Uptown Restaurant Switcheroo
Boy, that didn't take long. There's a new concept going into the old Primo's Tex-Mex space on McKinney Avenue, and it's coming from folks who know the Uptown scene pretty well: Brandon Hays and Phil Schanbaum, the team that used to run the also-recently-closed Sfuzzi.
Hays confirmed they have signed the lease and have been working on it since January. He says it will be a bar-restaurant.
"We've been working on it for last month, trying to put it together," he says. "At this point, we're not ready to release anything as far as concept goes. But we're putting all the pieces together."
Primo's closed abruptly in mid-December, after 28 years of being the best patio in Uptown ever. The restaurant had been owned by Phil Lacerte and Frank Bonilla, a pair of entrepreneurs without much experience in the restaurant industry, since 2009.
Sfuzzi, which opened on McKinney more than three years ago, had its own sudden departure at the end of December.
Hays and Schanbaum have since parted ways with the Sfuzzi group, i.e. founder Robert Colombo. Hays is still affiliated with Standard Pour, in partnership with James Hamous and entrepreneurs Jonathan Rosenberg and Brian Rutt. "We love Standard Pour," Hays says. "The restaurant side is gaining traction every week."
As for the Primo's space, Hays says he'll have more details in a couple of weeks.
"We have a good idea, but we want to wait until everything is dialed in," he says. "We’re going to be spending some time remodeling it. The space has good bones. Obviously that patio.
"The space is legendary. I know the landlords had a lot of interest on the space. We feel honored to be selected to take it over and shepherd in something new."