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TGI Friday's: No More In NorthPark; Yes More in the Middle East

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T.G.I. Friday's, a place known for its red-and-white stripes and flair for shrugging off the work-week, may be feeling the crunch just like everyone else -- or it may just be changing its game.

Within the last week, the location at NorthPark Center shuttered its doors amidst numerous T.G.I. Friday's closings across the country. Carlson Restaurants, the Carrollton-based owners of Friday's, has experienced restaurant closures in California, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, and Florida over the past year.

Laura Bedrossian, a spokesperson for the company, said: "Based on the natural ebb and flow of individual restaurants, Friday's opens restaurants in some newly developing areas and then closes others. Team members will have the opportunity to transfer to other area locations."

According to Restaurant News, BiState Bistro Associates, a 12- unit T.G.I. Friday's franchise based out of Chesterfield, Missouri, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in June 2010 after struggling with declining revenues resulting from the recession.

In November, the Kansas City Star reported that the last Friday's in its market-area closed when attempts to weather the economy failed.

While the closing of many locations around the country could be the result of a faltering economy, Carlson remains optimistic and announced last month that it would be opening 30 new locations over the next five years in the Middle East, which would make Friday's one of the leaders in American dining in that region.

The Friday's at NorthPark Center opened in November 2007 as the company's 600th restaurant, and it's unknown what will take its place. A publicist for the mall was unable to be reached for comment. But for those of you who still need your Friday's fix, patrons can choose from the chain's 21 other locations around DFW.

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