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(LISTEN): Jefferson City’s fire-damaged Red Lobster not expected to re-open, mayor says

(LISTEN): Jefferson City’s fire-damaged Red Lobster not expected to re-open, mayor says

Columbia’s Red Lobster on I-70 Drive Southwest remains open (April 17, 2024 photo from 939 the Eagle’s Brian Hauswirth)

Jefferson City’s mayor is not expecting fire-damaged Red Lobster on Country Club drive to re-open.

The restaurant has been closed since a late September fire that damaged a utility room and attic and caused smoke damage throughout the entire building. That Red Lobster used to be packed every time Jefferson City’s 14,000 state employees were paid, with people waiting at times for an hour for a table and sitting at benches outside the restaurant, facing Capital Mall.  We asked Mayor Ron Fitzwater about Red Lobster during a live interview on 939 the Eagle’s “Wake Up Mid-Missouri”:

“My understanding is there’s probably a very remote opportunity for that business to come back in. I agree with you: when I would drive by there, the parking lot seemed like it was always full: the peak times, lunch time. And Sundays it was very busy. I don’t know what happened to the business, but I would not anticipate that it’s coming back. But we’ve not heard anything on it for quite some time now,” Mayor Fitzwater tells listeners.

Jefferson City firefighters have described the September 26 fire as accidental in nature. 13 firefighters fought that fire. 939 the Eagle News has made numerous attempts to contact the restaurant since September and have been unable to reach anyone.

This comes as “Bloomberg” reports Red Lobster is considering a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing to deal with leases and with labor costs.