Pat & Oscar's Changes Name, Keeps Breadsticks

In November of last year, many San Diegans were disappointed when most of the popular Pat & Oscar's restaurants closed their doors and the chain filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. But on May 22, the few remaining franchisees, still trying to operate under the Pat & Oscar's name, announced a merging together and rebranding of the remaining restaurants into O's American Kitchen.

The new chain will convert the nine remaining Pat & Oscar's locations in Carmel Mountain Ranch, Chula Vista, El Cajon, Mira Mesa, Mission Valley, National City, San Marcos, and two locations in Orange County.

The first communication with the public was in an email to members of the restaurant's Breadstick eClub on the afternoon of May 23. The first location to begin the transition — the Carmel Mountain Ranch store, where Pat & Oscar's started in 1991 — planned to introduce new menus, interiors, and signage this week.

According to a manager named James, the chain will still offer fresh, buttery breadsticks and all the other things people enjoyed about Pat & Oscar's. The new company, based in Carlsbad, stated in a news release that a new executive chef will bring bolder flavors with more diversity.

Founders Oscar & Pat Sarkisian sold their interest to Sizzler Restaurants in 2000. The chain sold again in 2005 when Sizzler's Australian franchisees purchased the company's American operations. In 2009, a group of Pat and Oscar's upper management bought the chain and amassed a debt of almost $4 million prior to filing for bankruptcy last year.

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The best part of going to one of those restaurants was the food. If they start messing with the menu, they might just kill themselves. Their other draw was the pricing, meaning that I could come out satisfied without spending as much as I'd have dropped at Applebee's or Elephant Bar or a host of other full-service sit-down eateries. Based on the amount of business the San Marcos restaurant was doing, I could not fully understand why the parent company ended up BK. But, sadly, financial machinations often break the back of otherwise-successful operations. But I'm happy to learn that some of them will still be around. Maybe they will start advertising again (and offering specials, too.)

Successful local restaurant chain...Founders sell to a Hedge Fund...Hedge Fund ruins the restaurant chain and drives it into bankruptcy... Happens quite often..

HomeTown Buffet had different owners plus bankruptcy filings, then eventually crashed and burned. CEO Anthony Wedo ran an ego-driven TV campaign that was mostly about him, in a desperate attempt to save the company. It didn't work. Wedo came across as a scheming con man in those TV spots.

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