Old World Italian closing doors, even after help from Restaurant Impossible

Published: Aug. 30, 2013 at 7:19 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 30, 2013 at 8:37 PM EDT
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MURRELLS INLET, SC (WMBF) – The owners of Old World Italian say it has been a tough summer, and they just can't afford to stay open anymore.

"Our averages are very low, and we're just not getting enough people coming in," explained owner George Hayek.

Hayek and his family hoped being on Restaurant Impossible would give business the boost it needed. The Food Network show picks a failing restaurant; then celebrity host, chef Robert Irvine and his crew step in for three days and give it a full transformation.

"They did a fantastic job, and we're very pleased for the results," added Hayek.

According to Hayek, they were desperate for a lift. For the last few years the family struggled to keep the restaurant afloat. At first they thought the show could be the solution they've been looking for.

"After Restaurant Impossible was here they seemed to be giving us a good amount of people."

But the booming business Old World had in February after production, and April after the show premiered, didn't last. Hayek says by the time May was here,  the numbers fell flat, and this summer has been one of the restaurant's slowest. Hayek says he can't figure out what kept diners from coming in.

"The service was great. The food was great."

Hayek wonders if the rainy summer in the Grand Strand may play a role.

"The distress of figuring out what our next step would be, kind of just at a dead end," added George Hayek, Jr.

The family decided the time is right to close Old World. "17 years. We've enjoyed a good run. We've had a good run," added Hayek Sr.

If you still want a taste of the old world, have about a week to get it. The restaurant's last day will be Saturday, Sept. 7.

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