By Jon Delano

BRIDGEVILLE (KDKA) — In the middle of the night, Noodles & Company in Bridgeville stripped the store of its equipment, and even the logo.

And that was a surprise to employees when they showed up for work the next day.

“Shocked. Didn’t see it coming,” said Dustin Harper, a former Noodles employee.

“I was told you’re out of a job,” added Penny Roberts, another former employee.

Roberts said she’d heard rumors about some stores closing so asked her boss about it.

“He called the regional general manager, and it was, ‘Oh no, don’t be silly, your store’s doing good,’” Roberts told KDKA money editor Jon Delano on Thursday.

“’None of you have anything to worry about. We’re closing the older non-profit stores,’” she was told.

Instead, she got a letter saying Noodles was “eliminating your position effective today” with just two weeks’ severance pay.

Patrons who showed up for lunch Thursday were just as surprised.

“They’re some restaurants over here, and it’s nice to just hop over here and get something quick, and I’m really surprised that it’s closed,” said Molly Selby, of Canonsburg.

“We love this place. It’s good food,” said Chetan Chothani, of Mt. Lebanon, who showed up to eat.

Delano: “Your reaction to the fact that it closed without notice?”

Chothani: “Surprise. Disbelief.”

The Noodles in Bridgeville isn’t the only store to close.

At least five stores in the Pittsburgh area have shut their doors, all without notice to their employees.

Besides Bridgeville, the other closed stores are in Monroeville, Peters, South Strabane, and Wexford, leaving just four Noodles open in Cranberry, Market Square, Oakland and South Hills Village.

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The company says Noodles closed 39 “underperforming stores” across the country, but it’s painful.

“I had another job that I quit to come full-time here and be a shift manager. So really hurts,” added Harper.

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