Robert Earl is adding more Italian restaurants to his portfolio. But instead of filling out his Buca di Beppo and Bertucci’s Brick Oven Pizzeria brands, he plans to purchase a number of Brio and Bravo restaurants.
As reported in April, Orlando based FoodFirst Global Restaurants filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection, blaming reduced sales and profits due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Earl Enterprises, also based in Orlando and the parent company of Planet Hollywood and Earl of Sandwich among other brands, has expressed an interest in purchasing at least 45 of the Brio and Bravo locations, including the one remaining area Brio at Mall at Millenia.
Prior to the Chapter 11 filing, FoodFirst had closed 71 of its remaining 92 locations across the country, including the Brio at Winter Park Village, which opened in 2000. Central Florida had a single Bravo location but that closed years ago and the space is being remodeled as the new location for Norman’s. When FoodFirst acquired the brands, there were 110 locations in 32 states.
Orlando Business Journal was first to report the acquisition by Earl Enterprises.
There are more details to be hashed out and the purchase must be approved by the judge in the bankruptcy proceedings before the deal becomes final.
More details will be coming.