Given the sizable crowd at the Houlihan’s in Westbury last Sunday evening, you might be forgiven for not realizing the dire straits in which the restaurant has found itself of late. The employees I talked to there were similarly in the dark, none having been told that the parent company of the casual chain had filed for bankruptcy last Thursday.
On that same day, Houston-based Landry’s restaurant group — which bought Del Frisco’s in October and announced the closure of the steakhouse's Huntington Station location — announced its intent to purchase Houlihan’s for $40 million in a deal that would presumably keep dozens of the Kansas-based chain’s locations open for now. That would include the two on Long Island, in Westbury and Farmingdale. Landry’s is owned by billionaire restaurant mogul Tilman Fertitta, whose portfolio includes national chains such as Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. and McCormick & Schmick’s.
"We expect the process to be seamless for our guests, team members and vendors and look forward to continuing to provide our guests with the same great experience they expect when they dine with us," said Houlihan’s CEO Mike Archer in a statement.
The first Houlihan’s opened in Kansas City in 1972 and grew to have dozens of locations in the Midwest and mid-Atlantic states before succumbing to the same malaise that has afflicted many other casual chains, itself a consequence of multiple factors, including changing public tastes and the rise of food delivery services like DoorDash and Uber Eats.
Houlihan’s is at 725 Merrick Ave. in Westbury, 516-522-8010; and 923 Broadhollow Rd. in Farmingdale, 631-249-4828, houlihans.com.