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Kentucky Fried Chicken stores close in Yuba City, Linda

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen restaurants will expand into Yuba City and Linda, filling spots vacated with the closing of Kentucky Fried Chicken outlets.

A sign on the front door at the fried chicken restaurant at 808 Colusa Ave. reads, "We sadly inform you that our Yuba City KFC will be closing its doors as of tonight, 11-10-12."

"Due to the circumstances we had very short notice of this information," the sign continues.

The Linda store at 1135 North Beale Road posted no sign, but is closed.

Last month, AFC Enterprises Inc., the franchisor and operator of Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen restaurants, announced it entered into an agreement to buy 28 restaurants in Minnesota and Northern California for $13.8 million.

The company said it intended to convert the restaurants to Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen outlets at a cost of $11.5 million. Following the conversion, the restaurants will be leased to Popeyes franchisees to operate. The deal was contingent on bankruptcy court approval.

KFC corporate representative Rick Maynard said officials worked diligently with a KFC franchisee who presented an offer to operate the Yuba City restaurant and as many others as possible as KFC restaurants with the same employees.

"Ultimately, that better financial offer from the KFC franchisee was rejected, necessitating the closure of the restaurant," he said.

"We understand the disappointment of our many loyal customers in the area, and we share that disappointment," Maynard added. "KFC remains committed to this market and intends to have an even stronger presence in this area in the future."

The number of employees who lost jobs were not available, he said, but the restaurants typically employ 15-20 people.

Chris Wymore, 39, of Yuba City, pulled up and parked with his grandmother at the Colusa Avenue location. He got out, pulled on the door and then read the message he said his grandma won't want to see.

"She is going to be mad when I tell her they are closed," Wymore said. "To see it closed is kind of shocking because it has always been here."

Yuba City resident Gail Snow read the posted message before heading back to his car.

"It's surprising to see them closed," Snow said.

Sue Horton went to the Linda site to buy a soda and said of the closing, "That's too bad for the people who worked here and the economy around here."

Olivehurst resident Gennie Wolf, 40, said she liked the fast food franchise.

"No more KFC? That's not cool," Wolf said.

People living near the Yuba City store said the closing means less traffic around the homes — but noted that will change if a Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen outlet opens.

CONTACT Ryan McCarthy at rmccarthy@appealdemocrat.com or 749-4780. Find him on Facebook at /ADrmccarthy or on Twitter at @ADrmccarthy.


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