APRIL 13, 2015
When you have to talk to someone in Dallas, Texas to find out what happens in Louisa…..
by WADE QUEEN
Citizens of Lawrence County got an unsettling surprise last month when Long John’s Silver of Louisa closed its doors.
The quick seafood eatery shut down on March 9 and was one of Louisa longest serving national fast-food chain eateries, having opened in the spring of 1979.
( I can remember this because not long after it opened when I was in kindergarten in the 1979-80 school year, our smoking hot 22 year old Puerto Rican teacher-Miss Shreve-working in her 1st year as a school teacher, led our class up with the three other kindergarten classes and their teachers and teacher aides in a walking trip to LJS from the elementary school from out of the Main Street tunnel for special lunch day on a couple occasions.
(Ms. Shreve standing at back far right, teacher class aide Mrs. Mary Bradley standing back far left)
We all came back to the school wearing cheap cardboard pirate hats, looking like the silly billies we were. Good thing for me that it was 1979, because in 2015 wearing a ‘pirate hat’ when my full name on my driver license reads ‘ABBIE W. QUEEN – address DEEP HOLE BRANCH ROAD while walking a half mile from ‘FORT GAY’ is a WAY, WAY DIFFERENT set of identity problems to deal with these days. And as for our beautiful Puerto Rican teacher Miss Shreve, the Louisville born educator left the following year. Officially she said she was not earning enough pay, but the word was she went to Texas after being tired from ‘running’ after from being chased by every hillbilly man and country boy with a “gym dog”. But I digress)
The following week with no one being able to locate the owner about the future of Long Johns in Louisa, after nearly dozen phone calls and so forth over a few days, I finally got a definitive answer.
After the speaking to manager at the Long Johns in Paintsville, she told me the stored closed on March 9 and that they were given the Louisa store’s remaining supplies.
There are now only four Long John Silvers in a short driving distance area from Louisa: Paintsville, Ashland, Grayson and Huntington.
After speaking with various corporate and legal entities in Louisville, I was put in touch with the Loomis Agency, a public relations firm in Dallas, Texas, which is where I came into contact with the lovely Jacy Cochran, PUBLIC RELATIONS DIRECTOR at Loomis.
After a couple of back and forth email exhanges and phone calls between us, she gave me the final answer in a one paragraph statement:
“The Long John Silver’s in Louisa closed because the lease was expiring. The franchisee opted not to renew the lease because the building needed expensive repairs, and they were not able to reach an agreement with the landlord on making the necessary repairs”.
She also added a bit in our last phone call that she believed that the owner of Long Johns of Louisa had basically retired and possibly no longer was living in Louisa
So that is it.
35+ years of having Long Johns food in Louisa is gone forever.
Having said that, here is a decent idea for a silver lining: Now that alcohol is legalized in Louisa and Long John Silver no being had here, I propose this would make a better replacement, especially in the now long-vacant Pizza Hut building near the Route 23//Route 3 intersection:
One can only hope……