3 Lexington restaurants shuttered

Sluggish sales have led to the closings of three Lexington restaurants.

The two Ryan's buffets were closed on Monday as the parent company neared the completion of the bankruptcy reorganization it began more than a year ago.

The restaurants at 1973 Bryant Road near Hamburg and 701 Red Mile Road were among the last seven "low-volume" Ryan's the parent company, Buffets Holdings Inc., intends to close under its Chapter 11 filing, said spokeswoman Diana Postemsky.

Meanwhile, the Moe's Southwest Grill at 535 South Upper Street in the CenterCourt condominiums closed Jan. 30, said company spokeswoman Lauren McGowen.

The CenterCourt Moe's was not meeting sales expectations and the franchisee decided to close it and concentrate on the remaining Moe's at 141 Rojay Drive near Fayette Mall, McGowen said. Some managers and staff members were moved from the closed Moe's to Rojay, where sales are strong, she said.

Buffets Holdings entered bankruptcy reorganization in January 2008 when it had 626 restaurants in 39 states, including nine Ryan's and two HomeTown Buffets in Kentucky. The HomeTown Buffets are in Louisville.

The closing of the local restaurants means the nearest Ryan's to Lexington is now in Richmond.

It's not clear how many of the company's restaurants survived the reorganization, which was intended to reduce the company's debt at a time of slumping sales that were blamed on a softening economy.