Jeff Havern is not a patient guy, and he doesn’t expect his customers to be anything he is not. Concerned that lunch service at his Primo’s d’Italia locations needed to pick up the pace, but unwilling to do anything that would stop his kitchen from conjuring food from scratch daily, Havern considered many options.
"We wanted a way to offer something to our lunch customers who are in a hurry without becoming a feeding trough,” Havern said. The magic word was "presto.” All three Primo’s locations now offer what is best described as a catered lunch. For Primo’s Presto lunch, three tables are set up: one for soups, one for fruit and salads, and one with roll-top containers for a rotating array of entrees, including an assortment of pastas and sauces with various ingredients. Chef Mike Paske makes meatballs by hand daily in the Yukon location. The new lunch program allows him to continue to do that and make sauces from scratch and expedite lunch more efficiently. "It allows me to work on things, too,” he said. "Right now, I’m testing recipes for some new items for fall and winter.” Just because Primo’s has food ready to eat doesn’t obligate customers to order it. "Folks who want to take their time still have the option of ordering from the menu,” said partner Tim Havern, who also runs an accounting firm. Under the direction of sommelier Chris Sadler and executive chefs Paske and Adam McNeely, the three Primo’s locations dish up Italian cuisine and premium wines. Primo’s offers early-bird specials from 2 to 5:30 p.m. daily, brunch Sundays, catering and a full bar.