Biz Buzz: Tio Alberto’s closing its doors after 21 years

Tio Alberto’s has closed after 21 years on Broad Street in downtown San Luis Obispo.

Alberto Hernandez, the Mexican restaurant’s owner, said it had to be shuttered because the building’s owner needed to do a seismic retrofit on the structure.

“There’s no way he could do what he had to do with us in it,” Hernandez said.

Hernandez has forwarded his phone calls — and hopes to forward his customers — to his Tio Alberto’s location in Pismo Beach, 841 Dolliver St. He has been there for 20 years, he said.

He’d like to return to San Luis Obispo but isn’t sure the restaurant could come back to the same spot. He believes the landlord will want to raise the rent, and he had already been charged what he felt was a premium of $3 a square foot.

According to city seismic retrofit schedules, the building had its date for completion extended from July 2009 to July of this year. George and Kay Kartsioukas, who own the building, could not be reached for comment.

— Melanie Cleveland

Arroyo Grande gets new logo

In an effort to promote Arroyo Grande to tourists, the Chamber of Commerce rolled out a new logo last week during a celebration featuring classic cars and live music.

The logo is part of the Arroyo Grande Tourism Committee’s plan to attract more visitors to the city, said Judith Bean, president and CEO of the Arroyo Grande chamber.

“Once people stop here, they’re like, ‘Wow, we didn’t know this existed,’ ” she said. “We’re not trying to take anyone’s piece of pie; we’re just trying to get a little piece of it ourself.”

The committee was formed by the chamber and includes representatives from the city, the South County Historical Society, the Clark Center, the Village Improvement Association, as well as from the hotel, restaurant and wine industries.

The committee had decided on the logo and rebranding before Christmas but decided to postpone the unveiling until after the holidays. The various stakeholders will use the new logo in any of their advertising to “market the same look, the same feel for the community,” Bean said.

“Our goal is to keep working together and find other ways to do more outreach to attract visitors to the city,” she said.

The group will have a booth at the Savor the Central Coast event, set for Sept. 30 through Oct. 3, and organized by the San Luis Obispo County Visitors and Conference Bureau and Sunset magazine.

Each stakeholder has contributed money toward the logo and rebranding; Bean said that the tourism committee has spent about $10,000 so far on the rebranding, as well as on the Savor event. An additional $15,000 has been spent on an Arroyo Grande business directory and visitor’s guide, which will be reprinted later this year with the new logo.

The tourism committee may pay for some cooperative advertising with the county Visitors and Conference Bureau that would likely target Central Valley and Los Angeles County residents, Bean said.

Many of Arroyo Grande’s tourists come from the Central Valley, including Bakersfield and Fresno; others travel to the Central Coast from Southern California.

It’s too soon to know how much money the committee may have available for marketing. Some funds, including money city officials had hoped to spend out of their redevelopment fund, was instead sent to the state to help close the budget deficit.

— Cynthia Lambert

Community awards nominations open

Nominations are open for the third annual Central Coast Community Impact Awards, which honor individuals and organizations that advance the quality of life on the Central Coast.

Nominations are due July 30 for the following awards: outstanding nonprofit organization; outstanding volunteer; outstanding philanthropist; and outstanding business.

Nomination forms and complete details on each category are available at, or by calling 541-4343.

The awards were established by local nonprofit radio stations K-LIFE 89.3 FM and 890 AM.

— Julia Hickey

• • •

The California Travel and Tourism Commission recently honored the Central Coast Tourism Council, headquartered in Pismo Beach, with a first-ever best membership development program award.

It earned the award for developing a marketing plan, themed itineraries, and trade and media tours that strategically promoted the Central Coast to markets in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

— Julia Hickey