Owner: Popular Charlotte diner still in business, to reopen Wedn - | WBTV Charlotte

Owner: Popular Charlotte diner still in business, to reopen Wednesday


The owner of an iconic Charlotte restaurant is speaking out after the popular dining establishment was unexpectedly closed for a week.

The Penguin Drive-In is set up in Charlotte's Plaza Midwood area and has been closed for more than a week, with seemingly no warning.  The restaurant has not been open since last Monday.

The closure sparked questions on social media about the future of the restaurant.

WBTV spoke with two employee sitting outside of the restaurant on Monday morning, as they waited for the doors to be unlocked. They believed the restaurant was opening Monday.

The Penguin Drive-In has been under new ownership since 2010.

Since then, there has been financial trouble, including a lawsuit from the landlords claiming the owners defaulted on an $18,000 loan. That lawsuit was later thrown out.

Penguin owner Lisa Ballentine released a statement on Monday night about the closure.

"After an unfortunate and tragic death in the family of one of our staff members, we as a staff decided it was best for The Penguin Drive-In to close for seven days this past week. We are a small staff, and our staff is like family," Ballentine said.

"When one of our family members is faced with what happened recently, it affects all of us," she continued. "We felt it was in the best interest of the staff to take a pause."

The restaurant will continue to be closed Tuesday, she said, with plans to reopen on Wednesday afternoon.

"We would like to thank all of our loyal customers, the Plaza-Midwood neighborhood, and other surrounding small business owners for their continued support," Ballentine said.

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