FORT WAYNE – The aftermath of a roof collapse at Glenbrook Square will continue to affect a pair of tenants for at least two months.
Mall manager Brian Cote said repairs are set to begin next week on a cave-in that came during a winter with frequent arctic temperatures, tons of snow and ice. A section of the roof gave way Feb. 18 near Sears and other merchants.
TGI Fridays hasn’t opened its doors for business since and Ehlerding’s River City Harley-Davidson relocated to a temporary storefront earlier this week.
Brian and his team have been really supportive, said Don Ehlerding, owner of the motorcycle clothing and collectibles store. Our customers have been coming in since we’ve moved. It’s been going well.
Ehlerding is now on the mall’s upper level, above the food court, next to Dairy Queen.
It’s a good spot, he said.
What’s not so good is the loss of business for eight days. Ehlerding shuffled his merchandise, displays – and employees – to the new site.
The businessman said he probably lost thousands in revenue and although insurance would have picked up the tab, Ehlerding can’t afford the high deductible.
It’s harder for small businesses to pay that, Ehlerding said.
Officials at TGI Fridays declined to comment but issued an email.
On February 18, severe winter weather caused significant damage to the roof of our Fort Wayne, Indiana restaurant and has forced us to close the location, the statement read.
The area impacted included not just TGI Fridays but also a large portion of the mall where our restaurant is located. We are pleased to report that there were no injuries sustained at our location.
We are currently assessing the damages but remain hopeful that we will reopen at this location.
Patrick Tamm is president and CEO of the Indiana Restaurant & Lodging Association.
Boy, two months is a long time to be out of business, he said. It is possible they will use the time (to renovate).
As a chain restaurant, TGI Fridays likely has insurance to cover the loss of business, which could easily reach well into tens of thousands of dollars during a two-month stretch, Tamm said.
Fort Wayne is a good restaurant market, he said.
TGI Fridays is a division of Carlson Inc. The Minnetonka, Minn., company has more than 900 of the restaurants in 59 countries.
David Keating is vice president of corporate communications for General Growth Properties Inc., which owns Glenbrook.
He declined to disclose a damage amount, saying the company typically doesn’t release such information.