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Red Lobster closes Burlington restaurant

Burlington part of company’s national closures

The Red Lobster restaurant at 1726 Glidewell Drive in Burlington, at Alamance Crossing, has closed, according to information from the company.

Like many other locations in the chain, the Burlington location closed Monday, according to restaurant workers who were removing supplies and equipment on Wednesday.

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While the company’s website lists many of the closures as “temporary,” the person in charge of the Burlington closing said there is no expectation that the restaurant at that location will reopen.

Two dumpsters were also on site in Burlington.  A sign on the door encouraged customers to visit other, unspecified restaurant locations.

Among about a dozen remaining locations in the state, the closest remaining open are in Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and Raleigh.

The Red Lobster in Burlington is one of four locations in North Carolina that are targeted for closure, and a total of 87 U.S. locations that will close, multiple media outlets reported this week. The other Red Lobster restaurants in N.C. that are on a planned list of closures are located in Cary, Durham, and Rocky Mount.

Red Lobster hired a new CEO, Jonathan Tibus, earlier this spring and reportedly announced that he would guide the company through restructuring, to include possibly filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

That announcement followed a reported multimillion-dollar losses that were widely attributed to the chain’s “endless shrimp” promotions, as well as continuing fluctuation in diners’ preferences, based on reports by multiple restaurant trade industry publications.

Alamance County tax department records show that the 5,907-square foot Red Lobster restaurant in Burlington was built in 2011, though tax records give an alternate address of 1726 University Drive.  The latest assessed value for the restaurant itself and 1.85 acres of land is listed at $2.2 million.

Red Lobster originally had been part of the Darden Restaurants chain, along with Olive Garden, until 2014, when the seafood chain was sold to a hedge fund.  The Burlington location was later sold to a sole purchaser until 2022, when it was sold to 1726 NC LLC.  A single annual report that the successor company filed with the N.C. Secretary of State’s office in 2022 lists the sole member/manager of that company as Celeste Carlesimo of Brooklyn, New York; the report gives no other information about 1726 NC LLC.

The company has not filed a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notice (WARN) with the state Department of Commerce for any of the locations in North Carolina.  Federal law requires companies with at least 100 full-time employees to provide 60 days’ notice of any planned closure that will result in mass layoffs.

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