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SOLD – Lalla Grill, Lallapalooza, Lalla Oceanside & More

By in 2022 - Volume 24


Lalla Grill – San Jose
Lallapalooza – Monterey
Eli’s American Grill – Salinas
Lalla Grill – Monterey
Lalla Oceanside – Monterey

The Lalla’s Story by Keith Simpson – Listing Transaction Agent for Restaurant Realty Company

August 2019 – I first met with Mr. Pat Ottone at his Lalla Grill restaurant in San Jose, which he’d owned for 2 years. 

Lalla Grill 

Was a beautifully appointed 4,000 sq ft with a large patio located on the main thoroughfare. Pat, a restaurant veteran of 25 years, could not make ends meet at his latest venture. He spoke of his other 4 successful restaurants in the Monterey area that had combined revenues of $14 million and were supporting San Jose. Sadly, it was time to sell San Jose. By February 2020 a buyer was in contract for a mere $250,000, 10% of the build out cost just 2 years prior, but the monthly losses had ceased. Escrow closed in June 2020.

Pat and I met later that year in 2020 to discuss his retirement from the restaurant industry as the pandemic had savaged his Monterey establishments with closures or ‘To Go’ only and PPP & EIDL loans propping up a once thriving business portfolio. 

After a whirlwind day visiting all 4 restaurants, Restaurant Realty Company listed each for sale in November 2020.


Located on Alvarado Street in Downtown Monterey, Lallapalooza was a successful, upscale restaurant for the past 20 years boasting 3,000 sq ft. Closed by the pandemic, this once thriving restaurant sold in February 2021 for $300,000. This Monterey icon had consistent annual revenues of $2 million. The Buyers Alex and Carlos Moncada were seasoned local restaurant owners in the area wishing to expand their upscale Mexican concept.

Eli’s American Grill

A successful 6,500 sq ft Bakery restaurant in Salinas which Pat had owned since 2002, building revenues to a consistent $4 million. Lallapalooza restaurant Buyers, Alex and Carlos agreed to purchase Eli’s for $1.2 million but the landlord had other ideas. The landlord’s brother was also a successful multiple restaurant owner and was the chosen buyer. Escrow closed in November 2021 for the same sale price.

Lalla Grill & Lalla Oceanside

Although disappointed Alex and Carlos were not to be beaten down by Eli’s landlord. Pat and I persuaded them to purchase both, Lalla Grill, 5,250 sq ft at the Del Monte Shopping Center and Lalla Oceanside, 6,400 sq ft on Cannery Row for a total of $2.7 million. These were Pat Ottone’s final restaurants in his portfolio and were as successful as Eli’s, with annual revenues of around $4 million each. With financial assistance from Plumas Bank, providing 80% SBA finance and targeted to close escrow by the end of 2021, the Alcohol Beverage Control could not conclude their investigations until January 5th 2022.

When I first met Pat Ottone in 2020, he told me that one day he’d sell all this restaurants but needed $5 million in total enabling him to retire. Considering his comment was made 6 months prior to the pandemic, we sold all his restaurants establishments during the pandemic and within 18 months for a total of $4.5 million.

Pat and I remain professional colleagues today and regularly share stories from our years in the restaurant industry.

Keith Simpson

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About The Author
Steven Zimmerman, CBI, M&AMI, CBB, FIBBA

Steve is the Founder, Principal Broker and Chief Executive Officer of Restaurant Realty Company. Steve has personally sold/leased over 1,000 restaurant, bar and/or nightclub businesses and many related commercial buildings totaling 2+ million square feet of commercial space, collaborated with over 2,000 clients and completed over 3,000 valuations since 1996.His real estate experience also includes sales, acquisitions, management and ownership of numerous properties throughout California including restaurants, hotels, apartment buildings, single family houses, an office building and a multi-use retail building. Steve is also the author of Restaurant Dealmaker – An Insider’s Trade Secrets for Buying a Restaurant, Bar or Club available on Amazon. Prior to starting Restaurant Realty Company Steve had over 20 years of restaurant experience and was President and Chief Executive officer of Zim’s Restaurants, which was one of the largest privately owned restaurant chains in the San Francisco Bay Area. READ FULL BIO | HIRE EXPERT WITNESS - LEARN MORE