Two Northland Wendy's restaurants are closed, but will reopen as another fast food chain.
The Wendy's in Cloquet and on Duluth's London Road were sold this week to Chicago-based franchisee Cave Enterprises, which will convert the locations into Burger King restaurants, Cave Enterprises CEO Adam Velarde told the News Tribune Tuesday.
Velarde said he heard about the sale of the Wendy's locations over the weekend and on Monday hired all 65 current Wendy's employees at those locations. "Our main objective was to try to save the jobs and then try to gain hold of the locations and re-image them," Velarde said.
The two Wendy's locations were owned by franchisee Paul & Paul Enterprises. Owner William Paul did not return calls from the News Tribune Tuesday.
The locations will remain closed until the conversion into Burger King is complete. "It's obviously not a quick process so we're doing what we can, most importantly, to save the jobs, and I think we've been successful in doing so," Velarde said. "We've hired all the employees already."
Cave Enterprises owns Burger King restaurants throughout the Twin Ports, including two in Duluth, one in Superior and one in Hermantown.
News of the closure was first reported by Fox 21.
The Wendy's on Miller Trunk Highway, which is owned by a different franchisee, is not affected and will remain open.