Perkins

Perkins in Vernon Township will close for a short time this month while the restaurant undergoes renovation.

VERNON TOWNSHIP — The Meadville area Perkins restaurant is getting a $400,000 renovation later this month by its new ownership group.

The Vernon Township location is part of an estimated $4 million revitalization of 13 Perkins locations in the region purchased last fall by Phoenix Management Systems LLC of Bloomsburg.

"It's got great visibility from the road and it's a big restaurant with a meeting room," said Brian Hood, Phoenix Management Systems' director of operations.

The Vernon Township location along routes 6, 19 and 322 is east of the Meadville/Conneaut Lake exits of Interstate 79.

The restaurant will close for renovations at 4 p.m. Jan. 19 and is scheduled to reopen Jan. 25, according Hood.

"We're going to gut a good bit of it," Hood said. "It's getting new booths, tables and chairs, carpeting. We're fixing the roof, too."

A new sign will be put in place and some outside work — such as parking lot repaving and exterior painting — will be done this spring, Hood said. 

Phoenix bought the Vernon Township location and 12 others in western Pennsylvania, eastern Ohio and southwestern New York for a total of $510,000.

Five of the 12 other Perkins locations already have been remodeled, Hood said. Those five are one on the east side of Erie and four others in Ohio — two in the Warren area and one each in Austintown and Youngstown.

"We're transforming the inside and our guests love it," Hood said. "Both employees and guests are blown away by what we've done. It's really a fantastic facelift.

"Our goal is to have all 13 locations revitalized in 2020," Hood said.

That includes the Edinboro location which has been closed since a fire there in May 2015, Hood said.

"We're targeting late spring or early summer," Hood said of when the Edinboro location will reopen. "We've not started there yet. When it opens will depend on the scope of work we have to do."

The company bought Perkins 13 locations from 5171 Campbells Land Co. (CLC) of Rankin last September with the approval of U.S. Bankruptcy Court for Western Pennsylvania in Pittsburgh.

CLC filed for Chapter 11 federal bankruptcy protection in July 2019 to reorganize its debts. Federal Chapter 11 bankruptcy rules prohibit legal actions by, for or against a corporation unless approved by a federal bankruptcy judge.

The 13 Perkins restaurant franchise CLC sold to Phoenix are Clarion, east side of Erie, south side of Erie, Edinboro, Indiana and Vernon Township in Pennsylvania; Ashland, Austintown, Boardman, Middleburg Heights, Niles and Warren in Ohio; and Olean, N.Y. 

Phoenix Management Systems LLC is a separate limited liability corporation formed by JDK Management Co. of Bloomsburg to acquire those 13 Perkins locations. JDK Management Co. is a Perkins franchise operator. The 13 restaurants purchased via the Phoenix affiliated company gives JDK a total of 50 Perkins locations in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida, New York and West Virginia, Hood said.

Perkins locations in Titusville, Grove City, Hermitage and Warren in Pennsylvania and in Conneaut, Ohio, were among several others closed by CLC as part of CLC's Chapter 11 federal bankruptcy case.

Phoenix wants to have the 13 sites it acquired all revitalized before it would give any consideration to purchasing any of the closed Perkins restaurant sites in the region, Hood said.

Keith Gushard can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at kgushard@meadvilletribune.com.

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