Food Network coming to LaPorte eatery

2013-09-13T16:16:00Z 2013-09-13T19:55:20Z Food Network coming to LaPorte eateryStan Maddux Times Correspondent
September 13, 2013 4:16 pm  • 

LAPORTE | Tonya James can't say how the Food Network found her restaurant in downtown LaPorte to do one its more popular shows, which gives interior makeovers to eateries.

She's just simply thrilled it's happening.

"They are coming," said James, a co-owner of SEVEN, an independent restaurant serving traditional American dishes such as sandwiches, steak, seafood, pork chops, ribs and soup.

She has owned and operated the restaurant with her fiance, Chad Cook, for the past 18 months.

A crew from the show "Restaurant Impossible" will redo the whole interior of the restaurant Wednesday and Thursday.

According to producers of the show, celebrity chef Robert Irvine will be on hand to assess the entire operation and like with any restaurant Levine goes to with the program, "he then overhauls its weakest spots by updating menus, retraining staff and implementing aesthetic changes with the help of his design team, before hitting the streets to tell the community about the improved restaurant.”

The renovation and filming will happen from 1 p.m. to 2 a.m. Wednesday and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday.

Volunteers are sought to do work such as painting, crafting, construction, remodeling, cleaning and decorating.

Skilled contractors are also invited to show up and lend a hand with more complicated tasks like electrical and plumbing.

Volunteers will not be paid but will get fed.

"You should be OK with being on camera and wear comfortable clothing and sneakers/boots with no logos,” producers said of the show.

James said she could not reveal how Levine decided to land at her restaurant and other specifics under a confidentiality agreement with the network until after the show airs sometime in the fall.

"We'll just give them reign over anything they want to do," James said.

People wanting to volunteer are instructed to email with your preferred shift or shifts, full name, email address and cellphone number. In the subject line, they should write: FN LaPorte volunteers.

Correspondent Lesly Bailey contributed to this story.

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