Food Network chef to get first look at Woody's today

By Ginna Parsons/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – When Chef Robert Irvine walks into Woody’s restaurant this morning, it will be his first glimpse at the Tupelo landmark.
The Food Network star and his crew from “Restaurant: Impossible” will have today and Wednesday and $10,000 to give Woody’s a whole new look and feel by changing the decor and the menu. The restaurant will have a grand reopening Wednesday night.
“I have nothing to do with picking the restaurant,” Irvine said in a phone interview with the Daily Journal on Monday evening. “People write in and email in. And then my team does background checks, and they tell me to show up and I show up. I actually have no input. Until I walk in tomorrow morning, I won’t know anything about it. That, to me, is very important. I don’t have any preconceived ideas. The owners tell me what their problems are, etc., etc. That way, it’s real.”
Irvine arrived in Tupelo on Monday and said he found the city to be very nice. Rain kept him indoors most of the day, and time constraints will likely keep him from visiting Elvis’ birthplace.
But he is excited to be here.
“The show is a great show, but it’s not about television,” he said. “It’s about real people with real problems, and we help them find real solutions. I’m so blessed and happy we have the opportunity to do this for families and businesses across the country who need help, especially with a poor economy.”
“Restaurant: Impossible” is in its second season. The Woody’s revamp show will air during the show’s third season, which begins in February.
“Over the two days and with the $10,000, we’ll create magic,” Irvine said. “I love a challenge.”
ginna.parsons@journalinc.com