Johnny Rockets Closes Its Doors

September 28, 2009 8:31:48 AM PDT
One of River Park's original establishments has closed its doors after a decade of doing business.Johnny Rockets joins the list of struggling businesses that have recently left the shopping center.

Starting at 8 a.m. Monday morning, interested customers can come and check out items up for the auction, which starts at 10 a.m.

Everything from jukeboxes to silverware must go.

Johnny Rockets in River Park served its final customers Sunday.

"The people working here, we've gotten to know them quite well, so we will miss them," said customer Merven Vick.

Johnny Rockets was one of the first restaurants to open at River Park back in 1999. River Park associates said Johnny Rockets is closing because the owner never renewed his lease.

Manager Marilyn Taylor said that's not true. "Honestly my owner told me the only letter he ever received was to vacate the property. Um, River Park has not wanted us out here for a long time."

A River Park spokesperson was not available to comment Sunday on Johnny Rockets closure. But economic experts say it's a sign of the times. "People are saying no, I gotta pull back 10, 15, 20 percent of my discretionary income and they're the first companies that are the ones to go," said FSU Marketing Professor Dr. William Rice.

Johnny Rockets joins a list of other River Park establishments that have recently left. Last month Fuzio closed. And earlier this year, Gottschalks folded, making way for Macy's which is scheduled to open this November.

Yoshinos, which is currently in River Park, will relocate to this spot that Johnny Rockets just vacated which is actually a smaller location for the sushi restaurant.

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