The original Tahoe Joe’s Famous Steakhouse has closed.
The restaurant near Shaw and Marks avenues was the first Tahoe Joe’s opened by Fresno restaurateur Dave Fansler in 1995.
He later sold the restaurant and several other Tahoe Joe’s locations to another company.
The restaurant closed for “business reasons,” said a representative from parent company Food Management Partners through a public-relations agency. The representative did not elaborate.
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The division that oversaw Tahoe Joe’s and several other sister restaurants has filed for bankruptcy and closed more than 150 restaurants nationwide. That includes the Clovis HomeTown Buffet that closed abruptly last week and the Merced location that closed in March.
Another Tahoe Joe’s – there were 10 until recently – in Pleasant Hill also has closed. But the other two Tahoe Joe’s in the central San Joaquin Valley – at Cedar and Herndon avenues in Fresno and another in Visalia – still are open.
Fansler said he had guaranteed the landlord of the Cedar restaurant it would live out its lease.
“If they close that store I’m going to take the word ‘Joe’s’ down and put up ‘Dave’s’ and open the next day,” he said.
He said he didn’t know why the company closed Tahoe Joe’s.
A subdivision of Tahoe Joe’s parent company, Ovation Brands, filed for bankruptcy in March. It blamed a lawsuit that it says wasn’t disclosed when buying the restaurants. The lawsuit eventually resulted in an $11.4 million judgment, and sales at many restaurants have not met their goals, according to Reuters.