"3 Days to Open," Bobby Flay's 467th Food Network show, has the kind of breathless concept written in italics and exclamation points:
"Bobby Flay tackles a suburban Chicago sausage stand when he tries to help make four best friends' opening dreams come true in only three short days. But with clashing personalities, unimaginative toppings, a six-figure bank loan and a stand in need of a serious facelift, Bobby is being thrown into the fire. With only 3 Days to Open will Bobby be able to save this stand?"
And the only man with the secret sauce recipe is strapped to an atomic bomb! On August 10th, when the show premieres, they'll be having a viewing party at the sausage stand in question, Big Guys, at 7021 W. Roosevelt Road in Berwyn. But as David Hammond reports, the resemblance between Flay's show and reality is somewhat loose.
As Hammond notes, "don't expect to see the 'serious facelift' on this Food Network program. Flay and his crew shot in May, well before the place was renovated and about two months (rather than three days) before the place actually opened."
He also says that agreeing to be on the show imposed some restrictions that didn't entirely help the restaurant get off to a running start:
Big Guys owner/former Oak Parker (current Berwynite) Brendan O'Connor told me that "Food Network was supposed to be sending out press releases, but so far we've seen nothing. And part of the deal is we're not allowed to contact local media, newspapers and so on."
In short, while they may have picked up some tips from Flay, in the end they made their restaurant work the old-fashioned way: thinking it through for themselves and a lot of hard work to make their plans into reality. Which always takes more than three days. [OakPark.com]