Ground Round reopens

September 29, 2004|by JULIE E. GREENE

The Ground Round Grill & Bar reopened in Hagerstown on Monday, seven months after it closed, the new owner said.

The 1703 Massey Blvd. restaurant features the same menu as before, but the decor has been updated thanks to a $450,000 renovation, owner Michael J. Metz said Tuesday.

After the chain closed its restaurants Feb. 13 and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, a group of franchisees bought 72 of the restaurants by bidding at a bankruptcy auction, Metz said.

The franchisees bid $4.85 million after American Hospitality Concepts filed for bankruptcy, according to The Associated Press.

"We saw an opportunity to control our own destiny," said Metz, who lives in northeast Pennsylvania. The Hagerstown restaurant is managed by his son, Michael Metz Jr., who lives in Washington County.


The elder Metz is one of 39 individual franchise owners. The Independent Owners Cooperative LLC, which does business as Ground Round, is based in Freeport, Maine, he said.

Metz's Hospitality Pubs Management Inc. owns seven Ground Rounds, including five in Pennsylvania and one in Frederick, Md., that will reopen Monday.

The Hagerstown and Frederick restaurants were performing decently before the February closings, Metz said.

Metz said he brought back former Ground Round employees who were willing to return. The restaurant employs 85 full- and part-time workers.

The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to midnight Mondays through Thursdays, from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sundays.

The restaurant will stay open if the Sunday or Monday night football games go long, Manager Michael Metz Jr. said.

The bar has at least one big-screen television and eight smaller televisions.

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