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Say toodle-oo to Koo Koo Roo

Ryan Carter

Forget about that tangy barbecue chicken salad, the savory wrap or

that tasty three-piece chicken combo for lunch.

Koo Koo Roo California Kitchen at 800 N. San Fernando Blvd., a

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Media City Center Mall staple, has closed its doors.

Earlier this month, Koo Koo Roo Inc. filed for Chapter 11

bankruptcy protection, along with its sister specialty restaurant

chain Chi-Chi’s Inc.

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Koo Koo Roo’s parent company, Irvine-based Prandium Inc., which

completed its own bankruptcy proceedings in June 2002, did not file

for bankruptcy this time, according to news reports. Prandium Inc.

also owns the Hamburger Hamlet chain.

It was unclear when the Burbank Koo Koo Roo store closed. On

Monday, a company marketing coordinator referred calls to an

executive who did not return calls. An employee at a Koo Koo Roo

restaurant in Toluca Lake said the Burbank restaurant and a store in

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the Costa Mesa area had both recently closed.

The general manager of Media City Center, where the restaurant was

located, was out of town Monday and could not be reached for comment.

Inside the shuttered restaurant Monday, chairs were neatly stacked

on tables, and a sign on the front doors encouraged patrons to visit

other Koo Koo Roo sites.

The message did not say when or why it closed. But the company,

with 18 restaurants from San Diego to Studio City, had reportedly not

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been doing well financially.

According to news reports, Koo Koo Roo’s overall sales dropped 11%

to $35.4 million during the first half of this year.

A share of Prandium stock was worth 7 cents Tuesday, according to

a quote on the company’s Web site.

The Koo Koo Roo in Burbank was a bustling lunchtime destination

for visitors and employees from businesses around the area.


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