Ham's Restaurant, a fixture on Chapel Hill's Franklin Street for 24 years, will remain open despite a bankruptcy filing by the Greensboro chain's corporate parent.
The Chapel Hill Ham's is a franchise and not affected by the Chapter 11 filing, said Ryan Faircloth, who has owned the local restaurant for about 18 months.
Business at that location, which employs about 50 servers, bartenders and cooks, has been up during each of the past few years, despite the economic downturn, Faircloth said. "Things slow down when students are gone, but we still have a good local crowd as well."
Ham's Restaurants Inc., which started in 1935 with a single location in Greensboro, this week filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The chain plans to stay open as it reorganizes but recently closed locations in Charlotte, Burlington and Kinston.
“Ham’s main priority at this time is to keep its employees working, along with continuing to serve the communities we have been a part of for many years,” said owner Charlie Erwin, in a prepared statement.
It now has 21 locations in North Carolina and Virginia, including seven franchises.
The parent corporation's top creditors include the IRS, which is owed $1.7 million, and the N.C. Department of Revenue, which is owed $815,993. The chain owes Sysco Food Services $870,000.