Saturday, March 7, 2020

[KNOCKED OUT] Primo Hoagies Shutters Short-Lived Sandy Springs Sandwich Shop

Just days after reducing its hours to lunch only, and a couple of weeks after being listed for sale, Primo Hoagies has permanently closed its lone Atlanta area franchise.  Located near the corner of Peachtree Dunwoody Road and Hammond Drive at Perimeter Town Center in Sandy Springs, the restaurant opened May 16, 2019 and closed as of March 6, 2020.  

The restaurant's roughly ten month run is sad, and unfortunate for franchisee Brian Ottaviano and his employees, but is not all that surprising given the poor location and reportedly hit-or-miss service.  

When ToNeTo Atlanta first reported on Ottaviano's planned opening last January, we suggested that the chosen location was less than ideal for an unproven and little known concept in Atlanta.  Our site is meant to serve as a resource for residents and would-be business owners alike.  While we never like to see closures, this one seemed inevitable.  

Discounted gift cards for Primo Hoagies (and other restaurants that have closed most or all of their Atlanta area locations) remain available at Sam's Club.  Following the Sandy Springs closure, the next closest location to make use of already purchased gift cards would likely be in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina.  

South Philadelphia-born and now Westville, New Jersey-based, Primo Hoagies operates dozens of locations in Pennsylvania and New Jersey where the brand, and hoagies themselves, are more well-known and sought after. 

Ottaviano's franchisee agreement was for a total of three locations, but given the Sandy Springs closure, those plans seem unlikely to proceed.  

The lease offering from Shumacher Group indicates that the 1,750 square foot space is available for $5,600 per month (all in) and that there are eight years remaining on the existing lease, with a ten year renewal option. 

A reported $350,000 was spent converting the space from its prior use as a Gigi's Cupcakes franchise.  According to the lease offering, "due diligence will not include seller books and records and key money of $95,000 gets all furniture, fixtures, equipment, and rights to assign the lease with landlord approval."

Did you ever eat at Primo Hoagies?  Are you surprised that Primo Hoagies failed in their Atlanta debut?  What quick-serve restaurant not yet in the market do you think would do best in Atlanta?

Please share your thoughts below. 


Anonymous said...

Got a sandwich there once and it was actually pretty good. No visibility for that location, which is essentially hidden away in an office-park type setting. Obviously there's no dense residential right by it either (although I guess the places at the corner of Hammond and P'tree Dunwoody are doing fine). It seems like Atlanta is not a huge 'sub sandwich' type of town.

Anonymous said...

What a shame. Primo hoagies are a real taste of Philly and much better than many other local sandwich shops. I guess people hate trying something new. They like what's comfortable, what's familiar. Not willing to seek out something different.

Anonymous said...

Their hoagies were really excellent, but way too expensive. I am sure that is one of the reasons for the fast closure. That plaza has such a high turnover that maybe they should consider lowering those rents.

Anonymous said...

I think Atlanta is open to trying new things. It's just that this restaurant was in a bad location. You didn't even know it was there. No visibility. Remember location location location.

Anonymous said...

The subs were very good with a very broad menu of options but prices were too high, no fountain drinks, and very slow service. My sense of it was that volume was not sufficiently high for proper staffing- hence slow service. The menu was very broad compared to most sub shops and I suspect needs much higher volume compared to say a Subway or Jersey Mikes for profitability. Some of Primos franchise rules did not help in hot and humid Atlanta- no drink refills, no combos (added later), Pepsi products only.

Location visibility did not help but Central Perimeter has tons of Daytime employment, several thousand State Farm employees right down the street, probably 1,000 apartments in 5 mins walking distance, and two hotels across the street.

While I think the product was superior, the value was not enticing for the average sub eater without Philly area connections.

Anonymous said...

They got bad advice from whatever ad agency they were using. They bought tons on time on the sports talk station and the ads basically went after Publix subs -- something along the lines of "don't get your subs from a supermarket".

And I'm a northern transplant so I can see from an outsider's view that it seems silly that a grocery store would have good subs -- but the Publix ones are pretty good (not great, but better than a lot of other sub places). Seemed dumb to go after PubSubs that are pretty well liked around here... Talk about how yours are better, not why the competition is worse....

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