PINEVILLE, N.C. -- In a somewhat unassuming shopping plaza in Pineville, anchored by a Bi-Lo grocery store, is an equally unassuming little restaurant called Sweet Tea’s, which is right next to a pizza and wings joint.
This, according to Food Network star and host of Restaurant Impossible, is unfortunate, and poses a problem to the restaurant’s survival.
Robert Irvine and a production crew are busy shooting the latest episode of the Food Network hit, now in its fifth season.
The restaurant windows and doors are lined in opaque plastic, as interior design crews use their budget of $10,000. The plastic helps protect the big reveal from curious eyes outside, who on occasion attempt a sneak peek.
Irvine says he’s always had a soft spot for the Carolinas.
“I just love the Carolinas, because it’s a beautiful place. Came her several years ago and fell in love with it, and literally moved there [Hilton Head] seven weeks later.”
Irvine now has two restaurants in Hilton Head, Eat and Nosh, and plans to open up another one shortly in the city of Pinehurst.
Irvine says he’s on the road 340 days out of the year with various shoots, projects, appearances and charitable organizations.
Being so busy, how does a newlywed keep his marriage to pro wrestler Gail Kim alive?
“Gail travels with me a lot, which keeps a happy marriage. Being married is the most amazing thing ever.”
So despite his intimidating exterior, Irvine admits he’s a romantic at heart.
"I am a romantic," he admits, "I love chick flicks and opening car doors, and cook at home. I’m a good BFF for any female!”
Sweet Tea’s will host their grand re-opening dinner on Wednesday, December 5 at their location on 9101 Pineville Matthews Road.