Why the Burger Kings on East Market Street in Howland and Elm Road in Warren have closed their doors

(WKBN) – Two Burger Kings in Trumbull County – one on East Market Street in Howland and one on Elm Road in Warren – have closed.

Reason? A bankruptcy filing and sale as a franchise operator in England is getting ready to take over most of them, but not these two.

On Friday, the marquee at Warren’s Elm Road Burger King read “thank you” while the sign on the door announced the restaurant’s closure. A few employees could be seen cleaning up inside and removing items. The place closed on Thursday.

Four miles south, the Burger King on East Market Street in Howland was also closed — the marquee reading “Thank You Howland.” Again, there was a restaurant closed sign. The menus at the drive-thru had been removed.

Since 2012, all of the area’s Burger Kings have been owned by a company called TOMS King, which is headquartered near Chicago. But in January, TOMS King filed for bankruptcy in Akron, citing a significant loss of foot traffic, plus cost increases and reduced labor availability.

According to bankruptcy court documents, a company called Karali Group, which is based in London and operates Burger Kings in England, bought 27 of the 90 Burger Kings owned by TOMS King. They include 14 locations in Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties. One location on McCartney Road in Campbell was purchased by Burger King Corporate.

The bankruptcy court documents also state that no one bid on the Burger Kings in Howland or on Elm Road in Warren, so they closed.

First News emailed the Karali Group to find out their plans for the Burger Kings the company had bought locally, but we have not heard back.

TOMS King is still going through bankruptcy court. Their next hearing is set for next Tuesday.

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