The owner of the Long John Silver's franchises in the Kanawha Valley said he is searching for a location to replace the seafood restaurant that closed on Kanawha Boulevard last month.
The restaurant at 6 Kanawha Blvd. E., near the confluence of the Kanawha and Elk rivers, closed Dec. 16 to make way for a new Marriott Courtyard hotel.
Performance Foods Corp. of Mansfield, Ohio, is the franchisee of Long John Silver's restaurants in the region. Joe Feeney, owner of Performance Foods, said, "I would stress that we didn't let go of the property willingly.
"The landlord who had the lease had a nice offer on the property and asked us to leave," Feeney said. "It wasn't our intention to vacate the area. We're actively looking for a piece of property so we can relocate that store.
"We've started touring the area," he said. "We don't have anything specific at this point. Obviously with today's cost of construction you've got to find a Class A site and be sure before you commit over $1 million for a location."
Until a new restaurant is built in downtown Charleston, three Long John Silver's locations continue to operate in the county.
They are in Kanawha City, South Charleston and Marm-et.
Feeney said the restaurant on Kanawha Boulevard had been operating there since the 1970s. He said 16 or 17 employees were affected by the closure. "All of the people were offered jobs," he said. "Everybody but one accepted positions in our other locations."
Performance Foods operates a total of 40 Long John Silver's restaurants in Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. Fourteen of them are in West Virginia.
Contact writer George Hohmann at busin...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4836.