Murrells Inlet restaurant featured on Food Network show

Published: Apr. 22, 2013 at 11:32 AM EDT|Updated: Apr. 23, 2013 at 7:41 PM EDT
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A Google Maps Street View image of Old World Italian Restaurant, located on Ocean Highway, in...
A Google Maps Street View image of Old World Italian Restaurant, located on Ocean Highway, in Murrells Inlet

MURRELLS INLET, SC (WMBF) - The owners of a Murrells Inlet restaurant say the place is booming after appearing on a Food Network show.

Old World Italian restaurant was featured on "Restaurant Impossible," a show that attempts to turn around a failing restaurant in just two days on a $10,000 budget, according to the program's website.

The owners of Old World Italian, George Hayek, Senior and Teres Hayek, say their sales are up 35 percent since the show left. They say the kitchen has become more efficient and the employees are happy with all the changes that have been made.

"We're back to where we were a few years ago when things were good," said Hayek.

Since production wrapped up in January,   the restaurant has averaged  between  80 to 100 diners a night, compared to 30 before the Restaurant: Impossible transformation. Hayek says agreeing to be on the show was a big risk, but it's paid off so far.

"A refresh was very important to our restaurant," said Hayek.

Chef  Robert Irvine and his team cut the food and wine menu in half. They also he did away with the old decor and left behind a more open, contemporary space. Another big change,  the restaurant no longer serves lunch.

Loyal diners like Marguerite Schnieder who've been coming to Old World for years, seem to be happy with the new experience at Old World. Schnieder says as long as the Hayeks are running the show, she'll keep coming back.

"Robert Irvine did a beautiful job. It's amazing and I hope this will help them too because they're beautiful people and they treat us so nice," said Schnieder.

The episode of Restaurant Impossible featuring Old World Italian, titled "Father Knows Worst," airs again on April 24 at 9 p.m. on Food Network.

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