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Kent's Bar 145 closes its doors

Franchisee reported financial trouble, also closed other locations

By BOB GAETJENS Staff Writer Published: August 9, 2017 4:00 AM
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Bar 145, the popular burger restaurant in Kent -- named for "the temperature of a perfectly cooked medium-rare burger," according to its website -- has closed its doors.

The restaurant, located in the downtown area of Kent on Erie Street, was locked up yesterday, but there were a few workers inside around 5 p.m. One of them told the Record-Courier the manager would not comment on the closure.

Jeremy Fitzgerald said he is the franchisor of the Kent Bar 145, which he opened in 2011 and later sold. The franchisee, he said, was in breach of contract with the landlord which led to the closure.

"The corporate company is in talks with the landlord about getting possession," Fitzgerald said. "We are hoping to keep that a Bar 145. It would be under the corporate owners."

Kent City Manager Dave Ruller said College Town Kent, the property management organization, told him a couple months ago the some of the chain's restaurants were in financial trouble.

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"He was in the process of closing down his Bar 145 franchises in Rochester, New York; Norwalk; Fort Wayne, Indiana; and Avon," Ruller said. "Those locations have all since closed."

Ruller said he believes the franchisee, who Fitzgerald said owned several Bar 145 restaurants, was financially overwhelmed.

"At that time, College Town Kent advised us that the Kent location was a very high-volume bar and restaurant, so they were hopeful that the franchise would be able to make it here, but we heard this morning that there was a closed sign on the door, which suggests the owner was too overextended to recover, even after closing all of his other stores," Ruller said on Monday.

Ruller said he hopes a new tenant will move in soon.

Fitzgerald said the franchisee who owned the Kent restaurant also owned several other Bar 145 restaurants but won't in the future.

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"It's always disappointing to lose a popular local business like Bar 145, but College Town Kent said that they already have a new operator interested in that location. So I'm hopeful the transition will occur quickly and smoothly for everyone," Ruller said.

bgaetjens@recordpub.com

330-541-9440

@bobgaetjens_rpc

FB: Bob Gaetjens - Record-Courier

bgaetjens@recordpub.com

330-541-9440

@bobgaetjens_rpc

FB: Bob Gaetjens - Record-Courier


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