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The Current

The Student News Site of Ocean Lakes High School

The Current

The Student News Site of Ocean Lakes High School

The Current

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Local pizzeria under new ownership, former Dolphin defies tradition

Primo’s Pizzeria owner Brandon Lopez renames his restaurant to Viva Pizzeria in hopes to rebrand. Photo taken with permission from Fara Wiles.

Former Dolphin and Ocean Lakes alumnus Brandon Lopez redefines the road to success as “swimming upstream in a stream that flows only downstream.”

Lopez always knew he would have to work hard to achieve his dreams. During his last few years of high school, he worked nearly every day, whether he took orders in the Chick-Fil-A line or talked about insurance at Geico. 

“I was very stingy at spending my money,” said Lopez. “I saved up everything once I started making good money.”

After attending college for one semester, Lopez quickly came to dislike the traditional expectations, so he decided to go against the odds and bet on himself.

“After I dropped out, I just started hustling. I was working seven days a week, and one week, I did 120 hours; I was just working my [butt] off saving as much money as possible,” said Lopez.

Lopez immediately got a job as a server at the Oceanfront Chix on the Beach. During this time, he also enrolled into Tidewater Community College to complete his business degree. 

“I love cars. I bought two Porsche 911’s with all the money I have been stacking up and started renting them out. I made plenty of money just by renting out cars,” said Lopez. 

Lopez eventually decided to sell both his cars and buy a house at the oceanfront. He then rented out one of his rooms, so he could live rent free. This gave him the ability to save even more money and buy a duplex to renovate, which allowed him to earn good money on both units. 

“I ended up buying more and more properties. Everyone needs to invest in real estate. It’s super important,” said Lopez.

After remaining loyal to Chix for many years, he was promoted to manage the restaurant along with Waterman’s and the Shack, which are all owned by the same person. Later, he helped open Waterman’s Spirits, where he became the Director of Operations. 

Advertisement by Lily Lipsky. Logo courtesy of Viva Pizzeria.

“I continued working hard with these jobs, and I even bought more cars to rent out,” said Lopez. “I currently have five cars I rent out.”

Lopez earns monthly income in the summer by renting out his cars. On top of that, he owns seven different houses where he also earns monthly income. 

“I’m really good at working in restaurants; I have been doing it for years. So, I decided to buy [Primo’s Pizzeria] when I noticed it went up for sale,” said Lopez.

The deal took 10 months to finalize.

“It was a great deal of money, problems and technical issues that went into purchasing the restaurant, but it was all worth it,” said Lopez. 

Since the day he started working, Lopez has been saving his money. He never envisioned himself buying a big business but is tremendously grateful that he did. 

“This was not cheap, so I’m planning on standing here for a while,” said Lopez. “I will certainly continue buying more houses and investing in real estate as well.” 

Primo’s Pizzeria will be renamed “Viva” at Lopez’s request. He’s looking to rebrand his restaurant to stand apart from the other Primo’s Pizzerias. 

“It was hard finding a name, but I ended up just messing around with ChatGPT until it gave me the perfect name: Viva,” said Lopez. 

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About the Contributors
Barrett Scharfe
Barrett Scharfe, Co-Editor-in-Chief
Barrett started journalism as a sophomore. He is entering his third year as co-editor-in-chief. He's captain of the volleyball team, president of both Spikeball Club and Pickleball Club and also a member of the varsity soccer team since freshman year. He's a Sandbridge lifeguard, surfs regularly and also particpates in skimboard competitions.
Lily Lipsky
Lily Lipsky, Staff Writer
Lily Lipsky is a junior and a second-year journalist for The Current. Outside of school, she enjoys going to the beach, shopping and hanging out with her friends. Lily is also on the Ocean Lakes gymnastics team, cheer team and practices gymnastics outside of school at Ocean Tumblers. After high school, Lily hopes to go to college in either North Carolina or Virginia.

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  • M

    MKJun 4, 2024 at 6:26 am

    The redmill location was sold and the original owner, Dom Morrocu, still owns and operates the ORIGINAL PRIMO location in kempsville.