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Gulf Coast 'Famous Dave's' closes, employees upset about abrupt closure

Business owed $47,000 thousand to landlord
Posted at 6:59 PM, Aug 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-09 21:47:31-04

FORT MYERS, Florida -- If you go to Famous Dave’s at Gulf Coast Town Center, you’ll see an empty parking lot, and a note on the door that reads: 'Sorry we missed you, We apologize for any inconvenience but this location is now closed.'

More than $45,000 thousand dollars were owed to their landlord, now the Famous Dave’s located at Gulf Coast Town Center is closed for business, effective immediately. Now more than 25 employees are upset because of the abrupt closure.

A note on the door isn't how now-former employee, Laurie Burger found out, she says she and dozens of other employees found out through a text message.

"The message was a mass text message saying, unfortunately, Famous Dave’s doors will be locked this morning and we’re all out of jobs, we feel like they knew this was coming," Burger said.

Burger says more this and it hurts a little bit more because she was just diagnosed with cancer a week ago.

"It’s affecting me because now I have no job and I’m sick, and this company knew that," Burger said.

We got our hands on this eviction notice - stating the location owed $47 thousand dollars in rent to the landlord. The area director of Famous Dave's, Mark Lorenz, says the location of the store has not been successful in getting business, so they had to shut down. Lorenz issued this statement regarding the status of his employees:

"We’re doing the best we can to be supportive of all of our employees, we’re doing the best we can to get them to other locations. we’re supporting them with great letters of recommendations to hopefully get them back on their feet.”

"To them, it’s just another day, to me it’s a really bad day because I don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow."

Now former employees like Laurie say her employers never offered them the option to go to another store and left them high and dry.

"This isn’t just business to me, this is how I feed myself, how people take care of their kids and pay their bills now we’re all out of jobs," Burger said. "To them, it’s just another day, to me it’s a really bad day because I don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow."

Several other employees tell Fox 4 they will receive another paycheck in about two weeks. Fox 4 also reached out to the mall center for comment, but have not heard back.