Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

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July 1, 2013

The new Ducky's

Kokomo restaurant has grand re-opening after filming for show

Melissa Gross ate biscuits and gravy at Ducky’s Family Restaurant for years.

“I loved their breakfast menu,” she said.

Her mom, on the other hand, preferred a sandwich called The Marilyn. Gross had no idea what was even on it. But her mom always ordered it when the family stopped at Ducky’s after church on Sunday.

Gross created so many memories inside that restaurant.

“Ducky’s has been a staple around Kokomo for 50 plus years,” she said. “With me being raised here, I was part of it.”

The restaurant struggled, though. So much so, in fact, that it was chosen to be on the Food Network’s “Restaurant Impossible.”

The goal of the show is to save failing restaurants across America. Chef Robert Irvine has two days and $10,000 to come in and transform them. He looks at things like menus, pricing, management and décor.

He and his crew can’t do the work alone, though. He enlists the help of people in the community.

Gross knew this because she and her husband love the show. So when she found out Irvine and his crew would be filming at Ducky’s late last week, she wanted to be a part of it. She volunteered to help with the makeover.

Gross was not alone. She said so many people in the area showed up to help out.

“Robert Irvine said this is the most volunteers he’s ever seen,” Gross said. “That just tells me our little town of Kokomo steps up when it needs to.”

Those volunteers worked from 8 p.m. Thursday to 2 a.m. Friday and then again from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday — right before the grand re-opening.

A line snaked out of the restaurant long before the doors opened at 7 p.m. to those with reservations.

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