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Belfast Wendy's shuttered after lease expires

By Ben Holbrook | Nov 30, 2015
Photo by: Ben Holbrook A sign on the drive-thru window at the former Wendy's on Belmont Avenue directs customers to other store locations in the state. The restaurant closed its doors  early in November.

Belfast — When Wendy's closed its doors earlier in November, seemingly without warning, many customers were left wondering what forced the fast food business to go dark.

The restaurant closed Nov. 9 after 15 years in business, according to owner Jason Gall. Gall said the business was at the end of its lease at its 22 Belmont Ave. location and decided not to renew. That decision was made, Gall said, partly because the restaurant needed to undergo a significant renovation and because the combination Wendy's and Circle K gas station didn't pan out exactly as hoped.

“The market was good for us but we weren't crazy about the combo setup,” Gall said during a telephone interview with The Republican Journal Nov. 30.

One of the issues with the combination restaurant/gas station was that customers would buy only a few items off the restaurant's menu, and then purchase additional food items at the gas station, Gall said.

There are 11 other Wendy's restaurants in the state, which are operated by Augusta-based Restwend LLC, Gall said, but only one other combination store. Located in South Portland, Gall said Wendy's shared space with a Tim Horton's before that Canada-based company abruptly closed six of its stores in the state in 2013 and another two this year, according to statewide media reports.

The Belfast Wendy's employed 25 people, both full- and part-time, according to Gall, before its closure. He said some of those employees have since been hired to work at other Wendy's restaurants.

While there are no immediate plans to reopen in Belfast, Gall said it's possible the city could again be home to a Wendy's in the future. However, if Wendy's does return, Gall said it would forgo the combination store and instead open a standalone restaurant.



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