Grand re-opening set for Baton Rouge restaurant remodeled by Foo - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Grand re-opening Friday for Baton Rouge restaurant remodeled by Food Network show

Tables. Chair. Everything must go.

They're clearing out Mama Della's New York City Pizzeria in Baton Rouge for the big makeover.

The Food Network show 'Restaurant Impossible' is here to transform the eatery.

"It's very intense, but we get it done," says Chef Robert Irvine, host of the show. "People think being tough on people is easy, but it's actually not. I see their fear and their sadness. But I only have 36 hours to change their lives so I make no apologies for being tough."

The crew has 48 hours and ten thousand dollars to remodel the building, the menu, and the staff. They also get help from volunteers.

"We say people don't like me when I first roll up, but they love me when I leave," Irvine says.

Executive Producer Marc Summers says they get thousands of submissions. Mama Della's unique story caught their attention.

"What makes their story unique is the owner Barry," Summers says. "He's quite a character. He's a New York guy that moved to Baton Rouge and he doesn't understand why the restaurant isn't working. Is it the decor, him, or the staff? It could be all three of those things."

The result, they say, is a lifechanging experience for everyone.

The grand re-opening will be held Friday, Jan. 10 at 7 p.m. The restaurant is already booked, but it will re-open to the public Saturday.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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