Denny�s closes, representatives cite poor business

Published on Thu, May 1, 2003 by Rebecca Schwarz Kopf

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Denny�s closes, representatives cite poor business

By Rebecca Schwarz Kopf

Denny�s Restaurant, the only 24-hour eatery in the Blaine area, closed for business earlier this week, and representatives weren�t saying much, except that the location wasn�t financially feasible.

The restaurant, located at 243 D Street, closed its doors on Monday and by Tuesday afternoon, the building was boarded up.

The franchise general manager, Patricia Greggret, said �Blaine is dead. We�re not making any money here.� She also noted that Denny�s would not talk to the media and refused to comment further.

Debbie Atkins, of Denny�s public relations headquarters in Spartanburg, South Carolina, said the Blaine Denny�s was run as a franchise, and had been for many years.

�We have 1,700 Denny�s establishments across the country,� Atkins said. �Two-thirds of them are operated as franchises and franchisees are independent business owners.�

Eric Chung, of Anaheim, California, is the franchise owner and was not available for comment. However, his assistant Angela, who refused to give her last name, said the restaurant was not doing enough business.

�Business has been bad,� she said. �There�s just not enough business right now to remain open.�

The restaurant, which has been standing at 243 D Street for many years, was purchased in 2000 by Eric Chung, the assistant said, adding there are still a few years on the lease.

As of Wednesday, the business was completely boarded and a small closed sign was placed on the door.

Ida Rodriguez, an employee for almost two years, said she was not informed by the manager of the closing, nor anyone else in management. �I was not working on Monday, so I found out from a border guard that it was closing,� she said. �We had no notification from the general manager, nothing. I wish they had notified us, but they didn�t.�

Rodriguez said there was no formal staff meeting on Monday, even as the restaurant was closing at 3 p.m. �The restaurant was open that day until 3 o�clock and then it was closed. No notice,� she said. �We asked the general manager why the staff was not informed, and she said that management was concerned with things being taken and inventory stolen.�

Rodriguez is now looking for another job, said there was no discussion, rumor or otherwise, about the restaurant closing. �There was no talk of it,� she said.

Eileen Robertdson, of Vancouver, stopped at the restaurant late Tuesday and found it closed. �It�s boarded up, so it appears there�s no remodeling going on,� she said, looking at the building. �It�s been a ritual of mine to stop here once I cross the border.�

She said she liked the food because it was �cheap, quick and big.� When asked if she would look for another Blaine eatery, she said she will likely continue south to the next Denny�s, located in Ferndale. The nearest Denny�s north of the border in Langley, B.C.