Former Titusville Perkins looking for new owner - Titusville Herald: News

Former Titusville Perkins looking for new owner

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Posted: Saturday, July 27, 2019 5:00 am

The former Titusville Perkins, along with 25 other locations, is now searching for a new owner, though it will remain open as an independent restaurant until such a buyer can be found.

Manager Peggy Kinney said that the Titusville eatery is one of six former franchise Perkins that will receive a new menu and name on Aug. 5, and will continue functioning as a self-contained restaurant while looking for new ownership.

“We are open,” Kinney said. “We will be open as an independent restaurant for now.”

The other 20 Perkins will be able to keep their names, for now, as the search for a buyer continues.

The restaurant is currently operating under the placeholder name of Titusville Family Restaurant, and is in the process of removing all Perkins logos and associated items per a federal bankruptcy court order. It was previously under the managership of 5171 Campbells Land Co., which is in the midst of Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings.

Kinney said she is unsure exactly how much the restaurant is still tied to Campbells, as she has not received much communication regarding the bankruptcy. While she said any new employees the Titusville location hires are signed up to work for Campbells, Kinney is doubtful that process will last much longer.

The Titusville location employs around 25 people, and Kinney hopes the restaurant is able to find a buyer to secure those jobs.

“It would help out,” she said. “It would help out Titusville and it would help out the employees.”

Kinney said the restaurant has heard numerous concerns from regular customers over the course of the bankruptcy. Many of them, according to her, are worried as the once-Perkins is one of the few restaurants in Titusville that is open on Sundays.

Jack Teitz, a managing director for Compass Advisory Partners, is overseeing the sale of Campbells’ former restaurants. While Campbells owned 27 Perkins before the bankruptcy proceedings began, Teitz said that one, located in Cranberry Township near Pittsburgh, was closed for not meeting sales expectations.

According to Teitz, the remaining 26 stores all were making money. However, the six receiving new names and menus were viewed as being not successful enough to continue under the Perkins brand name.

“Corporate people at Perkins didn’t think those six had enough top-line sales to be a successful Perkins,” he said. “Now, all of them make money, so I’m not sure why Perkins corporate decided those six weren’t sufficiently large enough.”

Across all 26 locations, Teitz said the Perkins restaurants employed more than 1,000 people, jobs which he is seeking to keep safe by finding a buyer. An appeal of buying one of these former Perkins, according to Teitz, is that the restaurant locations all have their own preexisting base of loyal customers.

While the terms of an agreement between Campbells and Perkins & Marie Callender LLC state that the new restaurants cannot be similar to Perkins, Teitz said this does not preclude a buyer from opening a breakfast, lunch and dinner diner in one of the locations. Rather, he said that requirement more so had to do with naming, such as calling a name similar to Perkins.

There is not set price for the sale of any of the locations so far, and Teitz said many aspects are up for negotiation. A buyer can seek to purchase as many as all 26 locations, or as few as just one.

Those interested in purchasing one of the locales can contact Teitz, by phone, at (814) 827-7339.

Campbells the sale is part of an ongoing litigation between Campbells and Perkins & Marie Callender LLC, which manages the main Perkins brand. Campbells had franchised its locations, several of which are in the Northwestern Pennsylvania area, under the Perkins name.

Campbells is accused of violating the franchise agreements it held with Perkins & Marie, including failure to pay more than $2 million in royalty fees. The company filed for bankruptcy protections on July 8 as a result of a lawsuit brought against it.

While the Titusville Perkins was one of those required to abandon its signage and name, the other Crawford County Perkins, located in Meadville, was not affected. A Warren County and one of the three Erie County Perkins were also made to lose their signage.

However, the agreement between Campbells and Perkins & Marie is being contested by a third entity, Marc Group LLC. Marc Group claimed in an objection that it, not Campbells, is the true owner of the franchise agreements for the 27 locations, which are spread across Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York.

According to the filed objection, a Dr. Peter Kaplan previously sold his ownership of Campbells to Steve Maglin for $125,000 and relinquished a $1.6 million claim against the company. Subsequently, Maglin transferred ownership to Marc Group, thus meaning the company would have ownership of Campbells and the agreements.

Further, Marc Group argued that Campbells was not properly registered with the Pennsylvania Department of State Corporations at the time it acquired the franchise agreements on Jan. 29, 2018, a sale of the assets of the previous owners, Unique Ventures Group LLC.

A hearing will take place on July 31 to address the objections.

Bankruptcy proceedings are being handled in a Pittsburgh-based federal bankruptcy court. Under Chapter 11, there are restrictions placed on legal actions against the entity seeking protections unless approved by a bankruptcy judge.

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

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Welcome to the discussion.

2 comments:

  • SSDD posted at 9:00 pm on Tue, Jul 30, 2019.

    SSDD Posts: 40

    I feel it should be left as is. Who doesn’t remember Perkins in town with fond memories as a child? Their homemade cherry coke? Going in late at night with good friends and binging on French vanilla cappuccino? Smoking cigarettes (back when folks did that) and laughing in the wee hours of the morning? I have very fond memories of this Perkins, and am not one of those people that thinks things “need” to change in order to be relevant. I hope someone buys this location and keeps it alive for the community. It doesn’t “need” to go the way of the Colonel Drake Hotel in favor of some new “hip” grocery store that most of the residents of Titusville won’t shop at.



     
  • Noahs Bark posted at 9:15 am on Sat, Jul 27, 2019.

    Noahs Bark Posts: 118

    I agree with SSDD, this should be turned into a Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s. I’d like to see our Farmer’s Market there, but we all know that’s just not going to happen.


     

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