Perkins' bankruptcy plan won't affect Lexington

Restaurant chain to close 58 stores

ssloan@herald-leader.comJune 14, 2011 

LexMall

Lexington's Perkins Restaurant, on Richmond Road, is not affected by the chain's plan to close 58 restaurants as part of a bankruptcy filing. The restaurant has been in Lexington for 20 years.

CHARLES BERTRAM

Perkins Restaurants announced Monday that it will close 58 of its restaurants as part of a decision to file for bankruptcy protection. But its 24-hour restaurant in Lexington, which is owned by a franchisee, will remain open.

The Memphis-based chain, which also owns Marie Callender's restaurants, characterized the bankruptcy filing as prepackaged and said in a statement that it expects to emerge with a "restructured balance sheet that will position the company for long-term financial success."

In the statement, the company said the 58 closings are part of an "initial round of store closings." In its bankruptcy filings, the chain said it plans to close 65 restaurants, reducing its work force by 2,500 employees.

The company blamed the weak economy, saying, "The recession and the decline of housing prices hit hardest in markets where the company's restaurants are most concentrated: Florida, California and Nevada."

There are 133 company-owned and 315 franchisee-owned Perkins restaurants. There are 52 company-owned and 37 franchisee-owned Marie Callender's restaurants.

Lexington's is the only Perkins in Kentucky, and there are no Marie Callender's restaurants in the state. That chain is concentrated in the West.

The Perkins in Lexington, on Richmond Road in front of the old Lexington Mall, is owned by Mark Perkins, whose great-uncle Matt Perkins founded the chain with Ivan Perkins in 1958 in Cincinnati.

"We've been here 20 years and are open 24 hours and not affected," he said. "We really enjoy it and have very loyal customers."

Perkins is a tenant of Southland Christian Church, which recently bought the mall property from Saul Centers, which owned it since before the mall's opening.

"We love Southland Christian Church ... and we'd love to buy my property," Perkins said Monday. "We love the location. We've been very successful here."

Reach Scott Sloan at (859) 231-1447 or 1-800-950-6397, Ext. 1447.

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