|"The team works overnight to remodel the restaurant."
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- Richard, Co-owner
- Jorge, Co-owner/Head Chef
- Ami, Server
- Matt, Line cook
- Kevin, Bartender
Before Gordon's Arrival
Best friends Richard and Jorge opened Park's Edge, in the Atlanta suburb of Inman Park, three years ago. After the opening of the restaurant, Richard, who had no restaurant experience, put a tent over the parking lot without proper permits, and began serving liquor without a license. This led to outrage at the restaurant from the neighbors, who told Richard and Jorge their restaurant wasn't good enough for the neighborhood. This led to Richard, in a public statement, accusing the neighbors of being racist, as Park's Edge is a minority-owned business in a predominantly-white neighborhood.
The wait staff are unsatisfied with the restaurant due to lack of leadership. With no restaurant experience, Richard provides little value when the restaurant is busy, as he doesn't know how to help. Jorge can also become flustered when busy.
Gordon arrives and reveals his knowledge of Richard's accusation. Richard says he is unable to think of how to rebuild the relationship with the community, while Jorge assures Gordon the food is not the issue.
- Grilled Caesar Salad
- Flash Fried Oysters
- Sesame Grilled Salmon
Impressions of the Food
Gordon is initially confused by the wide variety of cultures present on the menu. He first orders the grilled caesar salad, bewildered at the fact that the restaurant serves a salad where the lettuce is grilled. He shows the now-limp piece of grilled lettuce to the restaurant's customers. Gordon notes that the lettuce is improperly cleaned. He asks why the salad is spicy, to which his waiter, Ami, replies that "everything" is spicy, which Jorge justifies due to the Mexican influence on the menu. During this time, a bartender, Kevin, ventures into the dining room to tell Gordon to "make some sense" of the restaurant, leading Richard to pull him aside.
Next, Gordon tastes the flash fried oysters. He is disgusted by the oysters, noting that there is too much breading on the oysters, and they are again too spicy. He makes Richard try the oysters blind, and he is unable to identify that they are oysters (as well as being overwhelmed by the spice). Last, Gordon tries the sesame grilled salmon. Gordon is confused by the sides that come with the salmon - sticky rice, a strawberry and red onion ragu, and a green curry beurre blanc - and says they do not blend.
Gordon gives Jorge his critiques of the food, but Jorge believes that it's just Gordon's opinion and not an objective fact about the food. When he finds out that Jorge opened the restaurant with Richard straight out of culinary school without any restaurant experience, Gordon calls Jorge not even qualified to be working the line, causing Jorge to angrily walk out. Gordon then sits down with Richard, who admits his mistakes and asks Gordon to help improve the menu and rebuild the relationship with the community.
First Dinner Service
Upon arriving, Gordon critiques Richard, as the host, for smoking in front of the restaurant. The dinner service goes poorly. Jorge continuously overcooks or undercooks his dishes, including a beef patty that is raw at the center. A customer sends back a dish that's cold, but Jorge contends that, because it is medium-rare, it is going to be cold. The kitchen gets backed up, and the incorrect dishes lead to longer wait times and angry customers. The wait staff attempt to get Richard to help calm the customers down, but Richard is not sure how to handle those situations, and refuses to assist. Many customers begin to walk out due to the wait time.
After service, Gordon comments that both Richard and Jorge are not qualified to be restaurant owners. In the walk-in, he finds moldy lemons as well as improperly stored meat. He brings out Jorge and Richard to show them the food, which Jorge tries to justify. Gordon becomes especially angry when Jorge insists he was not going to try to serve a tray full of roasted potatoes, with Gordon believing he is lying. Jorge knocks the tray down before leaving.
Remainder of the Visit
Gordon calls the staff in for a meeting, where they air their grievances about the restaurant, the food, and most of all, the poor leadership. Unbeknownst to the staff, Richard and Jorge were both watching via camera in the kitchen. They apologize for their poor management and vow to do better. Gordon arranges a segment on the local news, where Richard and Jorge apologize for the way they have treated the community, and ask for forgiveness, as well as highlighting new menu items.
Restaurant & Menu Remodel
The restaurant's logo and signage are replaced with a much cleaner, simpler logo without the use of orange. The interior has been remodeled to more of a fine dining feel, with the green walls painted a dark shade of white, giving it a more contemporary look. The decor is changed to match, including pictures of local environments. The menu is streamlined and simplified, with the new items solidifying Park's Edge as a contemporary American restaurant, including New York Strip and fried green tomatoes.
While most of the staff is excited about the new menu, line cook Matt is angry at the idea of a fine dining restaurant serving chicken wings. After a confrontation with Gordon, Jorge, and Richard, Matt relents. The customers are excited about the new menu, and the wait staff are energized and happy to be at work. Jorge shows a brand new mentality in the kitchen, and dishes come out quickly, to the pleasure of the wait staff. However, a disgruntled Matt prepares and overcooked piece of pork belly, and the replacement is cold. After Matt continues to act obnoxiously, Jorge kicks him out of the kitchen, much to Gordon's approval. With Matt, who was labeled the weakest link by a member of the wait staff, the kitchen continues to get all the dishes out in a timely manner. After service, Gordon commends Jorge and Richard on their job well done.
After Gordon's Departure
Richard and Jorge continue to make their amends with the community and foster new relationships. They proclaimed their excitement about the future of the restaurant.
Yelp reviews after filming detailed issues with poor service and hit or miss menu items, with some of the items removed from the menu by Gordon being readded. Park's Edge's lease ran out in November 2013, and searched for a new location, but never reopened. Their website was active until 2020.