TGIFriday’s Abruptly Closes – UPDATED

16 10 2008

Got an e-mail in my inbox this morning saying TGIFriday’s on Saginaw closed abruptly last night.  Seems it was not their fault, but the Holiday Inn didn’t pay their taxes to the city, so the city shut them down.  I don’t know what it means for the hotel.  We were out there this morning and there were still quite a few cars in the parking lot, but the TGIFriday’s awnings and signs were gone.  Here’s a statement I got from TGIFriday’s corporate office.

 According to Amy Freshwater, vice president of communication and public relations for Carlson Restaurants Worldwide, parent of T.G.I. Friday’s, “Due to the non-payment of outstanding property taxes owed to the city by the Holiday Inn hotel property owner, the city advised us that they will involuntarily close and lock us out of the restaurant this week. Therefore, regretfully, at this time, we have been forced to close the restaurant located within the Holiday Inn at 7433 West Saginaw Highway in Lansing. This is an isolated closing, unrelated to the economy, and a unique situation where the restaurant was operated under a management contract with the owner. We will offer severance to our valued team members, who were impacted by the unfortunate actions of the hotel property owner. Lansing is a very important market for us, and we hope to bring Friday’s back to the community, at another location, in the future.

UPDATE – WILX went after the story and found out that the statement from TGIFriday’s may not be entirely true.  According to the Delta Township Finance Director (not the City of Lansing as the statement indicates), TGIFriday’s was not going to be forced out.  Anonymous employees also claim the business has been bouncing checks.  Check out the full story on and kudos to Channel 10 for doing some digging and not accepting the corporate spin.