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Chef Robert Irvine? In Redlands? Believe It

The chef brought his "Restaurant Impossible" to Mill Creek Cattle Co. Question now is, are cupcakes on the new menu?

Customers at Mill Creek Cattle Co. in Redlands. This was taken in February 2011. Photo credit, Gina Tenorio.
Customers at Mill Creek Cattle Co. in Redlands. This was taken in February 2011. Photo credit, Gina Tenorio.

Wondering what the tents are doing in front of Redlands Mill Creek Cattle Company?

It’s not a sale. It’s Restaurant Impossible, a Food Network restaurant makeover show starring the tough-minded Chef Robert Irvine. For those who have frequented or even visited the eatery, this likely means a complete change from what you’ve known.

According to a report by the Riverside Press Enterprise, the show, which also features an interior designer and a general contractor, started filming yesterday and will conclude today.

The chef has been spotted visiting the neighboring business, The Cakewalk - Cake and Candy Supplies.

“Our entire staff got to meet the entire staff of Restaurant Impossible,” staffers at The Cakewalk wrote on their Facebook page. “Chef Irvine wiped us out of cupcakes and caramel apples. He met with so many of our guests while he was in too! He's awesome!”

The Redlands Daily Facts reports the Mill Creek episode is scheduled to air next winter.

Mill Creek specializes in barbecue and country style meals. Restaurant Impossible features struggling or failing restaurants and works to transform them into successful eateries. Past episodes have featured Chef Irvine dealing with novice restaurateurs or family-owned eateries enveloped in personal drama.

Each time, the iron-fisted chef has had to lay down rules and set a new menu. Mill Creek is an offshoot of Mill Creek Cattle Co. and Diamond Jim’s Saloon in Mentone.

EDITOR’S NOTE: I received the news of the makeover with a mix of emotions. I am a fan of Chef Irvine’s show and watch frequently. But more so, I am a frequent Mill Creek customer. I have “my usual,”  the Tour of Mill Creek which includes three sliders with tri-tip, brisket and then my choice of pulled pork (over hamburger.)

The cheeseburgers are my (very picky) 6-year-old's favorite. We’re accustomed to the Western décor that included a saddle draped over the wooden railing that set apart the order line. There was also a large multi-paged menu posted to the wall that I must admit I never fully read. It never mattered. I had my usual.

My husband and I introduced members of our Orange County family and they were hooked. My father-in-law, a cowboy at heart, trusts few restaurants. So when they made it to the IE, Mill Creek was getting a visit.

Even though changes to a place, which my family considered one of our favorites, feels oddly scary, I do hope this helps Mill Creek find a deserved audience. Gina T.

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