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Bennigan's Staffers Say Company Restaurants Closing
Bennigan's goes bankrupt, will shut doors. Courtesy of Reuters

Managers of at least three Bennigan's Grill and Tavern casual-dining restaurants said the chain's company-owned restaurants were being closed, though one said on July 29, 2008 that the move might be temporary, according to Reuters.

The closings come weeks after Bennigan's parent, Metromedia Restaurant Group, said it was working on a debt restructuring plan.

That announcement was a response to a Wall Street Journal report that Metromedia Restaurant Group, a unit of billionaire John Kluge's privately held Metromedia Co, was in talks with lender GE Capital Solutions and that the restaurant chain had prepared a bankruptcy filing in the event it was needed, Reuters said.

Managers at company-owned locations throughout the United States — including Chicago, New Jersey, Miami and the Dallas area — all said that Metromedia was closing company-owned Bennigan's locations. But the Dallas-area manager said the closings could be temporary. All the managers were contacted by telephone at their restaurants, but declined to give their names.

It was not clear how many locations in the roughly 300-restauramt chain were being closed. One manager of a franchised restaurant told Reuters that his was still open on July 29.

Metromedia had no comment, a receptionist said. Two company spokeswomen and two outside public relations representatives were not immediately available for comment.

Bennigan's, a bar and restaurant chain, was founded in 1976 and has restaurants in 32 states. Plano, Texas-based Metromedia also owns the Steak and Ale, Ponderosa and Bonanza chains.

On a call to a Ponderosa restaurant in Pennsylvania, an employee said they were open for business.






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