Whenever I go by Red Lobster on the Vestal Parkway at night, the parking lot looks full. So when I heard the news that some Red Lobster stores are closing, it has me a little nervous about our restaurant in Vestal..

Many of us seafood lovers that like to eat at Red Lobster were surprised to learn about the news that they suddenly closed over 50 of its restaurants nationwide. This included more than a dozen restaurants here in New York alone.

The Financial Crunch and Shutdown Shuffle

Rumor has it that Red Lobster is having financial problems and is thinking about filing for bankruptcy to get things under control. This could mean major changes in the company. A restaurant liquidator, TAGeX Brands, is handling the auctioning off of kitchen items and furniture from the closed Red Lobster locations.

Stores on Pause in NY

Locations in New York that are closed for now include Buffalo, Rochester, and Poughkeepsie. So to the fans of Red Lobster from those areas, I say, take a drive and come see us in the Southern Tier because as of now, our restaurant is still open. HURRAY!

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Employees Feeling the Impact

I can't image what it must feel like to be a worker at one of the closing Red Lobster restaurants? Reports say that corporate officials only gave the staff three days to get everything out from the closed locations. Ramon Garcia, an employee, said his coworkers were taken by surprise and are aren't sure what is next for them. The abrupt closings are taking a toll on the restaurant's employees.

Hints of Financial Troubles

There had been some signs that Red Lobster was in financial trouble when reports said the seafood chain was thinking about filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy to restructure its debts. This move could involve getting rid rid of some long-term contracts and renegotiating leases.

It's also been reported that Red Lobster's parent company, Thai Union Group PCL, has been looking to get rid of its minority investment in the chain because of the financial problems.

What's Next for Red Lobster?

Red Lobster has recently appointed a new CEO, Jonathan Tibus. He is known for his experience in navigating bankruptcy waters. Rumor is that Red Lobster is looking for a buyer that will take over operations. There have been interested parties in buying the chain, but has of now, no deal has been made.

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Gallery Credit: Traci Taylor

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