HOBART — The weekend is over.
The TGI Fridays across from Southlake Mall closed after 25 years.
The chain restaurant and bar at 2487 E. 80th St. in the Crossings of Hobart shopping center is shuttered.
"Store closed," a sign on the door reads. "Thank you for allowing us to serve you for 25 years!"
The sign directed people to visit other Northwest Indiana locations for TGI Fridays on U.S. 41 in Schererville and Silhavy Road in Valparaiso.
TGI Fridays shuttered 386 restaurants nationwide last year as it bled cash during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Dallas-based company has been looking to shed costs to stay solvent amid lockdowns, restrictions and a decline in the dine-in business. Along with other casual dining chains like Applebee's and Chili's, it has failed to win over younger customers.
Founded in New York City in 1965 and famously parodied for its servers' flair in the movie "Office Space," the company still has about 850 restaurants that employ 74,000 people in more than 55 countries worldwide, including in Orland Park, Tinley Park and Oak Lawn in the south suburbs.
It has lately been adding new items, like the whiskey-glazed doughnut burger, giant churro twists, the ooey-gooey mozz stick melter, the Red Bull strawberry lemon slush and the "amazing blazing pound of cheese fries," which is a pound of cheese fries that comes in a metal bucket.
TGI Fridays is just the latest chain restaurant to close near the Southlake Mall in recent years, following Joe's Crab Shack, Abuelo's, Baker's Square and Rapid Fired Pizza.
While big national chains have been closing, the vacant space has quickly been acquired by local restaurant operators who have brought in new dining options like Wu's House, Sophia's House of Pancakes and The Athenian. Newer national chains like Mission BBQ also have come to the busy commercial trade area that stretches along U.S. 30 in recent years.
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