***UPDATE (Jan. 22, 2019) ***
Employees of the Dayton-area IHOP restaurants that abruptly closed five days ago were told this morning, Tuesday Jan. 22, that the restaurants would be reopening in perhaps a month, although they were given no target date for a return to work.
Officials with the Huber Heights and Beavercreek IHOP restaurants set aside rooms in nearby Panera Bread Cafes this morning for employees to pick up paychecks and ask questions. This news outlet spoke with multiple employees who said they were told the restaurants would reopen, and they were offered hours at IHOP locations in northern Cincinnati during the shutdown of their Dayton-area stores.
Several employees said they had interviews lined up, or in some cases had already landed jobs, at other restaurants.
A spokeswoman for IHOP said this morning she was not able to confirm the employees’ reports and said she had no other details at this time.
***ORIGINAL STORY (Jan. 18, 2019)***
The franchise owner of three Dayton-area IHOP locations — in Beavercreek, Huber Heights and Springfield — is “unable to continue operating,” and the restaurant chain is exploring options to get the padlocked restaurants reopened, an IHOP spokeswoman said this afternoon, Jan. 18.
All three restaurants abruptly shut down Thursday night, and their entrances were chained and padlocked overnight. Signs on the door of the Beavercreek and Springfield locations tell customers those restaurants are “temporarily closed until further notice.”
An employee of the Beavercreek IHOP told this news outlet this morning that employees have been assured that the restaurants will reopen, following renovations and remodeling, under the direction of a new franchise owner.
But a statement released by IHOP spokeswoman Stephanie Peterson shortly after noon suggests that no final agreement is in place for new franchise oversight of the three Dayton-area restaurants.
“At this time, the franchisee who owns the three restaurants in Dayton is unable to continue operating,” the statement says. “We appreciate the support from the community and are currently exploring options that will allow us to bring our guests in Dayton the outstanding dining experience they’ve come to know and love at IHOP.”
Peterson called the Dayton-area situation “isolated” and noted that IHOP continues to open new restaurants around the country. She said she could not comment on potential new franchisees but said the company is “exploring several options.”
In August, Teo Regalado said in an email to this news outlet that he is the franchisee for the Beavercreek, Huber Heights and Springfield IHOP locations. Multiple messages were left for Regalado today, and we will update this story with any new information.
What was supposed to be the fourth Dayton-area IHOP restaurant, on Benchwood Road in Vandalia, was built more than a year ago, but it never opened. The building and property were put up for sale last month.
IHOP spokeswoman Peterson said late last year that she could not comment on the reasons why the Benchwood restaurant never opened, but pointed out that all IHOP locations are owned and operated by franchisees, not by their corporate parent company.
The outlook for that Vandalia IHOP grew even murkier just this week.
On Wednesday, Jan. 16, attorneys for a New Mexico bank that filed a mortgage foreclosure lawsuit against the owners of the Benchwood Road building and property attached 16 photos taken inside and outside the restaurant that they say show it was not properly winterized and has been damaged by water leaks. In an emergency motion filed in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court, the bank seeks a court order to appoint a receiver to correct the problems before further deterioration.
>> RELATED: IHOP restaurants returning to Dayton area (October 2014)
The bank says the property owners owe more than $2 million in principal and interest on a defaulted loan. The case is pending before Montgomery County Common Pleas Judge Mary Katherine Huffman.
IHOP opened the first of what had been projected to be as many as seven IHOP locations in the region in October 2015 on North Fairfield Road in Beavercreek, and the second restaurant followed in October 2016 on Bechtle Avenue in Springfield. The Huber Heights IHOP opened in September 2017 on Old Troy Pike.
>>RELATED: IHOP opening two more Dayton-area locations (December 2016)
The region had multiple IHOP locations in the 1970s and 1980s, including one near Ohio 725 and Ohio 741 near the Dayton Mall and one on Shiloh Springs Road near the former Salem Mall, but those restaurants closed three decades ago.
Check back for updates to this story.
- Staff writers Parker Perry and Eric Schwartzberg contributed to this report.