Valley Jack in the Box Restaurants Reopen

Fresno, CA One after the other, customers ready for lunch pulled into Jack in the Box.

Mark Ochinero said, "I don't really have a favorite but I know they have good tacos, so I was coming here for a couple tacos."

A roped off drive thru gave customers the first sign of bad news. A note on the door confirmed the restaurant's temporary closure due to "a complex financial matter. Many customers left wondering what prompted the popular chain to close to suddenly.

Customer: "It's just really shocking that they are closed. It doesn't make. I don't know. That's crazy and they have all these commercials though. That's crazy. It's crazy though."

Customer: "But, they have like a promotion going on, right? They are giving away money, they are giving away prizes, and you would think that they have some type of money backing that, right?"

An area manager told Action News no employees are losing their jobs and all morning, workers waiting to hear about the status of negotiations were on the clock.

A recorded message intended for customers gave some details about the financial problems that forced the shutdown of 70 locations from Redding to Fresno. That message said, "The franchise operator is currently engaged in negotiations with the State Board of Equalization and working to resolve issues pertaining to taxes."

According to the state of California the franchisee /*Abe Alizadeh*/ owes four million dollars in back taxes. The Iranian immigrant went from making Jack in the Box tacos in 1980 to gradually over the years buying dozens of locations.

In a statement, Alizadeh said temporarily closing the Jack in the Box restaurants was more of a proactive measure. He said, "Our country is facing difficult financial challenges ... in the face of these challenges, we're taking action so we can fairly honor our financial commitments, protect the thousands of jobs we provide."

Some customers said they understand. Others tried to make light of the situation, even joking they'd like to speak to Jack himself.

Customer: "I don't know Jack, what's going on? Where the money at?"

Others say the closure shows that even fast food chains are struggling to make it out of the economic slump.

"I was surprised but in today's economy it doesn't surprise me too much when something's closed. It seems like businesses are closing every day," said Ochinero.

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