathers at the restaurant, including his wife, Jeanine.
No one has faith in Chip, but Robert thinks he can change. Robert assigns homework to Chip and has him write an essay about what he can change in himself for the restaurant to succeed.
The family gathers together again the following day, and Chip reads his essay.
His family agrees to give him a second chance.
Next, Robert wants to work with Chef Neil and Chip to design a menu. A recipe for ribs is updated with new seasonings.
Chip calls the employees together for a meeting and tells them he will change.
The design team has finished redecorating the dining room. The staff is impressed by the new look.
When customers enter Pier West Restaurant for the relaunch, they are pleasantly surprised by the food and décor.
So was the Pier West visit with Robert Irvine a success? Keep reading our update to learn what happened and how the restaurant is doing in 2023.
Pier West Restaurant Update - What Happened Next?
Now that we’ve recapped the Pier West Restaurant Impossible episode, let’s talk about what happened to the restaurant after Robert Irvine and his crew left Twin Lakes, WI.
Things seemed to start off well for the restaurant.
When the show checked in with them, we learn that sales were up by 25% after implementing the changes from Robert Irvine.
Customers seemed to generally like the new experience.
Chip’s relationship with his father has also improved.
Unfortunately, the good times would not last and Pier West Restaurant did not have a long run after the show.
Is Pier West from Restaurant Impossible still open?
Pier West closed in January 2014, which is only around 7 months after the Pier West Restaurant Impossible episode aired on TV.
At the time of its closure, reviews for Pier West Restaurant were mixed.
Overall, it had a 3.5 star rating on its Yelp page (which includes reviews written before the visit from Robert Irvine).
If you look at just the reviews written after the Pier West Restaurant Impossible changes, there were some bright spots but mainly a lot of negative reviews.
For that reason, it’s not really surprising that the restaurant closed.
As of 2022, the old Pier West Restaurant Twin Lakes, WI location is occupied by a bar/restaurant named Wild Child’s Tavern and Grill. Reviews for the new restaurant seem ok as it has a 3.5 star rating on its Yelp page.
Pier West Restaurant Reviews after Restaurant Impossible
Here’s a sampling or reviews that were written after the visit from Robert Irvine, to give you an idea of why it closed.
1 star review from October 2013:
My fiancee and I were very excited to go here, since we are huge fans of Restaurant Impossible. Since we have a newborn, we don’t get out very much. We were FINALLY able to get out to Pier West and unfortunately we were very disappointed. The food was cold, the bartender had 0 help (although the owner was busy entertaining rather then helping). I truly wanted to like this place and make it a new weekly/monthly place to go to.
2 star review from November 2013:
The fish fry was actually really really good. In an area with A LOT of fish fry options that is really saying something. However we arrived before 7 and ordered shortly after sitting and food didn’t get delivered til after 8. 2 people at the table and we both ordered fish fry. The restaurant wasn’t busy at all. It was a shame that the service wasn’t better because the fried fish was really good.
2 star review from September 2013:
We thought we would try it again since food network was there and redid the place. What a mistake, Robert Irvine would be very disapointed. The food was very expensive for the poor quality. I ordered a BLT steak wrap $10.95 and had hardly any steak in it and the fries were luke warm. My husband ordered the crab soup and the ribs. The soup was cold and the ribs were just ok and his fries were cold as well. We will not go back again. I can see why the place is loosing money.
2 star review from October 2013:
My husband and I stopped for lunch thinking we’d like to try Pier West after it’s “makeover”. We were seated by a not so very pleasant bar tender and had to wait for our server for quite some time, finally the buss boy came over and asked us our drink order and informed us the server would be with us soon. While waiting for Samantha, our server, we took a look around and noticed the table behind us was not very happy looking and obviously waiting for his bill with young impatient children. There was also a party of 8 or 9 that had just gotten their food delivered and there seemed to be some problems with some of the dishes and they were sent back.
Overall, with reviews like these, it’s really no surprise that Pier West Restaurant closed.
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Last updated: 2022-05-22 08:47