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Thursday May 12th, 2011

Posted at 9:34pm

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Weeks after the Spitfires’ season ended, one restaurant with a team connection has thrown in the towel.

Lasting just over a year, The Franchise Grill & Lounge (Suite 800 – 2601 Lauzon Pkwy.) closed its doors for good yesterday. Billed as the official restaurant of the Windsor Spitfires and co-owned by one of three team owners, Peter Dobrich, it was also a hangout for players.

Despite its attempts to attract business people, families and sports crowds alike, its menu and expensive prices may have been the restaurant’s downfall. Complaints also surfaced from many customers about poor service and lackluster food.

“My first and only experience at the Franchise was an absolute disappointment and disaster,” said 28-year-old Erica Laporte. “The service started off terrible and only got worse as my four-hour experience continued. There were eight of us at the table …A few of us ordered appetizers, nothing fancy, it was all soups and shrimp. it took two-hours for the apps to get there and the shrimp was still frozen. It took another hour for our meals to come out.”

The restaurant, hiring waitresses as recently as April 18, hosted Spitfire-related events, home game shuttle buses and had several flat screens. All equipment is now being removed from the building.

New ownership is nothing new for the Lauzon Pkwy. Venue, which has undergone many changes over the years. Known by many as Kelsey’s first Windsor location, it was transformed into Murphy’s Irish Pub afterwards and remained that way until closing seven-years later in 2009.

No plans are currently known for the long-standing east-end location’s future development.

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