H-SAN LUIS OBISPO

Jan 29, 2013 9:20 PM by Connie Tran, KSBY News

Mondeo Pronto restaurant closes after 17 years in business in downtown SLO

A local favorite shuts its doors after 17 years in business in downtown San Luis Obispo. The locally owned restaurant Mondeo Pronto is no more, and it came as a surprise to some in the downtown community. Neighboring mom and pop businesses like Pizza Solo and Chino's Rock and Tacos say the closing came as a shock to them as well.

Pizza Solo assistant manager Griffin Davis said on Tuesday, "Pizza Solo, Mondeo's and Chino's, like the three of us create a really good, like synergy."

Davis said Pizza Solo and Mondeo Pronto had a sibling-like relationship.

"I mean there's always that little bit of, you know, competitive energy, like 'Oh, let's see who's doing better today'," said Davis.

So when Davis came into work on Sunday and walked by his neighbor's business, he was saddened to see a sign up that said, "After 17 years, Mondeos has closed its doors. We'd like to thank you for your years of loyal patronage & support. It was our pleasure to serve you. Please continue to support your local restaurants. Thank you - Mondeos Staff". Davis said he had just been at Mondeo Pronto on Friday for lunch.

Davis said, "It's really sad to see them go, honestly. We were really good friends, we would share food. Like if they ran out of spinach, they'd borrow some. And if we ran out of like, I don't know, like cheese, we'd borrow some from them."

Griffin said Pizza Solo and his neighboring mom and pop restaurants have definitely seen a slump in sales this past year. He said he believes Mondeo just took the hardest hit. He also blames the location of the restaurants for the slow down. Pizza Solo and Mondeo Pronto are tucked inside a courtyard area, in between Higuera Street and Marsh Street.

"This downtown center used to be literally the downtown center. It used to be the main go-to spot, and since downtown has been expanding and moving in a different direction, this area just kinda just gets ignored," said Davis.

San Luis Obispo residents Vanessa and Don Wigton were walking around downtown SLO on Tuesday, and were saddened to read the sign taped on one of their favorite restaurant's window.

Vanessa said, "I mean we were standing in front of it, and it didn't look open right, so we're like, what's going on and read the sign and I couldn't believe it!"

The Wigton family said the charm of SLO shines through its small businesses.

"A lot of our national leaders are telling us that the recession is over, then we look around and we see our local favorites going down," said Don.

But Davis said he's thankful that many more small and locally-owned businesses in downtown San Luis Obispo continue to thrive, and he hopes patrons will listen to the last line left on Mondeo Pronto's note: please continue to support your local restaurants.

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