Thursday, June 22, 2017

Ground Round expanding, but not back to the Capital Region

Ground Round Grill & Bar, which once had a strong presence with multiple locations in the Capital Region before shrinking into a tight cluster of New England venues, is on an expansion kick. However, it is far from its home base.

When the company opened a location in Rutland, VT, in May in a former Ponderosa Steakhouse, it said it also had other places in mind. The company, headquartered in Freeport, ME, has just announced it will open four new locations in two more states -- three in South Dakota and one in Ohio.

The new venues will be a combination of converted restaurants and brand-new facilities using a prototype just developed by the company.

At one time, Ground Round, which was founded by Howard Johnson's in 1969 as a line of family restaurants, had locations in Schenectady, Albany, Guilderland and elsewhere. In February 2004, the franchisor for Ground Round filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and in the process, all 59 corporate-owned restaurants -- nearly half of the restaurants then open -- abruptly closed their doors. The company  since has undergone major financial and business model restructuring.

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