And then there was one. Applebee’s, once a major presence in Lexington, has closed its Nicholasville Road location, leaving only the Sharkey Way restaurant. At least for now.
The Nicholasville Road restaurant posted a notice on its Facebook page saying, “Hey Neighbors: Thank you for sharing your Community with us. We have closed this location and look forward to seeing you at our other area Applebee’s: 113 N Plaza Drive, Nicholasville KY.” They also included a coupon for $10 off.
According to WKYT, the Herald-Leader’s reporting partner, the restaurant posted a sign on the door saying the same thing.
But the Sharkey Way spot was open as of Friday night.
The chain, which announced a year ago that it planned to close as many as 135 under-performing Applebee’s restaurants, closed the one at 1856 Alysheba Way in Hamburg in January. DineEquity, Applebee’s parent, is expected to close about 80 restaurants in 2018.
The Hamburg location is going to be renovated to be a second Chuy’s. The Tex-Mex restaurant is expected to open early next year.
The Applebee’s at 2299 Richmond Road closed in August 2016 and is now a new Chick-fil-A restaurant, with a dual drive-through.
Applebee’s has struggled to reshape its image in an attempt get diners to come back.
In 2013, Lexington restaurant management company Thomas & King sold more than 80 Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill and Bar franchises to RMH. At one time, Thomas & King was the sixth largest Applebee’s franchisee.
DineEquity also owns IHOP, which has restaurants on Nicholasville Road and at Woodhill Circle Plaza.