(WKBN) – Two Burger Kings in Trumbull County — the one on East Market Street in Howland and on Elm Road in Warren — have closed.
The reason? A bankruptcy filing and sale as a franchise operator in England gets ready to take over most of the rest of them, but not these two.
On Friday, the marquee on Warren’s Elm Road Burger King read “thank you” while the sign on the door announced the closing of the restaurant. A few employees could be seen cleaning up inside and removing items. The location closed on Thursday.
Four miles south, the Burger King on East Market Street in Howland was also closed — its marquee reading “Thank You Howland.” Again, there were restaurant closed signs. The menus at the drive-thru had been removed.
Since 2012, all of the area’s Burger Kings have been owned by a company called TOMS King, which is headquartered near Chicago. But in January, TOMS King filed for bankruptcy in Akron, citing a significant loss of foot traffic, plus increases in costs and a decreased availability of labor.
According to bankruptcy court documents, a company called the Karali Group, which is based in London and operates Burger Kings in England, bought 27 of the 90 Burger Kings owned by TOMS King. They include 14 locations in Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties. One location on McCartney Road in Campbell was bought by Burger King Corporate.
The bankruptcy court documents also state that no one bid on the Burger Kings in Howland or on Elm Road in Warren, which is why they closed.
First News emailed Karali Group to find out its plans for the Burger Kings the company had purchased locally, but we have not heard back.
TOMS King is still going through bankruptcy court. Their next hearing is set for next Tuesday.