Restaurant reality show fans want a taste of the show

The Old World Italian Restaurant in Murrells Inlet is getting a new lease on life this week, thanks to the Food Network TV show, Restaurant: Impossible.

The makeover and filming of it is happening behind closed doors, but that didn't stop the show's fans from trying to get a peek at what was going on.

As the show's crew scurried about, doing their makeover thing, the crowd gathered outside hoping to catch a glimpse of the show's star, chef Robert Irvine. Or maybe, more than a glimpse.

"I think it'd be nice just to shake his hand and meet him," said fan Brittany Wiggins. "And get a picture."

In two days and with a budget of $10,000 dollars, Irvine and his crew will give a troubled restaurant some tough love and a complete makeover.

Among those in the crowd Wednesday during the first day of shooting was the daughter of the restaurant's owners, who says her family was struggling to keep the business in the black.

She's a big fan of the show, too.

"Just one day it finally hit me, why can't they help my parents? And that's when we could just go online and fill out an online application and it got the ball rolling," said Monica Shirghio, whose parents, George and Teresa Hayek, have owned the restaurant for more than 15 years.

The filming of the show attracted Mary Filetto of Myrtle Beach, who had stopped at the Sherwin-Williams paint store next door, to pick up some color chips. She couldn't resist hanging around to see what was going on at the restaurant.

"I think it's great, they're giving the restaurant a second chance. I enjoy the show, I watch it all the time," Filetto said.

Other fans of Restaurant: Impossible say they're looking forward to seeing the final results of the makeover, because Irvine does such a good job of turning places around.

"He's got a great crew, a great design crew, hard workers all of them and they pull it all together and it's magic," said Monica Wagner of Garden City.

At one point Wednesday, Irvine did step outside, just for a second, to give his crew some directions and then he slipped back in.

No autographs for the fans then, but Irvine's got a makeover to do and only two days to get it done.

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