Brio Tuscan Grille at the Tucson Mall will close March 17, a victim of sales that never quite met corporate expectations.

This is the first time Brio’s Ohio-based parent company, Bravo Brio Restaurant Group, has closed a Brio location, said the company’s Marketing Director Nicole Roope.

“We’re definitely disappointed to be closing the restaurant,” Roope said Monday. “We believe it’s a prudent choice for our business given the particular challenges of the market.”

Brio opened in June 2011 in a cavernous new building next to REI outdoors store and across a courtyard from California Pizza Kitchen and the Cheesecake Factory — two other upscale chain restaurants that opened in the mall around that same time.

Roope could not say how many employees were being let go; the restaurant's manager would not comment and referred questions to Roope.

See the full story in Tuesday's Star. Read more restaurant news in Thursday's Caliente.