By Lynne Hayes-Freeland

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Kings Family Restaurants is closing several locations in western Pennsylvania.

It was announced Sunday that the Wexford, Bridgeville, Imperial, Harmarville, and Altoona restaurants would be shutting down at 7 p.m. that evening.

Meetings were held to inform the 130 employees affected by the decision. Many were floored by the announcement.

“Too overwhelming to even describe. I could hear worse things in my life, you know and God never closes one door without opening another.  That’s the way I got to look at it,” former employee Kimberly Scheller said.

Twenty-five other area locations will be kept open.

The classic Pittsburgh eatery opened its doors in 1967. But, two years ago, the group was sold to a California-based corporation.

Bob Allen’s Report:

The company has yet to give an explanation for the closings, but local economist Dr. Audrey Guskey thinks the company did not keep up with the ever-changing trends.

“Unfortunately for Kings, restaurants such as a Panera, which is more after trendy younger people, has a better image – offers fresh food as they call it. Farm to table a lot of times is the trend as well and a restaurant like Eat’n Park has been able to keep up with the trends,” Dr. Guskey said.

Still, love for the Steel City remained a central part of Kings.

“Black and yellow, salads with French fries and lots and lots of bridges. You gotta love Pittsburgh,” is written fondly on the company website.

Regulars were devastated to learn the news.

“These people treat me like family. I come in here, I sit down, they’re friendly, they’re kind, they’re loving.  Can’t ask for a better place,” said Michael Tritt.

“I’ve been eating up there ever since they opened, closures are always bad,” one regular agreed.

“It’s a sad day for all loyal customers, I’ll miss everybody,” another man said.

Join The Conversation On The KDKA Facebook Page
Stay Up To Date, Follow KDKA On Twitter

More From CBS Pittsburgh

Get The All New CBS Local App
KDKA Weather App
CBS All Access

Watch & Listen LIVE