Iconic restaurant remains closed; Neighbors not surprised



CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A landmark in Plaza-Midwood remains closed, despite a promise it would reopen Thursday.
It's been closed for more than a week now.
Russell Fergusson, the president of the Plaza-Midwood Merchants Association, said he's not surprised about Penguin Drive-in going dark.
He said he's aware the owner has filed for bankruptcy and could now be evicted.
Channel 9 crews spotted a sign on the door stating they would re-open Thursday, but didn’t see anyone unlock the door and go in.
As Channel 9 previously reported, the landlord filed eviction paperwork stating the power has been turned off and the place seems abandoned!
Owner Lisa Ballentine said they've temporarily closed because a staff member had a death in the family.
People we spoke with say they aren’t surprised either, saying the place wasn’t the same after a change in ownership.
“Everything kind of went crazy. Everyone moved to the Diamond or the Pinky's. It wasn't a staple anymore,” said Joseph Kizina, who works nearby.
Those are two other popular restaurants in the area.
“This kind of neighborhood is not big on change,” said Lee Gray, who works nearby.
Fergusson said he's not worried about the economic impact to this neighborhood.
“I wouldn't expect any one establishment would somehow turn that in the opposite direction,” he said.
He says he hasn't spoken with the owner and isn't sure what will happen.
People we spoke with are hoping the lights turn back on.
“I would love to see this place open up again,” Kizina said.
Channel 9 called the owner, but she didn't pick up. Her voicemail was also full.

Read our past coverage on the Penguin:

Aug. 6, 2014: Iconic Penguin Drive-In served eviction paperwork

Oct. 24, 2013: Penguin Drive-In being sued by landlord over lease, loan

Nob. 6, 2013: Iconic Penguin restaurant files for bankruptcy Tuesday

Sept. 21, 2010: The Penguin Drive-In To Change Management, Concept