After nearly 20 years in operation, the Wendy’s restaurant on Scotts Valley Drive will close its doors Friday, Aug. 24.
According to the Veve Norton, who has owned the franchise since it opened in early 1993, the decision to close was made in July, when she was approached by a buyer from outside the area who was interested in purchasing the property.
Norton said she had not been looking to sell, but the offer, coupled with the fact that her franchise was due to renew a 20-year contract with Wendy’s, prompted her to choose retirement.
“I’ve had it for 20 years, and I was at the decision to renew it for another 20 years,” she said. “Then someone wanted to buy the property and I thought; ‘Well, this is the perfect time to just retire.’”
Norton said the decision to close the franchise was not an easy one, considering the relationship the business has developed with the community, the loyal customer base and the franchise’s 15 employees.
“It’s a very tough thing to be doing,” she said. “I just don’t think I have the energy for another 20 years.”
According to Norton, the buyer — who is from outside the area — closed escrow on the property earlier this month.
Corrie Kates from the city of Scotts Valley said that no business license applications had been filed for the restaurant as of Wednesday, Aug. 22.
“It was a very quick thing,” Norton said, adding that she believed that the buyer has plans to open another restaurant in the same location – possibly a Carl’s Jr. franchise.
Norton said that as word got around that the restaurant was closing, many longtime patrons had been coming in to say goodbye and have one last burger or frosty dairy desert.
“It’s been a very emotional time this week,” she said. “It’s been a long time, and I’ve watched these kids grow up the past 20 years.”
An In-N-Out Burger spokesperson said the company has no plans in the immediate or foreseeable future to open a restaurant in Scotts Valley.
Jack-in-the-Box opened a franchise in Sept. 2010, about one block from Wendy’s location near the Granite Creek Road freeway exit.