GROVE CITY – Perkins Restaurant and Bakery in Grove City has closed.
A sign on the door of the restaurant at 915 W. Main St. says “We regret to announce that this Perkins location has closed. We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your patronage.”
Further details weren’t immediately available – what day the restaurant closed, what will happen to the property, or whether the employees have been offered jobs at other Perkins restaurants.
Vivian Brooks, public affairs spokesperson for Perkins & Marie Callender’s, LLC, did not return a phone message or email.
No one was at the restaurant on Wednesday. A large Dumpster sat off to the side of the building, and orange cones and caution tape marked a small area in front of the main entrance.
The restaurant was closed for several days in May after a Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture inspection showed that the restaurant was out of compliance with sanitary issues, including items related to a building renovation project.
The May 7 inspection report concluded that building conditions were “grossly unsanitary with a high risk of possible food adulteration during food preparation and storage,” according to Allied News files.
The restaurant was allowed to reopen after a follow-up inspection.
In the meantime, the company that owns the restaurant plus 26 other Perkins locations in Pennsylvania and Ohio has been trying to find a buyer while it completes its federal bankruptcy filing.
An article from earlier this month published by the Meadville Tribune says that 5171 Campbells Land Co. LLC (CLC) is continuing to pursue a sale of assets, according to Ryan Cooney, the company’s attorney.
He spoke to the Meadville Tribune following a pretrial hearing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for Western Pennsylvania.
CLC filed for Chapter 11 federal bankruptcy protection July 8 after Perkins’ corporate parent sued in federal court in Tennessee for more than $2.1 million for breach of contract.
Both CLC and its official unsecured creditors committee have petitioned bankruptcy court to oppose the formal appointment of a Chapter 11 trustee by the court.
A court filing says that the unsecured creditors committee said that in order to preserve the value of CLC’s assets “it is critical” CLC have a prompt sale process.
Formal appointment of a Chapter 11 trustee “would significantly delay the sale process” and “may have the unintended effect of irreparably harming” CLC’s value, according to the unsecured creditors committee filing.
Bankruptcy court documents obtained by the Tribune show CLC faces a potential cancellation of its fire and extended coverage insurance package on its locations, effective Oct. 4, 2019.
In June, Perkins & Marie Callender’s LLC (PMC) of Memphis, Tennessee, Perkins’ corporate parent, sued CLC for failing to pay more than $2.1 million in royalties, marketing contributions and transfer fees. PMC received a temporary restraining order from federal court in Tennessee to stop CLC from using the Perkins name on CLC’s restaurants.
A U.S. Bankruptcy Court stipulation and consent order between CLC and PMC went into effect earlier this month requiring 10 CLC restaurants to remove the Perkins name and all Perkins signs and identification.
Attorneys for Marc Group LLC of Pennsylvania, a company claiming it is the actual owner of CLC’s Perkins licensing agreements, didn’t file any objection with the court by the deadline and failed to show up at the hearing.
The 10 decommissioned Perkins franchises are Titusville, Erie’s west side, Warren, New Castle and Cranberry Township in Pennsylvania; and Ashtabula, Brooklyn, Canfield, Canton and Conneaut in Ohio.
Under the court order, CLC still may operate its other locations, including Vernon Township, Clarion, Corry, Erie’s east and south sides as well as Greenville, Grove City and Hermitage as Perkins and PMC may enter into new Perkins license agreements with other operators for any or all of CLC’s 27 locations.
Meanwhile, PMC, Perkins’ corporate parent, filed for Chapter 11 federal bankruptcy protection itself on Monday. PMC said it planned to sell its assets off as it restructures its debt.
Meadville Tribune Staff Writer Keith Gushard contributed to this article, which was published in the Aug. 24 edition of Allied News.