The Pueblo Chieftan

KFC mum on local closures

KFC’s plans for the Pueblo and Canon City markets remain unknown several weeks after all but one of the restaurant chain’s outlets in the area abruptly closed.

A spokesman for KFC on Tuesday issued a brief email statement noting the closures but providing no further information. “Unfortunately, three franchise restaurants in your area have been permanently closed. We appreciate the loyalty of the customers who visited these locations and hope they’ll continue to visit other KFC restaurants in the future,” the statement said.

Louisville, Ky.-based KFC is the former Kentucky Fried Chicken.

The shuttered restaurants, two in Pueblo and one in Canon City, were controlled by a major KFC franchise operator, Kazi Foods, based in California and the U.S. Virgin Islands, according to property records.

In 2011, the company, owned by Zubair Kazi, filed for bankruptcy protection on behalf of a number of its restaurant groups in various states, according to the trade journal Restaurant Finance Manager.

More recently, KFC Corp. and Kazi Foods became embroiled in a dispute over the remodeling of restaurants in the area, the manager of the closed Canon City restaurant told the Canon City Daily Record.

The only KFC that continues to operate in the area is at 1644 S. Prairie Ave. in Pueblo. The restaurant also is affiliated with Kazi Foods, according to property records.

On Tuesday, a manager at the Prairie Avenue restaurant declined to comment on KFC’s future plans for the area but said that more information may be released early in August.

The closed Pueblo restaurants were at 1303 S. Pueblo Blvd. and 2944 N. Freeway, near the Pueblo Mall. A KFC restaurant at 1334 East 21st St. on the city’s East Side closed about a year ago, a neighboring business said.

The restaurant that closed in Canon City was that city’s lone KFC.

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