Springboro Max & Erma’s closes permanently

The Max & Erma’s restaurant chain today permanently closed its Springboro location at 710 Gardner Road off Springboro Pike (Ohio 741).

“Our senior leadership team was at this restaurant this morning to personally deliver this news and to provide each and every team member with a severance agreement,” Max & Erma’s spokesman James Blystone told this news outlet via email this morning. “The team members are currently working to efficiently close down their restaurants and will be donating unopened food items to charitable organizations in the Springboro community.”

The corporate owner of the Max & Erma’s chain, American Blue Ribbon Holdings, “continues to optimize the Max & Erma’s brand, we are in the process of streamlining operations and under performing locations,” Blystone said. “In the first stage of this process, we have identified Springboro, Ohio as a restaurant that will be closed effective January 18, 2016.

“We are committed to the Max & Erma’s brand and our franchise community, and look forward to announcing the next phase of this exciting brand revitalization during the week of Jan. 25,” he said.

Blystone did not say how many employees were affected. He did say there were no other closings in the Dayton region.

The restaurant opened in October 2006 and had been considered a prototype of sorts at the time. Max & Erma’s also operates restaurants in the Miller Lane development in Butler Twp. and near the Mall at Fairfield Commons in Beavercreek, and inside Dayton International Airport.

All Dayton-area locations underwent a significant makeover in 2013.

Those renovations were part of Max & Erma’s efforts to claw its way back from a 2009 bankruptcy in a highly competitive casual-dining segment of the restaurant industry that includes Applebee’s, TGI Friday’s, O’Charley’s, Ruby Tuesday, Bennigan’s, Buffalo Wild Wings and Chili’s. Denver-based American Blue Ribbon Holdings bought the company out of bankruptcy for $27.5 million in September 2010.

Once a publicly traded company before it was purchased in April 2008 by Pittsburgh entrepreneur Gary Reinert Sr., Max & Erma’s had more than 100 corporate-owned and franchised stores in 2006, but had dropped to about 80 by the time it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in late 2009.

It closed its first Dayton-area restaurant on Kingsridge Drive behind the Dayton Mall in Miami Twp. just a few weeks after the bankruptcy filing.

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