Restaurants aren't exactly the easiest business to invest in, and doing it in the midst of the worst recession in 80 or so years doesn't help. Primo Hospitality Group provides yet one more cautionary tale. A couple of years ago, Tony Riviera had grand visions of an expanding group of restaurants throughout L.A. But as reported by blogdowntown, it's not working out very well, with the most noticeable setback being a planned steakhouse at the corner of 6th and Olive. Two years after signing a lease for the location, Primo is out of the picture.
Owner Primo Hospitality Group announced plans for a rapid expansion across Los Angeles just before and during the height of the recession, but financing issues stymied the company's growth and have left a trail of questions in Downtown. The original Tony's location in West Hollywood closed earlier this year, and several Downtown projects have slowed or stalled mid-construction, including the firm's Primo Cucina, a restaurant and gourmet market in the Arts District, and Primo Bistro in City West. However, construction has begun once again on Caffe Primo, a mid-range restaurant at Wilshire and Flower, and completion is tentatively scheduled for the end of the year.