Long-time Kentucky corporate citizens Long John Silver’s and A&W Restaurants have announced plans to keep their worldwide corporate headquarters in the commonwealth after being sold by parent company YUM! Brands.
LJS Partners, a newly formed entity, plans to acquire the stock ownership of Long John Silver’s, along with franchise agreements and trademarks of more than 1,300 restaurants. The company plans to establish its headquarters in Louisville, creating 60 jobs.
A&W Restaurants, which is being acquired by A Great American Brand, will return to its roots in Lexington, creating 30 jobs.
Long John Silver’s was founded in Lexington in 1969 and moved its headquarters to Louisville in 2003 when it became part of YUM! Brands. LJS Partners – which looked at locations in South Carolina, Indiana and Ohio before deciding to remain in Louisville – has said it plans to aggressively improve operations in the United States over the next few years and also plans to implement an aggressive overseas expansion strategy that could lead to additional jobs in the near future.
A&W’s history dates back to 1919 and was once part of Yorkshire Brands, which was located in Lexington in the 1990s. Like LJS, A&W evaluated several other cities for its headquarters, but “the support offered by Commerce Lexington’s economic development team, the city of Lexington, and the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development brought Lexington to the top of the list,” said Kevin Bazner, chief executive officer of A Great American Brand.