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May 22, 2008 11:53 AM

"The Restaurant", Series 2 - filming started?

I'm pretty sure that the BBC filming I saw, last night, at a restaurant location in Brentford, must be for the new series.

It was taking place at what, last time I was in the area a few months ago, was an Italian place. New, obviously temporary, signs are up calling it "True Provenance - British Eatery".

More of a giveaway was overhearing a couple of locals say it was for the series.

One of the presumptions I had about the first series was that it was all show-biz and that the restaurants didnt really trade with the public in between "show time" episodes. It was really the knowledge that you just cannot build up a business that quickly in a community. And, assuming that this is to be one of the featured places, I'd now be pretty much convinced of a showbiz sham.

It's the lack of real advertising that seems to give the game away. "True Provenance" is tucked away in a newish gentrified development in Brentford. There's no passing trade and you'd have to know it was there. The two genuine places even resort to "sandwich boards" on the High Street. There's no flyers , etc in the local hotels. Nor is there even a menu up outside. So, call me an old cynic is you will, but there's no way that this place is even attempting to trade.

That said, I'm cheering this couple on - whoever they are.


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  1. BTW, anyone know if San Marco is still open for business? It's website is still live but that's no guarantee. It never seemed to be busy.


    1. Are you referring to "Last Restaurant Standing?"

      4 Replies
      1. re: careyanned

        I believe that's what you called it in America. Never could understand why you needed a different title from the original. Any idea?

        1. re: Harters

          I don't know what the deal was, I watched it on BBC America, and it was always called "Last Restaurant Standing". Wonder why they DID have different names? All I know was that it was pretty good, although, I believe you're right, you could tell that the restaurants weren't open "to trade" on a full time basis.

          For a moment I thought you were mentioning the series, "The Restaurant" here in the US a few years back in which celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito opened a restaurant in NYC and it was all caught in a "reality series" format.

          Thanks for the info.

          1. re: careyanned

            You may have hit on the reason for the change of name - if there had already been a programme in the States called "The Restaurant" there may have been "trademark" legal issues.

            1. re: Harters

              That's exactly the issue. Rocco Dispirito's "The Restaurant" ran for two years on NBC and still runs in repeats on Fox's Reality TV channel.

              BBC America would have had to negotiate for naming rights to use "The Restaurant." I imagine that BBC America's budget for naming rights is roughly nil. I'm basing this solely on the fact that the Sci-Fi channel was able to outbid BBC America on US first-run rights for Doctor Who - so Sci-Fi gets to show Doctor Who about a year before BBC America does...

              Either way, a lot cheaper for them to call it "Last Restaurant Standing" than pay for the ability to use the original name.