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Paradise lost—Local burger joint/bar closes


California, MD -  The last burger has been flipped off the grill at St. Mary’s County’s Cheeseburger in Paradise. No more "Heaven on Earth with an onion slice" for the locals. The popular eatery/bar which also was a venue for live local entertainment, officially closed Aug. 21. “We have enjoyed serving you at this location and we thank you for your patronage over the years,” a printed poster tacked up on a door from inside the building reads. The stand-alone building housing the now-shuttered restaurant is located at the Wildewood Center.

What most people know is that Cheeseburger in Paradise is a restaurant inspired by the Jimmy Buffet hit from the late 1970s. The first franchise opened in 2002 in Indiana. The singer/songwriter was involved in the restaurant when it started. However, the chain was sold to Paradise Restaurant Group LLC in 2009. Three years later Paradise Restaurant Group was purchased by Luby’s Inc. That company was founded 71 years ago. In addition to Luby’s restaurants and Cheeseburger in Paradise, other eateries owned by the company are Fuddruckers and Koo Koo Roo.

According to QSR Magazine, last month Luby’s Inc. CEO Chris Pappas announced they planned to close restaurants due to “the current competitive restaurant environment” challenges its brands.

TheBayNet.com has sent emails and made phone calls to Luby’s Media Relations Department in an attempt to learn why the restaurant was so abruptly closed and if the company has any plans to locate another restaurant in the building but had not received any response as this story was being filed. We did, however, receive a response from KLNB Commercial Real Estate Services’ Matt Skalet, who handles properties at Wildewood Center. “We have also received no response from Corporate Cheeseburger in Paradise,” Skalet stated. “Wish we knew.”

Contact Marty Madden at marty.madden@thebaynet.com

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