Former Perkins running out of time to find buyer

Temporary signage adorns the property of the former Titusville Perkins. The location is facing a likely closure, with only a few days left to find a buyer. Currently, the eatery will lock its doors at the close of business on Wednesday.

It is coming down to the wire for the former Titusville Perkins Restaurant to find a buyer, with the location currently scheduled to close at the end of business Wednesday.

According to Jack Teitz, managing director of Compass Advisory Partners, five remaining former Perkins have only a few days remaining to find a new owner or face permanent closure. Teitz is managing the sales of the locations, which are caught up in bankruptcy proceedings of their former franchise owners, 5171 Campbells Land Co. Inc.

“I am still hopeful I can find someone to take it within the next week or so, but if I am unsuccessful, then it is going to close,” Teitz said.

Alongside the Titusville location, former Perkins in Corry, the western half of Erie, Warren and Bradford remain the only properties once owned by Campbell to not find a buyer yet. Another Perkins franchisee based out of West Virginia bought 12 of the restaurants, including the one in Meadville, a one private individual bought two of the locations and another bought a single restaurant. Another five, which were located in Conneaut, Ohio; Canton, Ohio; Grove City, Canfield, Ohio; and Cranberry, were closed.

Teitz said there is only enough money to keep the remaining five locations open until Thursday or Friday by the latest, depending on the restaurant. According to him, the West Virginia franchisee, JDK Management, has indicated no willingness to buy any more locations.

“No, that’s all they want,” he said.

JDK previously made an offer to buy the 12 locations a year ago to the tune of $1.5 million, according to Teitz. Their recent acquisition came at a fraction of that, purchasing the locales for $500,000.

The news of what seems to be imminent closure is weighing heavily upon the Titusville location, according to the restaurant’s manager, Peggy Kinney.

“We’re going to miss our customers,” Kinney said. “The customers are like family — the employees are like family.”

While some of the staff have accepted positions at the Meadville Perkins, including Kinney, others will be let go should no buyer be found.

Having opened in 1977, Kinney has worked at the restaurant for nearly four decades, with a service record of approximately 39 1/2 years. As such, she has struggled with what has happened to her place of employment, even crying over the events.

“I loved all the years,” she said. “That’s why I’m still here. I’ve had no problems in all the years I worked here. Pretty rough what everyone is going through right now.”

Some hope still remains, however. Kinney said the staff are still looking for a buyer, and that a woman was recently inquiring about purchasing the locale.

Should a purchaser not be found, the future of the restaurant is uncertain. Kinney said she’s heard rumors that there would be a liquidation sale of the equipment and property.

Anyone interested in purchasing the Titusville restaurant, or any of the remaining locations, can reach out to Teitz with an offer by phone, at (412) 855-7625.

Campbells filed for bankruptcy on July 8 earlier this year. The case is currently under management in a federal bankruptcy court located in Pittsburgh. The company owned and operated 27 Perkins franchise locations across Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York, acquiring the franchise agreements from the previous owners, Unique Venture Group LLC, on Jan. 29, 2018, after that company also underwent Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings.

Perkins & Marie Callender LLC, the owner of the Perkins brand, alleged that Campbells owes it more than $2 million through various fees and royalty payments under the Perkins franchise agreement.

As part of the bankruptcy process, all Perkins owned by Campbells were required to remove all signage relating to Perkins and operate under a different name. The Titusville location temporarily went under the title “Titusville Family Restaurant” before later changing to “Gilded Griddle,” both names acting as placeholders until an owner can be found or the location is closed.

Ray can be reached, by email, at sray@titusvilleherald.com.

(3) comments

SSDD

Huber Hanes - Couldn’t have said it better. Titusville is a wonderful little town to leave when you’re young and come back to when you’re older. I couldn’t leave Titusville fast enough when I was younger. The common theme was “I’m bored!”, “This town exerts suction!”, or the ever popular “There’s nothing to do in Titusville!”. The introduction of the meth problem and the uprise in petty crimes further made town seem like a wonderful place to escape from. So, I did.







I’ve been back to visit about once every 2 years or so....and generally stay for at most a month before heading out again. All in all I’ve been gone for about 20 years now. I’ve been to roughly 35 states, and about 5-6 countries. Been to rural areas and heavily populated large urban locales....even living in Europe for a number of years. I have experience that many Titusville folks don’t because I left the “bubble”. Looking at Titusville now, I see it as a wonderful location with little crime and an upside that is incredible. The potential for Titusville to have its best days still yet ahead of itself is very good. Rather than focus on the bad things, it’s better to focus on the good things about Titusville that it still possesses. Many similar small towns have all but fell into disrepair....Titusville is still worth saving, there is plenty of room to hold pride for Titusville. I look forward to moving back home, it’s the greatest place I’ve ever been.


Huber Hanes

Its unfortunate for Crawford County as also in W. Penna. to have to experience any commercial foreclosure. The winds of change are indiscriminate , yet, this also prov ides us an opportunity to sit back and assess the realities of life in general -- as nothing is really a permanent fixture in this modern day world.



Financial success is determined by its profitability and not necessarily by its size. Regarding the Titusville's Perkins Restraunt's future -- the bottom line starts at accepting and understanding the real economics of Crawford County in general, and then being able to do something about it before the bad news happens ! Perkins Restraunts and other franchises ( Annabells, 'Ruby Tuesdays, ect. ) are all the same, and are for the most part -- gone !



Food selections were abundant, parking was spacious, open 24 hours/day, buildings were big and modern for the day and big money flowed and could be written off and depreciated. Down sizing was not an issue ! It was who was biggest and did it better. This same scenario also applied to the automotive industry. Perkins restraunts may self destruct -- but its not the end of the world as other major franchises are anxiously waiting in line to take over for a bargain price ! Economic s 101. A Fact . You'd hope that the City & County Govt. would re-take that course in Business Admin. or Economics 101 and make a sincere effort to prevent this from happening again to Titusville. An effort to SELL the greatness of Titusville to potential investors would be helpful -- and not to play down the "negative's" of the Oil Region -- as bad news( rumors ) spreads faster than good news ! WE need some good news and positive imputs !!!


Jahoba

RIP Perkins. This is good progress. Shut this place down and get some healthy food alternative in this space. I know this isn't a popular suggestion but a Whole Foods or Trader Joe's would be a great improvement to this community. Too many grossly obese people in this town.


Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.