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December 4, 2012

Terre Haute's Beef ‘O’ Brady’s closes up shop

TERRE HAUTE — Beef ‘O’ Brady’s, a family sports pub and restaurant, has ceased operations in Terre Haute.

After nearly eight years in business, the restaurant at 2309 S. Third St. displayed a sign on its door Monday thanking customers for their past support.

“Effective Dec. 3 we have closed our restaurant,” the sign stated.

A much larger sign along Third Street was covered with blue material.

Restaurant management could not be reached for comment Monday.

Beef ‘O’ Brady’s is a Tampa, Fla.-based restaurant chain that offers customers a full bar, a dining room and “party room” – all liberally outfitted with local sports memorabilia. The restaurant in Terre Haute was opened in early 2006.

In a 2011 interview with Franchise Hound, an online publication, company CEO Chris Elliott said the chain went through difficult years during the recession and saw a declining number of locations. However, Elliott expected growth over the next few years, projecting more than 300 locations by 2016.

However, in August 2011, Beef ‘O’ Brady’s had more than 220 locations in 21 states, according to Franchise Hound. As of Monday, a company official in Tampa stated Beef ‘O’ Brady’s is operating 209 restaurants.

Nearly all Beef ‘O’ Brady’s restaurants are independently operated as franchises, the company official said. There are just seven corporate-owned locations.

Because it is independently operated, company officials in Tampa would not comment on the Terre Haute restaurant’s closing.

Beef ‘O’ Brady’s in Terre Haute featured a large number of local sports photographs and memorabilia on the walls and was involved in several community activities, including charitable events.

The restaurant website identifies the owners as Tony and Dawn Lafata and Mark and Penny Talpas.

Many Beef ‘O’ Brady’s restaurant locations in Indiana are in relatively small cities, such as Newburgh, Corydon and Peru. Newburgh’s is the restaurant location closest to Terre Haute, according to the company website.

In November, the National Restaurant Association, the largest restaurant-operators trade group, reported a softening of same-store sales and customer traffic at restaurants around the country. It also reported a growing pessimism among restaurant operators concerning the overall economic climate.

Reporter Arthur Foulkes can be reached at 812-231-4232 or arthur.foulkes@

tribstar.com.

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