It’s not that the restaurant, which has struggled to fill seats since taking over the space vacated by Chef’s Table at 223 E. Washington St in Iowa City, was busy with patrons.
It was buzzing, though, with power tools and camera crews.
An undisclosed reality television show took over the restaurant Sunday and today for a top-secret overhaul, says General Manager Wesley Davis on Monday.
He said the restaurant was selected from among a group of restaurants in the area to be a part of a new reality television show.
“They chose our restaurant as the one to represent this area,” he said.
Even Davis does not know what exactly the remodel to the front of the house, which seats 100, will entail. He and the rest of the staff have been blocked from the area.
All will be revealed at a grand reopening Tuesday at 5 p.m. The event will feature a celebrity chef and free meals for the first 100 patrons through the door — all while the cameras roll.
Davis said he was “excited, thrilled and a little nervous” when he heard that the restaurant had been selected.
“You don’t really have a restaurant under that kind of scrutiny or that kind of exposure from a very big network like this and so to have that here is something that’s pretty cool, pretty amazing,” he said.
Here’s what XIE announced on their Facebook page last week:
The time has come for us at XIE Restaurant to share something with all of our friends, family, and acquaintances… something that is probably going to be life changing for our entire staff here at the restaurant. Our restaurant has been selected in a new reality television show that will feature us with everyone that plays a role in the ever day production of making this restaurant successful!!! Its been really hard to keep this kind of secret to ourselves, let alone to all of our friends, family, etc. It has been a lot of hard work, dedication, and discipline to get to where we are today and would like to share this experience with everyone that has helped us in some way accomplish these goals. The filming production will start sometime this weekend and will finish up with a grand opening on Tuesday, August 27th, starting at 5PM!!!!…. We will be closed for Sunday and Monday (August 25th and 26th). On grand opening day, we will reopen our doors at 5PM to everyone and the first 100 people will receive a FREE MEAL thanks to the production team and the celebrity chef, who’s name we cannot reveal!! We are also unable to discuss which network this is, but we can guarantee you that it will generate a TON of excitement, enthusiasm, and even some shocking faces! This is truly a once in a lifetime experience and to be featured on not only a national stage but a global network, it’s crazy to believe that this is actually happening here in Iowa City, Iowa!!!! SO, to everyone out there, if you want to be filmed and be aired on national television and also receive a FREE MEAL, then make sure you’re here!!