No matter how hot it got outside Thursday morning, dozens of people stood in line for their reservations at Theresa’s restaurant with the chance to see a celebrity chef and maybe make an appearance on television.
After four years, the Food Network returned to the local breakfast, brunch and lunch favorite to film an episode for season two of “Restaurant Revisited.” The show goes back to locations featured on the network’s show, “Restaurant: Impossible” for updates on how the restaurant is doing since the initial visit.
Lined up along the side of the restaurant and near the front doors, those with reservations for a 10:30 a.m. seating squeezed into the limited sections of shade before being ushered inside after at least an hour-long wait for those who arrived early.
Lillian and Michael Corona said they signed up for the filming for their chance to hopefully meet the host of the show, Robert Irvine, and try the local restaurant for the first time.
“My husband and I enjoy going out in the area and trying all the different restaurants,” Lillian Corona said.
Ilene and Dennis MacDonald remember the first time Irvine and “Restaurant: Impossible” stopped in at Theresa’s in July 2015. As fans of the show, they commended the “honest effort” put in to improve existing businesses.
Having lived in Bradenton for eight years, they said they’ve been coming to Theresa’s since they moved here. Like many in line, the MacDonalds consider themselves “breakfast people” and that’s their favorite part of the menu.
The MacDonalds said they signed up for Thursday’s filming reservations to follow up on the last episode and see what it was like.
After the first episode aired, they visited the restaurant and Dennis MacDonald recalled things not being as dramatic as they appeared on television.
Following the initial “Restaurant: Impossible” visit, owner Jodi Boucher told Food Network the restaurant’s sales doubled on weekdays and tripled on weekends. She called the experience the “biggest blessing” of her life.
Boucher told the Bradenton Herald in October 2015 that she was glad to keep her menu as it was after the show and that her staff’s attitudes had elevated since the visit three months prior.
In the first visit, Irvine helped the restaurant with management and gave it a fresh look.
Born and raised in Bradenton, Connie Hoefling has been frequenting Theresa’s for 22 years. Standing in line Thursday, she also recalled her experience after the show came through town four years ago.
“Brighter, more open, more inviting,” Hoefling recalled.