Here are some of the top stories we’re following for Thursday, July 23, 2020.
There’s a new chapter in the Crossroads restaurant sale saga.
The property owner where Crossroads restaurant is located said Thursday it is taking over the Milltown-area restaurant building next week and will eventually lease it to a new tenant.
Crossroads is closed for good.
“Our company came to a mutual agreement that will result in us taking back the building as of July 30,” wrote Ann G. Riley, president of Millcreek Shopping Center LLC, on Delaware Online’s Facebook page in a response to a Wednesday article about a possible sale.
Since 1959, Mill Creek Shopping Center LLC has owned the parcel of land at Kirkwood Highway and Limestone Road where Crossroads is located, Riley said.
A message sent to Riley was not immediately returned.
The status of the nearly 20-year-old Crossroads restaurant has been unknown for the past four months. The restaurant closed on March 18 due to the coronavirus pandemic. It has not operated since then.
More: Crossroads Restaurant reverses decision, puts sale on hold
Gov. John Carney halted dine-in services from March 17 until June 1. Since then, restaurants have been allowed to have customers return in limited capacities, but Crossroads has not opened.
The beloved comfort food eatery, known for its breakfasts discounted for senior citizens and affordable daily dinner specials, has been owned for nearly two decades by Lee Doyle and family members.
The location previously had been a Howard Johnson’s for 37 years and Doyle had been its manager. The restaurant changed its name to Crossroads in 2001.
Delaware Online/The News Journal confirmed on Wednesday morning the restaurant was listed for sale for $800,000 with real estate broker Joe Latina of Patterson-Woods Commercial Properties.
But on Wednesday afternoon, Latina contacted Delaware Online/The News Journal to say Crossroads was “no longer for sale.”
Latina said the restaurant does not have a buyer.
“There are no plans at the moment to reopen,” he said. “At this time, all I can say is it is no longer for sale.”
Latina said Doyle wanted to retire from the business. He said he could not comment more on the sudden change of plans to sell.
Riley wrote Thursday that “due to state orders for social distancing and reduced capacity, Crossroads business owner Lee Doyle and his family determined they could not reopen profitably.”
She said “Crossroads thrived on volume, on guests in back to back booths and at the counter, on lines waiting for the next table to turn. The layout of Crossroads and its business model simply does not work in a world with social distancing.”
Latina said Crossroads, located along a heavily traveled section of Kirkwood Highway, was averaging 1,000 diners a day before COVID-19.
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According to the real estate listing, the restaurant’s gross revenue had been $3.2 million.
Riley said “nearing retirement, Mr. Doyle decided after the forced closure in March to contemplate listing the business for sale and discussed that idea with me. After much soul searching and daily assessment of the changing phased opening restrictions, Mr. Doyle and his family decided to permanently close their business.”
Mill Creek Shopping Center LLC is waiting for the state to lift mandated COVID-19 capacity restrictions, Riley said, before looking for a new tenant.
“We will ride out these restrictions and eventually another business will lease the parcel and thrive there,” she said.
“We can be patient and wait for the right operator, the best partner, to reinvent this fantastic location and bring it back to life.
“We have thoroughly enjoyed our 20-plus year relationship with the Doyle family and are truly sad to see them go. They were model tenants and partners. We also wish future success to all the hard working men and women that made Crossroads a Delaware favorite for so many years,” she wrote.
Contact Patricia Talorico at (302) 324-2861 or [email protected] and on Twitter @pattytalorico
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