Here's What Happened To Fun Time Cafe After Restaurant Impossible

A little more than a year ago, noted chef and restaurateur Robert Irvine brought his Food Network show "Restaurant Impossible" to the faltering Fun Time Cafe in Joshua, Texas. What Irvine found when he and the show's crew arrived to rescue the restaurant was a husband and wife team struggling in their marriage as they contemporaneously toiled to manage their troubled restaurant.

In the 2021 episode titled "A Big Mess in Texas," Irvine found Fun Time Cafe co-owners and spouses Wayne and Carmen Lemkelde to be working under a debt of $230,000 due to a failure to attract customers. That stress, along with the already hard work of running a restaurant, was fraying the couple's relationship. Meanwhile, Wayne's obvious frustration was also killing morale among their staff.

Irvine initially called Fun Time Cafe a "pig sty" and criticized its massive menu (comprising everything from pork chops to enchiladas) as too salty. Still, true to form, Irvine and Co went on to transform the restaurant's deer-heads-on-the-walls decor to a space with a bright and cheery Tex-Mex theme. As far as the food, Irvine helped the Lemkeldes develop a menu honoring Carmen's Mexican roots while nodding to the quintessentially Texas focus on barbecue. Today, the Fun Time Cafe menu still includes a patty melt burrito, created by Irvine to meld the two cuisines.

Fun times at CW's

In a symbol of commitment to their marriage and business, the Lemkeldes reopened their restaurant with a new name under Irvine's reinvention, going from Fun Time Cafe to CW's Authentic Tex-Mex Cuisine. The name, chosen by the couple and their children, incorporates the couple's first initials. Since the makeover, the restaurant has been getting its share of great reviews. At least two diners who reviewed CW's at Yelp, both giving it a five-star rating, were motivated by the "Restaurant Impossible" episode to drive some distance to check it out.

One of the reviewers, a September 2021 visitor from Fort Worth, was impressed with the pork ribs and praised the staff's positive attitude. The following month, a five-star Yelp reviewer drove 70 miles for his meal, noting that Irvine's work had boosted the restaurant's culinary game. But all has not been sweetness for CW's since "Restaurant Impossible." In March, two reviewers gave CW's just two stars. One suggested prices were too high, while the other complained about his cheese enchiladas.

Still, CW's now is at an overall four-star Yelp rating, which appears to be an improvement from the former Fun Time Cafe's issues with haphazard service and poor-quality food. Other signs of CW's ongoing success appear on its Facebook page, including the introduction of a new menu item, a chicken grill club sandwich, in June and a job posting for new servers in September.