Dayton-area Red Lobster restaurant on potential closure list, report says

Miller Lane location was open Thursday; Chain filed for bankruptcy protection last month and will reduce number of stores

The Red Lobster restaurant at 6500 Miller Lane in Butler Twp. may be in danger of closing in the wake of the seafood chain’s recent bankruptcy court filing.

Dozens of Red Lobster’s restaurants across the nation were closed last month. According to CNN, an updated list of more than 125 locations in danger of closing was revealed in court filings last week.

The Miller Lane location is among seven Ohio restaurants on that new list. The other six are in Findlay, Maumee, New Philadelphia, Parma, Strongsville, and Toledo.

The Miller Lane restaurant was open Thursday, and a manager there said she was “not at liberty” to speak about the restaurant’s future. She directed questions to Red Lobster’s director of communications and corporate public relations, who could not be reached for comment.

The 56-year-old casual dining chain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection May 19. Red Lobster said it would sell its business to an entity formed and controlled by its existing term lenders.

In a statement, the company said it “intends to use the (bankruptcy) proceedings to drive operational improvements, simplify the business through a reduction in locations, and pursue a sale of substantially all of its assets as a going concern.”

Reports by CNN and Restaurant Business Online said the newly listed restaurants that are in jeopardy could be shuttered if they can’t renegotiate their leases.

According to court filings, Red Lobster has 551 U.S. restaurants, 27 restaurants in Canada and 27 franchised locations in Mexico, Japan, Ecuador and Thailand. The company said it has 36,000 employees in the U.S. and Canada.

“This restructuring is the best path forward for Red Lobster. It allows us to address several financial and operational challenges and emerge stronger and re-focused on our growth,” CEO Jonathan Tibus said.

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