After its parent restaurant chain filed for bankruptcy a few months ago, Laurel's Old Country Buffet was among 11 locations to close its doors Tuesday, with its remaining assets scheduled for public auction later this week in a partnership with national online auctioning company Auction Nation.
Over the last week, Auction Nation president Gabriel Prado said, the Buffets restaurant chain has closed several of its "underperforming" locations in response to debt. The Laurel restaurant officially closed to the public after business hours Monday.
"Any time that a business is going to be closing within a short time frame, usually they'll give us a call to do an online auction," Prado said. "For instance, the store closed yesterday morning at 8 a.m. and everything is going to be out of the building this Friday at 4 p.m."
An open house preview for the public is scheduled today from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Thursday, June 16 from 10 a.m. to noon at the restaurant at 9608 Fort Meade Road, Prado continued. Bids will be made online at AuctionNation.com through noon Thursday, June 16.
"It gives anybody a chance to come and get a look at what's there at the restaurant," he said. ""It's pretty much anything that was in that restaurant, so all the kitchen and cooking equipment, refrigerators, tables, chairs, utensils, pans and racks."
Once the location has been emptied, Prado said negotiations will begin between the restaurant chain and landlord to determine the future of the building.
Buffets representatives could not be reached for comment Wednesday afternoon.
"I've heard that a couple of the restaurants that are closing are reaching out to the community to figure out whether they want to try to put another restaurant in there or try to repurpose the place," Prado said. "I'm not super sure what the landlord will be doing, but the location will be emptied by Friday."
For more information on the Laurel Buffet Liquidation Auction, go to www.AuctionNation.com.