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The interior of County Fare is likely to look quite a bit different on Sunday, after a crew of about 25 has finished. Diners will get to check out the results.
Eric Green, the owner of County Fare restaurant near Stafford Courthouse, has turned the eatery over
The eatery was chosen from among hundreds of applicants for a 'Restaurant: Impossible' renovation.
By Emily Battle
In late 2007, about two years after opening County Fare near Stafford Courthouse, Eric Green noticed a sharp drop-off in business.
The construction workers who came to his family-diner-style restaurant were out of work, so they weren't stopping by for lunch anymore. Business in general dropped off as the recession led families to cut spending.
"It was pretty hard, and it hasn't picked up since," Green said.
So when a family friend suggested he apply to be featured on "Restaurant: Impossible," a Food Network show where celebrity chef Robert Irvine tries to turn around a failing restaurant with a 48-hour, $10,000 makeover, Green jumped right in.
About a month ago, he learned he had been selected from among hundreds of applicants to be featured in the show's second season, which will air early this summer.
So on Saturday, Green will essentially be kicked out of his restaurant as Irvine and a crew of around 25 people completely re-vamp the interior, re-invent the menu and try to right his ship.
Green will be brought back around 4 p.m. Sunday to see the results, before a grand reopening that night for diners with reservations.
"It terrifies me," Green said of the idea of letting someone else rearrange his business. "This is very scary, but I'm not making it, and I have tried everything I can think of to be successful, but I haven't been."
Green said he would particularly like to increase his evening traffic.
He has no inkling of what direction Irvine and his crew might take with his business.
"I am completely in the dark, and they have made sure I don't know what's going on," he said.
Green said he has liked some of the restaurant makeovers he has seen on the show, and he thinks Irvine has a genuine interest in seeing the projects he completes succeed.
Area residents can get in on the event by coming to the reopening dinner Sunday. Interested diners can call County Fare at 540/720-6900 for reservations.
The show will air in early summer in the second season of "Restaurant: Impossible."