Talk about a TV dinner!
Vinny Accardi, owner and chef of Room 55 restaurant in Glendale, is marinating in the recent success of his business after being featured on the season three premiere of CNBC’s hit show “Restaurant Startup,” which aired on Jan. 6.
“The phone has been ringing and ringing, we have had many more diners and booking up faster than normal,” Accardi said. “The outpouring of positive responses from the community was fantastic. [We received] thousands and thousands of calls, messages, social media comments; the neighborhood has been very happy for me and proud of what I accomplished on the show and how I represented the neighborhood.”
On the show, Accardi pitched his idea for a second restaurant called “55 Steak,” a high-end steak house right in his hometown of Queens, to celebrity restaurateurs Joe Bastianich and Tim Love.
“The show was great publicity for me, introducing me and my restaurant to the world, and brought to light my future plans for 55 Steak which is a ways away,” Accardi said. “We will be focusing on making Room 55 even better for now, and work on 55 Steak down the road when the time is right.”
But after Accardi’s episode of “Restaurant Startup,” he soon found Room 55 caught up in a social media rumor mill for reasons that had nothing to do with the program.
A report of a fire in the kitchen of Room 55 on Jan. 10 was posted on local social media pages. Accardi had to quickly extinguish the rumor and explain what actually transpired.
“An electrical box in the hallway next to my kitchen, which is for the upstairs tenants not in my restaurant or in my property, must have shorted out or something,” Accardi explained. “It was smoking, but the tenant upstairs called the FDNY before the fire started. Unfortunately for me, for safety measures, the FDNY knocked down a small portion of my kitchen wall to make sure it was thoroughly put out.”
This procedure caused Room 55 to be shut down for three days.
“They turned off my gas, and from their work, it damaged a pipe that needed to be replaced,” Accardi said. “It was replaced the next day, the wall fixed, mess cleaned up, gas turned back on and Heath Department approved.”
With that unintended mess behind him and Room 55 back up and running, Accardi can once again focus on bringing the people of Glendale the high-quality cuisine he has provided since Room 55 opened in 2014.
Room 55 is located at 75-01 88th St., and is open Wednesday through Monday. For more information visit www.room55ny.com.