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Ty Pennington and Amanda Freitag eye Main Street to take old diners to new heights in 'American Diner Revival'

by jmaloni


Tue, Apr 14th 2015 03:50 pm

Series premieres Friday, May 22, on Food Network

Ty Pennington and Amanda Freitag are on a mission to help classic American diners across the country in "American Diner Revival," premiering Friday, May 22 (10:30 p.m. ET/PT), on Food Network.

Over six episodes, the hosts will travel the country empowering local towns to lend a hand in saving their struggling diners, utilizing a combination of Pennington's design and carpentry skills and Freitag's culinary expertise. With the help of the residents, this duo has only a few days to transform a cherished establishment in desperate need of a physical and menu makeover. They'll use a good, old-fashioned barn-raising to ambush unsuspecting and deserving owners with the surprise of a lifetime.

"Viewers will be amazed at the life-altering revivals Ty and Amanda can do in just a few days with the help of local communities," said Bob Tuschman, general manager and senior vice president of programming for Food Network. "In making over these cherished diners, they are not just saving much loved institutions, they are changing lives."

Together, Pennington and Freitag will use their experience to change the lives of local diners across the country, including Highland Park, Michigan; Monroe, Michigan; Nyack, New York; and Farmville, Virginia.

Two stops of interest:

•George's Place in Carmel, New York, has been an iconic institution since the '70s, known for classic American food, cheap prices and charitable owners who constantly give away free food for those in need. But since George died a few years ago and left the place to his son, Gus, and wife, Karen, the diner has struggled. The restaurant is losing money and the food reviews are getting more negative by the day. The décor needs a makeover, and the low food prices need an upgrade, but first the menu needs food options that can deliver.

Pennington and Freitag need to figure out how to update the menu and overhaul the décor, otherwise George's legacy will be gone forever.

•In Norman, Oklahoma, Freitag and Pennington visit The Diner, which has been run by the same family for 15 years and heavily involved in the community, sponsoring local high school debate and softball teams, and helping the local homeless shelter. But when owner Mark passed away, leaving the restaurant to wife, Claire, and daughter, Bonnie, The Diner started falling on hard times. Now Pennington and Freitag need to fix the rapidly deteriorating building and keep up with the increased competition from chain restaurants popping up in the area.

Freitag graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and has been a successful chef in New York City for more than 20 years, working in popular restaurants such as Cesca, Gusto and The Harrison. She appears on Food Network as a "Chopped" judge. She has battled Bobby Flay on "Iron Chef America," competed in "Next Iron Chef: Redemption," and appears on the Cooking Channel series "Unique Eats." Freitag most recently opened the new Empire Diner in New York City.

Pennington is a critically acclaimed designer, TV host and author, first winning national attention as the quirky and creative carpenter on the groundbreaking home improvement series "Trading Spaces" and later as host of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition." Pennington has been recognized as a leader in the field of volunteerism for his work on "Extreme Makeover" and "Ty's Great British Adventure." In addition to his extensive television work, Pennington is a go-to for his design expertise and style, launching the "Ty Pennington Impressions" fabric line, The Ty Pennington Collection floor line, and Pennington's outdoor and holiday décor line, "Ty Pennington Style."

Go behind the scenes of "American Diner Revival" at FoodNetwork.com/DinerRevival. Join the conversation on Twitter using #DinerRevival.

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