Sizzler and Black Angus are the latest casualties of the rough economy. The national chains are closing their doors including locations in the Desert.
But one local restaurateur is making a bold move by opening two new restaurants during these tough economic times.
Josh Devane’s new restaurant opened its doors three weeks ago despite these the shaky economic climate.
Devane is a very familiar name in the local restaurant business. He currently owns Devane’s Italian Kitchen in Rancho Mirage. The original Devane’s was in Indio.
It’s not open anymore, but Josh says he’s been trying to open a new restaurant in the east end of the Coachella Valley for a while.
“We’ve seen a lot of customers come back that we haven’t seen in a while, so I wasn’t that concerned with opening a Devane’s again,” said Josh.
In addition to Devane’s, Josh plans to open Viva, a contemporary Mexican restaurant.
Josh wanted to have Viva up and running by the beginning of the year, but construction challenges delayed the opening back until March.
Despite the delay, other old town business owners are taking note.
Times are tough, but with the season in full swing and new tenants moving into both ends of Old Town, everyone we spoke with is optimistic.
“It’s so nice to see Devane’s open up, and right away its nice to see the business they’re bringing in,” said Tim Hurja, the president of Palm Springs Golf Vacations and an Old Town La Quinta tenant.
“Old Town has been here five years. We’ve been here five years and I’ve seen a lot of growth, and a lot of people come and go. But there are a lot of us who have stayed and stuck it out and we’re just hoping this will help,” added Carla Gramer, the owner of The Boutique in Old Town.
Hog’s Breath Inn is the restaurant right upstairs from Devane’s.Its manager tells News Channel 3 they are excited about their new neighbor.
While the restaurants technically compete for business, they might also help each other survive.
“If people come here for Devane’s and end up going upstairs the next time, then that just helps Old Town. That helps them and vice versa,” Josh said.
“I don’t think it will hurt anyone,” said Ellwood Decker, the owner of Just Boni at Home in La Quinta. “Anytime another business opens, it’s just going to bring more people to the area. The more we have to offer, the better it is for all of us.”
Viva is set to open sometime in March.
Devane’s opened it’s doors right after the New Year, and they are open daily for lunch and dinner.