Updated: Monday, 15 Feb 2010, 5:38 PM EST
Published : Tuesday, 16 Feb 2010, 1:38 AM EST
BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - It looks like some popular local restaurants will soon be serving up their last meals. Swiss Chalet is closing down.
Some say it was a sign the end was near. Swiss Chalet officials left that big empty frame after the sign blew down last year. Now it's official. Workers at the two remaining Swiss Chalets in Amherst and in Lancaster were given the bad news over the weekend. February 28th is their last day.
Buffalo customer Charlene Patton said, "It's not enough money here for people to stay. Restaurants, it's no livelihood to keep them here. So they're restaurants are hurting, businesses are hurting. I'm hurting!"
Patton took Ollie Edwards to lunch to use a gift certificate she had bought for her birthday. Good thing. Ollie likes the chicken, a popular favorite, but now she said, "Before they close, I'm going to get some of their sauce and that's all I can do."
At one time, there were at least four Swiss Chalets in the Buffalo area, part of a North American chain of restaurants owned by a Canadian firm, the same company that owns Montana's and Kelsey's. But workers and customers have heard Cara Operations Limited has been trying for years to pull the Swiss Chalet out of the United States, and in two weeks, that goal will be accomplished.
"It's a surprise to me. Every time I come I thought it was busy. There's always crowds waiting to get in. So, I don't know what happened," said Buffalo customer Jennifer Snyder.
We tried to reach Swiss Chalet's owner, Cara Operations, Limited of Vaughan, Ontario, and their PR firm, without success. A spokesman for Local 4 told News 4 that 90 union members and ten management staff will lose their jobs when the last two restaurants close.