Wisconsin Hospitality Group and The Shops of Grand Avenue Announce the Closing of Applebee’s at Grand Avenue

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WHG hopes to have the opportunity to return to the downtown area in the near future.

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Wisconsin Hospitality Group (WHG) and The Shops of Grand Avenue announced today that they will be closing the Applebee’s restaurant at Grand Avenue, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, after is normal operating hours on Tuesday, June 14, 2016. The Applebee’s at Grand Avenue is one of 36 Applebee’s restaurants within the WHG restaurant franchise group.

Applebee’s has operated at Grand Avenue since 2003. In recent years under prior ownership Grand Avenue has faced many challenges resulting in a high vacancy rate and significantly reduced traffic. Applebee’s original ten-year lease expired in 2013 and since then has continued pursuant to short-term extensions with the prior owners. Recently Grand Avenue’s new ownership has unveiled exciting new plans for the property and its revitalization. Applebee’s is very optimistic that the new owners’ vision will lead to the property’s long-term success, but both Grand Avenue and WHG agreed that the Applebee’s current space may be best suited for another use. With the lease expired and the new Grand Avenue ownership in the midst of a transition, Grand Avenue and WHG have come to the difficult but appropriate decision to close the Applebee’s restaurant to make way for Grand Avenue’s future and long-term success.

WHG hopes to have the opportunity to return to the downtown area in the near future. In fact neither WHG nor The Shops at Grand Avenue will rule out the possibility that Applebee’s could return to Grand Avenue.

Upon announcing the closing at Grand Avenue, WHG has offered all salaried and hourly employees the opportunity to stay with the company and work in any of its other Applebee’s restaurants or, possibly, in any of its 75 Pizza Hut locations.

Wisconsin Hospitality Group owns and operates more than 100 restaurants across Wisconsin, including Pizza Huts and Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar restaurants, all committed to guest satisfaction and community support. WHG has a long history of giving back to the communities it is located in and has recently established a non-profit foundation, WHG Cares, and throughout the last 16 years, WHG has been able to donate more than $2.9 million in combined gifts to local charities including Children's Hospital, World Hunger Relief, Honor Flight and One Heartland. These donations were made possible by both the generosity of guests and the hard work of all WHG team members.

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Colin Bennett

Denise Harris