Athan “Torn” Prakas, president of the Prakas Group in Boca Raton, FL, grew up in a family that ran a mildly success-ful Greek restaurant in Ohio. Tom knew he could take a restaurant beyond where his parents had and eventually came to own 28 restaurants and nightclubs be-tween Ohio, Georgia and Florida.
When he, “burnt out on the hours that that business demands”, he sought to use his years of hospitality experience in another arena. He started a commercial brokerage firm (1999) and made hospitality brokerage his niche. He is largely regarded as one the biggest driving forces in recreating the sleepy seaside town of Delray Beach into the hot destination it is today. He brought restaurateurs there when no one else believed in the area. He’s since brokered 23 of the 26 restaurants, bars and nightclubs on the popular strip, Atlantic Ave.
His work was noticed by companies throughout Florida and his business grew, “because I knew the ins and out of the businesses my clients were trying to build- what side of the street will attract the most foot traffic, how big must the kitchen be to do seafood, etc.”
The Prakas Group’s portfolio has grown from a company doing biz in Florida to one with clients nationwide, a second office in Orlando and the fiscal year of 2006 closed with 55 closed deals showing over $70 million in revenues-all with about thirteen brokers. “The secret to my hiring strategy is that every guy in here has hospitality operational experience- that’s more important even than brokerage experience,” Tom says.
Most recently, Prakas celebrated the opening Danny DeVito’s restaurant in South Beach which he brokered. The story of that deal and how business is done with a celebrity is a great one. He’s also recently been tapped by the The Falcone Group to broker the high-end (and highly situated- it will be the highest restaurant in Philadelphia, 475 ft above street level) restaurant within their latest venture, Two Liberty Place.
Tom is also planning his East Coast expansion with offices in New York City and Atlanta.
Mr. Prakas, recently announced the completion of a sale in Palm Beach County.
Mr. Michael Bilton, restaurant sales specialist, was broker for the following sale transaction:
*Pizzi I Real Estate Ventures, LLC d/ b/a Uno Chicago Grill has purchased a 2+ acre outparcel at SR 7/US Highway 441 and Okeechobee Rd., Royal Palm Beach, FL for a future franchise restaurant, Uno Chicago Grill, formerly known as Pizzeria Uno. Mr. Bilton represented the buyer. The seller, Paradise Devel¬opment, represented themselves. The buyers plan to build a 7,00 SF restaurant on the site. “Uno Chicago Grill is a franchise business built on successful choices. The menu, outstanding service and deliberate growth plan have led the company to great recognition,” commented Torn Prakas.
Other clients of The Prakas Group in-clude The Falcone Group, Boca Tanning Club, Danny DeVito of DeVito’s South Beach, Lake Buena Vista Resort Village and Spa, David Manero Restaurants, Johnny Rockets, Burton Handelsman, Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza, Rodney Mayo, Tarpon Bend Restaurants, Gotham City, and Mama Mia’s, just to name a few.
The company is located at 705 East Palmetto Park Road, Boca Raton, FL, and at 7380 Sand Lake in Orlando. For more information, contact The Prakas Group at (561) 368-0003, or visit the company’s website at www.prakasgroup.com.
Estiator // October 2007