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    Tuesday, February 07, 2023

    99 Restaurants closes Groton and two other Connecticut locations

    Groton ― The 99 Restaurant & Pub at 117 Long Hill Road closed abruptly Monday, angering community members upset over the lack of notice to workers. Employees said management also found out about the closure Monday.

    The locations in Stratford and Cromwell also just closed, in addition to the one in Canton, Mass. Ninety Nine has scrubbed these locations from its website, listing 96 other locations in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, New York and Rhode Island.

    A call to the Groton location Tuesday went straight to a voicemail that stated, “Thank you for calling the 99 Restaurant in Groton. Our restaurant has closed for business. Please visit us for our Norwich location or visit us at 99restaurants.com to find another location. Thank you for your patronage.”

    Lori Lee, who has been a bartender there for 18 years, said Tuesday that she found out about the closure from the voicemail.

    Lee said after working Sunday night, she got a message Monday morning from her manager asking her to call his cell phone, and when she didn’t get through, she called the store.

    “I saw the writing on the wall; after COVID we never got busy,” Lee said.

    She said there used to be two bartenders at the restaurant but she could work by herself “so you could tell it was slowing down, but the morale wasn’t that bad; we kept our chins up and did what we could do.”

    But she said there was never any indication, warning or notice about closing. While she has other means of income, she voiced concern for her co-workers and said she wished the company could have given them another month to get through the holidays.

    Two sheets of paper on the door Tuesday stated “Thank you for your patronage!” One added “Our Groton location has closed for business” and to “please visit us” in Norwich or Westerly, the other stated gift cards can be redeemed at any 99 Restaurant location.

    Both said people with questions can contact Guest Services at 1-866-998-3558.

    A message left Tuesday afternoon at that number ― with questions about the reason for the closure and whether employees were being offered positions in other stores ― went unreturned.

    The public relations agency contact for Ninety Nine Restaurants later said in a news release that the company “is in the process of transferring Team Members to our other restaurant locations in Connecticut or offering them severance packages.”

    e.moser@theday.com

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