Frisco Prime reopens with new partners, new menu and more to come |

Frisco Prime reopens with new partners, new menu and more to come

Frisco Prime reopened in August after staffing issues led owners to consider selling the property.
Luke Vidic/Summit Daily News

Frisco Prime is back with a sprinkling of new fare and new management, but more of the same diners love.

The property at 20 Main St. went up for sale near the end of spring with staffing shortages threatening its sustainability. Vincent Monarca, owner of five years, was looking at the same problem faced by other businesses in Summit County and he found himself doing more management and less cooking.

“I had an ad in the paper for months,” he said. Yet all he could find was staff for two shifts.

With Summit County’s minuscule amount of developable real estate, a corner spot in Frisco drew some eyes. Developers made proposals, like new condos and possible workforce housing.

Monarca wasn’t ready to let his restaurant go after the “uphill challenge” he faced reestablishing the restaurant in 2017. So when local restaurant group Rocky Mountain Hospitality, headed in part by Tim Applegate, stepped in with an opportunity to keep Monarca cooking on the line and in business, he couldn’t pass up the opportunity.

Rocky Mountain Hospitality offered Monarca a partnership with more staff and purchasing power, as well as more time in the kitchen and less time wasted on paperwork and management.

“I still cook five days a week on-line,” Monarca said, and not just at Frisco Prime. He splits his time at his second restaurant, Vinny’s Euro-American Cuisine. “Most people, I don’t think, would do what I do. I enjoy cooking.”

Rocky Mountain Hospitality closed on the partnership earlier in August, and the doors at Prime are wide open. All is going well and only getting better, Monarca said.

Overall, diners shouldn’t expect many changes. There’s been some repairs and minor aesthetic updates, but the new menu is all anyone should notice, Applegate said.

“We didn’t want to get carried away,” Applegate said.

Frisco Prime will focus its menu primarily on steak and seafood dishes — a small alteration from its old norm of Italian cuisine and steak — and more will be added in time, Applegate said, along with a fresh look. Joining the food are daily happy hours and a new list of wines and cocktails.

Applegate recommended diners try the onion soup, in addition to the restaurant’s “incredible hand-cut steaks.” Monarca seconded that statement.

Patrons can still order all of that seated at the restaurant’s bar, first built in 1860 in New Brunswick, New Jersey. The “cowboy bar” earned its reputation for the scars, gouges and bullet holes marring it, Monarca said.

Marks on the bar at Frisco Prime could indicate signs of centuries-old scuffles, according to owner Vincent Monarca.
Luke Vidic/Summit Daily News

Frisco Prime will open in “full force” for lunch and dinner seven days a week once the winter crowds roll around, Monarca said. For the time being, Frisco Prime is closed most Mondays and Tuesdays.

The restaurant adds another slot to Rocky Mountain Hospitality’s utility belt. Sauce on the Blue, Sauce on the Maggie, Sauce on the Creek, Quandary Tequila Bistro, Kúcu Tequila Bistro, Tee One Restaurant at the Breckenridge Golf Course and now Frisco Prime round out the company’s portfolio, in addition to a couple of management and catering operations.

So why add another?

“We’ve got a great corner in Frisco and that really makes a big difference,” Applegate said.

While other restaurants like the pair of tequila bistros offer steak, Prime will be Rocky Mountain Hospitality’s “true” steak and seafood restaurant, he said.

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