I have just been reading that they are closing their restaurants effective this morning! i haven't eaten there in ages but I was suprised by this. Odd though, I have noticed the chains are more and more empty at key eating times. Economy? Bad food?
I'm voting for a little bit of both...but especially the latter.
There's also an oversaturation of chain restaurants in that category (i.e., "family" style places with pre-processed food such as Applebees, Ruby Tuesday,etc.) . Bennigan's is (was?) probably a pioneer in this genre. I will admit to being a customer of B's when I was in college but haven't been since then.
Yes - and it's Bennigan's AND Steak and Ale, but only company-owned ones. Jury still out on franchised locations. The food at both of those chains was absolutely horrible. They used to be good... in the 1970s.
Bennigans has been a frequent stop for the past year. They were offering a $4.99 special for lunch which INCLUDED beverages and which was generally pretty good and better than most of the locally owned options. There were a couple of lousy items on the menu, the worst being a deep fried sandwich.
You are going to see a lot more places close as there is a great oversaturation of restaurants in many areas as well as increasing commodity prices.
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There were a few things I really liked at Bennigan's, but over the past few years it got to be terribly inconsistent. One time I would have a perfect Monte Cristo, the next it would be a poor relative to what it should have been. They also changed their menu way too much. And the actual menu didn't always reflect the changes, so you would order one thing and it wouldn't be exactly what you thought you were getting. Asking a server was a waste of time. They would just shrug and say oh well. But I will also miss those pretzel rolls they had! Now I have to get a recipe!
All the Steak 'n Ales are shutting down. They stopped serving our favorite flavored steak awhile back, but I found the marinade on line so it's not a big deal. I will miss the salad bar though.