Burger Kings sold, new venues slated

Posted: Wednesday, September 22, 2004

The two Burger Kings in Kenai and Soldotna that closed last year due to bankruptcy have been sold to two different parties. Both properties are planned to reopen as fast food restaurants, but customers will no longer be able order Whoppers.

The Kenai storefront is slated to become a Carl's Jr. franchise, while the Soldotna restaurant is planned to be called Chef's Express and offer a variety of fast foods.

The Kenai property only recently changed hands, and a fair amount of remodeling will need to be done to make the facility into a Carl's Jr. The construction is expected to take a few months, according to owners Jerry and Debra Kinn.

"We've recently just closed on the property and have to do some remodeling, so we probably won't open until early next year," Debra Kinn said.

The Kenai location will be the couple's fifth Carl's Jr. franchise. Two of the stores are operational, one in Anchorage and one in Wasilla. Two other franchises in Anchorage are under construction one of which is another vacant Burger King, which is being remodeled.

Chef's Express operators, Ernie and Adry Ramos, who also run the K-Beach Diner, plan to open for business the first week of October, after completing some remodeling.

The restaurants menu will feature traditional fast foods, but with a fancy touch.

"It's going to be gourmet hamburgers, pizza and hot dogs," said Adry Ramos.

The menu still is being worked out, but wild salmon and buffalo burgers, pizza with unusual toppings and a variety of hot dogs likely will be offered, Ramos said.

The Burger Kings in Kenai and Soldotna were two of 15 franchises statewide that closed in December when owner Larry Baker filed for bankruptcy for his Anchorage-based company, Northwest Restaurants.

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