Retail

BRIO Tuscan Grille restaurant closes at The Mall of San Juan

Bravo Brio Restaurant Group opened its only location in Puerto Rico in March 2015.

The BRIO Tuscan Grille restaurant at The Mall of San Juan has shut down permanently, less than a month after Spice Private Equity closed the deal to acquire its parent company, Bravo Brio Restaurant Group, this media outlet learned.

Bravo Brio Restaurant Group opened its only location in Puerto Rico in March 2015, when the shopping center was inaugurated. Spice Private Equity is an affiliate of GP Investments.

News is my Business learned of the closing late Sunday, when a restaurant source confirmed management had gathered employees to inform them of the decision that took effect immediately. The employees will reportedly receive their liquidation checks on Friday, the source said.

“We can confirm that Brio’s last day of operation was June 17, 2018. We’re pleased to announce that the popular local restaurant Metropol will join the center’s lineup later this year, offering Puerto Rican, Cuban and other types of international cuisine,” said José A. Ayala-Bonilla, general manager of The Mall of San Juan.

Spice Private Equity Ltd. is a Swiss company focused on private equity investments that completed the acquisition worth about $100 million in May. The transaction proceeds will be funded by Spice, along with certain third party financing sources, the investment fund confirmed.

Bravo Brio Restaurant Group will continue to be operated as an independent company and remain based in Columbus, Ohio.

“Bravo Brio has two best-in-class Italian restaurant brands, an enduring culture, and a team committed to delivering exceptional dining experiences to its guests. We are pleased to be partnering with the Company and its leadership to build an even stronger foundation for value creation and profitable growth,” said Antonio Bonchristiano, CEO of GP Investments, Ltd earlier this year.

“As a private entity, we will have greater flexibility to take a long-term view as we invest in Bravo Brio’s future growth and expansion, which will drive rewards for the company and our investors,” he added.

Attempt to reach company spokespersons listed on recent press releases were mostly unsuccessful, as many of them either do not work with the company anymore or have been given no information about the local closing.

It remains unclear how many people lost their jobs.

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