Design on TV: Restaurant Makeover

Design on TV: Restaurant Makeover

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Maxwell Ryan
Nov 6, 2006

Has anyone else been watching this show? While the Food Network is straying farther and farther from food (Suggested reading: New Yorker) there are some good shows. Restaurant Makeover is based on the idea that the core of a good restaurant is based on a great menu and good design. Featuring a restaurant in need of help each episode, Restaurant Makeover assists the owners with a "refresh". Rotating a core of hosts—chefs and designers—each show is a fun twist on the before/after glut of reality TV. In the few episodes I've watched, there have been budgets ranging from $5000-$40,000...

The show matches the owner's contribution up to $20,000. This is where Restaurant Makeover shines—in addition to breaking into the realm of designing semi-public spaces, the presence of a budget is a great mediator. Some of the featured designers are stellar with a limited budget, while others always whine about not having enough. Does anyone else watch Restaurant Makeover? And does anyone know anything about the chandelier encased in the smoked glass in last night's episode featuring the Town Grill? —aaron

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