Scranton, Lackawanna County -- Some of the Monday lunch crowd in Scranton made their way to the Arby's on North 7th Avenue. They ended up leaving hungry. "I'm kind of upset, ha ha. I really like their food," said Amber Boone of Carbondale. John Pizzo of Scranton added, "It was always a good sandwich. It's a shame."
They found out the hard way that the Arby's was no longer in business. The menu board lights were still on and no signs were posted to warn customers that the restaurant was closed. "Everything looks normal so I'm not sure what's going on but," said Kevin Chernesky of Archbald. Elizabeth Evans of Taylor added, "That's kind of misleading but I mean hey, what are you going to do?"
The Scranton Arby's isn't the only one that abruptly closed Friday. So did the ones in Kingston and Frackville and the Wyoming Valley, Schuylkill and Lycoming Malls. They're all owned by Clarks Summit based Dijan Inc. which filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Customer Joe Kortawy of Scranton who pulled into the Scranton Arby's location Monday afternoon said, "It didn't seem like they were really hurting. Every time we came at lunchtime it seemed like they had a half decent crowd."
Trevor Young worked for more than two years as Arby's Senior Assistant Manager at the Scranton location. He didn't want to be seen on camera but told Eyewitness News that the staff of about two dozen workers only found out Friday that it was their last day of work. "It was crazy. It was hectic. A lot of them were crying. A lot of them were full of shock and anxiety. A lot of them not knowing what to do."
Arby's current marketing slogan is 'We Make It Right' but Mr. Young says the way management handled the closing was all wrong. Because it was so abrupt, workers left $10,000 worth of food behind including 1,600 onion rolls which he says are just now going to rot. Mr. Young claims the owner could have given workers more advance notice. "They knew for five days and gave us a two hour notice." He added, "It's rough considering I was dedicated to this restaurant."
An Eyewitness News call to Dijan Inc. went unreturned Monday afternoon. Meanwhile, Arby's Restaurant Group Inc. says it is evaluating if the six affected restaurants can reopen under new ownership.