The South Portland franchise of Wild Willy’s Burgers closed Sunday to give its operators time to decide whether to remodel the restaurant and hire a new management team.
The regional food chain’s president, Jim Williams, said he and the South Portland franchisees, John Hutchins and Jonathan Cohen, agreed that the quality of the food and service had been declining at the restaurant at 449 Westbrook St.
The restaurant was operated by a subcontracted restaurant management company that Williams declined to identify. He said he and the franchise holders agreed to close the restaurant while they consider their options.
“It wasn’t something where I beat them over the head,” Williams said.
He said Hutchins and Cohen still have the franchise rights to South Portland and can reopen if they choose. If they decide to close the restaurant permanently, Williams said he will open another Wild Willy’s Burgers in the Portland area.
Hutchins did not return a call seeking comment.
Wild Willy’s is a full-service hamburger restaurant chain that also serves buffalo burgers, chicken sandwiches, steak sandwiches and salads. Williams would not be specific about how the quality of the service and food declined under the management company.
With the closure in South Portland, the chain now has one other Maine location, in York – the site of the original Wild Willy’s, which opened in 2001. It has one restaurant in New Hampshire and three in Massachusetts.
J. Craig Anderson can be contacted at 791-6390 or at: