Edgar’s Restaurant at the Akron city-owned Good Park Golf Course will get a chance to turn itself around in front of a national audience.

The restaurant will appear on an upcoming episode of Food Network’s “Restaurant: Impossible,” in which host Robert Irvine uses lots of tough love and $10,000 to revamp ailing restaurants — in 48 hours.  

Irvine and his crew will swoop into town for filming Aug. 20-21 to document an overhaul of the restaurant’s décor  — as well as its menu.

And you can volunteer to be a part of the effort.

The show is seeking local people to help with the renovation — cleaning, construction and decorating — on both days. There’s no pay, but volunteers get free food (such as pizza). More on how to volunteer below.

"Restaurant: Impossible" also wants to sign up people to dine at the restaurant at 7 p.m. Aug. 21 — for the grand-reopening scenes of the episode. See below for more information on reservations. Note: Diners pay for their own meals.

There’s no air date set for the episode; it could air later this year, or sometime next year.

Edgar’s owner and chef Glenn Gillespie can’t talk until after the show airs about being featured on “Restaurant: Impossible” because he signed a nondisclosure agreement. Such is often the case with reality shows.

Edgar's has been around since 2005, housed in the former Crocker's in the clubhouse at the city-owned Good Park Golf Course, and has built a loyal following. Apparently, though, the restaurant needs a boost.

Irvine doesn’t bring his intensity — and yelling — to restaurants that are doing well. Episodes often feature emotional discussions as Irvine prods owners to change, offering often brutal critiques of food and restaurant operations. Being on the show is no guarantee that a restaurant's fortunes will change. Some of those featured have closed.

It's unclear if Gillespie made the initial contact with the show or someone else.

I’ve enjoyed Edgar’s food — especially the Cuban Smoked Pork Platter, with hickory-smoked shoulder, grilled bread, black bean salsa, guacamole and more. Yeah, it’s a $14 appetizer, but it’s a meal in itself.

I wonder if a big problem for the place is one that can’t be changed: Its location, which is off the beaten path at 530 Nome Ave., west of Hawkins Avenue.

The city is pulling for the restaurant.

Edgar's and executive chef Gillespie have been "an exceptional part of the Akron food scene for 14 years," with the restaurant offering "some of the most spectacular sunset views in Akron," city spokeswoman Ellen Lander Nischt said in an email.

Edgar's, she said, is an asset to the city, the golf course and the neighborhood. 

"We hope that this experience helps diners across the region discover the unique value and atmosphere of Edgar’s Restaurant," she said. 

Initially, Edgar’s was a partnership with three managing members. In 2012, Gillespie became the sole owner.

Those wanting to volunteer should email volunteer@restaurantimpossiblevolunteers.com by 3 p.m. Aug. 16 with preferred day(s), full name, email address, cellphone number, and information about skills or related profession (such as plumber or painter). “We welcome all skill sets and skill levels always,” says promotional material for the show.

In the email, use this subject line: 1602 OH VOLUNTEER.

The three volunteer shifts are: Noon to 7 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. Aug. 20 and 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Aug. 21.

Volunteers will receive confirmation emails the day before each day they have said they want to volunteer.

Those wanting to make reservations for the grand reopening Aug. 21 should email contact information (full name, email address and cellphone number), the size of their party, as well as the names of the people in their party, to volunteer@restaurantimpossiblevolunteers.com by 3 p.m. Aug. 21, using the subject line 1602 OH RESERVATIONS. This event is first-come, first-serve by email.

Those selected will receive a confirmation email shortly before Aug. 21. No guests under 8 years old.

 


85 years of burgers

Akron’s iconic Swensons Drive-In Restaurant is celebrating 85 years of burgers, french fries, onion rings, milkshakes and making memories.

Beginning Monday and running through Sunday, Swensons will give $10 worth of gift coins to the driver of every 85th car at any of Swensons 12 hamburger stands.

The driver — or someone in each 85th car at each location — must make a purchase. The coins are for future purchases.

Wesley T. Swenson first set up shop in a simple shack on South Hawkins Avenue in Akron’s Wallhaven neighborhood in 1934. Since then, Swensons has been a mainstay in the area. The old Wallhaven building was replaced by a new one in 2005.

It’s still ″Lights on for service,″ and the curb servers — who are college students — still run to your car.

The Akron-based chain opened its 12th location earlier this year, near the Ikea in the Polaris area of Columbus. Last year, Swensons opened its first store in central Ohio, on the Columbus-Dublin border.

It also expanded in the Cleveland area, opening a stand in University Heights and a stand in North Olmstead. It earlier opened a stand in Seven Hills.

Swensons also has locations in Akron’s North Hill neighborhood, Stow, Copley Township, Avon, Jackson Township and North Canton.

Swensons CEO Jeff Flowers began his career with Swensons as a carhop.

The recent Swensons expansion comes after California private-investment firm Spanos Barber Jesse & Co. invested in the company. Swensons continues to be locally operated.


Taste of Ireland

Traditional Irish food, dance, music and more — hurling demonstrations, anyone? — are coming to Lock 3 Park in downtown Akron Aug. 16 and 17 for the Taste of Ireland festival.

Admission will be free.The food — including fair food — as well as a Jameson tasting — will be available for purchase.

Inflatables, face painting and children’s games will be available for a fee.

Free children’s activities will be presented by the Akron Children’s Museum.

The festival is organized by volunteers from both Hibernian units in Akron in conjunction with the city’s Lock 3.

For an entertainment schedule and other information, go to http://irishinakron.com.

 

Hot Pepper Fest

The Aug. 17 Shanti Hot Pepper Fest fundraiser for the Shanti Community Farms group that works with local Bhutanese immigrants has a new location.

The new site is the Exchange House — a community gathering spot in Akron’s North Hill neighborhood. The Exchange House is at 760 Elma St., Akron.

The festival begins at 4 p.m.

A full pass — which includes food and competitions/games (such as a hot pepper eating contest) — runs $50. Tickets for food only are $35, and tickets for competitions/games only are $25.

Food will include Nepali dishes, smoothies and shaved ice treats.

For tickets and information on sponsorships, go to https://bit.ly/32Jiqul.

 

Send local food news to Katie Byard at 330-996-3781 or kbyard@thebeaconjournal.com. You can follow her @KatieByardABJ on Twitter or on Facebook