The window of Applebee’s was plastered with a note announcing its closure on Monday night.
Dine Brands Global confirmed that Applebee’s, 2520 Iowa St., is permanently shuttered, but would not provide any additional details. Its owners, Apple Central LLC, informed Dine Brands of the closure on Monday.
“Thank you for being our neighbor for the last almost 30 years,” the sign in the window read. “We’ve enjoyed serving you here and invite you to join us at any of our other KC metro locations.”
The Applebee’s location faced a massive employee walkout in March 2022. A manager at the Lawrence branch had leaked an email from a since-fired company executive touting inflation and high gas prices as reasons to lower employee wages. The email celebrated the loss of stimulus money, as it would force people into the workforce, and make them willing to accept a lower wage to survive.
The email also highlighted that mom-and-pop companies or small businesses could face closure, enhancing Applebee’s chances at success.
“Some businesses will not be able to hold on,” the executive wrote. “The labor market is about to turn in our favor.”
The email resulted in significant negative media coverage.
Employees had already taken the Applebee’s sign down and had begun emptying the store Tuesday.
Lawrence’s other former Applebee’s location, at Sixth Street and Monterey Way, closed and was demolished in 2018. A Tommy’s Express Car Wash took its place on the northwest corner of the intersection.
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Chansi Long (she/her) reported for The Lawrence Times from July 2022 through August 2023. Read more of her work for the Times here.