Actually the person who wrote that article doesn't know much about the company. The Atlanta closings were due to a franchise that failed to make payments to the company. The company repo'd the stores and closed them.
if that's true which it could be WHY DIDN'T THEY AS A COMPANY JUST TAKE OVER THE STORES? This company has poor management, has to get back to the core business foundation that it was built on and stop counting money. PERIOD! Until then avoid this stock until you see at the min. one year of consistant growth 25%+ qtr after qtr. Too many great looking stocks that are paying huge returns instead. This stock is cheap for a reason.
There is much the company did not mention about this. The company has no obligation to take over the operation of franchisees. Franchisees take the business risk associated with this. Why would they take over operations at the Atlanta locations and then close them down 3 months later? The key point that they left out was that the franchisee was Martin O'Dowd who was CEO of Famous Dave's before Goronkin and was the former boss of the current CEO Chris O'Donnell. Two possibilities exist. The first is that Famous Dave's was the leaseholder name on the lease. O'Dowd ran the operations and made the lease payments as long as things were going good but as soon as things got difficult, he just handed the reins back to the company and walked away. O'Donnell then chose to close the locations. The second possiblility is that Martin O'Dowds name was on the leases and his old buddy that used to work for him named Chris O'Donnell chose to bail him out and have Famous Dave's and it's shareholders swallow the $2.5 million to close things down and let O'Dowd walk away and avoid bankruptcy. This would be extremely sleazy and make Rod Blagojevich look like a choir boy. Although, Wilson Craft, who was CEO for 6 months and telecommuted from Atlanta (he never actually move to the Corporate headquarters in Minnesota), may have been buddies with O'Dowd in Atlanta and let him off the hook.
I forgot to mention that I contacted the company to ask them to comment on Martin O'Dowds involvement with this but they've refused to talk to me anymore. I must have pissed them off in the past. Try calling them or contacting them through investor relations and see what kind of answer you get.