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Sales Increase But Struggles Continue for Ristorante Barolo after 'Restaurant: Impossible'

The owners of Ristorante Barolo have not been able to fully turn around their business following Food Network's help.

On in Aptos, owner Cristina Locke said she often feels like she takes "one step forward and five steps back."

With Food Network's help, the progress is now moving forward, but not quite at the pace that Locke may have hoped.

FoodNetwork.com caught up with the folks at Ristorante Barolo and shared this update on its site

In Aptos, Calif., Robert and the "Restaurant: Impossible" team faced the daunting task of turning things around at Ristorante Barolo. Owners Giovanni Guerisoli and Cristina Locke struggled with the changing economy as well as family health problems, and could barely keep their 10-year-old business afloat. We checked in with the couple to see how things were going afterRestaurant: Impossible.

Three months later, sales at Ristorante Barolo have increased by 37 percent. 

"The new decor and also all the publicity because of the show have brought new customers," said Cristina. "People watch and really like 'Restaurant: Impossible.'"

With Atilio in charge of the kitchen and Giovanni running the front of house, Cristina is finally able to spend more time with her children.

"Atilio is doing a great job," she said.

Despite her best efforts to reduce stress, Cristina recently suffered a stroke and is still recovering. Because of the stroke, she was unable to finish cleaning out her office. When she recovers, she plans to ask Jessica to help her finish the task.

Giovanni’s health has remained a challenge for him, but he continues to run the front of the restaurant.

"Giovanni is doing the best he can while still dealing with his health issues," Locke said.

He never sold his collectibles at auction and continues to buy more.

"Doing the show was an amazing gift," Cristina said. "I will be forever grateful for what did for the restaurant and for my family."

What do you think of the update? Tell us in the comments!

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Amanda Reckenwithe May 19, 2012 at 03:37 AM
Why continue to purchase more collectibles, when that is obviously a drain on the business? Hoarding isa sickness, and needs to be recognized as such. The restaurant looks a LOT better after the re-do...the only exception, is the cheap and tacky "fluff" on the lighting fixtures...It's a glaring-(no pun intended), attempt at revamping existing lighting with an obviously cost-free redux.
nicole evans May 19, 2012 at 05:02 PM
So glad Atilio is still working there! My friend! I gotta go in now and say hello and see the "new" restaurant :) See you soon my old friend!
nicole evans May 19, 2012 at 05:08 PM
Its the trademark of the restaurant.. i know i would be really disappointed if i went in after all these years and all that stuff was gone. Every old restaurant has its "tacky" trademark and that is theres, which i and many people i know personally love. But everyone has there own opinion.
I Love Capitola May 20, 2012 at 02:44 AM
I've lived in Santa Cruz/Capitola/Aptos for 23 years. I've never eaten at this restaurant. Cafe Cruz is turning business away. Their "odd" location proves that great food and great service can prevail. I think instead of restaurant impossible, they should enlist the help of their fellow restaurant owner for their advice on how to create a restaurant with staying power.
Luv2quilt May 27, 2012 at 06:25 PM
The historical commission would not let them change any of the lighting fixtures and there were other restrictions on decorating and maintaining the historical characteristics, moulding and other architectural features. Building and remodeling in California, especially in historical districts, have many codes, restrictions, requirements, etc. I think the designer and contractor did a fantastic job given their restraints and limits of time, money and historical compliance.
Midge Boyd June 24, 2012 at 02:21 AM
Giovanni's problem is that he is having an affair and he hates his wife! A man in a place where he does not want to be....is a man with an attitude! Giovanni needs to step up and do what needs to be done.
Chuck June 24, 2012 at 06:17 AM
OOOH!!! Something good and juicy!! let's have some details please. Inquiring minds want to know!!! (I want to know). Who's the other woman? Who, what, where? Don't leave us hanging!!
Jennifer October 20, 2012 at 10:08 PM
Shame on you, you gossipy shmarm. They have young children. Have some respect. That information has NOTHING to do with the quality of that business.
Chuck October 20, 2012 at 10:42 PM
Oh, ppbbbllllt to you, Jennifer. Gossip and drama = sales.
Sharon Cessna December 27, 2012 at 01:18 AM
Watching rerun of the program now and wondering how anyone could stand to be near Giovanni. The vibes in that building would not entice anyone's appetite! What a crazy loon.
marylou medina December 28, 2012 at 03:08 AM
I REALLY LIKE HOW IT IS I LIKE ANTIQUES AND HOW THE HOTEL IS UPSTAIRS SO AWESOME
pam smith December 30, 2012 at 09:22 PM
I really feel for these people and hope it works out. They need to hire some good chef to run the restaurant and they just take it easy.And a couple people to do books and run front end etc...I volunteer to go.They seem like good people just struggling like many.I wish you luck.
J. Myers January 20, 2013 at 08:23 AM
I thought the place was beautiful and I loved the antiques. The new grey is pretty with the white, but there are so many other restaurants that have that "upscale look," the antiques were charming and I loved the chairs.I imagine it would be hard to keep clean, though, with all of the antiques. I say focus on good food and a pleasant and accommodating atmosphere. Good luck.I hope that the health issues get better.
Pam January 20, 2013 at 05:11 PM
went last night for dinner. it was excellent. excellent food and service.we wish you the best.
Jade April 07, 2013 at 09:55 PM
Asking my fiance now to take us there next year--hopefully the restaurant and hotel is still standing. Looking forward to site seeing, staying there overnight and trying the food !

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