Bob Evans restaurants in area won’t be closed

The local Bob Evans restaurants in Salem and Calcutta are not closing.

That was the message received Tuesday from Angela M. Payne, corporate communications manager for Bob Evans Farms.

She issued, upon request, an email with the company’s official press release, SEC filings and a list of the 27 restaurants involved in the closings.

When asked for further comment, Payne said “the company will not be commenting beyond what’s in the press release and (SEC filings).”

Bob Evans Farms, the email confirmed, is closing 27 underperforming locations and laying off 1,100 workers in attempt to boost profits.

In addition to the two county restaurants, sites in Weirton, Steubenville, Canfield, Wheeling, Youngstown and Austintown also are not affected.

Of the 27 announced closings, 21 restaurants were company-owned and closed last week. The remaining six are leased and expected to close in fiscal 2017.

Only two locations in Ohio (Riverside and Toledo) are closing. Also included in the closure are two Pennsylvania sites, including one along Steubenville Pike in nearby Robinson Township.

The company says it expects to get $20 million for the owned properties, translating to a $1 million gain in annual operating income. The New Albany, Ohio-company estimates expenses near $8 million related to the closures, most of which it expects to be non-cash charges. It expects to offer laid-off workers jobs in nearby restaurants when possible.

The company said it will update the estimated expenses related to the sale when it reports fourth-quarter results in June.

Bob Evans Farms Inc. operates more than 500 Bob Evans restaurants in 18 states across the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and Southeast U.S. regions.

Shares in Bob Evans fell less than half of 1 percent in midday trading Monday, but are up more than 20 percent in 2016 and more than 3 percent during the past year.