WENDELL — Wendell diners now have a couple of extra selections on their restaurant-option menu.
Primo Pizza, located in the former’s Teddy’s location on Main Street, opened in January and Agave Mexican Bar and Grill opened last month in the former El Cerro location on Third Street.
Melanie Paul, executive director of the Wendell Chamber, sees the openings as a good sign and it doesn’t represent that the two former restaurants had a difficult time staying open. “Teddy’s Pizza did not close due to a lack of business” but because the former owner retired after many years at that location. “This was a very difficult decision for him as he was very attached to the community,” adding the former Teddy’s owner had a hand in choosing his successor.
Primo is enjoying serving the customers who were used to frequenting Teddy’s. “Business has been really good, said restaurant hostess Danielle Moss. She said they took advantage of Wendell hosting a softball tournament recently by handing out lots of coupons. “We are advertising, getting the word out,” Moss said, adding word-of-mouth has also helped the business.
Paul said she is also enjoying Primo’s. “The name has ‘New York style’ at the end. I have taken several folks from the New York area to Primo’s and all have said it is either very close or just like true New York pizza.”
Jose Rivera, owner of Agave, said he has not experienced the same success. “It has not been good,” he said, when asked about customer turnout. “I don’t know why – I put in advertisements. Nothing seems to work.”
Paul said she has eaten “at Agave several times and I love the food,” adding the prices are very reasonable. “On Feb. 25, the Wendell Chamber sponsored the Eastern Wake Business Alliance meeting there in a large meeting room they have” and approximately 28 folks turned out. “Everyone was so impressed with the restaurant and the food that a local business owner offered to sponsor the next meeting there on April 11.”
She is hopeful the two restaurants will be successful. “So what do restaurants have to do to survive? In my opinion, a large part of a restaurant’s success has to do with advertising. A restaurant with a diverse marketing plan will do well. Marketing gets the folks in the door. With the right ingredients – good service, atmosphere and food, customers will not only come back, but will tell others about it.”