Bank may take over Damon's site in Normal

Bank may take over Damon's site in Normal

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NORMAL - Damon's - The Place for Ribs has closed and could be replaced by a bank or multi-tenant retail center.

The sale to Location Finders International, based in Mokena, is expected to be completed today, said Steve Wyent, project and finance manager for Location Finders.

"Plan A is for a Chase Bank," Wyent said Wednesday. "If that falls through, we'll keep our options open."

Wyent said the site along Veterans Parkway is ideal for a financial institution or retail center especially with the rapid housing development to the east. Location Finders hopes to have a new business at the site this year, he said.

The 8,300-square-foot building at 1701 Fort Jesse Road had been home to Damon's since 1995.

It opened as a franchise but was purchased by Damon's International a few years ago, according to Brad Ritter, a company spokesman.

Ritter said sales at the Normal restaurant have been declining, prompting the company to close the business. The last meal was served Sunday night, Ritter said.

"All the employees were paid," he said, adding he didn't know how much notice was given to employees.

While the Normal location has closed, Damon's International did open two new restaurants recently in Hunt Valley, Md., and Lewisburg, Pa., and plan two more openings in 2006. The Columbus, Ohio-based company has 120 locations worldwide.

Ritter said Damon's International is in the midst of negotiating a sale of the company but it is not complete.

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