Kings Family Restaurants chain gets new owner
By Kim Leonard
Published: Thursday, Sept. 9, 2010,
After 44 years, Hartley King is selling his Kings Family Restaurants chain.
King reached a tentative agreement with Unique Ventures Group LLC, which owns franchises for 28 Perkins restaurants in northeast Ohio and northwest Pennsylvania, said Chris Whalen, vice president of finance for White Oak-based Kings.
Unique Ventures had been talking to King about buying up to six of the 34 Kings restaurants, all in Western Pennsylvania except for one eastern Ohio location. "Then they pushed an offer to buy the whole company," Whalen said Wednesday, adding final terms still are being worked out. He declined to give details.
The deal will keep the company's White Oak headquarters, with about 20 employees who work for Kings. The restaurants known for their apple pie and cinammon ice cream and Frownie brownie desserts -- along with other casual fare -- still will be called Kings.
King, who will be 77 years old next week, originally intended to use capital from selling some of the restaurants to invest in remodeling other locations in the chain, and to open some new Kings, Whalen said.
Representatives of Unique Ventures, based in Pittsburgh and with offices in Meadville, weren't available for comment.
King also couldn't be reached for comment. "He wasn't looking to sell the company, by any means," Whalen said. "This was a very tough decision on him." The deal could be completed by year's end.
Whalen and King will remain franchise partners in five local Sonic restaurants.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.