The number of Uno Pizzeria & Grills in Modesto is down to just that – uno.
The restaurant’s second location, on Dale Road near Vintage Faire Mall, closed last week.
Owner John Ismail said that he and his brother, Bobby, have decided to go through a “rebranding” with a new concept. The brothers opened the second location two years ago in the wake of the success of their first, on Oakdale Road at Briggsmore Avenue.
“It’s a good location,” John Ismail said of the Dale Road venue. But it’s also located near several other restaurants. “Because of the competition and similarity of the menu out there, it just didn’t work for us.”
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Ismail said that business at the Oakdale Uno remains strong; in fact, he is going to offer jobs there to many of the 38 employees affected by the closure. For some of the staff, Uno was a second job. But for those who worked there full time, Ismail said, he is hoping he can accommodate them at the other restaurant. Employee meetings were scheduled for this weekend.
Back on Dale Road, Ismail said he is looking into creating more of a steakhouse atmosphere with a local emphasis.
“For the concept we had there, it was on the wrong side of the street,” he said. Shoppers leaving the mall and looking for somewhere to stop for a bite likely would stay on the same side of busy Dale Road. “It needs to be a final destination location.”
He said he is still working on several facets of the reorganization but promised to keep us posted on his progress.
ELSEWHERE AROUND THE BUSINESS BEAT: I am embarrassed to say I got the new address of Daydreams & Nightmares wrong last week. The Modesto costume/makeup/props business recently relocated to what it calls its “final resting place.” You can find the store at 1219 Seventh St.
▪ It looks like the bar and restaurant scene in downtown Turlock is booming. One of the more recent additions, The Udder Place bar, is looking to expand. The owners have an application in to the city of Turlock to move into an adjacent spot next to the bar as well as put in some patio seating.
The matter is scheduled for consideration at the Oct. 1 Planning Commission meeting.
▪ Jennifer Williams at Crow Trading Co. in downtown Modesto passed along a neat event put together by several area boutiques and antique stores. A “shop hop” is scheduled for Oct. 2-3. Nineteen shops between Tracy and Turlock are participating.
Each merchant will offer snacks and beverages, as well as a gift basket to be given out in a drawing. Everyone who gets a stamp from all 19 businesses during the two-day event will be entered to win. Visiting 19 businesses in two days seems pretty ambitious to me – I have been in some of these shops, and you could easily while away several hours in any one of them. But I think it’s a nifty idea.
As Williams put it in a note to me: “We really need more events like this – fun and free that encourage shopping locally.”