Watertown’s TGI Friday’s closes, 34 workers affected

TGI Friday's closes

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - TGI Friday's in Watertown abruptly closed over the weekend.

Signs were posted on the restaurant's doors on Sunday announcing it was closing immediately.

In a statement from TGI Fridays, the company said, “We continually review our restaurant portfolio performance. This closure was a strategic decision based solely on business demands. Impacted restaurant managers and crew members were invited to apply for open positions within our system."

One worker told 7 News employees were told during a meeting Monday that TGI Fridays couldn't agree on a new lease with COR Development, a Syracuse-based company which owns the land. COR hasn't responded to our request for comment.

The worker also told us employees were offered severance and positions at a TGI Fridays in Syracuse.

According to Jefferson County clerk records, TGI Fridays signed a lease with COR in 2006, in which TGI Fridays leased the land, but built the restaurant on its own.

The WorkPlace Executive Director Cheryl Mayforth said 34 people, most of whom were part-time, worked at the restaurant.

She also said she spoke with an employee who told her the closure was a complete surprise.

"The service industry seems to be taking a hit in our area and it's taken a hit all over," Mayforth said. "This is a major concern going forward -- is that how much more can we lose?"

Mayforth said some employees will help pack up the restaurant.

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