If you’re hoping to get a glimpse of celebrity chef Robert Irvine at Aponte’s Pizzeria in Mason next Thursday, you’re out of luck.
Reservations were booked in full within 10 minutes of MasonBuzz posting news yesterday that Food Network’s “Restaurant: Impossible” will be filming at the pizzeria next week with a grand re-opening set for 7 p.m. Thursday.
Restaurant owner and chef Tony Aponte said the restaurant’s phone has been “ringing off the hook” since yesterday. The restaurant, which has a maximum seating capacity of 80 in its current 900 square-foot dining space, quickly booked the 130 reservations allowed for the show’s taping, he said.
Starting Wednesday, the brawny British restaurateur and his team of designers will be at Aponte’s to revamp the eatery in 48 hours with a $10,000 budget. The popular show helps to turn around struggling restaurants by working with the owners to improve the menu, staff and decor.
Aponte said he learned to make pizza in his native New Jersey. The restaurant’s menu also features subs, salads and baked pastas. He opened the Mason eatery in 2005 and moved into its current location at 312 Reading Road in 2011.
Cast, crew and restaurant employees are not allowed to discuss details of the episode until after it airs, which should be sometime in August, show producers say.
For those who still hope to appear on TV, volunteers are needed to assist with the two-day renovation. For more information or to sign up, email Nick Smalarz at firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, email address, phone number and preferred shift(s).