A spokesman for Primanti Bros. Restaurant and Bar — who four weeks ago said the company was working to “safely open” its tornado-damaged restaurant in Beavercreek — now says its only Dayton-area restaurant will shut down permanently.
In a statement emailed to this news organization Aug. 28, in response to an inquiry, Primanti Bros. spokesman Ryan Wilkinson said the restaurant at 2430 N. Fairfield Road “was hit particularly hard by a tornado during storms that did damage across the Dayton region” on Memorial Day May 27.
“Unfortunately, expenses associated with repairs to the building, coupled with the costs related to re-staffing, re-opening and re-launching the restaurant, will prevent it from opening again in Beavercreek,” Wilkinson said. “Primanti Bros. remains committed to growing throughout Ohio and across the six states in which it operates.”
An initial Greene County tornado-damage assessment indicated the damage to Primanti Bros. included broken windows, a damaged rooftop air-handling unit, missing and damaged roofing, and damaged siding. Beavercreek and Greene County officials had said in late July that they had not seen any significant repair activity at the site.
When it opened in April 2016, the Beavercreek restaurant was the second location in Ohio, and the first in southwest Ohio, for the Pittsburgh-based restaurant chain. Primanti Bros. is known for its “Almost Famous” sandwich, which includes meat, coleslaw and french fries on Italian bread. The 24-hour flagship restaurant, which traces its roots to 1933, has been featured on the Food Network and the Travel Channel.
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Earlier this week, the Primanti Bros. restaurant along North Fairfield Drive in Beavercreek stood in contrast to some of its other tornado-damaged neighbors, where workers are busy repairing the destruction from the Dayton area’s Memorial Day tornado outbreak two months ago.
At a former Abuelo’s Mexican restaurant next door to Primanti Bros., workers on temporary scaffolding were busy repairing extensive exterior damage to the structure that will soon become a new location for El Toro Bar & Grill. Behind and across a parking lot from those restaurants, several workers were repairing portions of the parking lot of Hobby Lobby, which remains closed.
Despite the lack of visible progress, a spokesman for Primanti Bros. said this week the company is working toward reopening, although there is no projected timeline yet.
“The tornado damage was more significant than we expected,” restaurant spokesman Ryan Wilkinson told this news outlet in response to multiple inquiries. “We are continuing to work with our insurance companies and contractors to determine a timeline to safely open the building for our fans.”
The day after the storms, Wilkinson said the restaurant suffered some roof and exterior damage, but no no structural damage. That assessment worsened after closer examination of the building, he said. “We’re working to get it open as soon as we can,” the Primanti Bros. spokesman said at the time.
Beavercreek and Greene County officials say they have not seen any repair activity at the site. An initial Greene County tornado-damage assessment says the damage to Primanti Bros. included broken windows, a damaged rooftop air-handling unit, missing and damaged roofing, and damaged siding.
No one was injured in or around the restaurant when the Memorial Day tornado struck.
Primanti Bros. opened in April 2016 at 2430 N. Fairfield Road. The Beavercreek restaurant is the first in southwest Ohio for the Pittsburgh-based chain, which operates locations in northeast Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, and West Virginia.