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Chilis restaurants close locally, including in LO

by: J. Brian Monihan, 
Signs saying “closed for re-imaging” grace the doors of the Lake Oswego Chili’s restaurant Tuesday afternoon. The restaurant closed Tuesday along with three others in the metro area.

Chili's restaurants in Lake Oswego, Beaverton, Bethany and Wilsonville are closing, leaving dozens of people out of work.

The closures began Monday, May 26, and continued Tuesday, which is when the Lake Oswego store shut down. Maureen Locus, a spokeswoman for Brinker International Inc. of Dallas, Texas, parent company of Chili's Inc., said the decision to close the restaurants was made by the franchise holder, Quality Restaurants Northwest Inc. of Scottsdale, Ariz.

Two other Chili's restaurants in Bellevue and Issaquah, Wash., also operated by Quality Restaurants Northwest, will close.

A phone message left at Quality Restaurants Northwest was not returned.

Locus said Chili's restaurants in Clackamas and Eugene will remain open. Brinker International will run those restaurants, she said.

Brinker International operates more than 1,700 restaurants across the nation, including Chili's Grill and Bar, Chili's Too, Romano's Macaroni Grill, On the Border Mexican Grill and Maggiano's Little Italy.

Quality Restaurants Northwest is part of the Huntington Restaurant Group Inc., a franchise company with $13.4 million in sales last year.

The Lake Oswego restaurant on Bangy Road was open Monday but ran out of certain items, including C02 for soda drinks, a waiter at that facility said.

By Tuesday, the doors were locked and tables inside were stacked on top of each other. Signs on the main door said 'closed for re-imaging.'

On Monday, customers who went to the Beaverton Chili's restaurant on Southwest Canyon Road were greeted by a sign saying the business was 'closed for repairs.' A restaurant employee told FOX 12 News that regardless of what the sign said, the business was shut down permanently.

'They'll assume we're closed for repairs,' said the employee, who declined to be identified. 'Unfortunately, the sign is not true to what's really happening.'

FOX 12 News estimated that the closures left about 200 people out of work.

After the Beaverton Chili's closed, crews came in and stripped the restaurant of everything, packing it into a moving van. When they were done, only a few barstools remained in the restaurant.

FOX 12 News contributed to this report.