News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

July 27, 2011

Company terminates Golden Corral franchise in Terre Haute

Restaurant had been shut down for seven days by health department

TERRE HAUTE — All is not OK at the Golden Corral restaurant in Terre Haute, as the business at 10 W. Johnson Drive is closed permanently.

“Because of continuous actions from the [Vigo County] health department, we terminated the franchise agreement of that franchise,” said Ken Houck, vice president of franchise operations west for Golden Corral, which has headquarters in Raleigh, N.C.

Houck said the Terre Haute franchise was not maintaining standards of a Golden Corral business.

The business is owned by Indy Corral, part of the Corral Group, LP, in Irving, Texas, public records indicate.

 A telephone message was left Tuesday at the Indianapolis office of Gary Robinson, a manager for Indy Corral, seeking comment.

Houck said Indy Corral operates other Golden Corral franchises “which are operating within standards,” he said.

Houck said he is awaiting a return call from the company to determine why its Terre Haute franchise could not meet franchise standards.

Houck said the Terre Haute franchise was terminated at the end of last week. Houck said a Golden Corral franchise can again be awarded in Terre Haute if a franchisee meets company standards.

The Vigo County Health Department closed the doors to the restaurant last week for seven consecutive days, citing unsanitary conditions. The health department posted signs on the business notifying the public of the closure.

The Vigo County Board of Health in February voted to shut down the restaurant for seven consecutive days if further food handling violations occurred. The business as of February had undergone 25 inspections, far more than a usual one or two annual inspections.

The company has also been fined several times and had paid $1,200 in fines since November 2010. Members of the county health department met with company officials in December about the possibility of a permanent closure if critical food handling violations continued.

In two successive years, in November 2008 and November 2009, the health department closed Golden Corral for 24 hours for sanitizing issues. The health department’s most recent inspection was done on June 20. That inspection found seven critical and seven non-critical violations.

The business paid more than $24,000 a year in property taxes in Vigo County. The company paid the first of two $11,252 property tax payments in May, plus the first of two $894 payments to the Honey Creek Conservancy District, according to public records. The building and property is owned by Corral Group LP, according to county records.

Howard Greninger can be reached at (812) 231-4204 or


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