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Golden Corral at 2419 Lawndale Drive in Greensboro has closed.

The restaurant, which has operated there for 20 years at the Shops of Kirkwood, closed last week.

“It’s not financial,” said David Gronewoller, president and CEO of GC Partners Inc., which operates nine Golden Corral restaurants in three states, including the two in Greensboro.

Gronewoller said the franchise for the Lawndale Drive location expired in October. He said he wanted to keep the restaurant open, but he has to meet updated criteria set forth by Golden Corral.

“To get a new franchise agreement, first the location has to pass the development criteria. Second, you have to tear down the building and rebuild,” Gronewoller said.

Gronewoller said part of the development criteria is having 2.75 acres, which the Lawndale Drive location does not have.

“We’ve looked for three years in that sub-market for a piece of real estate. Nothing came open that was a size we needed to do what we did at Wendover,” Gronewoller said.

Gronewoller was referring to his other Greensboro restaurant, which is at 4404 Landview Drive just off Wendover Avenue. That restaurant was rebuilt in 2018 to replace the previous 24-year-old building. The new restaurant was a prototype for Golden Corral’s new look.

Gronewoller said Golden Corral is working with him to open a new franchise in north Greensboro.

In the meantime, Gronewoller said managers of the Golden Corral at Wendover Avenue and locations in Winston-Salem and Reidsville are working to take in the 60 or so employees of the Lawndale Drive restaurant.

Passing the torch

After 22 years, Ben Roberts is out of the restaurant business.

Roberts sold his interest in The Undercurrent at 327 Battleground Ave. in Greensboro to longtime employees and brothers Wes and Chris Wheeler.

The Wheelers became partners in the restaurant five years ago when Roberts stepped aside as operator and moved to Fancy Gap, Va., to help his wife start a medical clinic. At the time, the Wheelers worked at the restaurant. Wes was the bar manager and Chris was a sous chef.

Roberts said selling the restaurant is bittersweet, but he respects the importance of the transition.

“It’s a really good thing for the restaurant,” Roberts said. “A restaurant like Undercurrent deserves complete and undivided attention.”

Roberts took over the restaurant in 1998 when it was at 600 S. Elm St. Hard work and perseverance paid off and the 13-table spot became a five-star restaurant with an award-winning wine list.

The restaurant’s popularity outgrew its tiny location and in 2006 Roberts gutted a former auto parts store near the First National Bank Field and created a new, more spacious restaurant on Battleground Avenue.

Shortly after moving out of the space on South Elm Street, the restaurant suffered fire damage. Roberts rebuilt and opened the restaurant as Table 16 which he operated for a year before selling it.

Roberts said Wes Wheeler just turned 39, the same age as Roberts when he took over the restaurant.

“I think that’s a good omen,” Roberts said.

Sub shop closes

Penn Station at 1603 Battleground Ave. in Greensboro has closed.

In Greensboro, there are Penn Station locations at 301 Pisgah Church Road and 4203 W. Wendover Ave.; and in High Point, there is a location at 4008 Mendenhall Oaks Parkway.

Chain promotions

  • Applebee’s has added boneless wings to its all-you-can-eat menu that also includes riblets and shrimp. Mix and match is offered. The menu is available for a limited time.
  • Chipotle Mexican Grill is offering a Supergreens salad mix to replace the romaine-only salad base on its Lifestyle Bowls menu. Delivery is free for Lifestyle Bowls orders through the end of the month. Restrictions apply; visit www.chipotle.com to learn more.
  • IHOP has brought back all-you-can-eat pancakes with the purchase of a breakfast combo. Promotion is good for dine-in only through March 1. Other restrictions apply.
  • LongHorn Steakhouse has added blackened salmon to its Legendary Flavors menu that also includes Outlaw rib-eye and Flo’s filet.
  • Mention Speed-Q when placing a lunch order at Mac’s Speed Shop (1218 Battleground Ave., Greensboro) and get a barbecue sandwich, side and drink for $6. The special is available 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday.
  • Ruby Tuesday has brought back $7.99 fajitas for a limited time.
  • Taco Mama (2168 Lawndale Drive, Greensboro) is offering a blood orange margarita available through April.
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Contact Carl Wilson at 336-373-7145 or at carl.wilson@greensboro.com. Follow on Twitter at Short_OrdersNR and on Facebook.

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