Copper Steer to get ‘Restaurant: Impossible’ makeover

The Copper Steer Steak House is getting a television show remodel at the end of January.

Production seeks volunteer skilled labor

By Jon Johnson

SAFFORD – The mesquite benches and wainscoting in the nearly decade-old Copper Steer Steak House in eastern Safford could soon be a thing of the past. The Food Network’s “Restaurant: Impossible” will attempt to renovate the space in just two days, Jan. 30-31, and with just a $10,000 budget.

The family-owned Copper Steer, located at 1206 E. U.S. Highway 70, currently has an old west motif and used fire-damaged trees from Mount Lemmon just outside of Tucson for its long, wooden beams. The restaurant’s back bar was also salvaged from the Hidden Valley Inn in Tucson after that restaurant closed. The steakhouse serves certified Angus beef cooked over an open-pit mesquite grill as well as other entrees.  

The renovation will take place Jan. 30-31.

According to the Food Network, host Chef Robert Irvine channels his inner MacGyver and uses “a lot of muscle to rescue these desperate places from complete collapse.”

While the show brags that Irvine turns the tide “of a failing restaurant” in just two days, he actually uses a local volunteer labor force of skilled contractors, electricians, plumbers, painters and more to accomplish his task and the Copper Steer job is no different. 

Volunteers who would like to assist in the remodel by crafting, painting, constructing, or cleaning, are invited to apply for a position on one or more of three work shifts: noon to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 30; 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. Jan. 31; and 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Jan. 31 by e-mailing Volunteer requests must be received by noon, Sunday, Jan. 27, and should include the subject line “1403 VOL Request” along with the volunteer’s name, phone number and type of skill. Workers will not be paid but will receive free food. Volunteers must be 18 years old or older. 

Once the renovation is completed, the show will also need patrons to eat and share their thoughts. Reservations are also being taken for local residents who would like to dine at the Copper Steer when it reopens at 7 p.m. Jan. 31. For consideration, apply by noon on Sunday, Jan. 27, to this email address: with the subject line “1403 Re-Open Reservations” and include full name, email, cellphone number, party size and the names of the people in your party.

The documenting of the remodel and grand re-opening will be shown on the Food Network. Although participants will be filmed, there is no guarantee they will be seen on-air.

“Restaurant: Impossible” airs Thursday nights on Food Network.