This week on Restaurant Impossible Robert Irvine and his crew are in Columbus, Ohio to ambush the owner of Cray Eatery and Drinkery. As part of the Restaurant Impossible makeover, the restaurant was renamed Factory on 4th. The restaurant is located in the iconic Wonder Bread Building in Downtown Columbus.
Robert finds himself in Columbus after receiving a plea for help from Jamie, best friend of Cray Eatery and Drinkery owner Crystal Park. Crystal opened the restaurant after finding inspiration in the infused liquors from Cambodia – but her lack of experience and dismissive nature have left her being unable to pay bills and begging her friends to volunteer their labor.
Robert quickly learns that he’s dealing with an unclean restaurant that is plagued by slow service and nauseating liquor infusions. Park originally opened the Cray in the summer of 2014. The Restaurant Impossible makeover took place less than 2 years later in early March, 2016.
Park told the Columbus Dispatch that she promised herself that if she ever wound up on Restaurant Impossible that she would not cry. But she broke that promise to herself by crying six times on the first day.
She went on to say that Robert was “a little brutal,” but he really “wants to work through the problems and flip them around.”
When Robert first arrived, he asked Park what she wanted him to change first – she told the Columbus Dispatch that she asked him to change the name.
According to the official synopsis of the episode, Restaurant Impossible received a plea for help from Park’s best friend. However, the Columbus Dispatch article clearly points out that Park was well aware that she had passed through two rounds of the show’s application process. In fact, the article suggests Park herself made the plea for help. If Park’s friend did in fact make the call, it’s probably correct to assume that Park was aware of it.
Cray struggled so much that Park put the business up for sale while applying to “Restaurant: Impossible,” one of her favorite shows. Had Irvine not come along last week, Park would have sold the place. She’d been “bombarded” by people who wanted to buy it.
Park knew she had passed through two rounds of the show’s application process, but had no idea she had been picked. A producer for the show, Marc Summers, the former host of “Double Dare,” came to Columbus on March 2 to meet with Park and as they walked back to Cray, Irvine ambushed them.
You can check out Factory on 4th’s Facebook page for the latest happenings at the eatery. Despite the name change, Factory on 4th still operates their official website under the Cray Eatery and Drinkery domain name. The restaurant also has a fairly active Instagram page.
She recently wrote the following message on her Facebook page:
A week and a half away from my Restaurant Impossible episode that airs. I don’t know if I should celebrate, cry, hide, or go in complete panic mode. I’ve rarely cried in front of many people in my life, let alone for millions of people to see. I have no idea what to expect. Bring on the shots, April 27th.
The Reviews are in
We always like to take a look at the reviews since Robert’s intervention and in the case of Factory on 4th, we found the negative reviews outnumbered positive reviews. When we scan reviews, it’s not unusual to find a small percentage of negative reviews – even in the case of four star restaurants – but when more than half of the reviews are negative – it usually points to an unresolved issue that requires immediate attention. Here’s a sample from some of the Yelp reviews since the RI makeover:
- Crystal, Owner, was a delight as she also doubled as our server. All in all, an enjoyable first visit. I expect to return.
- Such a great place to drink and eat especially during happy hour. I’ve never had a bad experience at this bar and it has become my go to spot.
- Read about the new remodel and came to eat dinner and drink with several friends. Congrats Factory on Forth you have something here. We will be back VERY soon!
- Very good service! Menu is different but the food was delicious ! Happy hour has great prices and their sliders were huge!
- Food: D. Facilities: F Singo (trivia): A. I gave it a chance despite bad review but now never returning.
- Gave this place a chance because of the recent “changes”. I’m not sure what it was like before, but it definitely isn’t good now. The service was bad and slow, the food was decent but nothing special…
- Read the reviews and even though most were negative, we decided to give it a try. I wish we paid attention more to what others said. The service was bad and the food took 45 min to come out….
- When our two orders of fries were finally brought to us after waiting more than 40 minutes, they were ice cold! I don’t understand.
Bad service, ok food.
- Formerly Cray, my first trip to the newly revamped Factory on 4th was pretty disappointing. Upon entering, the new decor was cute, but nothing about it is “factory”. Even though this restaurant was redone my Restaurant:Impossible recently, still not worth it.
- Working in the Smith Bros Hardware Bldg just down the block, I saw all the Restaurant Impossible filming and tents. Being curious and eager to try it out, I went on re-opening day. One word: underwhelming. Two words: painfully disappointed.
The episode – titled Cray, Cray airs Wednesday, April 27 on Food Network. Check local listings for times.
Here’s a look at some images and video posted on social media since Robert’s intervention.
— Ashley O'Shea (@Irishshowgirl) March 10, 2016