For 30-plus years, Prime Restaurants offered investors the freedom to run an independent business with the security of working within an established and proven franchise system. It operated restaurant chains East Side Mario’s, Tir Nan Og, Paddy Flaherty’s, D’Arcy McGee’s, Fionn MacCool’s and Bier Markt. Founded in Sudbury, Ontario in 1980 as Yesac Creative Foods, the company became Prime Restaurants in 1989 when it merged with the Toronto-based Lime Rickey’s chain. In 2013, Prime Restaurants became a wholly owned subsidiary of Cara Operations.
GEI President & CEO, Tony Cohen, was an employee and minority shareholder in Prime Restaurants until 1999. It was here he honed his industry skills, opening more than 40 restaurants and implementing management and training programs on a wide scale.