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Macaroni Grill closed in Columbia

Macaroni Grill on Stadium Drive in Columbia has shuttered its doors, according to movers on site Monday.

Multiple moving trucks cleared out the restaurant Monday morning.

ABC 17 has made calls to the corporate office, but they have not been returned.

ABC 17 first reported in Octoberabout the possible closure after learning Chick-Fil-A was looking to open a new restaurant at the location where Macaroni Grill sits now.

Nearby businesses said they talked to employees at Macaroni Grill who had no idea the place was shutting down.

“When I talked to a manager about it, they neither confirmed nor denied anything, they just said they weren’t going anywhere,” Alan Eldridge, assistant general manager at Smokehouse Barbecue said. “Apparently they didn’t say anything to anybody, it was really strange.”

Eldridge said there had been rumors circulating the restaurant might close, but employees didn’t believe it because they said the building was being remodeled. And he said many people were shocked to learn Macaroni Grill was closing.

“They always had a steady stream of traffic in and out and they didn’t seem to be doing bad, so I don’t know why they closed,” Eldridge said.

But in just the few hours Macaroni Grill shut its doors, applications have started flowing in to other places.

“I haven’t checked the applications yet so I don’t know if they are from Macaroni Grill, but I have gotten a surge of applications that came in today, about 5, which is rare for a single day,” Eldridge said.

St. Louis media reported other Macaroni Grill restaurants in the area are closed.

Two of those will be replaced with Chick-Fil-A restaurants.

Workers at the licensing bureau told ABC 17 News Macaroni Grill had renewed its business license this past summer.

Websites for the restaurants in Missouri are no longer active as of Monday night.

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