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Jillian’s closes in Boardman

Published: Mon, January 31, 2011 @ 12:02 a.m.

Staff report


After 12 years in business Jillian’s in Southern Park Mall has closed.

More than 40 employees of the entertainment establishment were told about 5 p.m. Sunday that they no longer have jobs and will lose vacation time, according to 21 WFMJ-TV, The Vindicator’s broadcast partner.

The company is asking employees to sign a separation agreement that offers a small amount of money to release the company from all future claims, WFMJ reported.

With considerable fanfare, Jillian’s opened inside a one-acre space previously occupied by a Woolworth’s store, a hair salon, the mall office and a community room on the east side of the mall June 12, 1999.

Two pre-opening receptions drew a combined total of about 2,000 invited guests, including the media and local business and community leaders.

When the facility opened, Ron Widman, Jillian’s vice president for development, predicted the Boardman location would complement the mall’s retail stores as patrons would combine shopping and entertainment.

The Louisville, Ky.-based entertainment chain opened its first location in Boston in 1988.

Besides featuring a bar and restaurant with large TV screens for sports viewing, Jillian’s promoted the billiards, bowling and electronic video games it also offered in its entertainment centers. Its slogan was “Eat, drink and play!”

Standing-room-only crowds would gather in recent years at the Southern Park Mall location for live viewing of televised fights involving Youngstown’s boxing champion Kelly Pavlik.

Citing economic pressures that date back to 1999, Jillian’s Entertainment Holdings on May 23 filed for Chapter 11 protection with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court Western District of Kentucky.

Court papers listed estimated debts of more than $50 million, including a more than $10 million note owed to New York-based Bridge East Capital and a separate note worth nearly $4.3 million owed to FleetBoston bank.

Besides the mall location here, the company’s website listed locations in Cleveland Heights; Indianapolis; Chesapeake, Va.; Columbia, S.C., Manchester, N.H.; Worcester, Mass.; Peoria, Ill.; Universal City, Calif.; Seattle and San Francisco.

Vindicator staff writer Peter Milliken contributed to this report.


1MLC75(661 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

@CrestwoodRocks the Akron Jullians has been closed for almost two years now,they are no longer open.New restaurants went in where they were.

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2author50(1121 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

Blue Wolf and Los Gallos will be happier.

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3MaryY(3 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

Bug business slaps their employees again. I live in MD and all of our Jullians were bought by Dave & Buster's the ones that weren't bought were franchises, which this one probably is. Since I don't know how much the employees are being offered, but I wouldn't sign anything without asking a lawyer.

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4karol207(42 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

It's a joke. $50 is their savarence pay. The owner of this Jillian's owns D&B as Well.

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5reluctantcountrygirl(2 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

Is this only the Jillian's in Boardman or all the Jillian's locations listed in the article? If the company that owns the franchise filed for bankruptcy, wouldn't it affect all the locations? Also, I agree with MaryY about the the employees not signing anything without first consulting an attorney. Better to be safe than sorry. I feel bad for the employees, losing their jobs with no prior notice. I hope they don't have any problems getting unemployment compensation. (Maybe that's why the company wants them to sign something; so they won't file for unemployment.) I will miss Jillian's and the employees in Boardman. It was my favorite place to watch football on Sunday. Very sad.

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6southsidedave(5199 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

How sad!

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