The Rock Island eatery that was featured in a December episode of the Food Network's "Restaurant Impossible" series appears to have closed.

A handwritten sign taped to the front door of Goombazz Big City Eatzz, 2704 18th Ave., told customers, "Goombazz is closed Tuesday. Sorry & Thank you." The sign remained on the door for most of Wednesday, but late Wednesday afternoon, a new sign was taped to the door saying, "Goombazz Big City Eatzz is closed. Thank you for your support."

The doors were locked. Late Wednesday, owner Brenda Brewer could be seen inside speaking with a police officer, but she did not speak with a reporter outside the restaurant.

The restaurant had a minor issue in front of the city's liquor commission Tuesday, but it was nothing that would shut down the restaurant, Mayor Dennis Pauley said Wednesday. As mayor, Pauley serves as the city's liquor commissioner.

Looking through the front door earlier, it appeared the bar was being disassembled. Open liquor bottles could be seen in a box on the top of the bar. Menus and centerpieces remained on the tables, however.

After the Goombazz episode aired in December, Brewer said she was disappointed that it took so long, given that the TV show's crew spent several days at the restaurant in early October. She said she told the show's producers in July that she was losing $10,000 a month on the failing business.

"It doesn't make sense to a struggling business owner, going from July to December," she said of the timing of the program, hosted by Chef Robert Irvine. "Six months for a struggling restaurant is too much. I'm now six months deeper in debt."

Goombazz opened in October 2012 after Brewer and business partner Sal Cracco renovated the former Godfather's Pizza.

(47) comments


No one likes to see a company have struggles and ultimately fail after giving it a good try but that is a tough location for sure. I typically don't comment on stories but my experience was so bad that I must vent in case someone is reading this that could benefit from the comments posted here. The truth can be harsh but needed sometimes.

A couple of us go to lunch for work a couple times a week.
We tried this place twice, the first time the person behind the bar was busy counting the drawer from the lunch crowd and told us to sit anywhere, we got there at 1:30 approximately, workers kept going in and out the front door for a smoke and to chat but no one waited on us, we waited OVER 20 minutes before I told the lady that was previously counting the money that no one had waited on us, then I sit back down and we wait another 10 minutes ( no kidding ) before someone comes over, we finally order, then it took OVER 45 minutes more to get our lunch, and there were NO other customers but us. How do you forget and then not realize that the only customers in the place have not been waited on or served. We felt like we were bothering them by us being there.

We figured they were having a bad day, so we go back about 3 weeks later, and there was so much going on beside waiting on the customers that it was almost unbelievable , Workers were sitting down eating, a couple were out front having a "meeting" outside the front doors, it did not take too long to order this time, because we were making sure that they didn't forget about us, then the food comes and it appears to have been a premade and maybe even a frozen store bought calzone, that was smaller than a little kids fist. The price was extreme when you factor in no service and the mini size dish. So we agreed that we cant afford to give them a third chance.

The restaurants that we enjoy going to have one main thing that they have in common... SERVICE, they wait on us quickly and check with us often to make sure we have everything we want and that we are satisfied.


I stopped in a couple of times before the changes, ordered the New York style pizza, thought it was good, I thought the menu items were a good selection. I wanted to try the bloody mary bar, but I had to drive home.


This restaurant was losing $10,000 per month back in the summer of 2013. Robert Irvine had nothing to do with that. And this show aired two months after it was filmed, not six months.

I tried Goombazz out for the first time after the show aired, and if my food was any kind of indicator, the closing of this restaurant lies with the food quality and taste. I stopped in at around 1:00 on a weekday afternoon. There were 2 other diners in the place. I ordered the Italian beef sandwich with french fries. The fries were almost cold when brought to the table, and the Italian beef was horribly bland and the jus had little to no taste either. On top of that, the sandwich was barely lukewarm. For food to come out of a kitchen being that low in quality, when there were only 2 other diners in the entire restaurant, speaks volumes.


It just goes to prove one of the biggest mistakes you can make as a restaurant is to try and be everything to everybody. Your review is excellent and brings up valid points. If only the owners would have been open and subjected to this type of honest feedback a year ago, things may have been different, but the bad reviews outnumber the good 5:1.

Nice to see that bdawg and Khawk are at least a mature 13 years old. Too bad you aren't mature enough to post on the subject of Goombazz, or the owners, who I have known long before you were born.

Don't worry your head with facts, just keep attacking like the little boys you are.


For someone with the name unadulterated truth you are a rediculous idiot

Right, nice to hear from someone that can't spell ridiculous correctly.

Please feel free to prove me wrong. I've known Brenda for over 20 years. You?

Try focusing on the subject, instead of your extremely pathetic attempt at insults. You'd be a little convincing if you learned how to spell.


Like below when you pointed out Barbra had "one" awards?


Right off the BAT. The ridiculous name. First time I saw it , I thought 'well isn't that just Silly'. So next thought was the marketing aspect was childish at best. The appeal to 'Check It Out' just wasn't there.. EAT AT JOE'S or even JOE'S GREASY SPOON sounds better... IDK


Average food and service. Poor name and the owners boyfriend was the issue. The staff even stated he was the biggest issue on the show. The weather didn't kill this place,A poor name,menu and the boyfriend killed this place. He's fired !!!


duckbistro- I only said that cause that's his motto. Then a new article came out and states they closed because of an unpaid loan, that is not Robert Irvine's fail. The FAIL is Brenda and Sal. They changed a lot after Irvine left. Heck they have/had he cell number. If they were in trouble again they should have called.


Plenty of free publicity before and after the TV show which is more than a lot of places get. Before putting your life savings into a restaurant, at least go wait tables for six months. Or stay at the Holiday Inn Express.

I see you never went in there, and didn't know Brenda prior. She's worked restaurants before, and worked at the Rivercenter in Davenport. She's very much a people person, so your rude comments are misplaced.


None of this makes her a good business owner.


My comment, "I agree 100%" was misplaced by the QC Times as my comment was
agreeing with Santony25. Santony25 stated that Irvine failed, to which I agree 100%.
As to Unadulterated, I will not blame you for thinking I was bashing as the error in placement appears that way. I was not. Have a nice day!

Lou Ford
Lou Ford

Yeah, it was the times that misplaced it. Not that tricky reply button. Ha.

Right......Been to your place, even once or twice with Brenda back in the day. You've lost my business forever....and get a different chef....and get rid of the kids skateboarding. Nothing very appetizing about watching kids bloody themselves up while I eat.


When would you have time to eat anyways between the 18 hours a day you spend on here commenting?

wifi? Seriously - I'm not here 18 hours a day. Try 1-2 hours a day, spread over many hours. You're a fine one to talk.


Only in the Quad Cities does a restaurant closing make front page news.


Maybe they'll buy and reopen BVI.


I am really sorry that Brewer couldn't make it. This winter has been a KILLER for a lot of local businesses. And, if you aren't at the top of your game for managing and having enough customers coming through the door, all you can do is borrow or go broke. Holmes was another victim of this winter. I will always support locally owned!!!


Hey Barb, if you were referring to yourself as the "reporter", that whom they wouldn't talk with, I understand why. You are an opinion columnist who plays reporter. Doing a news story with an opinion of the story before you go into it is NOT being a reporter.

Wow - came on here just to hurl insults. Get some help.

Barb is a reporter that also writes opinion pieces as well. Barb has one awards, and is one of the best writers for the paper.

Take a journalism class before you embarrass yourself further.


She has also won awards.


Or she may have one award(s), and is one of the best writers for the paper.


So I guess Robert Irvine failed!

He did in my book. He took everything off the menu that was any good, and left it with nothing but meat dishes, which turned away the large number of vegetarian college students. Brenda was continually reviewing menus, listening to people in an effort to fix up the debacle caused by Irvine.


This place was failing long before he came there. They admitted they were losing 10 grand a month. I said it on the last article months ago, Robert Irvine is an actor/chef on a tv show, not a magician. This place had been going downhill for a long time. You can't wait until the place is hemorrhaging money, and then blame a guy who can't fix it in a matter of days. This place sealed it's fate a long time ago.

It may have helped if they'd aired it when they filmed it. I know Brenda was hemorrhaging money, but a 6 month wait was ridiculous, seeing how other restaurants were on within a month of filming.


These restaurant/hotel/bar impossible shows are a sham. Some guy can't come in after a business is already failing to the point of considering a close, then wave his magic wand, make all the bad employees good, all the food better, put up some new wallpaper, and go tah dah. It looks good on tv when they show clips, but talk to the owners a few months later, most end up going out of business.


Bad food. Under staffed. Absolutely horrible owners who deserve to fail.

By the way. Pointing your finger at a tv show for the final straw?

What did the owners of that biz do to change what wasn't working? Nothing. They blame everyone else!!!!


I agree 100%

Which is why I don't frequent your restaurant. Nice of you to bash a woman that worked across the street from you for years, that brought people into your restaurant. Add me to your ever growing list of people leaving your restaurant in droves, never to return.

Lou Ford
Lou Ford

LOL. Agreed. "Chef" Charles is a laughing stock among any reputable chefs in the area. Delusions of grandeur if you ask me.

They altered their menu repeatedly after Irvine left, as people were complaining about the new menu, and lack of selection. The winter didn't help, either.

Understaffed? Not any time when I was there. Sal? I'd agree with the attitude, Brenda, not so much. She was there from opening till closing most of the time.

Brenda did a lot to change it.


Why am I not surprised The name was awful, so we never went there. Call me biased, but it's my choice how I spend my money. There's too many other enticing restaurants in the QC's. With a different name, we might have dropped in.


agreed. between the name & the sign, it did not seem to be anyplace that I would go in to. What was even on the menu? What was the 'theme' supposed to be? Hard to tell from the outside.

Yes, you actually have to walk in to look at the menu. They had "Good Eatzz" - theme? Pretty obvious, from driving through the lot. You realize your comments fit almost every restaurant around here...


obvious? You mean other restaurants around here such as Blue Cat BREW PUB? or Antonella's PIZZERIA? or Funky Desi INDIAN RESTAURANT & LOUNGE? or Tappas STEAKHOUSE? You appear to have liked the place, and I hate to see local businesses close their doors, but it seems that I'm not the only one who did not "actually walk in to look at the menu". Goombazz?? Good Eatzz?? Sorry, but that name was a no-go.

Funky Desi is the 8th restaurant in that same location. Might just want to verify your facts. Sorry if the name offended you. You may want to remember that 8 or 9 out of 10 restaurants fail.


Location, location, location...


Like Red Lobster being the best seafood in the QCA? Its OK, but the "Best Of" ?


Exactly! And it's sister restaurant the "Best Italian"? Really?!?!


Sorry to see another business close. All business is tough. If you have never run a business you will never know. All people do is complain that the owner is rich and gets richer by not paying employees enough. Now employees just find another job while the owner is left with the debt


So true! When I ran a business, the employees made comments about my new car such as "We know who makes the money around here." I told them they were welcome to go out and get a 5-year lone on a new car like I did. After 12 years of business and putting up with all of the headaches that go with it (long hours and little pay) I have never been happier to now be an employee again with a decent hourly wage, great benefits and VACATIONS!!! I had no regrets getting out of my own business.


The restaurant/bar business is a tough, tough business.

Goombazz had decent food, service and halfway decent location and facilities. I don't think it was the "Best of" anything, but decent.

I'm baffled how some places, with mediocre food/service, pack the place night after night. Some of those same places get the "Best of" awards year after year, when they're not the best of anything.

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