Bobby Jones seafood restaurant closes

Ruby Tuesday, which converted its Bobby Jones Expressway restaurant into a seafood concept called Marlin & Ray’s, has closed it after only two months, along with the 12 other Marlin & Ray’s restaurants.

The manager confirmed that it closed Wednesday, the same day that its parent company announced a quarterly loss of $15 million.

Ruby Tuesday, based in Knoxville, Tenn., also shut down a Wok Hay, closed two company-developed Lime Fresh Mexican Grills, and is seeking buyers for two Truffles Grill restaurants.

“While this was a difficult decision to make, we have determined the Marlin & Ray’s brand is not an optimal conversion vehicle for us going forward,” said the corporate chief executive, J.J. Buettgen, in a news release. “For similar reasons, we also have decided to close and exit our one Wok Hay restaurant and seek a buyer for our two licensed Truffles Grill restaurants.”

Buettgen said the move will allow the corporation to concentrate on improving sales at its Ruby Tuesday restaurants, which showed a slight increase in sales in the last three months of 2012.

The casual-dining chain has more than 780 Ruby Tuesdays nationwide and in U.S. territories. It reported a second-quarter net loss of $15.1 million, compared with a loss of $2.1 million for the quarter last year.

Corporate spokeswoman Meridith Hammond said that the affected restaurants have between 33 and 66 employees, all of whom were offered positions at nearby Ruby Tuesdays. There are restaurants in Evans, North Augusta and Aiken.

“As we make these difficult decisions, we want to let the team members of these closed restaurants know that we appreciate their passion and commitment and we are working to ensure the employees affected by these planned closures are given opportunities at other Ruby Tuesday or Lime Fresh restaurants,” Buettgen said.

Hammond said no decision has been made on the future of the Marlin & Ray’s buildings.

Marlin & Rays seafood restaurant to open on Bobby Jones Expressway in Augusta

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