Thursday, July 7, 2022

After 42 years, Long John Silver’s closes in Williamsburg

Long John Silver's on Merrimac Trail has closed its doors. (WYDaily/Sarah Fearing)
Long John Silver’s on Merrimac Trail has closed its doors. (WYDaily/Sarah Fearing)

After 42 years in business, a Merrimac Trail staple has closed its doors.

Long John Silver’s, 736 Merrimac Trail, is now closed, according to several paper signs posted in the business’s door and a side window.

“This location is closed,” one read.

“Thank you for 42 years of patronage,” another said.

On Thursday, both of the restaurant’s signs were blocked from view with blank white covers. The drive-thru was blocked by a trash can and a row of commercial deep-fryers sat outside behind the building.

Inside, the booths and tables still appeared to be in their regular places, as well as the PepsiCo fountain drink machine.

The signs on the door and window did not indicate the date of the business’s last day of operation, but directed customers to other Long John Silver’s locations in Newport News and Hampton.

The franchise is registered to Virginia Beach-based DINK Inc., which owns other Long John Silver’s restaurants in the area.

DINK Inc. President Bill Brewer did not immediately return an email request for more information.

Long John Silver's on Merrimac Trail has closed its doors. (WYDaily/Sarah Fearing)
Long John Silver’s on Merrimac Trail has closed its doors. (WYDaily/Sarah Fearing)

When reporters called a contact phone number listed for Brewer, a Long John Silver’s employee answered and said he was traveling to Kentucky. Long John Silver’s is based in Kentucky.

Online property records for York County show the property at 736 Merrimac Trail has been owned by DINK Inc. since April 1, 1987.

Norfolk Planning Commission documents from August 2018 show a property owned by DINK Inc. at 1366 E. Little Creek Road previously held another Long John Silver’s, but it closed in 2017.

The documents show a proposal to reopen that location as a Rally’s restaurant.

Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing is the Assistant Editor at WYDaily. Sarah was born in the state of Maine, grew up along the coast, and attended college at the University of Maine at Orono. Sarah left Maine in October 2015 when she was offered a job at a newspaper in West Point, Va. Courts, crime, public safety and civil rights are among Sarah’s favorite topics to cover. She currently covers those topics in Williamsburg, James City County and York County. Sarah has been recognized by other news organizations, state agencies and civic groups for her coverage of a failing fire-rescue system, an aging agriculture industry and lack of oversight in horse rescue groups. In her free time, Sarah enjoys lazing around with her two cats, Salazar and Ruth, drinking copious amounts of coffee and driving places in her white truck.

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