Golden Corral searching for owners to reopen restaurant

CNJ staff photo: Tony Bullocks Gabriel Davies of Clovis Signs Service places a tarp over the Golden Corral sign Wednesday on Prince Street. Davies said the signs wasn’t removed because of a chance that someone may purchase the franchise in Clovis.

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer

It may take a little while, but the search is on for a new franchise owner to revive Clovis’ Golden Corral after its previous owner shuttered the restaurant at the end of December.

“We’re talking with another (prospective franchise owner) and are making efforts to reopen the restaurant, but there’s nothing concrete,” said Lamar Bell, Golden Corral’s senior vice president of finance and development said Wednesday by phone from Raleigh, N.C.

He said Golden Corral definitely wants to reopen its restaurant in Clovis.

“It will not be something that happens very quickly. It could be a couple of months,” Bell said.

Meanwhile, contractors covered the Golden Corral sign with a tarp Wednesday. Bell said it is standard procedure while the search for an owner continues.

Former owner Jim Clark said earlier this month the restaurant he owned for eight years was not making enough profit to pay for a franchise-mandated remodeling of the building and an anticipated a rent hike.

Clark said remodels are required every seven years. The current remodel plan is estimated to cost more than $300,000, he said.

An effort in November to pass the franchise to new owners fell apart, he said. Clark also owns Dakota’s Steakhouse.

The Clovis location was one of nine in New Mexico and the only one in the region, according to a search on the company’s Web site. The closest other Golden Corral locations are in Roswell, Lubbock and Amarillo.