Thursday July 19, 2012

PITTSFIELD -- Three weeks after they closed abruptly, the fate of three Burger King restaurants remains a mystery.

Company spokeswoman Kristen Hauser confirmed the three restaurants remain closed. She declined to say if she knew how long the three restaurants would stay closed or if Burger King is looking for new franchisees.

"Unfortunately, BKC does not have any further comment on these locations as they are franchisee-owned and operated," Hauser said via email.

She referred The Eagle to Richard C. George of Pittsfield, who owns all three locations. George declined to comment on the situation when contacted by a reporter on Wednesday.

Two of the closed Burger Kings are located in Pittsfield, while the third is in Lenox.

George's three restaurants closed during the last week in June. Signs originally stated that the closings would be temporary. But Burger King signs have been removed from all three locations.

George has been associated with Burger King for more than 30 years. He opened Pittsfield's first Burger King on Merrill Road in July 1979, and the city's second restaurant on First Street in December 1984. He opened the Burger King on Route 7 in Lenox in February 1987.

The Merrill Road eatery was Burger King's first franchise in Berkshire County.

Founded in 1954, Burger King is the second largest fast food hamburger chain in the world behind McDonald's.

The only Burger King in Berkshire County remains the North Adams one, run by a different franchisee.