The family behind watched Wednesday's 10 p.m. showing of their dramatic two-day remodel on the Food Network's Restaurant: Impossible like everyone else: at home in front of the TV.
They had wanted to show it live in the restaurant at 1102 Pacific Ave. in downtown Santa Cruz, but they didn't have cable there. So they will get a DVD of it and loop it all day Friday and Saturday for anyone who missed it.
And maybe they didn't want to see it the first time in public anyway.
"Ed is so relieved that it's over and done with," said the restaurant's manager, Tracy Shaw, who is also the girlfriend of Adam, the new owner and son of Ed who founded it in 2001 and had been a baker at the Old Theater Cafe down the street for 25 years before that.
Yes, this is a real family affair and that's what came out during the hour long broadcast, which resembled at times one of those all-too trying holiday dinners, when wine flows and too much truth spills out.
There was June, Ed's wife, crying and ready to leave the place when the opening night was delayed by two hours because the remodel wasn't done and customers were lined hungrily down the block.
Then there was the sandpapered edges of Adam's relationship with his father. The son was ready for the father to step aside, but dad was stubbornly not budging.
Not to mention the $2 million of debt, piling up at $20,000 a month and including two homes sold to keep Hoffman's afloat. This was in restaurant parlance, a pressure cooker, no matter where it took place. (And why do so many of these shows feature a British chef or nanny scolding Americans? Is there a psychologist in the house?)
Host Robert Irvine said this mission was his toughest ever. (See video excerpts to the right.)
Always looking like he just got out of the weight room, Irvine's challenge was more mental than physical. He played psychologist getting the family to air its dirty laundry and build bridges. Using a technique out of MTV's The Real World he had the restaurant's staff talk to a camera in a private room about the problems they were afraid to voice in public.
But after the crying, the group hugs and the $20,000 spent in two days of remodeling, there was the show's standard happy ending.
Business has been up since the Oct. 12 filming by 17 percent, said Shaw. The family has also opened a second outlet called at the McHenry Library on the UCSC campus, selling the breads and pastries that got pushed aside when the bakery cases turned into a bar in the downtown bistro.
"It was like make it or break it," said Shaw. "We were literally about to go out of business in May. Then we found out about the cafe at UCSC and the show and we thought we could sustain it."
The Hoffmans, promising fresh local and fresh-baked pastries, beat out a dozen other applicants for the UCSC cafe.
The show was a big risk. There was no telling how they would be portrayed.
"Ed was like, 'I'm going to be the pig farmer,'" said Shaw. Yes, he yelled at staff and fired people, "but he is really a nice guy," she added.
"Ed, June, Adam and Marie (his sister, also a partner) all said it wasn't as bad as they thought it would be," said Shaw. "Restaurant: Impossible showed us in a very good light, which was fantastic.
"Honestly, all you do when you are being filmed is you are very self-involved. You think you are going to be the main topic of everything and you end up not the main topic and that's relieving. There was more to the story than me doing this or not doing this."
Restaurant: Impossible apparently loves Santa Cruz County and is planning an encore at the Ristorante Barolo in Aptos's Bay View Hotel.
"We'll be there for their opening," said Shaw.