The remaining two Shoney’s restaurants in Columbus and Phenix City have closed abruptly.
The 2777 Airport Thruway location in Columbus, fronting a Walmart Supercenter, and the 1212 Sportsman Drive location in Phenix City, just off U.S. Hwy. 280/431, shut their doors Wednesday.
A marketing department employee answering the phone at the chain’s corporate office in Nashville, Tenn., would only confirm that the local restaurants were franchises and not company-owned.
Privately owned Shoney’s, known for its casual homestyle food and seafood buffet, dates to 1947 when the first location opened in Charleston, W.Va. It once was affiliated with the Big Boy restaurant company and also owned the Captain D’s fast-food chain at one time.
Amid an increasingly crowded culinary operating environment, Shoney’s has been struggling for more than a decade, filing for bankruptcy in 2000 and shuttering clusters of stores periodically.
In 2001, it shuttered a location on Macon Road in Columbus before breakfast, leaving 49 employees out of a job without notice. The chain also had an eatery on Victory Drive at one point.
Last year, it shut down more than 70 locations nationwide. There are reports online of restaurants closing in Gardendale, Ala., Charleston, W.Va., Aiken, S.C., Huntington, W.Va., and five in Indiana.
The chain was purchased by restaurant development entrepreneur David Davoudpour in 2007, who according to the company’s website, promised to “return Shoney’s to its ‘Glory Days’ through simplicity, innovation and community involvement.”