Luna Grill and Commerce National Bank Form Strategic Partnership



Luna Grill and Commerce National Bank Form Strategic Partnership

Luna Grill, the San Diego-based Mediterranean restaurant chain, has just secured a new store development funding facility from Commerce National Bank (CNB) of Orange County, California. This is a progressively increasing line of credit that will pave the way for implementing the expansion plans of Luna Grill with its thriving fast-casual concept.

Dave Schroeder, Luna Grill’s CFO, observed that this strategic partnership between Luna Grill and CNB “reaffirms the progress we’ve built as a brand and allows us to broaden our use of traditional forms of financing as we continue our expansion.” Following Luna Grill’s controlled-growth approach, Chipotle operations veteran, Daniel Lowe, was recently brought on board to fill the newly created position of Director of Operations.

CNB is a business-focused bank with expertise in scalable equipment financing and will become a primary financial partner, providing the funding capacity for growth. Steve Tidland, CNB’s Senior Vice President, indicated their team “is excited about working with a robust restaurant group that has developed not only a delicious menu, but an organization capable of executing efficient operations and controlled steady growth.” In a further positive development for Luna Grill’s long-term banking relationship, a recent public announcement revealed that CNB will be acquired by Sterling Financial Corporation this year.

Pacifica Capital – a commercial finance company with an extensive track record in the restaurant industry – was the catalyst in bringing together Luna Grill and CNB. Pacifica’s Founder/Managing Partner, Bette Kerhoulas, highlighted that they “see Luna Grill as the right concept at the perfect time. Great Mediterranean food, outstanding fast-casual service and excellent value! All this managed by a first-class, very talented senior management team.”

Pacifica has been providing growth capital for many years to some very successful restaurant groups, including Mimi’s Café, Applebee’s, Souplantation, Jersey Mike’s Subs and many others.

Luna Grill has nine operating stores and more under development in Southern California, and is exploring out-of-state opportunities. “Luna Grill’s ongoing success continues to showcase the viability and long-term potential of the Mediterranean food sector,” Schroeder added. CNB’s financing will provide leverage for development with a funding facility that expands as Luna Grill grows.

Luna Grill is owned by Premier Food Concepts LLC, headquartered in San Diego, CA.