By CHELSEA JENSEN
Stephens Media Hawaii
You can’t have it your way anymore in Kailua-Kona — the area’s only Burger King has closed, nearly three decades after opening to the Kona community.
Burger King Corp., which is headquartered in Miami, on Thursday confirmed the closure of the Palani Road restaurant, but provided very little detail on when and why the closure occurred, the number of employees affected, and if the company will pursue another Burger King in the area. The restaurant is franchisee-owned and operated.
“In the course of normal business, we continuously review our worldwide restaurant portfolio and make strategic decisions based on many factors including development opportunities, market conditions, restaurant profitability, lease length and overall brand presence,” Bryson Thornton, with the company’s Global Communication Office, said in a statement.
Messages left with Burger King’s Hawaii corporate office for comment were not returned.
Calls to a phone number listed for the Palani Road restaurant rang repeatedly, without going to voicemail Thursday. Yellow tape blocked off the restaurant’s driveway late last week. All Burger King signs on the building had been removed by Wednesday. By Thursday, the restaurant was empty.
An employee at the Waimea Burger King said that restaurant, located within the Parker Ranch Center on Mamalahoa Highway, would remain open.
The Palani Road restaurant opened its doors in December 1984, according to Stephens Media Hawaii archives. It featured a self-serve drink station and salad bar, a drive-thru service window and extensive playground area for children.
Burger King restaurants are visited by more than 11 million people daily at its locations worldwide. Founded in 1954, Burger King is the second largest fast-food hamburger chain in the world, according to Burger King, which was purchased in 2010 by investment firm 3G Capital Global.
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