The Kings Family Restaurant on Route 66 in Salem closed for good this week after more than three decades in business.
“Over the past year this is a restaurant that we just couldn’t keep financially,” said Alisha Merico, Marketing Manager for Kelly Restaurant Group. “Leases come about and we need to determine if it is possible to keep them open.”
Eight Kings locations in western Pennsylvania – excluding Salem – were up for sale under a master lease portfolio in January, but company officials are expected to keep all of them open.
The chain currently has 14 locations in western Pennsylvania, Merico said.
Kings founder Hartley King sold his 30 restaurants in 2015 to the San Diego-based Kelly Operations Group, which has corporate offices in Pittsburgh and San Diego.
“There are no plans to close kings in the future,” said Merico. “We’re actually starting a new menu next Wednesday. We’re adding some new omelets and some new pancake options like cinnamon rolls and pancakes with cookies and creams. “
The company’s chefs also add a T-bone steak to the menu.
Merico said the recent relaxation of coronavirus restrictions has been positive.
“We’re 75% busy and that certainly helps,” she said. As the pandemic progressed, the local chain that started in north Versailles in 1967 has worked to adapt, adding ghost kitchen establishments like the Nashville Hot Chicken Shack.
“We also have a Kings Food Truck that we can take to outdoor events,” said Merico. “Of course there weren’t many big public events or food truck festivals last summer, but 40 events are already planned for this summer.”
Patrick Varine is a contributor to Tribune Review. You can contact Patrick at 724-850-2862, email@example.com, or on Twitter.