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Business Watch

Red Lobster closes permanently

CHUBBUCK, Idaho (KIFI) - For close to 30 years, Red Lobster in Chubbuck has been a favorite for not just the Bannock County patrons but people all over the eastern part of the state.

The overnight closure has shocked and saddened the employees and the entire community.

Friday night, the restaurant was packed with people enjoying a great dinner.

Saturday morning, there was a note on the door saying Red Lobster was closed permanently.

"We drove up here to go shopping and go to Red Lobster," said Helen Blazard from Preston. "I was very disappointed."

The blow came even harder to more than 50 employees who found out just the night before they no longer had a job.

"The manager just pulled me into the office and told me that we are closing for good," said Sergio Teran who is a cook/supervisor.

The note on the door talks about coronavirus struggles nationwide, but employees tell us the Pocatello location stayed very profitable during the pandemic, and the reason for the closure was more because the building's new owner would not reach an agreement with Red Lobster.

"You know cause of the lease agreement with the new owner of the building they couldn't do anything about it so they were closing us down," Teran said.

The popular seafood chain has been in this location near the pine ridge mall for more than 27 years.

The employees had one last meeting together on Sunday morning. They said they shared lots of laughs about good times and lots of tears about losing that friendship.

"We grew up as a family, we worked together for so long that we grew up as a family. It's kind of like losing a family member because even though you still kind of know them you don't get to hang out as much as you usually do with them anymore," Teran said.

And so for one last time, they spent the weekend packing up a lifetime of memories and hoping for a better future.

Managers from Red Lobster tell us they hope to reopen in the area.

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Linda Larsen

Linda Larsen

Linda is an anchor and reporter for Local News 8 and KIDK Eyewitness News 3.

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