PARSIPPANY — Houlihan’s abruptly closed its doors on Thursday, September 30. The sign was removed off the building, the sign on Route 46 was painted white and a sign was posted on window.
The post on the door read “We’re Closed. We are deeply saddened to announce the permanent closure of this location. We value our employees, their dedication to the company and we are working to relocate them immediately to one of our many sisten locations nearby. We are grateful for the support of our community and encourage local patron to visit our sister locations in Ramsey, Secaucus or Paramus.”
It was obvious that employees in the Parsippany location didn’t know of the closing, because on Sunday, they participated in the Parsippany Fall Festival, advertising for help as well handing out coupons to the public.
A post on Parsippany Focus Facebook page by Cheri Will Costello said “My son got a call Tuesday to come in tonight [Thursday] for a job interview. We show up and the signs are posted. Why were they advertising “Hiring” just this past Sunday at the fair?!
Paul Anderson said “We just got a ton of coupons for free kids meals and other things from them at the street fair!”
Ramsey, Secaucus, New Brunswick, Holmdel and Paramus and well as a location in New York are still open.
The Parsippany location, among others, were previously owned A.C.E. Restaurant Group Inc. and was sold in 2018 to Landry’s. Houlihan’s Restaurants, Inc., a diversified restaurant company acquired the 17 Houlihan’s restaurants located in New York and New Jersey owned by A.C.E. Restaurant Group (ACE), ACE was the single largest Houlihan’s franchisee. The location opened in 2014. (Click here to read related article)
Houlihan’s is part of the Landry’s, Inc., located in Houston, Texas.
Parsippany Focus reached out to their corporate office to inquire about the Parsippany location and was told “no comment.”
Landry is in the hospitality, entertainment and gaming business. Some of the other restaurant groups owned by Landry include The Chart House, Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, Bristol Seafood Group, Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse, Joe’s Crab Shack, Landry’s Seafood House, and McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood and Steak.
A.C.E. Restaurant Group Inc, in 2018, owned 15 Houlihan’s restaurants across the state and was fined and agreed to pay $5 million in back wages and damages to more than 1,000 workers after allegedly denying overtime pay and forcing workers to pay twice for shift meals. The restaurants were accused by the Department of Labor in 2015 of violating the Fair Labor Standards Act.
The US Department of Labor filed a lawsuit against two companies — one in New Jersey and another in New York — that are owned by Arnold Runestad of Bergen County, who was President of A.C.E.
The New Jersey restaurants include locations in Bayonne, Brick, Bridgewater, Cherry Hill, Eatontown, Fairfield, Hasbrouck Heights, Holmdel, Lawrenceville, Metuchen/Woodbridge, New Brunswick, Paramus, Parsippany, Ramsey, Secaucus and Weehawken, according to the labor department.
A.C.E. Restaurant Group was based in Saddle Brook, while another company owned by Runestad operated two Houlihan’s in New York.
Between the 17 locations, there were 1,471 current and former employees affected, according to officials.